Mud and the Blood and the Bozos
was very good on the spot I wanted. The
boys biked the area on Thursday and
filed their reports. They spotted Blue Wing
Teal as well as a large group of Black
Bellied Whistling Ducks. The four of us
would have 40 prime acres all to ourselves.
Things would be rosy. Since the duck hunting
has been poor, the check in stand was not
nearly as populated as it has been in the
past. We got our selection, put our gear
on the "hay ride," and waited to be taken
to our drop off. The weather came in 6
degrees warmer than had been predicted
and was going to rise to the mid 70s. I
decided to hunt in only a long sleeve shirt.
The boys all had jackets of sorts.
After we were dropped off, we walked
down our levee for about two thirds
of a mile, cut into the impoundment,
and then cut across another third of
a mile to the far side. The mud was
thick and pot holes abounded. Craig
found out that his waders had a nice
hole in them. Still we found the place
we wanted in the northeast corner of
our draw. Rob has identified a nice
clump of brush to hide in. The
picture is looking back at the blind
from where I had the decoys.
Here (from where I was sitting) are Craig and Rob. Jim was
visible to the naked eye a little farther down, but I
can't find him in the picture. We were well-covered
up. What helped was that we were set up in a drop
off. The area in front of us was shin deep, but in
the blind, we were almost waist deep.
I only put out four teal decoys and the mojo.
After a bit, I pulled the mojo in.
The time before shooting time was full of
the sound of whistling from tons of black
bellied whistling ducks. They are the
noisiest ducks of all. Fulvous ducks are
a close second.
Of course, they all cleared off by legal
light. Well, almost all of them cleared off.
At shooting time, we saw movement in the
dollar weed to our right. Craig thought
they might be water rats, but it was three
black bellies running through the weeds.
I whacked the one that was most visible,
but the other two disappeared. After
that, everything went cold. There was some
shooting all around us, but we didn't
have anything nearby.
Part of the problem was that some
new hunters to the area were in the
impoundment to our north. They
decided to ignore their assigned
impoundment and the rule forbidding
shooting off the levees. Two of them
were in front of us firing into our
impoundment. I didn't see them
drop any birds, but I did see two
cormorants fly over them and
then have to flair when a bunch
of shots rang out. I finally waded
near them and tried to warn them
off, they either didn't hear or
ignored my warning.
At around 9Am, the world changed.
The sky was suddenly full of dozens
black bellies flying in large groups
and all of them whistling. We got
on our whistles and tried to reach them.
We succeeded in pealing off three
from behind us. As they came up
on our left, Jim and I each dropped
one. It was a new species for Jim.
A little later, a group of five
bwt came straight at us and a little
high. Craig thought they were too
high, but I whacked one and then
forgot to shoot at the others as
I watched the slow helicopter
crash of the one I did hit. It seemed
to take forever. Really cool.
Craig dropped a black belly
out of a pair that came from
behind us too.
As we sat there, wishing the
snipe flying by were teal. Craig
saw two birds coming low, slow, and
straight at us. I wanted to believe
they were ducks, but they sure
were trying to look like coots.
But, they were ducks. A nice
pair of mottles. I dropped the
hen and Rob hit the jumbo drake.
The drake (the nasty pervert) was
a very mature bird. My hen was
quite immature. Ah, ducks are
We had to pack it in to catch
the 11AM ride back to the check
station. As we slogged our way
out, we saw the guys who had
been poaching our impoundment
try and enter our impoundment.
Little did they know there is
a twenty foot deep canal on
the north side of every im-
poundment. The boys saw one
of them "float his hat" and have
to get pulled out. Picture
me sniggering like Mutley.
I probably shouldn't have
sniggered; I hit a pot hole on
the wade out and got some
water over the waders. Wow,
that was a tough, tough wade.
Here we are on the levee waiting
for our ride.
The bbwd is dead, but it was a cool pic.
We got home took pictures of
the whole take
The bbwd is one pretty bird. Their beaks and feet
are bright pink, but the color fades quickly once
they are dead.
They also have a huge wing span. This
one was 35 inches.
Here's my bwt for comparison.
Then, we got to picking. (Earlier hunt pick picture.)
And, had a big grill out.
Not the best hunt every, but an exciting day.
Labels: duck hunting 08-09