We received 3" of rain Tuesday night and more Wednesday morning here. We didn't hunt yesterday knowing that the pasture leading 1/2 mile to our wetlands would be saturated and sloppy. We got there about 7 am this morning and found there was still a lot of standing water but decided to try it anyhow because it was cool with a nice NW wind blowing and a forecase for 20 mph by late morning. The mud tires we put on last season, together with the Jeep's 4WD and six speed manual tranny helped us get through the worst spots on the way back into the wetlands.
We only saw a pair of GWT and a small flight of Gaddies by 7:45, none wanted to decoy. Suddenly I heard faint honking in the disance to the South. Called Carol on the radio to make sure that she heard them too and we both started on the goose flutes. First a group of 35 or so passed well West of us. Then a smaller strung-out bunch of 15 or so followed in a similar flight pattern that would take them 100 yards to our West. The more frantic our honking the harder they banked and headed right for us. My final word for Carol was to shoot the closest bird about 3 feet in front of its bill. Hadn't hardly gotten the words out of my mouth when I hear her 20 ga Beretta bark. I could see one of the lead birds hunch from the hit so I did two quick follow-ups and it sailed 100 yards or so to our South and collapsed into the neighbors property. Took Remi over to the fence line, stepped down the bottom strand of barbed wire and pulled up on the next to give her an opening to get through. Gave her a line and sent her with a back. Didn't take her very long to find the motionless Honker on the ground in a small clearing.
As we walked back towards Carol's blind to drop off her honker, I heard more honking coming towards us in the distance. Remi and I hunkered down in a nearby patch of 4' tall Johnson grass and I started calling. It was a pair and they were quartering our way. Carol began calling right after I did and between the two of us we turned them and they headed pretty much straight for Carol 30 yards away. They must've seen her as they suddeny flared and tried to gain altitude against a 12 mph N wind. Two shots from my 12 and both geese were down, one in the open water and a 2nd in heavy grass down the shoreline.
Rusty made quick work of the bird in the shallows.
Remi had to do a little searching since it was a blind retrieve for her and she was approaching the bird from the upwind side. However it didn't take her long once she had worked past it and caught scent.
We called it a day at 9 am and as we were closing up the blinds we saw a sight I've never seen in over 50 waterfowl seasons. A lone drake Mallard made a wide swing around us and tried to LAND IN A WILLOW TREE about 75 yards across the pond! He stayed in the top of the tree for 10 seconds or so and then flew down into the pond. Look back at the 2nd pic and you'll see the willow out in front of a wooden blind. That's where the Mallard landed. Before I could load a gun and try a sneak on him, he flew off. Has to be among the strangest things I've ever witnessed while duck hunting.
Back home we had old retired Cappy boy come out and join us in the post hunt tailgate pics
Wow those birds are friggin huge ! - Good Job boys (and Carol)
OMG, who's that tall shaggy boy in the middle? Rusty is so big now. And cute as ever.
Laura, mom of Sundance, CGC
You gonna eat them Jim? Yummy.
The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated. -- Gandhi
Great photos. I love the last one. Cappy looks so happy to join in. Remi looks so serious and proud. Rusty is too cute for words. It is so wonderful that you and Carol both enjoy hunting.
Abby, Blk Lab, born 12-15-05
Taco, Beagle, gotcha 1-15-09
Ernie - Y-Farms Honest Ernesto, CGC, Blk Lab, born 10-4-09
HRCH Ellie Mae MH CGC
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