Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Land, Air, and Sea Part Two

Monday, since it was a holiday for me and Kegan, we headed back to our scouted spot eager to see what the day would bring. We took our 6 jugs with us again to see if the first time was just good luck. Pulling out of the ramp at 5:15am we deploy our jugs along our route this time all closer to the spots we caught our fish the day before. After getting those out we make our way to our location and get the decoy spread out and looking good. Time is running short and legal shooting time is 15 minutes away. We get in the boat start to set the blind up and I hear that sound we all love to hear just a hair too early, the sound of birds landing in the water 25 yards away. We have no choice but keep setting up and quickly the pair of wood ducks flush just as fast as they had appeared.

First a group of 5 teal pitch in and I manage one at about 15 yards. While that sounds like an easy shot, those who have seen a teal on the wing and know how small of a spread you have at 15 yards know that this was no easy feat. It was a beautiful drake at that.  minutes later another wave of teal this time I get a misfire on a #3 heavy shot... dud... WTF!

By this time the tide had gone out and we were sitting high and dry on mud so we were in it for the long haul, no moving the boat or retrieving ducks for a couple hours but the way the bank was, the downed birds would be waiting for us on the way out of this narrow creek. 

Next bird to come in range is a black duck he circles once and on his second pass looks like he might just commit fully as he is dropping altitude steadily. Then right overhead at 45 yards he flairs and decide now or never and pop two shots. First fluffed it and second took out the wing. BIrd crashes down with a THUD! on the dry bank across from us about 50 yards away. No biggie we will pick him up on the way out.

A little while passes with a few flocks not giving us attention or no birds in sight thne I see 4 birds speeding towards us from about a mile away and sky high. I give one long hail call and they lock in like a missile and here they come. As they get close I can tell they are black ducks and so I am out on them as our limit is one per person so it is all on Kegs. Just as they are about to get in range 2 flair left, then one more, and and as the last one begins to flair he crosses the invisible "TAKE EM" line and my partner seals the deal with a great shot. 

You remember my duck on the other shore, well about this time I look over to see him hobbling towards the water through thick cover. I quickly shoot two times and it jumps in the air a couple feet and appears to be down from where I am.

We get a couple more uninterested birds, get checked by undercover game wardens who are dressed to look like duck hunters and then proceed to pack up.

we grab our birds and I go to grab my black duck and low and behid he has vanished... GONE! Just an indent where he landed a few feathers and blood. I looked for a solid 45 minutes but to no avail he pulled the Houdini on me.

We check traps and find two nice muskrats then off to pull jugs. Two more nice catfish and we are officially all smiles for the ride home and a successful Land, Air, and Sea SLAM!