Sunday, November 30, 2008

Black Duck Friday

Someone decided white Peking ducks make good pets
Gotta get some chaw before the shooting resumes



videoAfter Shooting time,nature at it's best

I Needed This




Yes,I can't believe it,but yes we did it.We had a successful hunt and it makes all the unsuccessful hunts worth it.Where do I start,no matter what I tell everyone it just won't do justice to what exactly went down this past Friday,now commonly referred to as Black Duck Friday.One of my friends who left me hanging on a past hunt called me and invited me out on his brothers duck boat.I of course cleared the schedule for this opportunity that had come about.Why was it so important for me to go on this hunt?Well for starters,I'm just now learning how to hunt out of a boat and this would give me a chance to see how other duck boat elitist do it.Now I have hunted with this fellow before and we did have marginal success,however all the stories I have heard about his hunts made it seem that it could be much better.So I set out Friday knowing that I needed to pay attention,stay interested,and try and be a good duck hunter.After our initial set up my new friend made it clear as to how all the shooting and calling would go as there were three of us in the boat.I was to shoot first and he would do the calling.Now let's step back a second for a funny note.My friend down the way,his brothers friend has a given name of Dave.It's funny because if anyone needs a goofy nickname like Duckman Dave it's him.







Well I digress,after first light we had already been buzzed by a few mergansers.I had already told myself not to rush the shot,take aim and make it count,shells aren't cheap and I'm tired of missing the easy shots.Dave did a few calls and in they came as if beckoned like a bunch of sailors to a bar that advertises naked women.The first few volleys happened to be off to the side and I opted not to take a shot as there were many birds flying and my friend Aaron was having no problem throwing steel into the water.I did take a few shots at a mallard drake and yup I missed.After the morning hunt,the count was one black duck,three mallards and one merganser.





All morning I was told by both hunters that the afternoon experience would be much better and I just don't think they grasped the concept that as far as I was concerned this was the best hunt I have had all year.So we picked up went back to the dock and headed out for a healthy lunch of Mexican food.Dave,noticing that it was early,decided to let me in on a few of his secret spots.The only catch is that I had to promise not to over hunt them and always call before to make sure one of the few duck hunters who know about them aren't planning on going out there.See Dave explained to me what I almost had figured out.That around my area there aren't many duck hunters.So the few of us that there are need to stick together and be on the same page.What that entails is making sure we follow and obey every rule.Everything from having the correct paper work to not over hunting a spot.So after a nice afternoon boat ride we headed to the magical spot.





So there we were all set up in what seemed to be a very ducky place,however I saw no birds.I was instructed to just wait until fifteen minutes before sun down.We waited and waited and then it happened.Out of nowhere a pair of mallards landed twenty feet from the boat.I was told to let them sit and wait for the others.I kept low in the blind and sure enough in groups of 5-10 they came in.We were however running out of time and noting that we took out a few birds and watched the retriever Misti do what she does.As the birds continued to circle Dave instructed us it was time to pay respect to both the rule and nature.We sat there outside of the blind for over thirty minutes watching groups of ducks come and go.The sound of the whistling wings and the natural calls was completely amazing.I have never witnessed anything quite like it and couldn't help but just be thankful for this awesome display of ducks.Well I have a few videos and plenty of pictures so stay tuned.Lastly,thank you Dave and Aaron for what was truly an unforgettable experience.Simply amazing.



Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanks?!

Well everyone it's Thanksgiving and I hope all is well.As I sit here with a sweet head cold and a lousy cup of coffee I am still thankful.In the last few days I have found much to be thankful for,like people that take my money and don't deliver on what they advertise.Yes I am about to complain,read on if you wish.

So here it goes,guide services suck,in my opinion.Yup I won't call specific names,Duckman Dave,but thanks for taking a days pay out of my pocket and giving me a duck hunt I could have put on my damn self.If your a guide don't you think you would scout an area where you were about to take your clients?Well not if you Suckman Gave!Now my brother,Swamp Thing,may be a bit upset with me being specific with names but remember this is my opinion not his.He may have had a wonderful time,just ask him,haha.Anyway to sum it all up we paid an exorbitant amount of money to do something we could have done.Dumbass Dave put us on public land that could have been walked to,nice job Scout Master Flex.Nice looking out for your clients.Then when the worst hunt known to man is over and you want your money you go into the whole,wow the economy stinks,business is slow.WTF! I wonder why it's slow,YOU SUCK AT WHAT YOU DO!You can't call,you don't scout,and you don't have private land to hunt,why are you a scout?

What it all comes down to is this past Monday my brother and I had a better time hunting by ourselves,busting ice,not seeing birds,catching up on each others lives.Oh and how could I forget,watching Swamp Thing fall in the beaver run and swamp his waders with icy cold goodness.He won't email me the picture,yes there was a camera ready and another fella caught a picture of Swamp Thing doing the shark attack dance.A last bit of advice for everyone,don't use a guide service for hunting unless you don't know the area or it's a close personal friend.I learned on Tuesday that my brother and I know much more than we thought we did.We have two boats,plenty of decoys and time to find ducks.What we don't have is the money back in our pocket that Tardman Dave took from us.Everyone have a great Thanksgiving,I need a drink and I'm going to watch this parade,haha.Oh I didn't even take the camera out,it was that bad.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

So Close


I can feel it,I almost had it but not quite.Well I took the duck boat S.S. Shocker up to the Chickahominy River on Friday.It was booked to be an excellent morning hunt with a fellow DU member that's new to the area.I would like to thank the local weatherman for getting the forecast completely backwards.They say 25 MPH winds and I wake up to snow well thanks for that.Then I would like to thank myself for forgetting a crucial part of the entire set up,my gun.Yes everyone that is correct I forgot my gun.After pacing back and forth thinking about what I didn't have packed in the boat I forgot my gun.I did turn around and go back to get it after I was 20 minutes down the road.No harm,no foul right?WRONG!We got the boat fired up and got to the spot everything was fine,except we were apparently setting up decoys 5 minutes after legal shooting time started and yup multiple pairs of wood ducks decided to buzz over our head.So we hunkered down in the grass,surrounded by cypress trees.The geese decided to wake up early and pay no notice to the decoys because they weren't made of corn I guess.After a few more missed opportunities when I wasn't paying attention we packed up and headed home without a shot fired.My only hope is when I go up to Maryland to hunt with Swamp Thing my bad mojo doesn't rub off on our experiences to come next week.All I want is a damn Wood Duck is that so wrong.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

My Opening Day






Well Monday started off at 1:30 in the morning.I had to get up ridiculously early to make my journey to the middle of the great state of Virginia.I had to make the decision to go and I'm glad I did.Once at the farm we were hunting at we went through the painstaking routine of placing out all the goose,duck and crow decoys.After you do all that work you really hope it's worth it and Monday it was.To sum it all up we got a few geese and a buffle head that was a little lost.I want to thank the gentleman I went hunting with.I met him through Ducks Unlimited and he extended the offer to go hunting with him.In exchange I hope he will journey down to my neck of the woods later in the season and hopefully we can seek and destroy some sea ducks.I would go through the entire story of the recent hunt but it's a long one.We literally hunted from sunrise to sunset.I didn't get back home until 9:00 at night and I was a bit exhausted.I have another hunt planned for Friday and I hope it yields the same results.Stay tuned.

Monday, November 17, 2008

A Breakdown

Well I made it home after a few sketchy flights,damn I hate flying.It's just not natural,something that big shouldn't be in the air.I digress,looking forward to what I waited all year for.The duck season in Virginia opened up last Saturday and talking to a few friends in the area and a few online DU buddies it seems that things are looking up.A cold front roared through the area this past Saturday,taking temperatures from the mid 70's to around 50 for a high.I know up North it's much cooler,heck it's down right cold up North,but I will take what I can get.I plan on heading a little West of Richmond Virginia to take up an offer to hunt with a few people on some private land.Another cold front is coming through the area Tuesday morning and that's our plan is to be out there in it.Hopefully we will have some success and my shooting won't embarrass as I have never hunted with these "Westerners" before.Later this week I plan on heading up to the Chickahominy and busting a few geese and ducks if my luck and the weather holds.On Sunday I head up to see Swamp Thing in Maryland.We have a few hunts planned next Monday and Tuesday,one with Black Duck Outfitters.Well that's the plan for week one.Week two promises to be just as exhausting but I can rest when I get back to work,yeah right.Stay tuned for pictures.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Headed South

Tug Crystal Coast on the Chesapeake Bay
It's always a great feeling when we come past a sea buoy going into port.For one it means calmer smoother seas.Secondly,it usually means some fast paced work that tends to make the days click by.Nothing can possibly be better than waking up this time of year and finding myself in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay.I walk outside with a cup of coffee and watch the sunrise.Calm bluish green water with a touch of salt in the air,I love it.Well on the same note it does hurt a bit coming into the Port of Norfolk and have to leave again.Being so close to home and not being able to get there is a downside of the job but we are all paid well for a hard days work.Coming into Port this evening was a little strange for me.See it's been one year almost exactly since I switched companies.I was working this exact area almost a year ago when I received the offer I had been waiting over a year to get.Obviously I accepted it and was well on my way to learning how it really is supposed to work out at sea.The assist boat we used this evening was one of the boats I worked almost four years on busting my ass,working my way up,pulling eighteen hour days,making half what other people were making doing the same job.If you are wondering why did you keep with it,why not quit and find another job.I don't know the answer,maybe deep down inside I was taught not to quit,maybe I'm stubborn like my father.Whatever it is and or was I'm glad I did stay with it.In the course of a year,I have become a much better Mariner and I still have tons to learn.The funny thing is I can't wait to find out everything there is to know about my profession.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Yarrrrr!The Sea!



Oh my word people we have got beaten up beyond belief.It just won't stop.
We tried to outrun a low that was forming a few days ago,mistake number one.Then as the Low Pressure caught up to us and handed us our ass in a basket we tried to run inland away from it,mistake number two.The damn thing stalled out over Cape Hatteras.If you know anything about the East Coast then you understand that Cape Hatteras is never fun to get around so yeah we didn't make it and had to duck into Cape Lookout N.C. We are running a weather pattern currently,doing circles off the beach,just waiting for the Low to continue it's course North.On top of all that was going on before we came inland we the starboard engine busted a jumper line.Now this doesn't happen all the time but it does happen.Factor in ten foot seas and the fact that it had to be replaced immediately and the engineer,above,wasn't happy about me taking pictures instead of getting greasy like him.Well we are hopefully out of the woods weather wise now.The winds are switching and laying down so we should be able to continue Northward to Philadelphia late tonight.TEN FREAKING DAYS LEFT AND I GO HOME HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
Jumper Line/Busted like a Hotdog with No Mustard!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Video Upload Try Numeber 2

video

Let's try this.Currently as I'm typing the video should be uploading.It is however taking light years so whatever.This video,if it ever uploads, is just a short one I took while in Mississippi during the terrible dredge days earlier this Summer.It was a common occurrence while headed out to the dump sight to run into a thunderstorm squall.The day this video was taken was a bit different.It was July 4 weekend so every one and there brother was out fishing,drinking and just generally getting in the way.Once the storm rolled in visibility went to near zero and many pleasure boaters seemed to be confused as to how to handle the situation.We handled it the best we could which means lay on the airhorn and scare the living hell out of every boater in the area,haha.One hour later...........Ummmmm it was downloaading but yeah now it says processing and yeah it isn't happening people,sorry I tried.Whoa my camera is a good one and this video looks poopy.