Saturday, January 7, 2012

So Close to Lost





Swamp Thing from River Mud Blog waiting on a second flight that never came





Honest question,when was the last time you were lost?For me it has been quite some time,although I did have a near miss about a week ago.It all started innocently enough as just another duck hunt in the swamp.My oldest brother Swamp Thing from the River Mud Blog was in town for a few days of hunting and we were down to our last hunt on his last day in town.I was fortunate enough to secure permission to hunt a beaver pond on private property as our last hunt.This was only my fourth time to the site and my first time navigating to it alone.My worries initially laid with the 2 mile boat ride in the pitch black down river to get to the swamp that leads to the beaver pond.We dumped the boat in the water and with the engine cranked I headed down river at an easy pace.I successfully dodged all stumps,logs,cypress knees and floating debris.It was then that it started raining,fortunately the temperature was a balmy 53 degrees.I beached the boat in the correct spot and we loaded up with shotguns,blind bags and a few decoys.Now my focus laid on getting us through the flooded swamp on foot and onto the berm of the beaver pond,aka duck heaven.This was the task I failed miserably at.









Sunrise,December 31st,54 degrees in Southern Virginia












































If you were to look at a map your eye would be drawn to the simple fact that to access the beaver pond you would need to travel in a straight line.You could even veer left or right and still find the pond.So how did I get lost?So it's 530 am,in the pouring rain and we leave the beached boat on the river.We enter the hardwoods and have relatively easy travel for about 75 yards minus the occasional dodging of a tree limb or thorn bush.We enter the flooded swamp and the excitement of the duck hunt to come is building inside me.We continue to go "straight" through the swamp.I see an opening up ahead,it's water,I'm stoked I have found the pond with such ease.Unfortunately it wasn't the pond,or even the swamp,it was the river.Yes that's correct i managed to go in a half circle and ended up downriver from the boat,major fail my friends.Now it's at this time that I can't contemplate how exactly this happened and this is my first big mistake,besides getting us lost of course.Cooler heads prevail,right?Well not when I can't let go of how it happened and try to figure out how to fix it.Luckily my big brother was there to bring me back from my Vietnam lost in the jungle rage.I will admit that no tears were shed but many curse words were thrown around.So after some simple deductive reasoning Old Swampy had us back on our way.













































You have to show the ducks you aren't scared sometimes








We did manage to make it to the pond right at legal shooting time and even managed to down a few birds that morning.The trip out was quite a bit easier with daylight.This is mainly an outdoor blog,why would I write about how poor of an outdoorsman I can be?I honestly think it's a level of comfortability.I got to comfortable and didn't focus on the important task which was navigating an unfamiliar piece of woods in the pitch black.So comfortable that for the second time this year I didn't have my fancy GPS on me when I actually needed it.Seriously,I spent 300 dollars on a GPS and the two times I have needed it I didn't have it.But wait,I completely forgot that the knife in my pocket had a compass on it.Do you have any idea how helpful that would have been?Sorry for not mentioning that at any time during the day Swamp Thing but you had a shotgun.Apparently in high pressure situations I may not be the guy to go to.I'm man enough to admit that.My answer is to bull rush and throw anger at the problem and that's not the way to go.I'm taking this as a learning experience and I hope a wake up call.

5 comments:

The Downeast Duck Hunter said...

When Rey Mysterio goes duck hunting, he leaps from the top tree then he drops the dime. Impressive...

My electronics cut out on my lobster boat this past summer on one of the worst fogs of the season (you've seen Maine fog) and the tide was ebb. I had the compass bearings, but I chose to anchor up in hopes of a mid-day lift. I did have a friend pick me up on radar and came over to see what wasn't moving. I then followed him in...

As for hunting, I believe I commented on your brother's blog about the time in college where a group of us when deer hunting in a swamp. Lost with other people doing a drive equals scared to the ninth...

Good post, enjoyed reading it...

DEDH

The Reverend Fowl ™ said...

I would like to order prints. Seriously. You know which one.

tugboatdude said...

Thanks for reading and you can thank River Mud for making me put the mask on.

River Mud said...

Ole' , beeeeatch!

The Reverend Fowl ™ said...

Can you please release to me the image/photo/file: “show the ducks you aren't scared”?
I would like to have a portrait/print made for my office.
Please email to: the.reverend.fowl@gmail.com