Tu tene eum procul; Ego curram ob auxilium!

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Early Teal Too

Tommy and I took last Tuesday off and
went out for Early Teal to Big Bend where
we did so well on wood ducks last year.

Because the water is up so much after
the drought ending, I wasn't sure what
we'd find.  When scouting, I hadn't seen
a duck.  Still, Big Bend has yet to fail

We got out and got set up fairly easily
other than finding that I'd lost the thumb
screw that held the wing on my mojo.  That
was right about the time that the wing
fell off and sank like a rock.  I decided
to just have a one winged mojo and
hope we would have stupid ducks
come by.

We really needed stupid ducks because
I put the teal we painted this summer out
there too.  They actually looked a little
more like ducks for some reason than
they had on the previous Saturday.
Fortunately, I had some wood duck
decoys too. 

The day dawned and started slow.
There were NO birds of any sort out
there.  It was eerie because there are
normally hundreds of shore birds
(ibis, herons, cormorants, gallinules,
etc.) around.  There weren't even any
red wing black birds, grackles, or the
little yellow marsh birds.  But, there
were mosquitoes.  [I sincerely believe
the person who invented the Thermocel
should get the Noble Prize.]

At one point we did see three ducks
flying our way, but they were black
bellied whistlers.  They were out
about 100 yds and passing us on the
right.  I grabbed my whistle and got
them to turn, fly over the dekes,
realize there were no cousins down
there, and then fly over the boat as
they left.  We could have easily
owned them had they been legal.
November can't come too soon.

An hour into shooting time, I saw
some wood ducks out ahead of us.
Turns out they were part of a wave
and two came right across the front
of the boat in a right to left shot.  I
nailed a nice drake and might have
had a shot at the second one if I
hadn't heard an "Ouch" from Tommy
getting his ears rung.  I gave him my
ear pro after that.

The water was too deep to do a retrieve,
so I left the duck floating safely.  Another
hour passed before another woody wave
came over.  Two of them swung wide and
then behind us.  I was hoping they'd come
back when a third one landed plop between
both wads of decoys.  Tommy wanted
to whack that one, but I made him wait
a bit.  Finally, I green lighted him and
he nailed it with one well placed shot.

That was it for the day but we hung
on a while longer.  I got worried when
my duck started swimming.  Turns out
something had it.  There was a big
splash and it disappeared for a couple
of minutes.  All I could think of was my
buddy Mike T losing one of his birds to
a gator on the previous hunt.  When my
bird popped back up, we broke down
the blind and went on a retrieve with
the boat.  I was really happy I had a
dip net.  We never did figure out what
had the duck, but it must have been
small:  only the head and the back
were a little chewed upon.  The
breast meat wasn't damaged at all.

On the way home, I did a little
scouting and kept hearing people
shooting behind us.  Turns out half
my muffler had fallen off and I was
hearing my own backfiring.  Just
got the boat back today - a well
invested $260.