Thursday, October 13, 2011

Wood Duck Shoot!

Logan and I headed out to the hunting shack on Friday afternoon. We bucked a calm 50mph wind all the way to the cabin. The temp on Friday was 86 degrees, windy and not a cloud in the sky....perfect duck weather. We didn't make it out in time to hunt on Friday, so we hung out at the shack then went to the fields to watch for ducks late in the afternoon. Right before dark we noticed 3 or 4 good flocks of birds cresting a hill on the North Slough and dropping into a flooded bay. Since no birds where working the smaller sloughs we decided to give the flooded bay a shot in the morning.

Saturday morning we woke to cloudy skies, a light drizzle, and southeast winds from 5-10 mph. As we turned our boats into East Bay, hundreds of ducks erupted from their roost. We had picked the right area to hunt!

Hunting with Logan and I this weekend was Tony Peterson, Jason Preusser, Chad Lundberg and Tony and Chad's boys. The morning shoot started off with nothing flying for the first 10-15 minutes. For a brief moment I started to question my decision to hunt the big water. Then a pair of Wood ducks dropped into the decoys. Two shots where fired and two wood ducks laid tits up on the water. For the next hour we had several hundred wood ducks come into the decoys; what a show! The last 45 minutes we had to just sit back and watch because we already filled our 12 wood duck limit for the day. Below is a picture of the morning shoot. Take special notice of the gorgeous merganser in the spread!

Sunday morning was a bit cooler. The temp was at 50 degrees, it was cloudy, spitting rain and the wind had switched to the northeast at 5-10 mph. Because of the wind switch we setup on the other end of the East Bay. This worked out perfectly because there was less flooded timber for the birds to get through and we could setup in a standing corn field.....perfect cover for 8 people and a dog.

Once again it took about 10 minutes for the ducks to start flying, but once they did it never stopped. The first flock of birds to come over was a group of 30-40 Blue wing teal. I took one shot and brought down three birds. While Oshie and I picked up the triple Tony took a shot at another large flock of BWT and brought down two birds with one shot. Nice start to the morning. Once the smoke cleared we had killed a 4 man limit of ducks (12 wood ducks, 5 mallards, 5 BWT and 2 Gadwall), 1 more tasty merganser and Jason killed his first ever goose. Oshie also had a great day in the marsh. She made 14 retrieves including her first ever goose retrieve. She is coming along nicely for an 11 month old. What a morning!

The highlight of the day was Logan shooting his first duck. About 30 minutes into the morning shoot I called a single drake wood duck directly into the spread. Everyone held off so Logan could take his first shot at a bird that wasn't wounded. The full dressed drake set in at 20 yards. Logan took careful aim and put a load of 6 shot right up the old Drakes head. Not one BB made it below the ducks neck, nothing but face and skull! Below are a couple pictures of the duck slayer and his first ever kill. I couldn't have been more happy and proud of him and I don't think he could be more proud of himself!

On our way home I stopped and picked up the wood duck I was having mounted from last season. I had the bird mounted by Flyway Taxidermy out of St. Cloud, MN. The bird looks great. A big thanks to Jerry Froelich for a job well done.

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