Giants fans have been blessed with great baseball the last few years. And, once again this year, baseball graced the duck hunting. On Saturday my son-in-law Brett Kelly joined me for a duck hunt at the Kerry Club in the grasslands.
Because he had to work late and also because it appeared that the weather might make a late day hunt work out, we left home late and had breakfast along the way. It was about 11 AM by the time we reached the blind. Most of the hunters had already killed their ducks and headed out, but three blinds were still active.
The hunting was terrific. And, when the game started we tuned in for a great Giant victory. We came home with our sprig, a few teal and a couple spoonies. In addition we stopped for a steak dinner and watched most of the remainder of the game, which featured a great comeback victory.
Brett snapped this photo of me and Lola on the way back from retrieving a sprig that sailed a ways in the wind.
Nice photo taken with his I-Phone.
Earlier I took a shot of Brett with some of his ducks.
Brett is getting serious about duck hunting.
Large flocks of pintail circled us all afternoon. The stiff wind made shooting a challenge, but we got our birds.
Tomorrow will be the last day of baseball in 2014 and Giant fans have been blessed with maximum baseball. What good fortune. Win or lose tomorrow it has been a great ride.
Per my plan, which was to revisit a Volta duck hunt of 25 years ago, I rose early and headed south. I was antsy and couldn’t stay in bed until the 5 AM alarm went off. It was about 4 AM when I gave up on sleep climbed out of bed.
This was something I’d been thinking about for a while. Hard to believe 25 years had passed. I haven’t been hunting the refuges much for a while. How would this trip be different? For the most part the marshes are constant – or at least that has been my impression.
My eyes were opened on this trip. The grasslands had expanded tremendously over the past 25 years and public hunting abounds. It’s late and I’m tired. I’ll expound on this soon.
Arriving at shooting time, I elected to park at lot 3A. I was the only car parked there. Lola enjoyed chasing coots.
The grasslands is a hugh chunk of natural marsh that is loaded with ducks. Of course, not all marsh is equal, and my friend Jeff has some of best. He manages most of his 300-acre club for open water and keeps it shallow flooded. Most of his club can be waded in hip waders.
Large expanses of open water are very attractive to pintail, widgeon, shoveler and teal. The mallard component is smaller on the open water ponds.
Who knows all the reasons why his club is so good, but some of them are its central location and his comprehensive efforts to manage the habitat. Good duck clubs require a lot of work if you want to achieve maximum productivity.
The amount of shooting around me at first light was amazing and the birds were flying for their lives. I managed to knock down a snow goose right off the bat, but missed five straight ducks before I got on target. I finally realized I was behind the birds.
I told Jeff that the ducks in the grassland fly faster than they do in the delta. He laughed, but with all the shooting, it does seems to me that the grassland ducks are all flying full speed at daylight.
By 10:00 AM I had added a couple pintail and a couple widgeon to the string. In order to finish up, I shot three spoonies which will become jerky meat. You know how it is, sometimes you just have to bag a limit.
With many ducks on the pond, I was compelled to finish out my limit.