Just because a piece of machinery tells of the correct hunting time doesn’t mean that your query is on the same timetable. We patiently waited as ducks sailed high overhead and well out of shotgun range. As we sat there quietly suddenly shots echoed up lake and directly east of our position and I knew our chance was rapidly approaching.
Now I don’t often make mistakes (well those that I admit to anyway!) so when I blew Duckmans chance at scoring a Canadian Goose by a stupid freak mistake in identification I was ready to hang myself by my own wader straps. Before continuing let me explain the preceding events more closely. Barely had it become legal and I saw a form coming up lake that I identified and immediately dismissed as a Loon. As it approached to within 40 yards in the early morning light I re-identified it as a stinky shad or common Cormorant. As it passed by the blind at 10 YARDS, I suddenly realized to late that it was a goose. I somehow managed to quickly fire off two sound shots just to make sure it never returned! Poor Duckman was unimpressed with his guides powers of observation and I think it was at this point he mumbled something about gutting nearsighted individuals with rusty knives. If there is one thing I have learned about the Duckman through my years of friendship it is that is he likes to gut things . . .
Seconds after the infamous Canadian incident the Duckman’s Beretta Extrema belched forth its lethal payload in a three note rapid fire beat that would have made Motley Cru’s Tommy Lee jealous. Out of the sky dropped a Green Head and it the early morning twilight the Duckman flashed a million-dollar smile. The duck took some “doing” to retrieve as it landed smack in the middle of a nasty bunch of swamp growth and I had to take out the boat and leave the dog with Duckman. Well the poor old girl just about had a nervous breakdown watching me go out and get that duck but it was for her own good. The retrieval required a second shot to dispatch the fighting duck and that area of the swamp is particularly nasty and know to be filled with alligators, white sharks, lawyers and other nasty bits that would tear a puppy to pieces. Upon returning to the blind I had to offer the dog ½ a Nutrigrain bar as a peace offering before she would sit beside me again.
The morning moved on as is typical with moments of waiting interspersed with moments of shear terror, elation and panic. The emotional rollercoaster that is duck hunting is one of the most exciting thing about hunting waterfowl. A duckless morning can suddenly become record book potential with one flock of ducks of the distant honking of a goose. As the minutes crept by I wondered if our day would be average or of above average for an opener. In the general scheme of things we didn’t have to wait long as the duck were willing to corporate and by late morning a few last minute mallards made our day spectacular.
Below is a short video of me discussing one of those shots that will MAKE your entire season. Hell who am I kidding I will be talking about this when I am 80!
I have to admit that as 10:00 AM rolled around I was a little bit sad that the day had to end. Moments in time this fun are something that you want to attempt to extend as long as possible BUT everything must eventually end. Gear was packed, the campsite broken down and a wet satisfied Labrador curled up and let out a low sigh. As my little one and I set on the deck and waved goodbye to the Duckman I couldn’t help but think when would be the next time we would be able to share a foggy rainy morning together in the duck blind!