I woke at 4:30AM got the kids dressed and going, loaded the truck and drove to the boat ramp where I was to meet my brother and his 12-year-old son for some duck hunting. They were right on schedule, for a change.
The boat worked beautifully and we blasted our way upriver in the dark. It’s a twisting turning ride through a narrow river corridor.
I’ve done it many times, but it still gets my adrenalin going as we fly up the river narrowly missing the tule covered banks. I always feel like I’m travelling upstream on the Mekong delta in Nam or something (I wouldn’t really know) sans the AK-47 fire.
We beached the boat, shouldered our gear and started walking into the marsh. We crossed many deep canals in our secret method, without too much incident and found a likely pond to set up on. We threw out all our decoys, and waited.
There didn’t seem to be as many ducks as the evening before, but there were ducks in the air most of the time.
Once again I was shooting exceptionally well. The ducks would come in, I’d let my nephew shoot his single shot 20 gauge, then I’d drop the duck he’d missed. He wasn’t shooting well that day so I had a lot of cleaning up to do. My brother missed his share too…
Since the ducks didn’t seem interested in our decoys and we noticed a lot of birds skirting our position, we moved further north. Eventually we were on the other side of the pond and the shooting got better. We had lots of groups going over us, as well as singles and doubles.
My brother had his Labrador, Hope with him and I, of course, had my wonderful dog, Zipper. They actually worked fairly well together, which was surprising because Hope’s nickname is, Hopeless.
Zipper would mark the bird and charge with Hope close behind. Zipper would normally get to the duck first and try to bring it back to my hand, but Hope would try to pull it from Zipper’s mouth. The result was some mildly torn up ducks. Thankfully their mouths aren’t hard, so the meat was preserved. It was entertaining to watch though.
We shot a mixed bag of Widgeon, Teal, Pintail and Shovelers. The weather was cloudy with no wind. I think if it had been windy the shooting would have been spectacular. There were lots of high flights which a brisk wind would’ve forced lower.
We packed up and left around 12:30 with 13 ducks. My nephew and my youngest wanted to stay and fill our limit, but we were tired and wanted to get home while there was still some daylight to enjoy.
What a great weekend of hunting with my family. I love the Fall and I love where I live, there are not too many places with great duck hunting so close.