Tu tene eum procul; Ego curram ob auxilium!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

E-Ticket Ride

So last Saturday's hunt was another
skunk.  I wore the Jones hat (never has
been on a successful hunt and it kept
up the tradition). 

I hunted solo and decided to head
back to one of my favorite spots:
Big Bend. 

At the launching ramp, There were
two other guys launching and they
were the only other hunters there.
We joked a bit about the lack of
ducks and made sure we wouldn't
be setting up on each other in the
miles of marsh. They kindly let me
launch  first and guided me down
the steep, blind ramp. 

Heading down river at full speed
and trying to steer the mud motor,
work the GPS, and shine the Qbeam
may have been a bit much.  I didn't
have the usual weight in the front
of the boat of another body and
ended up swinging very wide on
a hairpin turn in the river. The
boat went flying up into the
reeds and stopped dead.  Mr.
Inertia kicked in and I went
flying out of the boat.  No
harm to boat or driver, but
I took the rest of the drive a
little slower once I pushed the
boat back in the river.

I got up to Big Bend and zigzagged
across the hole to encourage any
gators to leave.  The Q-Beam
illuminated two sets of beady
red eyes.  Neither pair was wide
set enough to cause great alarm.
I actually motored up to one of
the little lizards.  It sank down
right as the boat got to it and
then popped back up in the
same place after I motored away.
Stupid lizard.

I put the decoys out and then
proceeded to set up the blind.
As I was setting up palmetto
fans around the boat, I hit
a hole and tripped.  I got
completely soaked - including
mask and gloves.  It wouldn't
have been so bad if the temp-
erature wasn't just below 50
and the wind blowing 15-20

Thankfully, I had a thermos
of coffee and drank that dry.
I was well camoed up - none
of the herons, sandpipers,
ibis, hawks, kingfishers, eagles,
starlings, or vultures spotted me. 
But, there were no ducks to be seen.
I heard some blackbellies 20
minutes before shooting time,
but they were long gone by
dawn.  Shooting from other
hunters in the distance was
very sporadic and not repeated.
The only ducks I saw were a
pair of mottles that I kicked up
half way back to the ramp after
I gave up. 

Even a cold, soggy, birdless
day on the marsh is so much
more than anything else.  It's
worth it.