I was able to get out with the Old Man for our first duck hunt of the year yesterday. We had the decoys out, and were ready to go just before shoot time. The ducks were a little late to the party, but they showed up at about 6:15. The first ones to come were a pair of mallards, they blew right by the decoys, and landed around the corner of the tules from us.
Just as I was thinking of walking over to them to take a shot, a group of gadwalls came right into the dekes. We knocked down four of them! Unfortunately, one swam into the tules, and one landed deep inside of them. As I was out picking them up, another group came in. One more down! Now we've got five birds down, and I only have one in hand. I saw where number five fell, and walked right to it. Two in hand. I was searching for the one that swam into the tules when four mallards flew in, I tried to fire at one, and got a click. Dammit!!!!! Forgot to chamber a new round. I was totally exposed, and they left in a hurry.
I couldn't find the duck in the tules so I went to find the other two. I found one by following a feather trail, and finally gave up on the other one. When I got back to my hiding spot on the other side of the hole, the duck was right there. She must of swam across while I wasn't watching. Awesome! Four in hand, one still in the bush.
There were only a couple more ducks flying, and they weren't interested in us, so we called it quits. I decided to go look for the last duck in the tules now that the sun was up. I actually fond her, all the way up on dry land, just sitting there. Five birds in hand. None lost!!!
Five birds, on public land, in the middle of a drought. I'll take it!