Tuesday, October 5, 2010

2010 MN Waterfowl Opener

Logan, Pops and I arrived at the cabin around 7:30 PM on Friday (10/1/10) night. We arrived just before dark which allowed us to see some fairly good numbers of ducks in the area.

Saturday morning found us heading down to Logan's Honey Hole. We had clear skies and a light northwest wind from 0-10 mph. We arrived at the slough around 8 AM (for some reason only known to the MN DNR the season doesn't open until 9 AM on opening day) and had the decoys set by 8:40. Our spread consisted of 2 dozen mallard, a six pack of teal, 7 goose floaters and a couple wood ducks. There where quite a few birds buzzing around as we waited for the clock to strike 9.

The season started with Pops and I dropping a double in redheads. Minutes later another double on redheads was dropped. Redheads would be the story of the weekend. We had wave after wave of redheads commit to the decoys all morning long. It was fun to watch, but frustrating because we are only allowed 2 redheads per day. Below is a picture of Logan and his favorite duck, a drake woody.

Around 10 AM the geese finally started to move. I called a nice flock of 15 birds over the slough but they wouldn't commit. They did make the mistake of flying directly over head and I put a nice head shot on a huge honker. Minutes later a single made the mistake of coming to the call and goose number two was beak down in the water. Below is a pic with Logan and the first two geese of the season.

Things slowed down a bit after that. We started getting small flights of birds every 15 to 20 minutes. Pops but a great kill shot on honker #3 of the morning. His goose came down stone dead back in the thick cover so we didn't find it until later in the afternoon. After much searching the big goose was added to the bag. Right before quitting time we called two more geese into the decoys. Right as they set their feet down we let them have it....sort of. My goose came down hard enough that I was able to dispatch him with a finishing shot on the water. Pops bird was dazed for a minute but somehow pulled it together and flew back out of the slough. That was one tough hombre. We ended the hunt at noon. Our bag consisted of 4 redheads, 2 mallards, 1 spoonbill and 1 drake woody (1/2 a drake woody). Pictures of the total opening day kill are below.

We spent the rest of the day shooting clay pigeon, .22 and smacking a couple pigeons. At sunset we set up in the field and scouted Logans Honey Hole and the cabin slough. We watched several hundred Mallards and Woodducks fly into the slough. Next Sunday the birds are going to be in big trouble when we can hunt until sunset.

Bill and Ryan Burns joined us for the Sunday morning hunt. We had clear skies and the wind was blowing from the south/southeast at 15-20. The spread was similar to the saturday morning other than I flipped the goose stools to the left and the ducks to the right. The morning started out a bit slow but things picked up after the first 20 minutes. For the next 30 minutes we had woodducks bombing the spread. Around 8 AM things slowed before the flights of redheads showed back up. We had a couple spoonbills and mallards mixed in for good measure, but the redheads stole the show.

The morning ended shortly after 10 AM. Logan said he wanted to leave after we killed one more animal. I have never been more proud. 5 minutes later Bill and I called two canada geese across the slough. The geese broke off to Pops and my side. One shot each and both birds where on the water. It was a perfect way to end the weekend. Below are a couple photos of the weekends total harvest.

We will be back out next weekend for another duck shoot. Hopefully the puddle ducks show up. Below is a pic of Jake helping clean birds!

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