November 24, 2014
A blue bird day for the most part with just a breeze blowing enough to make the water ripple….what water there was.
After the storm we had on Saturday I figured there had to have been some Northern birds come in and with the forecast expected to be snow this morning tapering off to nothing by this afternoon I was going hunting! There just wasn’t two ways about it. I hate to hunt by myself, but I was going to do it today, no matter what. Winemaker was not happy with my decision.
Well as luck would have it, Brek came down the road just as I was taking the trash can out to the street. He showed me what he had gotten for his Grandpa, Bob, for Bob’s birthday and we talked about that for a little while. I asked him what his day looked like and he said he was off and his next shift would be days. Perfect! I asked if he wanted to go duck hunting with me! SURE! Was the answer. Ok, we are leaving at 9 a.m.
Well, he had to wait until Grandpa got out of bed but he would meet me in the swamp. Of course my first statement to him was that he just wanted to get out of the work of bailing the box and setting the decoys. He assured me that was not his intentions.
So, about 9 I helped Weasel with a small moving project and then headed down to the swamp.
Blue Bird day was not the word for it. Everything was in place for mosquitoes to be flying except for the cap of thin ice that was everywhere. I arrived at the box and decided I would set out the decoys first and then bail the box out, maybe Brek would be there to help with that. First things first, I had to break the ice up and try and get a “hole” for the birds to land in. I dragged the sled around and around breaking the ice, that took a good half an hour, but once it was done, a slight breeze was blowing and made a pretty good little hole for the decoys. I set the duck decoys up and then started on the goose silhouettes.
The goose decoys aren’t exactly silhouettes, they are what was called “Johnson Fold Out” decoys and they are my favorite. I can carry two dozen over one shoulder and have a really nice goose decoy spread when I’m done. I have fooled many a goose with those old decoys. Someone really should “re-invent” them.
Goose decoys set, I looked up toward my truck and still no Brek….dang, I best get started bailing the box.
These boxes measure about 4 ft X 4 ft square and about 4 ft deep….how much water is in that 4 ft cube? Almost 500 gallons of water….at 4 gallons p/bucket (5 gallon bucket)….125 dips of the bucket. And once I was sitting in the box, Brek was still nowhere to be seen.
My butt was kicked by now and so I just sat there looking across the swamp wishing something would fly in.
Brek showed up about 2 hours later…by then it was nearly 1 p.m….I had seen some ducks but not too many and all of them were way out of range and for some reason just would not decoy in. I figured it was the slushy ice that was still around the decoys, so I got out and tried to scurry it away with the wind. The wind had actually started to blow a little harder by about noon. The ice hurding did me good in that it got me busy doing something besides thinking I had made a big mistake by coming out duck hunting on such a nice day.
Well, when Brek got there I had not seen a duck close enough for a shot, but I had seen several “just out there”. I said we needed a spinning wing decoy and that it would draw the ducks….he said he had one up in his car!!! And he had more decoys up there too….Well, go get em! I said and off he went.
About 15 minutes later he was there and we set the decoys out. The spinner was way cool and I had never hunting by one before. It was fun to watch….Well, it wasn’t long after that a nice big fat green head came swinging in for a look see….BLAM! I missed! It was too easy of a shot and I should have had it. I think my head was up, as I don’t remember seeing my front bead…heck I don’t remember even seeing the barrel. I was so confident in the shot I was looking for the place it was going to fall instead of shooting at the bird. Oh well…Edjukateed….
From that point on we had several onesy’s and twosy’s come in and around. Several came in and surprised us for no shot. Some came in and then veered just out of range….everything you could imagine was going on, but every once in awhile the birds would do just what we wanted them to do and they folded up in a heap.
We took turns with the first shot when we could and by days end, I had shot about nine shells, while Brek took nearly a box to lunch. As I have heard it said before….No Lead…No Dead….That must have paid off for Brek because at quitting time he had 6 birds and I had 4.
Of the 10 birds we had between us, 6 mallards, 2 pintails and 2 green wing teal! And I kept Brek from shooting at a very large flock of teal that came right in and landed just on the edge of the decoys. I did that because we had a nice flock of mallards swinging in for a final approach, which didn’t happen when the teal set down. Brek would have had his limit for sure had he shot at those teal. They came in low on his side of the box and right over the decoys!
All in all it was a super day to be out in the swamp. This picture is one when the sun was perfect, but doesn’t show Breks final drake mallard that he bagged right after the picture was taken.
A duck hunt doesn’t get much better than that!
November 24, 2015