With the Vedder in bad shape it means more hunting than fishing these days.
Slipped out to a spot we had been hunting but someone there, hope they have permission as these days it is very important and actually I believe the law to do so before you hunt on someone else's property.
People that donot ask can cause problems with landowners that will post no tresspassing signs effecting many of us in the future.
Daylight is now breaking and it is a perfect day for web foot hunting, a strong West wind and rain, so I decide to head to another spot I have permission. I want to redeem myself from Mondays awful shooting performance.
Om arrival a number of birds, all mallards are settled in for their morning feed. I park the Leaf Mobile and grab my gear as I want to get setups as quickly as possible as one never knows how long the morning flight will last.
The spread is set, gun loaded with three shells from a fresh box of ammo that was bought to replace all those that found only air on Monday's excursion.
I have just buried myself in a natural blind of tall grass and two ducks cup their wings and dive towards the decoy, I jump too soon and two blasts also find thin air, not another day of bad shooting I hope.
I reload the now spend cartridges and two more duck seem interested as they turn into range to my left, two shots sees only one duck leaving the area, as a plump drake comes to hand. As I slip back into the hide two more swoop in for a boo and like before one tumbles, one leaves, another greenhead joins the other bird, a brace now.
I decide two more birds will be plenty, that is if I can continue my improved shooting of today.
A few minutes later another pair is inbound, I wait patiently so not to jump too early and flare them before they are in range. Every time I see birds coming into the set excitement builds in my body. I believe it is human trait, going way back to our early ancestors when they were all hunters and gathers. They had to or they would not have survived and we would not be here today. The men folk had to go a field seeking game sometimes for days to provide for their loved ones at home, their wives and their precious children. Most people now do their hunting with a shopping cart but I still get the urge to return to my roots of being a hunter and a gather, thats just me being me. Those that choose not to is fine also, while we have the choice which is important thing.
Those that donot like hunting or fishing really donot realize this or if they do they would not admit it. That is what creates hunting and fishing debates.
The two birds draw with range I take my time after jumping to my feet, the safety clicks off, gun to the shoulder, my eyes focus on the lead bird, a drake, the 12 gauge barks with the bird tumbling. I now swing to the other duck, once again this bird joins the other as I now have my 4 birds, half a limit but plenty.
I take a few minutes to enjoy the surroundings, many gulls are circling in the thermo currents, the odd hawk flies overhead also searching for an unwary mouse or other prey, a hunter too, just like me.
Many more ducks are in the area and one heads straight into the decoy, I am now not shooting, just looking. He flops into the spread and seems uncertain of what he has done. He stays for a minute or two, I observe this drake's beauty, sometimes I can feel sorry for my quarry and regretful of what I have been doing for over 50 years. All of a sudden this lone bird decides he is in bad company and flees the scene, he lifts off carried quickly out of sight by the strong wind gusts from the West.
I gather up the birds, decoy and gun and leave the area too, I will return on another day as the call of the duck hunt will raise once again in my body something that is hard to discern to why it happens to us that hunt.