I have had some of the best times I can remember over the last few weeks.I'm almost scared to tell the world about it because my luck is sure to change.I was granted all of two weeks home,I got the boat transfer I asked for and the hunting has been some of the best I think I have ever seen.I'm sure I just jinxed myself but that's alright,I have the memories of the last few weeks to carry me through the hard times to follow.I'm going to jump right into the hunting adventures and leave the thought of work alone for a few more days until i have to return to the boat.
Blacwater River,December 2010
It started with me finding my way onto the Blackwater river on the last day of the second split.I went duck hunting by myself and bagged exactly zero birds.The great thing was I really don't care because I saw birds they just wanted nothing to do with me.The following week with the season closed I finally made it around to getting a new trailer for the duck boat.This has been a long time coming and I feel much better about my investment being towed behind me.For one the lights work on this trailer.The next day I had an all day hunt planned with my brother,Nutty Professor in the morning,and my friend and his son in the afternoon.
Nutty Professor with a few mallards
The morning went like no other hunt I have ever had in my boat.My brother and I were literally covered in mallards on the minute of legal shooting time.We shot poorly but still managed to scratch out a few birds throughout the morning.The birds were still flying when we left however we had birds to clean and I needed a break before I spent the afternoon back in the marsh.That afternoon the local meteorologists had the weather wrong to say the least.The rain started ten hours early and the predicted wind was non existent.My friends son was out on his first boat hunt and he was miserable just like us.The rain didn't let up and we saw one bird all afternoon that was making his way to Florida.Great memories but I feel that my friends son may now be against anything that has to do with a boat.After a day off,we can't hunt on Sunday in Virginia,My friend and I decided to give it another go.
My buddy,drenched and not happy
Same buddy,different attitude.Our two drake black ducks
We had to deal with traffic issues trying to get to the boat ramp and almost missed first light.With only minutes to spare the boat blind was erected and the birds came in to the feeding hole.We scratched out a few mallards and decided to make a run for our original spot we didn't have time to make it to that morning.The meteorologists again got the weather wrong.The day before this epic hunt we had torrential rain and temperatures around sixty.The forecast for the next day was 38 with a stiff north wind.The actual temps were 30-32 with snow and zero wind.The snow had the local birds confused and hungry.They flew all morning and put on quite a show.Even though after we moved to the new spot we had very few birds give us a look,it was the most birds I have ever seen flying continually in all directions.A great show by mother nature,this was the best hunt I have ever put on.Not because we took a few birds but because I was in a boat with awesome ducky weather with a good friend and his duck dog,Benny.The following day my friend gave me a ring and let me know he had a half day at work the next day.It was time to hook the boat up one more time.
Upon returning to the same boat dock we quickly found out the ramp was closed for repairs.Thanks again to my friends GPS we made our way to a new area only recently scouted .We found ourselves in a river that was frozen over from shore to shore from the minus 15 degree temperature of the past few nights.Let it be known,I have never driven a boat through ice and I would rather not do it again.It took forever and thankfully I have an aluminum boat.Although not indestructible,it definitely broke the ice.When we showed up in the creek we found the only area with open water and threw out some decoys and the mighty mojo.Getting ready we heard geese in the area,which are out of season,and crossed our finger that some birds would come check us out.We got lucky,two drake black ducks came to check out our decoys a few minutes after first light and they were subsequently bagged by one shot from me and one from my friend.We got buzzed by a Bufflehead and a drake Mallard and around 830 decided we were frozen enough and picked up to head back to the dock.The tide now being low it was an experience trying to get the boat back on the trailer at the ramp.We used oars to bust the ice and wheel chocks to keep my truck from sliding into the river.As of now it's snowing again outside and although my urge to go back out and hunt again is relentless,I know it's a better idea to take a day off and enjoy nature from the couch in my heated house.