Tu tene eum procul; Ego curram ob auxilium!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Back on Track

Couldn't scout during the break and - to be
honest - the lack of birds, water, and weather
had left me less than enthusiastic. Still, the
two little boys wanted to hunt. I couldn't
think of any of my usual spots that were
appealing. So, I Googled Earthed until
I found a pond right off the river that
should still be holding water. The
recent rains gave me some extra hope.

The trip down river was uneventful.
I took a quick look in Fog Hunt, but
there was no water to float the boat
and what little pond there was was
too small for three guns. The new
area was just a small step away
and we were soon there.

I was surprised that the water was actually
deeper than I had hoped. I got the
boat up on the bank with our backs
to the coming sunrise and told the
boys to get the palmettos out while
I put out the decoys. No coots today
(there aren't any on the marsh). I
put out blue wing teal and green wing
teal in the classic J hook pattern.
I put a Mojo Teal pretty much in the
center. All of these were upwind to
our right but only about 10 to 20 yards
out. In a real shallow area off
the stern of the boat, I put some pinners -
a few of them on the bank. To the left of
the boat I put two mottled (black)
duck decoys. One of which was
had a Holy Hand Grenade.

I then came back to the boat got the
camo and the palmetto fans up and
settled down for the wait - and it was a
long one. We heard some blackbellies,
but they were long gone by daylight.
I didn't hear any other ducks. Things
didn't look good.

When shooting time came, nothing
was happening. We waited patiently
until actual sunrise and still nothing.
Finally, a small teal came zooming
straight in and over the dekes. Boom
boom and the day wasn't a total bust.
I relaxed then. A bit later a small
group of teal came in and landed
smack in the landing spot. I doubled
on a pair of gwts and Stuey hit a bwt.
We had one duck zing through that
we didn't pick up until it was long
gone. Suddenly, a big dark bird
came loafing in. There were
cormorants around, so I wanted
to be careful. But it was a big,
drake mottle that landed also in
the landing spot. Stu shot and
missed and I caught it on the
rise. The final group was teal.
They buzzed us and I gave them
a mallard hail call. Turning on
a dime the 8-10 birds came back
and landed in the dekes. Again,
I doubled but this time on bwts
and Stu dropped one.

This was Tommy's first hunt and
he wasn't comfortable with a pump
and I didn't give him more than one
shell. Since he's shooting lefty now,
he had trouble working the safety
on the Remington. I switched him
later to the Mossburg, but the birds
were done by then.

If fact, the birds started flaring off.
I now think it was the Mojo and I
shoulda pulled it in, but it's hard to
give up on something that worked
early on.

We finally gave up and packed up.
The boys hid the palmettos so we
wouldn't be advertising a good

We had watched ducks all morning pile
into a hole about 300-400 yards away.
We went up and scouted it. It was duck
central. They didn't want to fly away when
we motored in and they kept wanting to
come back while we were there. The
snipe there were thicker than fleas too.
I only managed one, but I was using #4

We decided to head home, but we know
where we're going next week.




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