Tu tene eum procul; Ego curram ob auxilium!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

One Flu Over the Cuckoo's Nest

Yesterday, we were first pick in
the TMG draw.  We also didn't have
a single hunter in the house who
didn't have the flu.  Waste of a
good draw.



Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Variety - The Spice of Life

It was warm today, but the action we got
into made the day positively hot.

Dave and Jim took the van down to TMG
and camped overnight in the walk in line.
By the time the gates were opened, they
were #3 in line.  When Craig and I met
them at 4AM, we were looking at the
7th pick after the permit holders.  To
my surprise the same spot Jim and I
hunted a couple weeks back was
still open.  We jumped on it.

Our buddy Duckmanjr let us know that
the 4.5 inches of rain the previous week
had made the impoundment a skosh
deeper.  Where we had once had
a couple of inches to spare crossing
the lateral ditches, the water now
topped our waders.  Dave had chosen
to free wheel it and go without waders.
He made the wise move.  The rest of
us were just as soaked by the end of
the day, but we had the added burden
of trying to wade with half the marsh
in our waders.

Dave and I hunted together while Jim
and Craig moved further down.  By
8:30, Dave had 4 birds and I had 5.
Things had slowed down and we had
an awesome view of the impoundment.
Much further back, where the water
was shallower, we saw wad after wad
of ducks piling in.  We moved out there
and were covered up.  I rounded out my
limit and decided to go get Jim and Craig.

They started wading out and told me they
only had 4 birds.  I said that I would head
in and pick up gear and decoys while they
went out to join Dave.  In the next half hour,
Craig went from 1 bird to a limit using only
his O/U.  Jim's gun had picked up some
goo and was back to single shot status.

Somewhere in there, Dave finished his
limit and Jim chipped away at his until
he too had six birds.  I had finally slogged
my way back to the pickup and was dozing
in the bed when they finally stopped shooting.

This was our first four man limit as a Clan
and had - we think - the most species variety
of any single hunt:
2 scaup (really unusual bird in the marsh)
2 ringers
2 green wing teal (we got none last year)
2 spoonies
16 blue wing teal.





Sunday, December 02, 2012

Whack a Doodle

My friend and old Control's engineer, Mike U..
invited Jim and me to join him and his son at 
Broadmoor WMA for last Saturday's hunt.  
He had #4 pick.  At Broadmoor, that's a
guaranteed awesome draw if you know 
what the layout of the land looks like.

I got to the parking lot a few minutes late, but
immediately ran into Joe R.  As always, the
Mayor shared some really good G2.  When
the drawing time came, he put us on the
hot spot of hot spots.  

We met Mike and Josh at the stand and
then headed out together to our spot.  It's
been a while, but it felt really good to
be back at Broadmoor.  

Joe had told us to hunt the very east
side of our impoundment either in
the north or south corners. I told
Mike I wasn't sure I could make it
all the way to the north and he 
graciously agreed to let us hunt
the nearer spot.

Jim and I got in, crossed one
lateral ditch, and then sloshed
around a bit trying to find the
best spot with some cover.  We
finally backed up against the
reeds on the lateral ditch and 
tossed the decoys out close in
front of us in some really nice,
low feed.

After that, we sat and waited until
shooting time.  There were a 
bazillion ducks flying in from 
behind us.  If I hadn't had a hat
on, I imagine I'd have had a new
part.  They were low, fast, and

I could see Mike and Josh's lights
in front of us and was surprised to 
hear someone on a hen mallard
call just to our left.  What's worse is
how badly they were blowing the
call.  Turns out, it must have been
a real hen because there was no
place for a person to hide once the
sun came up.  If that's the best she
can do, she needs killin' before she
she screws up the gene pool.

I started off slow with my continuing
cycling problems but Jim had the
O/U banging them out.  He was 
several ducks ahead when my gun
started working better.  I eventually
caught up and passed him.  One
of my ducks he tracked down and
retrieved - dispatching it a la Duck
Commander.  Jim surprised me by
announcing that it had a band.  I
thought he was joking because a 
banded blue winged teal is pretty
rare. Most of the bands I have are
the local mottled or wood ducks
banded at the WMA.

Joe had counseled us to not "burn
out on teal, but wait for the big 
ducks."  I couldn't stop myself.
I had six and Jim five bwts when
a last flight of speedy ducks buzzed
us from our right shoulders.  Jim
fired and I knew he had hit a
drake ringer.  It kept flying 
about another hundred yards before
dropping hard with a big splash.

We both waded to get it, but I
played out and was pretty sure
I could see it dead in the water.
He got a really nice bird.

Mike and Josh weren't set up
quite as well, but they managed
7 nice birds.

We had a really good day.


Two Limits

Jim's Nice Drake Ringer

Here One Can See the Ringer's Ring 

Banded Aug 2012 in North Dakota


Saturday, December 01, 2012

Opening Day 2012

Nothing like being fully prepared and well scouted in
anticipation of an awesome opening day only to find
that the mud motor has an oil leak. Fortunately, we
weren't planning a long trip in the morning (300 yards
at most).

Stu and I headed out early, but were surprised at the
number of boats that were already launched when we
got there. Three or four more boats showed up after
we were in the water. The quick trip was ... well ...
quick. We set up and waited. The Thermacell worked
awesomely and we had no problems.

There were ducks, but they came at a really odd angle -
directly towards the bow of the boat. I couldn't fire
without shooting over Stu's head. Also, I'm still having
cycling problems with the Baikal. If we had a decent
gunsmith in town, I'd have my three crippled shotguns
fixed and firing. As it is, we're limping through duck

Most of the ducks that came to us were blue wing teal
and I doubled on a pair. We saw some woodies , but
they didn't even give us a look. A pair of mottles liked
my duck calling and circled us four or five times, but they
didn't like the spread and moved on. At least we're on the


Hide in Highway Sight

ofs and Jones Hat