12/17 – Scott and I embarked on our long awaited opening day journey. The weather was perfect – overcast, cold and with just enough wind.
We saw a decent amount of birds today – many high-flying redheads, some big groups of scaup but we were covered up in scotters and buffleheads. We each took two black scotters (Scott also got a surf) and passed up easy shots at probably 30 small groups of scotters (1-5 birds). During that time we also probably had 60+ bufflehead come through – but today we hoping for other things… I was hoping to take a drake surf scotters but I wiffed/snoozed 7 chances (pathetic!!). I also take the blame for flaring a committed group of 8 black ducks…also had a drake sprig pass us at 40 yds.
The highlight of the day was the first bird of the day – right at 7am, this gorgeous thing crashed into the end of the decoy spread and Scott took him with his first shot – a goldeneye! What a gorgeous bird and what a day!
12/20 – I went out alone today to do some scouting/work on the blinds…but I had to do a little hunting as well. Put out the dekes and sat for a couple of hours – missed a GWT and had a great sight happen. While watching distant redheads and bluebills – I heard whistling and a group of 175+ bluebills buzzed me twice overhead and commited to my decoys – in slick calm, sunny conditions. The noise was incredible!! I always get buck fever when big groups come in – one of the greatest sights in all of duck hunting. While the main group was getting ready to make their final pass, a group of 20+ pealed off, cupped their wings and made right for the center of my spread. As this happened, I heard two voices in my head (no, im not crazy!) – The first said “Wait! let them land so you can get the rest to commit!” and the second said “hey idiot – you’re alone – take the big drake at 15 yds!” So I laid out the big drake on my first shot – if there had been 4 guns in the boat, there would have been at least 6 birds dead. It awesome. After that I pulled ’em up and went and worked.
I get a lot of clients who have never seen groups of birds like that – and you can’t describe it until you’ve seen it.
Later in the day I rounded a point and flushed a mixed group of divers – so i threw out some dekes and waited for them to come back – and i watched 6 pairs and several singles come back and make passes over my decoys – i never get tired of watching them buzz by.
MY first BB of the season…