oldfatslow

Tu tene eum procul; Ego curram ob auxilium!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Arctic Real Blast

Yesterday was as cold a hunt
as I can remember. It was
in the mid 20s, windy, and
very frosty.

We hunted the local WMA as
walkons and got one of the
less popular spots, but at
least we didn't have to try
East Marsh (our backup).

Some of the guys in the wading
impoundments were breaking ice.
We were in the boat and never
had to get wet hunting in the
reservoir. We set up in some
bulrushes, got our camo nets
and palmetto fans up, and put
ringer and coot decoys in the
hydrilla patch in front. The
decoys were very close, but
we were well covered up.

Unfortunately, the wind was
in our faces but the sun was
at our backs. I was afraid we
would have to shoot ringers
coming in at mach speed from
behind our heads. But, that
was the way the pond set up.

The day started well when a
pair of woodies came over the
levee from the impoundment
just north. I dropped a hen.
She turned out to be a real
bonus as my fifth banded bird.
ofs' fifth banded bird - hen woody
Later, we watched three ringers:
a beautiful drake and two hens
swim up to the dekes. That
is not the ringer way. We
stood up and yelled at them,
but they wouldn't fly. Dave
shot the drake and Jim got
one of the hens. We found
out later that the reason the
drake didn't fly was that he
was missing half a wing. This
was probably a cripple from the
previous year that had survived
gators, snakes, and turtles.
He must have been one mean,
manly duck. He still had
the mojo to attract the hens,
grabbed a pellet in his teeth,
and took several minutes to
die after numerous anchor
shots.
Grabbed a pellet out of mid air. 

Dave ready to take off the other wing.
Stumpy winged ringer
I added to my meager take
with a stray bwt hen. But
Jim nailed a beautiful
fulvous whistling duck
while both Dave and I
whiffed on ours.

Jim's fulvous whistling duck

Again, unfortunately, Jim
and I managed to cripple
and lose some wood ducks
that were swimming around
in the spatterdock. A
couple, we were very sure we
killed, but may have lost
to swamp monsters that
weren't entirely frozen out.
[Duckmanjr told a tale at
the checkout stand of a
particularly nasty run in
he had with an eight foot
dragon on that cold cold
morning.]

Not our best, but a good day

ofs

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