Tu tene eum procul; Ego curram ob auxilium!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Lost in the Fog

First Modu

Last Saturday's forecast for second opening
day was for patchy fog.  If that was patchy,
I'd hate to see pea soup. 

Tommy and I decided to head for East
Marsh.  There was water and we had
seen ducks when we scouted the week
before.  That said, G2 from my friend
who scouted the day before was that
there were no ducks. 

We ended up launching about 2 miles
from the entry point to the marsh
after getting stuck at the launching ramp
50 feet away from the entry point.
The 2 mile ride was down a canal.
The fog was so thick, I couldn't
see the banks on either side.  We
went very slowly. 

We finally found the access point
and gallantly let an air boat have
the right of way.  I also discovered,
to my chagrin, that I didn't have a
route platted into my GPS to our
spot code named Three Islands. 
Instead, I only had a straight line
Go To Waypoint to follow.  That
would have been fine except for the
shallow water, saw grass islands,
and cypress hummocks in the

We finally got to a spot and the
GPS said we were where we
wanted to be, but I couldn't find
anything familiar.  We circled and
got stuck for thirty to forty minutes.
I finally found a likely spot and told
Tommy we were setting up there and
hoping for the best. 

Between driving the Go-Devil, watching
the fog for dangers, trying to read the
GPS, and vainly shining the Q-Beam;
I wasn't sure which direction we were
pointing.  I ended up about 25 degrees
off of where I thought, but it made
no matter - the fog was thick all day.
If fact, only for a couple of minutes
in the middle of the morning could
we see the sun's disk and then it
was obscured again.

Setting up the boat was no problem,
but setting up the decoys was tricky.
I only went about 15 yards out, but
couldn't find the boat again after they
were set.  I had to get Tommy to
shine a light to guide me back. 

When shooting time came, we were
surprised at how light things were
even with the fog.  I heard a noise
behind us and turned.  Two ducks
came from off my right shoulder.
I couldn't tell species, but I shot
one of them.  It landed quite a
ways off against the saw grass.
I jumped out of the boat to try
a retrieve.  I searched for the
bird, but it must have been cripple
and gotten into the weeds.  As I
turned back to the boat, two
big ducks came from my left.
I shot one and watched the other
curl towards the boat.  I yelled,
"Coming across!" to Tommy but
didn't hear an ensuing shot. 

I retrieved a nice, large mottled
drake.  As I did, I heard boom
boom boom.
I yelled, "Did you get it?"  "Yeah,
but it's swimming away!"  Then
boom boom boom
again.  "Dad, I got it!"

Tommy had swatted the hen.  She
wasn't a widow for very long.  The
duck had landed in my dekes and
he "waited" until it swam far enough
away before he fired.  Unfortunately,
it wasn't quite as far as he thought.
He also killed a coot decoy and the
inner tube I used for the Mojo

We had two more ducks (both
beauties) than I had expected.
The day progressed well when
a ringer hen came in and I splashed
it.  We saw a ringer zip by high in
the fog over our heads.  I hit it
with the Duck Commander's
paralyzer and come back calls.
Five times and five different
directions it came back.  It
finally committed and came into
the decoys.  Boom, splash, and
we were done for the day.

Drake on the left - Hen on the right

These birds have beautiful speculum.  Depending on the light, it can go from metallic green to blue to purple.

The little shooting we heard
from others proved that we
probably had as good a day
as anyone. 

When we pulled everything in
and headed out, I got lost in
the fog again.  A friend asked
me where I hunted and I honestly
answered that I didn't know.

Quite a fun day.  I'm figuring
tomorrow will be pretty dull

Tommy's take Modu and Inner Tube.  Modus eat better.



Blogger vanckirby said...

youve been having some pretty good hunts with the mo's this year!

10:00 PM  
Blogger oldfatslow said...

Got another one today.
It's a tough year when
I've got mo modus than


5:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't understand how you can cripple and lose so many birds in good conscience. I see it happens with all duck hunters and that's my point. It makes the arguments against duck hunting much stronger. It causes so much unnecessary suffering for the birds. I live in a duck hunting area and find these mutilated birds from time to time. It's just a sad sad state of being that duck hunters don't think of what the animals endure as a result of a "fun" day out shooting. Multiplied by how many hunters are out there on any day, for four months ongoing. Wish you guys would think about this sometimes. It's such wanton waste of life, beautiful life.

3:47 AM  
Blogger oldfatslow said...

I am wounded by the
gutless, anonymous,
sentimentalist comment.


6:33 AM  
Blogger oldfatslow said...

Here's an old comment
about why I hunt:

My real reason to hunt
is the same as why
David the shepherd
killed lions and bears.
Ultimately, he did so
he would be ready for
battle. I am too old,
but my sons may have to
face America's enemies
some day. I want them
used to firearms, hardship,
patience, planning, safety,
responsibility, danger, and

Our hunts encompass all
of these. The marsh is
not a soccer field. A
mistake in the marsh won't
result in a goal for the
opposing team, but may cost
the life of someone. My
sons face real danger with
courage and they have learned
real skills.

Life is dangerous and
adventuresome. Modern
society tries to breed
that out of young men. But
not in my house.

All that and the excitement
of finding the ducks, luring
the ducks, and killing our
limit is why we hunt.


8:16 AM  

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