Saturday, December 4, 2010

Four Days of Ducks Part 2

Day 3

The weather continued to evolve and seemed to be changing by the hour. Forecasts did not match up to reality and it changed again. We did not get away from our overcasts and restricted visibilities in the morning. The wind moved into the north and was really strong. When we walked into the blind the lake was empty, and the only noise was the decoys being smacked by the waves. The number of hunters went down after yesterday, but we still had a full blind of eight hunters. Jim James was there to call, and Jim Beck was there to shoot in case anyone missed his shot. (Read the previous blog for their backgrounds).

The action started quickly and we immediately had birds over the blind. This consisted of small groups of teal, gadwall and widgeon with a sprinkling of mallards. They came to the blind quickly with little caution. This was a good sign that they were fresh birds and not the ones hanging around the numerous wetlands. You can always tell if a duck or goose is local. They won't finish after locking up several times and floating toward the decoys. If they have had their hind ends burnt, they remember. With the northerly flow they would finish over the decoys and we would get some excellent shots.

With several ducks apiece, members trickled out of the blind and headed for home. I quit about 1 pm and picked up three birds. There is nothing like the big northern mallards.

Day 4

I peeled out of bed at 4 am and went immediately to the window. Yes, the weather people were right. There was a light mist in the air and the temperature hovered around 34. It went up as the day moved along. I moved along quickly.  When I got to Blair, Nebraska the temp was 33 and it had moved from mist to rain. When I reached my next waypoint on the route to Tekamah, at Herman, the temp was 32 degrees with a very light rain. This was not good. Meeting at the Big Chicken in Tekamah for breakfast, the forecast was for freezing rain and drizzle, light northerly wind, but clearing later in the day. With that information and the knowledge that these people are always wrong, we headed to the blind.

There were ducks in the lake when we walked to the blind, and they immediately got out of Dodge. They would be back, and we would be waiting. The action started off quickly with teal and other small ducks decoying into the blind. We had no mallards yet. As the morning progressed, we were into bluebills, ringnecks, gadwall, spoonbills, green wing teal, and widgeon, but only one mallard was the lucky bird to grace someone's table.

By noon the weather lifted and we saw a massive migration underway of ducks, snow and blue geese and Canadas. I left at 2 pm.  From noon to the time I left, the sky was filled with migrating birds. Three hunter remained behind.  When I checked with them in the evening after shooting was over, the migration continued. There will be plenty of opportunity the rest of the season.

Good hunting, good fishing, and good luck Hank


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