Opening Day, Ducks and Baseball

It was a different kind of opening day at Mayberry this year. Arriving on Friday, I cleaned and vacuumed, toured the property and hauled the final approach duck boat out and into the pond. I used the Honda Rancher to tow the boat, which worked well. After the launch, I found the small craft to be quite seaworthy and stable.

This was a welcome find, as at my age, it’s not easy getting in and out of a tipsy boat.

I used some of the aster and cocklebur plants to help hide the boat, using the bungee cord to hold it in place. Here’s what it looked like on Friday afternoon after set up.

The boat hid pretty well, and the cloudy weather didn't hurt.

 I used only seven decoys, four stand up mallards and three floaters.

I placed the decoys along the edge of the shallow water. The open water was about waste deep, just deep enough that my waders leaked when I walked across.

After finding out that I had holes in my waders, I elected to travel in the boat. During the morning shoot, I moved the boat three times for a total distance of about forty yards to get to where the birds wanted to land. Bagging only one bird in the first couple hours, I elected to head in to camp for some coffee and dry clothes.

About 2:00 PM, I headed out for the afternoon shoot and moved the boat to the opposite shore where I figured I’d get better shots if the birds continued to approach as they had in the morning.

I had several good chances and bagged two greenheads while listening to the Giants pregame show. I also missed three others.

As Roy Oswald started his windup in preparation to pitch to Andres Torres, a mallard set his wings and passed on my left. With one shot the bird dropped to the water. As Lola swam after the greenhead,  Torres lined a single into the outfield and my duck hunt was over. I headed back to camp for more dry clothes, a bottle of wine and a Giant’s pennant.

3 thoughts on “Opening Day, Ducks and Baseball

  1. Sounds like a good day. I tried a refuge for the first time (Grizzly) last Sunday.

    Check In guy suggested I go to a certain area to “avoid the crowds”. Big mistake. Several of the ponds there were not even flooded and no ducks.

    Birds were where the hunters were (or vice versa). Also, I carried way too many decoys. Got to the right spot in the afternoon but was pretty tired.

    Did manage to get one Widgeon. Not too impressive but one is so much better than none. Especially your first time out.

    Will try again tomorrow and see if I can do better with fewer decoys in a better spot. Go Giants!


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