Friday, December 15, 2006

Best Hunt Ever!

This past Tuesday Dad, Michael and I went duck hunting at the Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge again. The night before, the rain was coming down in buckets, and we almost didn't go, but by 4:30 a.m. things had calmed down. Just so you know, I would only get up at 4:45 in the morning to go hunting--normally I'm up at a healthier hour :) Even though we got the 13th pick, a few people didn't show up so we were able to secure blind #6 which had always been kind to us in the past. As it turns out we got the hottest blind of the day.

Blind #6 is a pit blind, which puts the hunter at about ground level, and allows 360 o vision--a big plus.

Our lately injured, purebread, black lab, hunting puppy was finally well enough to come with us again. Duchess lives for duck hunting. Whenever we fired, she would whine at us to let her go fetch the ducks we must have hit ;) She was great to have around, finding some birds that we wouldn't have recovered without her.

Ok, so here's what happened. Before shooting time (7:20 a.m.) we had hundreds of ducks flying right over us. Unfortunately, we didn't take some shots that we should have as soon as it was legal to shoot. Dad nailed a Green-winged Teal drake just as it took off out of our decoys, and soon after I knocked down a hen Pintail. (btw the chronology here is probably wrong, but I'll do my best :) I think we got a few more Teal after that, as well as Michael's drake Pintail. At that point we could legally only shoot one more Pintail, and I wanted a drake! But alas, Dad got one, and from that point on we had to pass up probably a dozen shots so we wouldn't exceed the limit. Normally the action really slows down after shooting time, but this was different. We had tons of birds fly over, and I think we really could have done better if one of us was calling.

Dad got a tiny hen Green-winged Teal, and I got my first double--two Shovelers in two shots. The drakes are really beautiful birds.

So with 3 Pintails, 4 Teal, and 2 Shovelers we decided to leave at about 10:30 (I think).

We had never gotten more than 9 ducks in one trip so I was kinda dissapointed we didn't break the record. As we walked back to the truck, Michael and I decided to keep our shotguns loaded just in case. Wouldn't you know it, a huge drake Gadwall dove right down toward us! Mike fired twice, and I joined him on his second shot, both bringing the bird down. We can't determined who actually killed it, so we decided to split the credit :) I still beat Mike with 3 1/2 birds to his 2 1/2. We got our tenth :)

Harvest Time!

When I got home I naturally wanted to take some closeups of such beautiful birds. The artist emerges once again... :)

Green-winged Teal

Green-winged Teal and Northern Pintail

Northern Pintail

Family Enjoyment

This one is priceless! Christianna is coming along fast. She's the one I've taught to shoot rubber duckies in the bathtub! ;)

Yes, Aimee will actually touch a duck! She often talks about those silly boys and their hunting obsession, but she'll come around.


Benjamin said...

This post was a draft that I wrote last week describing last week Tuesday's hunt.

Anonymous said...

Interesting post and great pictures, espcially the one of Christianna. Cute. ;D