Friday, October 23, 2009
Upon the rouse to vigilance and action by the Duck Hammer, I felt horrible. The kind of awful when you wish your least favorite person in the world shared your symptoms. There would be no whining in front of the DuckPower Jester, nor would I even let out an inkling of my pain and suffering. But it's true, I had come down with a cold attacking my throat and sinuses. Fortunately, I had a few extra Zyrtec and some Afrin to hide my anguish. For somebody who doesn't get sick often, a few days sooner or later would have been a more pleasant demise. My day, however, would not be compromised on the account of illness.
The water level compared to last year was down quite a bit and I was able to shimmy across to the marsh point where the blind “Quack Head” hid in masterfully concealed coverture. Steve manned the boat and brought it around to give MoJo, the flying decoy, life before our witching hour could begin. Upon his return, we sorted out the little stuff and hunkered down for the first flight.
It didn't take long for us to unleash the cannons of dismay, but our first ordnance failed with great surprise. The small flock of teal continued on their way as if not one shot had been fired, however I did manage to snipe a low flyer moving right to left just after our trigger happy blunder. Steve was quite impressed with that shot, but it honestly was no different than the bulk of the sea ducks I take. Low flying without lift is immensely different than the actions of these inland birds. I still thanked Steve and eagerly watched as Onyx began the retrieve of my first ever teal.
As any duck hunter knows, much action took place between the timing of Onyx's retrieve. As an expert in arithmetic, I figure approximately 187 ducks must have flown directly over the decoys. That might have been a mild exaggeration, but it did seem a little “duck” wild. Quickly thereafter, Steve and I each scored a scaup duck, ring necks to be more precise. So for my earliest trigger pulls, I had two types of waterfowl that were brand new to my taking.
A few later mallards fell prey, and we quickly watched the morning dissipate. The lake would render no more birds and we opted to better amend base camp. Plus the Duck Hammer was suggesting he would head back home to get a few more amenities. It would seem that mid-day on the island would be only mine to share.