Tu tene eum procul; Ego curram ob auxilium!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Last Hunt and First Duck

Today was my favorite hunt of the
year - Youth Waterfowl Hunt. Only
kids under 16 can hunt. They don't
need licenses just an adult to
supervise them. I've been taking
my kids for years and we have had
some very successful hunts.

This year was Jenny's last and Stuart's
first. Jenny has gotten short straw
many times either because she was
crowded out of the blind by her
more numerous older brothers or
sickness. She had yet to kill
a duck beyond finishing off one
of her brother Jim's cripples.

Here they are the night before
making sure they had all their

Today, was to be special. We
were first pick at the WMA and
my G2 was very good. I had a
spot where there were a lot of
ducks (mostly ringers and bwts)
and they were decoying ducks.

I was up a mite early and found
out that the two of them had
been too excited to get much sleep
the night before. The weather
was supposed to be 37 and very
windy. It actually came in at
47 and windier. At first, I was
disappointed that the weather
wasn't a little cooler, but the
wind chill more than made up
for it. It was parky to say
the least.

Still, the boat ride out was
uneventful other than the
usual problems of the boat
lights failing. But, a three
million candle power Qbeam
kept us on course and others

I scouted around our draw as
best I could, but a patch of
hydrilla laced with shotshell
wads became our final destination
I put the ringers to one side with
a bunch of coot decoys and some
bwts and even fewer coots to
the other.

Here are the ringers.

With the strong north west wind coming
off our right shoulders, the ducks
should break down right in front
of us and head for the dekes.
It actually worked for once.

The day started promising with a
lot of ducks zinging by. When
legal light came, we had to wait
a bit but started getting some
opportunities. Several small
groups came across the spread
and a least five separate times
they landed in the dekes. The
kids put up a lot of shots. The
ferric content of the reservoir
must be at an all time high.
Still, contact wasn't happening.

Stu in the boat.

And in action.

Jenny taking her shots.

Jenny was just coming off a nasty
cold and her blood sugar got way
high. She adjusted her pump, but
felt too poorly to continue. She laid
down in the boat for a while.

After a bit, a coot landed near by.
I told Stu to shoot it and get some
practice cycling the Mossburg 20.
Boom, boom and he had his first

Jenny rallied, ate a sweet and
salty and rejoined the hunt.

A large group of ringers came
flying over the decoys and past
the back of the boat. Stuart swung
on it and nailed a beautiful drake
on his second shot.

What's that in the water? A
first duck?

Sadly, Jenny didn't rally enough to get one of her
own. Still, we had a wonderful, exciting day.

Back at the ramp.

A happy little boy.

Some of my duck calling worked. Since that
and encouraging the kiddies was my job, I
came away very happy with the day.




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