Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Closer

My first ever Canvasback

It was another great waterfowl season that had to end at some point.The last few days of the season had me traveling to Maryland to hunt with the one who started it all,Swamp Thing.He had an invite to hunt an offshore blind in southern Maryland for divers.I haven't been on a diver hunt in years and took him up on the offer.The day before the trip my truck decided it was a good time to break down.Twelve year old truck sometimes do this I suppose.No worries,I'm insane,rent a car and fix the truck when I get back.So off I went and I'm glad I did.The fellow who had the blind,John,knew what he was doing.He grew up on the South River,hunted and fished it when he was younger and still does today.He put on a heck of a hunt and I managed in a team effort to get my first ever Canvasback.My brother covers this hunt well so here is the link to his blog where you can read all about it.

After we left the offshore blind we inhaled a ridiculous amount of food or what I like to call sleepy medicine.I had a three hour drive down the Eastern Shore to my next adventure and I wouldn't say i was exactly attentive during the entire drive.Waterfowling makes you go crazy,it's true.Arriving at the Hotel in Pocomoke,Maryland I phoned my friend who invited me for an old time Eastern Shore waterfowl hunt.He came and picked me up in an over sized mud truck that had no business being on the road.I had no idea that at the local Tractor Supply Store there would be dozens of these trucks and what looked like long last relatives of my friend.All joking aside,every one of those guys were great people that would do anything to help anyone out.They just have a different way of life than I'm used to.We went over the game plan for the next day and I went to the Hotel early to get some much needed rest.the wake up call came early but I was ready for the last day of the season and so were the shore boys.

Arriving at the designated field we "placed" a dozen decoys in no specific order and threw a half dozen more into the pond.Then we "hid" or a sand berm covered in briers.This is how they do it,minimal effort,no high priced decoys,no specific placement or concealment.The funny thing is,it worked like a charm.First light had a pair of mallards flying over head,with some great calling they committed and were quickly dispatched by my host and I.This was already better than I expected.A few minutes later a pair of geese made the death turn for the pond and were also dispatched.This routine went on for several hours with pairs and small groups of geese working over head while thousands of Canadian and snow geese traveled south sky high.We ended up with ten geese and three mallards between six guys.By far one of the best low effort hunts I have ever been on.We grabbed a quick bite to eat at a sketchy Chinese buffet and grabbed a boat and headed to the water for the last hunt of the season.

A productive morning of the Eastern Shore of Maryland

We arrived at E A Vaughn WMA with a total of four hunters in a small boat with choppy conditions.I personally checked the seaworthiness of the boat and went in it anyway.I say again,waterfowling makes you CRAZY!With no rhyme or reason to it we headed in a westerly direction,found a random creek and threw out a few decoys.The amount of effort these guys put into this is something to be admired.I have to try harder to see less birds where I hunt.We saw thousands of snow geese heading south.We were targeting black ducks and had a few give us a look just out of range.Later in the afternoon a small group of Canadian Geese came over head.All four of us let into them with calling and they turned around on a dime,heading right for us.The problem is,we had zero goose decoys out.The geese had no idea where to go and after circling out of range decided to move on.No shots were fired that afternoon but I spotted more waterfowl of different species than I have ever seen in one place.That night we spent a few hours cleaning the mornings birds talking about the days events and hoping we could all get together next season to do it again.So that's it,the season is over and I go back to work next week.I have made a pledge to keep up with the blog better this year.Thanks for tuning in everybody,time to get the fishing tackle ready now.


Swamp Thing said...

You should be proud - you had a helluva season and probably put in less work hunting than you have in the last 3 years.

And you still managed to do some scouting for NEXT season down on the NC border.

Great job and great hunting.

tugboatdude said...

yeah it was a good schedule allowed me to hunt early and late in the season.I figure by the time I retire I shoulod just about have this hunting thing figured out