oldfatslow

Tu tene eum procul; Ego curram ob auxilium!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Last Hunt for the Big Boys

Today was the last duck hunt of the 09-10
season for Jim and me. We were invited by
Mike T and John G to join on John's draw
at TMG.

This had all the omens of a disaster hunt.
I had originally planned on having Jenny
join us for her final hunt as a youth. I
wanted her to get her first duck for her
16th birthday. It didn't occur to me until
yesterday that she wouldn't be a legal
hunter because she didn't have a
license since being 16 for even a day
means you need one. Good thing we
didn't try to bluff our way through -
the game warden was at the check
station.

Last night, I went to bed nice an
early so I would have a good night's
sleep. After two hours, multiple
sirens started blaring on I95 and
woke me up. When I finally got
sleepy again, some idiot got a
number wrong and kept trying
to text message our land line.
I ended up with only three hours
sleep. Jim said he got even less.

Still, both the trailer and boat
lights were working. that was
a change from recent hunts.
Something was going right.

At the check station in the AM
we were 16th and last pick, but
were hoping for a spot in the reservoir.
None of us really fancied hunting lower
Goodwin and having long slogs and
wades. When our names were called,
only two other parties had chosen the
reservoir. I got some good G2 and
we headed out to the spot I had hunted
early teal.

We putzed around a bit until Mike found
a spot and Jim and I found another. The
hydrilla wasn't thick, but we had a pretty
good hole. Unfortunately, we were looking
into the sun. The wind was light from the
southwest. I put ringer and coot decoys
out along with four woodducks. My hope
was that the predicted heavy cloud cover
would stick around and that the wind would
pick up. Well, the wind did eventually pick
up, but it was a warm wind as the day crept
up to 80 degrees.

We didn't get a lot of early shots. I was
afraid it was going to be dead. We didn't
even hear anyone shoot out in the rough
blocks until exactly at shooting time.

During the lulls, we could hear big,
bull gators thrumming the water.
They were all around us and they
were loud.

Eventually, we got some singleton ducks
come in. Jim got the first one that we thought
was a nice wood duck. Turned out it was
a beautiful drake ringer (our only ringer).



I got on the board with a hen green wing. We
also got four drake bluewings. One for Jim
and three for me.



By the end of the day, Jim had three ducks
down and I had six. But, one of his and two
of mine had dropped a long way away and
one of those wasn't hit too hard. We never
found any of those three. I'm pretty confident
that the marsh monsters got to them. Where
Jim's duck landed there were three small
gators and a big cottonmouth.

It must have been cottonmouth day. RedFishRob
told us at the ramp that they had run into
one and we saw another on the levee that
some one had run over.

As days go, it wasn't the best. We shot
behind and badly, didn't have great
opportunities, but didn't get skunked either.
I really needed the afternoon nap.


Next week, Youth Waterfowl Hunt.

ofs

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2 Comments:

Anonymous KyleW said...

The bluewings sure don't have plumage like that when they sweep through my neck of the woods in Sept/Oct. Great bag!

10:50 AM  
Blogger oldfatslow said...

You need to join us
for some January hunting.
This year, the birds were
really looking nice. We
just had a hard time finding
them outside of the local
WMA. We started the
season with drought
conditions and the late,
hard freezes killed a
lot of the smartweed
and other feed in the
holes that were still
holding water.

ofs

11:13 AM  

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