Tu tene eum procul; Ego curram ob auxilium!

Sunday, November 27, 2011


Hit the same spot on the marsh Saturday
that we did on Thursday.  We only heard
one other boat and that guy only shot
twice that we heard.  I like being lonely
on a big ol' marsh especially when we
have a day like yesterday.

Getting out there and setting up were
uneventful.  The water is still well up and
it was four feet deep where it's normally
dry land.  We set up with plants to our
back and our backs to the sunrise and
the forecasted 25mph gusts from the

Shooting time was 6:25.  At 6:15, we
heard shooting (from someone else not
the neighboring boat) followed immediately
by the blackbellied whistling ducks that
always clear out of the area just before
shooting time.  Apparently, that hunter
wasn't going to let that happen to him.

We decided to try a different approach.
The three of us got on our whistles and
began calling the bbwds.  We actually turned
a group of about 20 that swung around
us and came straight at the boat.  But,
it was only 6:20 and we held fire.  We
stayed hard on the whistles and the
ducks stayed right behind us.  I had
the three of us turn our backs to the
decoys and get ready to shoot just
as shooting time arrived.  Fortunately,
Jim hollered, "Behind you!" and Stu
and I turned back around and were
able to drop two immature birds out
of a group of about eight that came on
our right.  I rewarded my adherence
to the law by jumping out of the
boat on the retrieve and landing
right on the tail of my Go-Devil
long tail.  The pain was instantaneous -
I thought I had cracked my tail bone
or another vertebrae.  But, the 5mm
waders I had on must have cushioned
the shock and I have naught but a
nasty bruise today.

It wasn't too long after that that I saw
a nice, plump duck zinging straight in
from my right.  I dropped a beautiful
drake woody.

After that, it was all teal all the time.  We
varied between singletons all the way
up to groups of a couple dozen.  The
big groups always seemed to hit us
at bad times.  It wasn't until the last
big wad (the 10 o'clock duck) came
in that Jim doubled and Stu and I each
dropped one.  I ended up limiting, Jim
5, and Stu 4.  Another big day.

Stu got a very nice drake blue
winged teal.

We breasted out 13 of those 15 ducks,
the 14 from the Thanksgiving day hunt,
the fulvous from our Tuesday hunt, and
two wood ducks from Early Teal.  It took
four POUNDS of bacon to wrap the
marinated breasts.  I was able to squeeze
all of them on the grill and cooked them
up medium rare.  They were juicy and
excellent.  We only quit eating because
we ran out of room.  Stu's bwt and my
wood duck, we plucked whole and cooked,
but - at least for me - the breasts were
much tastier.



Friday, November 25, 2011

Hen Killers

Tuesday, I took Jenny and her friend Abby
out to TMG.  We were first draw for the
reservoir and should have had an excellent
morning.  But, I had scouted the day
before and there were few ducks there
despite the conditions (topped out
hydrilla) being excellent. 

We ended up with one fulvous duck.
It was disappointing to say the least.

But, that was then.  On Thursday, Jim,
Stuart, and I headed out to hunt a "secret" spot
I had scouted the previous Saturday (after
a spectacularly failed opening day hunt.)

Few people ever hunt this area but I've
had some good hunts.  We got where we
were going with ease.  Got the decoys out
and got the boat up against some bushes.
I was shocked to find hulls in the water
where someone had hunted between Saturday
and Thursday.  [What's worse, the guys who
had hunted there had been shooting #1s and
BBs at teal.  What were they thinking about?]

We put out coots, bwt, gwt, a few woodies, and
a pinner for decoys.  I figured I'd try my mojo
teal one more time.  Wow, did we set up well.
Not only were we deep in shadows all morning,
but the decoys were set up perfectly for
ducks coming from left to right into the wind.
Never have I had so many birds want to decoy
and land.  There were times we had to yell
to get a duck to fly up out of the dekes.  They
just couldn't see us.  The wind was right too.
The decoys really looked real moving in the

We had a lot of singleton ducks come through
and a few small groups.  It was a lot of fun.
Jim and I both limited (his first). And, Stu
got a teal and a very confused and lost ringer.

The odd thing on the day was that every duck
was a hen.  Not a drake on the marsh.  Go



Friday, November 04, 2011

Hunting on the Cheap

I am cheap, not least of which because
I'm Scots.  I like to find ways to hunt
that won't bankrupt me and still get
the same results as using expensive
tools and gizmos.  To give an
example, I decided that I needed
a floating platform for my Mojo
Teal for water that was too deep
for the short pole that came with
the decoy.  In essence, I wanted one
of these without forking over the

I ended up buying an innertube
for a riding mower tire and fitting
it to two boards.  It worked really
great until Tommy shot it while
finishing off his crippled mottle
duck last year.


For early teal, I just used a long
piece of pvc conduit pipe that I
stuck in the middle of the decoys.
The problem with that was that the
water was almost deeper than the

Then, last week, manna from heaven.
Stu and I found a large, baby blue
chunk of thick styrofoam in Sarno
Marsh.  It's probably been there since
the hurricanes in '04.  I've now rigged
it to be my platform.  The below picture
shows the block painted, but I'm going
to actually put a sheet of black visqueen
over the block and it will look just
like water.


Now I'm going to go make a homemade
jerk string and knock off Rig 'em Right
decoy lines.