Tu tene eum procul; Ego curram ob auxilium!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Not With a Whimper, but a Bang!

11 duck grand finale

Season's over. We had some good days,
but it wasn't last year's 99 duck haul.
The local WMA was down 2,00o ducks
over last season. I actually lost count
of how many we got cause it just didn't
seem to matter. I think I killed more
snipe this year than ducks.

Still, today turned out pretty good.
We hunted the TMG reservoir. I
picked a spot where I had seen ducks
last week. But, last week was last week.
They did not want to land where we were.
All but two of our birds were passing shots.
The only two decoying ducks didn't even land
in the decoys, but we swatted them anyway.

Dave and Jim waiting for sunrise in the boat

And, there's the sunrise behind us.

Watching, waiting, and whistling.

The strange thing was that last week
we were covered up in fulvous whistling
ducks (limit one per hunter). Today,
it was reversed and we were surrounded
with black bellied whistling ducks (limit
six per person). Over and over, the bbwds
would rise from the forbidden felony-to-
hunt-in zone to the west of us, fly in
huge circles around us, and then relight.
I picked off two from a couple of groups
that came nearby. It was darn nigh
close to skybusting, but they dropped
very dead. The problem was that these
noisy birds were in such big groups
that the three of us couldn't compete
with our little whistles. It wasn't until
a group of three were out there that
we turned them and they came right
over us. It was a Duck Commander
"Cut 'em all, Jack" moment. We
each whacked one. I finished my
limit with three blue wings. Dave
had a bwt and a ringer in addition
to his bbwd. Jim had another season
ending mountable drake bwt (his
third) to go with his bbwd.

Given that some folks came in
with no ducks from some of the
more productive wading areas
of the WMA we felt pretty good.

Dave shot this video of us picking
up ducks. We had them spead in
a 40 yard radius 270 degrees
around. We had no cripples and
found all of our birds. No gators
or cottonmouths today, but a
lot of fun. Sadly, my little
digital camera does not pick
up sound. You can briefly
see where we were blinded up
where there is a patch of
palmetto fans and hulls laying
in the water (we picked them
all up later).




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