Youth day is one of my favorite days of the year – no only do you I get to do my favorite thing (take kids hunting) but the birds have not been pressured in a week, usually more have come down and no one is baiting the birds any longer. So they’re stupid and like to decoy – go figure.

This year I took out 11 yr old Tye, his friend Garret (Also 11) and Garret’s Dad, Tony. It was a pretty morning, light winds and low clouds – so dark I couldn’t see five feet without a spotlight. The forcast was perfect – scattered rains and winds steadily building from 5-10 to 15-20.

I put out the dekes and we got set – shooting light came and went and something was wrong. There were no birds anywhere – between 6:30 and 10 we saw 6 scoters in the distance, one small group of bluebills, 6 black ducks in the stratosphere, a few mergansers and that was IT. For those of you who hunt the big water – you know that taht is a very, very odd thing. It’s nothing to see several thousand birds in the distance on a bad day!!! It was like somnething was wrong – either someone shot the heck out of the roost or the birds knew that something was going to happen with the weather and didn’t fly.

However, about 10am a single hen bluebill came screaming by and they both fired and rolled her like pros – awesome!!!

A little later the wind started to build and we decided to call it a day. Dissapointed I started picking up decoys and got about about half of them in before it started howling. The wind went from 10-15 out of the SW to SE at a sustained 30-35 knots!!!!! It was disgusting – 3-5 foot chop. I left over 20 decoys behind, got us packed up and starting pounding my way back to the truck – good thing we decided to stay close to home today. We took waves over the bow and over the stern and filled the boat probably 1/3 the way with water. Tony is in teh coast guard and the boys are as tought as nails so we had a blast going home in the gale!!! No joke – it was FUN!

I just want to thank the weathermen for another [i]accurate[/i] forcast – i’ll be sure to put my life in your hands any day. Even so, we had a great time and we didnt get skunked – I can’t wait to get the boys out again next year!!

…on 2/6 I went back to see if I could find my decoys. And after 2 days of 20-25 knot sustained winds….they were all still there!!! Didn’t lose a single one – I was shocked! That says a lot for Greenhead gear no-tangle line and crimps….and the importance of good heavy mushroom sinkers when hunting big water.