Today was the perfect example of why duck hunters loathe “blue-bird” days and relish the mist, light drizzle, and wind of late fall. Weather like this has been happening already to the north and northwest of us, and it is starting to push down pretty good numbers of ducks. Good thing, too, because there is only about 2 weeks left in Iowa’s north zone waterfowl season.
I say “good thing” for this reason. There is a scene I feel I have to live out at least a couple of times every fall, and it’s almost like it heals or soothes my soul. That scene is myself sitting in a marsh, hopefully with a good dog sitting in the muck with me. I have to listen to the wind forcing it’s way through the reeds, and hear the rain or icy drizzle tapping the dying cattail leaves. Feel the wind and rain on my face. On days like this, most of the rest of the world would rather be inside staying comfy and warm and whatever else. Not me. I NEED to be out in the wind this time of year. Getting windburn. Getting a little wet and cold.
There are probably a hundred theories or explanations as to why I feel this way about this act I play out every fall. But the underlying theme for me, at this point, is the wind. It’s hard to imagine doing without it. Even sickening a little to imagine it not being a part of my life.
Oh, yes. And I shot some ducks today. Broke the “one-duck-an-outing” spell I’ve been under lately. Got my limit of six, all gadwalls. Yes, the 3 on the right look a little like teal, but I have pics of their speculums below. I’m sure they are immature gads.
I made a pretty nice double this morning on a flock I called in. They were about to land in a pond about 100 yards away and I practically screamed at them with a comeback call. If they are not going to land in my decoys, I’m going to at least scare them off and away from me. The six of them got back up and decided to check out my spread again. After the third pass, they felt comfortable enough and cupped their wings. I dumped the second one out a bit farther than the first. Trapper saw the closest duck first, of course, and as he was picking it up, he spotted the second – dropped the duck he had and went to get the farthest one. After bringing it to me, it was a very simple matter giving him a decent line on the “first” duck, and off he was to get it.
I’m not sure how they would score that at a field trial, but I don’t care. He did his job wonderfully in my book.
Here’s the reason I’m not calling the smaller ones teal. The white half of their speculums were coming in, and there was no sign at all of the green irridescense of a teals’ speculum, or even the start of a white speculum stripe. Granted, they look a lot smaller than the adults, but maybe these are from a second hatching. Never know.
Here’s to having another day or two like this soon!!!