Hunt Lived up to the Hype

At the Kerry Club, the Wednesday (1-9-19) duck hunting lived up to my  hype. The wind blew. The sky was full of clouds and ducks.

The wind speed was about 10 knots with strong gusts. The shooting was loud and continuous for the first half hour.

My hunting partner, Tom Billingsley and I didn’t rush. It took us about 15 minutes to  adjust the decoys that surrounded blind 5, open the blind, ready the dog, put in our ear plugs and load up.

By the time we glanced skyward, the birds were wired. My first shot was a miss at a pintail drake. It didn’t take long to figure out that we needed to pick our shots and not waste our shells. On days like this one, misses are common and shells sometimes a premium.

We missed a couple teal. Then a diver came in humming along from my right side. He was on the deck. I put a big lead on him and he hit the water. I wasn’t sure what type of diver he was until Lola returned to the blind. It was a beautiful drake redhead.

img_6575, 1-9-19 redhead

Tom showing off his face mask and my redhead, the first duck of the day.

We finally got going and hit some teal. Lola (she turned 12 last week)  did a good job on the retrieves.

By nine o’clock we could see some of the hunters closing up their blinds and heading home. We weren’t in a hurry. We had a long way to go, but it appeared that there was no need to rush.

About mid-day, a pair of drake sprig appeared from the north and we called steadily as they approached. As they passed to the west of us, we stood and dropped both of them. Twelve down and two to go.

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We each knocked down a pintail about mid-day.

We waited around for two more sprig, but after an hour and a half we gave in to the temptation to  end the hunt by shooting two more teal. The wind had died. It was so calm that put out our jerk strings. They helped a little as a few teal landed near the blind.

Around 2 PM we dropped two more green-wings. It was a very good duck day.

Hopefully the ducks will be around for the remainder of the season. We’ll see. Heading to the Delta for the weekend. That could be special.

 

December 29 at the Kerry Club

The barbecue on Friday night was great. Had my son-in-law Brett with me as a guest.

The sunrise was nice.

Not many ducks. Came in with three green-wing teal and a shoveler.

Lots of time to take photos. Here are a few.

IMG_6534 (2) sunrise at blind C cropped

The sun came up bright-hot.

IMG_6539 Lola with first teal cropped

Lola came in with the first teal.

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There were lots of swallows, but not lots of ducks.

IMG_6547 swallow flying with reflection cropped

This swallow was very close.

 

That was about it. Stayed too long. Kept thinking something good would happen.

Brett got a few ZZZZs in the blind.

Where Teal Are King

Took this photo from my car as we departed the Kerry Duck Club.

Took this photo from my car as we departed the Kerry Duck Club.

Hunted the grasslands today, where teal are king.

I generally consider myself a mallard hunter, but today I officially became a teal hunter too.

The greenwings came at us from three o’clock and they came at us from nine o’clock. The came in slow and landed. They screamed in like fighter jets. They came in by ones, twos, threes and fifties.

Some times we just waved at them with our gun barrels without firing a shot. It was involuntary.

We killed twelve teal and two widgeon today, my blind partner Tom and I. It took 45 shots between us – two for the widgeon and 43 for the twelve teal.

We stopped briefly after we had ten birds and considered waiting for pintail. But, today teal were king. Today we finished early – and followed up with steak and eggs.

Lola and a drake green-wing teal. Photo by Joe DiDonato

Lola and a drake green-wing teal. Photo by Joe DiDonato