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A Slow Duck Day

October 31, 2010

The Mallard, the archetypal "wild duck&qu...

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Pigeon River Duck Hunting

was a very slow proposition this morning, dear reader.  Junior and I traveled up to the Pigeon River in pursuit of wild duck, and the wild duck won.  We slipped out onto a pond where the river is dammed up, and set some decoys before the sky started to lighten.  Legal shooting time was 7:41, and we watched the decoys for a good half hour in the dark.

What was unusual

As we sat on our swamp stools along the wooded bank, the water flat as glass, we noticed a small wake moving toward the decoys, from the east.  I whispered to Junior that it was a duck, trying to sneak in to visit his plastic buddies.  “I don’t think so.  I can’t see it’s head.”   What it was remained a mystery as it came within a few feet of our decoys.  It traveled from the first group of 6, to the second little bunch, and then further away to the west.

And then there was a thunderous “SPLAT!”

The thunderous “SPLAT!” sealed the deal

That “splat” clarified for us that the mystery wake-maker was a beaver.  It has passed by us, and then identified us as a danger, and used its paddle-like tail to warn other beavers of our presence.  The beaver repeated this warning three times, and vanished beyond our view.

We never even shot our guns

as the ducks just never came within shooting distance of us.  We saw and heard small groups of wood duck,  four circled out in front of us, coming out of the darkness low enough to shoot, but banking away about 80 yards from us.  Several other groups passed the island just off to our right. A flock of six mallards went by, started to drop down to water level several hundred yards to the east of us.  BOOM, BOOM, BOO-BBOM!!!  And then there were five, exiting to the north.  Some other guys apparently knocked down one of the mallards.

A flock of 6 Canada Geese

came in for a peek at our decoy spread.  That season was open for two days, but is closed now until mid-November.  We enjoyed watching and listening to them, and offered no threat to them.  They circled the pond twice and left for other roosting spots.

All told, we probably saw 30 some duck, 6 geese and two beaver.  Never fired a shot. Spent the hours between 3 am and noon-thirty doing *male bonding*.  Saw a splendid sunrise over the water and shared *McDoubles* on the ride home.   A dad and his son and time well spent.

Lucky Gunner partnered with TSLRF to put together a contest. The goal is to come up with the most creative way to use ammo cans. I use ammo cans during our waterfowl hunts to keep things dry.  If you have ever been in a duck boat, where muddy guys with waders, and wet dogs get in and out and back into the boat, and it frequently rains and snows and moisturizes everything, then you will realize the value of a good ammo can.  Before I started using ammo cans, I frequently lost my lunch to a greedy, hungry retriever.  The prize in this contest is a half case of free ammo! See the full details here.”

2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 2, 2010 11:56 am

    Sounds like you had a nice day. Too bad no shots, but at least you didn’t have to clean your gun. 🙂

  2. November 2, 2010 1:51 pm

    Thanks, 2Dawgs. You are correct that I gather pleasure from being afield for the start of a new day. A duck marsh provides experience beyond description as it awakens. Dear readers that have an interest in *The most awesome waterfowl dog* are heartily encouraged to visit
    and enjoy the fantastic photos of a pair of Chesapeake Bay Retrievers in action.

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