oldfatslow

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Friday, February 06, 2015

Yute Hunt

I took a young man and his father out
to the Youth Waterfowl Hunt this year.
Unfortunately, I didn't get him a reservation
at the WMA so we had to head out
on the St. Johns.

We all went out Friday and scouted a
good 10 miles of river.  We saw a few
mottles and one group of 8 ducks that
I wasn't sure the species.  But they
were way down river and I didn't
think we wanted to get up at 0230
and brave the sandbars to get to
the spot.  Instead, I fell back on
Fog Hunt.  That's an area that
has history of being productive
in both prior years and this
year.  We also had a skunk
there this year.

After the scout, we came home
and cut palmettos.  I also gave
them some cold weather gear,
face masks, and gloves.  Since I
was the only one going in the
water, I was the only one with
waders.

The water, habitat, and weather
were perfect.  I put 6 bwt and
one mottle out as decoys.  For
motion I put the mojo teal and
three pinners on the jerk string.

It was dead at sunup.  There weren't
even many shore birds around. No one
else was out on the marsh.  We heard
no boats or shooting.  We did hear
a distant hen mottled duck.  I hit
her with the drake mallard call.
That went on all morning.

I commented that mottled ducks
sometimes fly around 0800.  Sure
enough at 0804, the calling finally
paid off and a pair of mottles swung
out wide in front of us and came
straight into the decoys.  The young
man got off a couple of shots with
the pump, but the ducks were awfully
close and he may have nipped one
of them.

I was amazed that they went behind
us and then back up to the far end of
our pond and landed.  I intended to
sit still in case the one was hit and just
took time to succumb to the wounds.

Oddly, a third modu showed up and
they all took off.  The original two
flew one way and the singleton another.
I wailed on the hen mallard call and it
turned and followed the same track
back across the dekes that the first
pair did.  I felt so bad that both shots
missed that bird too.  With some
experience, that young man would
have had a trophy bird.  They were
big old ducks.

In the boat:
 
 photo IMG_1743_zpsea556b86.jpg

View behind us:
 photo IMG_1745_zpsc99db405.jpg

View of the decoys:
 photo IMG_1744_zps9b0d9fda.jpg

Action shot:
 photo IMG_1748_zps1ee78d36.jpg


I was very proud of the young man
for listening, sitting still,
taking the shots, and cycling the
gun.  He did great.  I just wish I
could have put him on more ducks.

His dad did yeoman's work with the
jerk string.  We topped the day off
with a good breakfast at IHOP.

ofs

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