oldfatslow

Tu tene eum procul; Ego curram ob auxilium!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Early Teal 2011

Jim got us a #4 pick at TMG WMA.  We
knew we could get in the reservoir and
be assured of a pretty good hunt if there
were ducks there.  I knew there would
be woodies, but wasn't sure if the teal
were here yet.

My friend Mike T. was going to bring
his boat and hunt with Jim, Stuart, and
me.  He got out on Thursday, scouted,
and identified the good spots.  When
the time came to pick our spot, we
had moved up to 2nd in the reservoir
and had all four of Mike's options
available.  We went with one that
has historically been good.

What was most surprising when we
launched was how low the water still
was at TMG.  All of the rain we have
been getting seems to be just north and
therefore downstream of the WMA.
We had to navigate some thick lilies,
spatterdock, mud tussets, and hydrilla.
My Go-devil is sick and weak, but
still managed to chug us through.

Jim hunted with Mike in Mike's
boat.  They stopped at the northwest
corner of our draw and we headed south.
Except we didn't.  Once again, GPS in
hand, I got all turned around and actually
went east.  Where we set up was still
in our draw, but right on the border.
It turned out to be an okay spot, but
I spent a lot of the morning slightly
disoriented.

Shooting time was late 6:42AM, but
we heard one gunshot at 6:24.  It was
still way too dark then to be shooting
at ducks; someone must have had an
"accidental discharge."

I put out a few woodduck decoys and
a few of our newly painted bwt.  I
separated the two groups and put my
spinning wing decoy with the teal.
We didn't get a single bird to decoy.
I will try the teal decoys one more time,
but may have to abandon our paint
job as a net loss.

Just before shooting time, we could
see some birds flying by and when
time came lots of people were shooting.
Given that they kept on shooting on
a day of limited limits, I can only imagine
is was a lot of bad, pass shooting. 

Our shots came scattered, but we did
okay.  Stu and I both shot a bwt flying
low and right at the boat at point blank
range.  Stu was slightly faster on the
shot and hit it first.   The bird was
still really close to us, alive, and
swimming.  I could see where it
was but not see the bird itself with
the splashing and the spatterdock
moving.  I put an anchor shot on it
that messed up everything on the
bird except the meat.  That worked
out well.

I managed to hit two woodducks as
they zipped by the outside of the
decoys.  The hen had a band on it
and that made my day.

Jim and Mike were having there own
adventure.  Before shooting time, Jim
saw a big chunk of the deorbiting
satellite fall through the sky with
quite a light show of green glow and
sparks.

Mike shot one duck that was devoured
almost right away by a waiting gator.
The lizard came back and settled near
the back of their boat waiting to do another
retrieve.  Mike eventually scared it off
by turning on his bilge pump.

By the end of the day, Mike had two
woodies and Jim had a woodie and
a bwt.

We had a good day.

Here's our happy crew.  Stu is only
showing the presentable parts of
his teal.


The bird had only been banded on
August 4 of this year.  Hardly time
to get used to the bling before the
bang.  Still, jewelry is jewelry.


ofs

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