Home Main Category Hunting

Opening weekend report.

orchidmanorchidman Senior MemberPosts: 8,238 Senior Member
edited May 10 in Hunting #1
Apologies for the delay.
As stated earlier this was my 60th consecutive opening day, my first being when I accompanied my father at the age of 7. Took a few pics this time....lol.
Loaded up and all ready.
Got up to Marks on friday morning and after giving him a bloody good listening to, BH and I headed out on to the harbour.
Because the tides were not being kind we had to get into our respective positions  and set our decoys while there was water there ( High tide was 1.45pm)
I had decided to shoot in a slightly different position about 70m from where I normally shoot so after setting out just on 45 decoys I met back up with Bh and we headed back to the river mouth to an area that has tall straight mangroves to cut some camo. With all the weight of dekes and lead out of the boat we decided to have a drag race....( I wanted to see how the new propellor worked considering it had 30% more blade....besides, get 2 competitive guys together with some sort of motorised vehicle and it is inevitable that they will race each other, Its the first rule in 'Manlaw')
I wont tell you who won but Bh came second.
After a brief chat we headed back to our 'spots' and settled in for the evening and night.
After stashing the mangroves in the trees I set the boat up for sleeping

It looked so comfortable I took a nap....for 3 hrs then woke up and took a few pics of the scenery.......


Dinner was bacon and egg pie washed down with fresh brewed coffee and I then sat back to enjoy the peace and quiet as the sun went down.

Had a good nights sleep even though I set the alarm to go off every couple of hours as the tide came in so I could check the boat wasnt caught under a tree when the water rose..... or on a log when the water dropped.
Woke at 5am, cleared the bed away, made breakfast and waited till first light. 6.30am was legal start time and normally it is heralded by the sound of guns firing.....didnt hear the first shot till about 6.48 and it was not like the usual opening morning barrage, just a few sporadic shots across the harbour.
I didnt see a bird till about 6.55 which was a single mallard drake that swung around the mangroves behind me for a look at the dekes......I could hear the whistling of his wings through the trees as he made a couple of circuits in response to my call, but couldnt see him...........so I step out of the boat onto the mud and stepped forward past the mangroves to increase visibility..........Nek minit I see him about 40m to my left screaming in following the mangrove line with all the afterburners lit. Swung the V3 up and slapped the trigger...miss.....slapped it again....miss.... by this time he was about 10m away right on the deck and jinking.........My third shot as he climbed away blew leaves off the mangrove he artfully managed to put between us and he disappeared  into the distance leaving behind an echoing quack.....I kid you not, he was doing at least 60mph as he went past and sounded like a freight train.
He deserved his freedom in my book.

The morning flight never really eventuated.........Managed to get 5 birds down before the water came up to the boat at 11am........

Shots were few and far between, the most memorable one was a drake that came screaming through about 30 m out and 40 m high.....swung the V3 through him and slapped the trigger as he crumpled and disappeared behind a mangrove to my right.........Heard him hit the mud and walked out to retrieve him.......couldnt see him when I cleared the trees.......then noticed a crater about 30 m out. walked over and sure enough he had hit so hard he buried himself 18" in the soft stuff.
The weather wasnt helping the cause, no wind, clear skies as can be seen in the next pic.

More to come.......
Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....

Replies

  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 17,624 Senior Member
    Anxiously awaiting the next chapter
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • Diver43Diver43 Senior Member Posts: 11,697 Senior Member
    Excellent
    Logistics cannot win a war, but its absence or inadequacy can cause defeat. FM100-5
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 7,746 Senior Member
    Ive not ever been. But these posts and stories have me watching the ducks in town here. They're incredibly fast. I have no doubt about your estimated speeds.
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 13,449 Senior Member
    Got to sleep under the stars, got to eat breakfast and watch the sunrise, got to pull the trigger, got some ducks, please continue....
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member Posts: 8,238 Senior Member
    Ok, where was I......Oh yeah, The tide started coming and soon the decoys were floating which made the spread look more inviting.

    Unfortunately the only game birds that came near were a couple of black swan that swam around the corner to my left, passed through the decoys and set sail for distant horizons...While they are a game bird and present well as table fare, I decided to give them a pass.......


    I sat in the same place till the tide was deep enough to run the outboard without any more activity, then decided to move the whole operation around the corner to my left about 100m so that the following day I could take advantage of the creek at low tide to make the decoy spread look more lifelike. So it was up anchor, pick up all the decoys and re set them hopefully in a spot where they would either be in water at low tide or sitting on the creek bank.That took me over an hour and in the process I managed to cut through 2 decoy strings with my new prop, losing the weights in the process. Luckily I always carry spare weights so after sorting things out I finally parked up in the mangroves to make a well earned coffee.

    Just started pouring the hot water in the mug when I was rudely interrupted by a loud quack and a big splash. It was close, really close.........so I slowly lowered the jug and coffee, reached for the 1187.....( I had swapped guns around halfway through the day as the 1187 with its 26" barrel was handier and faster swinging than the V3's 28" tube)...........crept to the bow of the boat and poked my head through the camo.......5m away was a mallard female looking directly at me with an 'OH %*#@' look on her face. As she blasted off the water I calculated the depth where she would drop and figured I had just enough water to go get her if the shot was successful. ( The boat was barely floating at this stage on an outgoing tide and I didnt want to end up stranded in the open till 2am when the water came back.) Throwing the gun to my shoulder I dropped her cleanly about 30m out..........then the race began....The tide here on the mudflats moves at a fast walking pace and I had to push the boat out by hand before there was enough water to start the outboard. Finally got enough water to start the motor then with the outboard on shallow water drive I backed over, picked her up and headed back to my spot with the outboard tilted to its max in reverse. Got halfway into the mangroves with the bow completely exposed before we came to a halt. I knew I wouldnt be able to push the boat further under cover so I dropped the outboard one notch, so it was half in water and half buried in the mud and opened the throttle wide.......The Prop commenced to dig a channel under the 'V' of the boat and I ended up back where I wanted to be........

    This next pic I took at low tide shows the groove I dredged..........Lol.
    The bonus was that by digging the groove which extended under the boat it created mini channel under the keel which kept the boat from falling onto one side when the tide was fully out ! Didnt do my brand new prop much good and took a bit of paint off.....but, hey, hunting where I hunt is hard work and I expect things like this.
    So, 6 birds for the day and the evening flight still to happen........But all the birds I saw before it got too dark to shoot were at 10,000 feet on oxygen and heading for the hills so I took the opportunity to have an early dinner.

    Dinner consisted of venison backsteaks, fried mushrooms and fresh tomatoes washed down with fresh coffee with a couple of shots of Whisky added to it. Purely for medicinal purposes I might add......

    After clearing the 'galley' I set up the camp stretcher, put up the canopy and retired for the night. Temp dropped to around 3-4deg celsius during the night but with the canopy keeping the dew off I had a warm comfortable night in my sleeping bag...................until I heard some scratching coming from the back of the boat...
    Switched on my headlamp and looked past my feet to the stern, couldnt see anything so I put it down to a branch scraping the side of the boat and went back to sleep. 5 mins later the scratching was back so I slowly raised my head and looked to the stern again just in time to see a pair of red eyes drop from sight over the transom......Hmmmm....this isnt good...... so I undid the canopy and folded it back, grabbed the 1187 and loaded it up, tipped the bed up on its side so I had room to move and holding my Lenser H14 rechargeable headlamp in my left hand on the forearm of the gun I settled down to ambush the unwelcome visitor. It was so still you could hear a pin drop..........and about 15 mins later I heard the scratching again. I waited another minute before hitting the light and raising the gun..........to see a large rat frozen in the beam sitting on the transom where my ducks were. He jumped off the transom and took off through the mangroves as I stood up. At 15m the load of #3 steel overtook him and blew him apart before digging his grave ! The pattern hadnt even opened up when it reached him.....Feeling pleased with myself I climbed back into bed, pulled the canopy shut and went back to sleep.

    Still more to come....

    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 22,210 Senior Member
    Nice of you to give the rat a nice burial :D 
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 8,227 Senior Member
    I just love Alec's serials. :)
    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • GunNutGunNut Posts: 7,642 Senior Member
    Great, now I'm hungry.  What the heck is a bacon and egg pie?
    Old West Saying: God created men, but Col. Sam Colt made them equal.

    General George Patton:  “Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.”

  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member Posts: 8,238 Senior Member
    Ok, back on deck.

    Forgot to post up pics of the sunset.....which was magnificent. Here are a couple...



    This last one was taken just after the sun had dropped. The greenish looking ray is possibly the result of a 'Green Flash' sunset which occurs as the sun drops below the horizon. The green 'ray' was only visible for about 30 seconds and I was lucky enough to catch it on camera......( Google  'Green Flash' if you want to know more)

    Woke at 5am, breakfast consisted of bacon eggs and fried potatoes
     Tip I have learnt.....Use a small frypan, lay rashers of bacon to completely cover the bottom of the pan, a teaspoon of olive oil will crisp the bacon. Turn the bacon then crack an egg or 2 over the top. Cook until the bacon is sizzling.......if you dont like your eggs runny, flip the whole thing over for 30 seconds before laying it on a piece of buttered bread (The eggs hold the whole thing together) while you fry the precooked potatoes.
    Sitting back with a mug of coffee I watched it get lighter and waited for the morning flight.......Saw a few birds fly over very high but none showed any signs of answering my calls. There was no wind, the skies were clear and the birds were heading out to the middle of the harbour to lay up for the day. Didnt fire a shot until after 2pm.
    It was however very peaceful sitting in the sun watching the terns, herons and other coastal birds walking over the mudflats seeing what food the tide had left.
    At 9.38am I received a text from my sister telling me my 2nd cousin had been taken to ICU at 5am and was fighting for his life. The Doctors had told the family he wouldnt last much longer and there was nothing else they could do. (he had recently had a couple of heart operations and had developed an infection)  Brian and I were not just cousins, but he was one of my closest friends and mentors. At 12.58 She sent me a text saying that he had passed.
    If I had been able to I would have packed up and headed to hospital when I got her first text but as you can see from the next pics it was impossible due to the state of the tide. I had to be content with sending prayers and reflecting on our relationship.

    In the last pic you can see a mob of Canada Geese as a thin black line just about to settle on the mud. There were over 200 of them and completely ignored the goose calls and decoys I had set up for their arrival.

    Had 7 Mallards swing past for a look see out of range and ( probably due to my lack lustre calling) they settled about 150m away from me on the mud.



    The tide slowly came in and by 2.30 the boat was just starting to float free of the mud.


    The incoming tide also brought BH with it and we sat and talked while waiting until it was deep enough to pick up my decoys and head out. Just as we were about to pick up I saw a mob of mallards heading directly towards us about a mile away so we waited.....( We each had 6 birds and being competitive were trying to outdo each other)
    They came straight over us going like hell about 45-50m up, we both swung up and fired, He missed his bird mainly due to the position of the sun.........but at my shot, the bird I chose simply folded its wings,dropped its head and dropped like a rock hitting the water in the mangroves behind us about 80m away. That one was for Brian.

     

    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member Posts: 8,238 Senior Member
    GunNut said:
    Great, now I'm hungry.  What the heck is a bacon and egg pie?

    Take a pie plate ( or baking dish), line it with pastry, put layers of strips of bacon and fresh eggs  over the pastry until the dish is full, ( some people add diced onions and peas etc ) sprinkle salt and pepper to taste, the cover the dish with pastry. Bake until cooked. Either eat hot or cut into slices and eat cold later. Makes a good meal to take in your pack when hunting.....but it doesnt last long cos it has a habit of calling out saying 'Eat me, Eat meeeeeee'.........
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
  • GunNutGunNut Posts: 7,642 Senior Member
    I’ve got to try making that!

    Old West Saying: God created men, but Col. Sam Colt made them equal.

    General George Patton:  “Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.”

  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 13,449 Senior Member
    Quiche!
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 7,746 Senior Member
    My condolences for your cousin.

    The ducks seem to require a commitment of time and distance. I think I see the attraction.
  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member Posts: 8,238 Senior Member
    CHIRO1989 said:
    Quiche!

    Heathen!
    Quiche is full of mancard sapping ingredients like cream, milk, ham and feta cheese baked in flakey puff pastry.

    Bacon and egg pie is just Bacon and whole raw eggs baked in a handy covering to stop your hands getting messy......

    Look at the pictures, read the ingredients. You should be able to see the difference. If you cant, deduct 10 points from your mancard.


    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member Posts: 8,238 Senior Member
    My condolences for your cousin.

    The ducks seem to require a commitment of time and distance. I think I see the attraction.

    Thanks Early.
    Where we hunt , every bird has to be earned through hard work etc. It adds to the flavor when presented on the table in my view.
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
  • ojrojr Senior Member Posts: 1,189 Senior Member
    Great report Alex, really enjoyed it all.
    The flight was uneventful, which is what one wants when one is transporting an Elephant.
     Reuters, Dec 2020.
  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member Posts: 8,238 Senior Member
    ojr said:
    Great report Alex, really enjoyed it all.

    Did you manage to get out Owen.........?
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
  • waipapa13waipapa13 Senior Member Posts: 888 Senior Member
    CHIRO1989 said:
    Quiche!
    Nope!
  • waipapa13waipapa13 Senior Member Posts: 888 Senior Member
    Sorry to hear about your cousin.

    I'm glad you got out and got a few Ducks, I can't get over how hot it is still for May. 
  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member Posts: 8,238 Senior Member
    waipapa13 said:
    Sorry to hear about your cousin.

    I'm glad you got out and got a few Ducks, I can't get over how hot it is still for May. 

    Thanks.
    Am heading out tomorrow for a solo mission........taking shorts and a tshirt along with sunblock lol.
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 25,780 Senior Member
    I have never hunted over decoys. Something I would really like to try. 
    You make it look like quite the joy. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • JerryBobCoJerryBobCo Senior Member Posts: 8,227 Senior Member
    Sorry for your loss, Alec.  I'm glad you had an otherwise good hunt, though.  I really like your write ups.
    Jerry

    Gun control laws make about as much sense as taking ex-lax to cure a cough.
  • ojrojr Senior Member Posts: 1,189 Senior Member
    No Alex, missed for the first time in years, lost my dog unexpectedly last year and for me duck shooting  is all about hunting with the dog.
    Pick up my new Lab pup in 4 weeks, already visited and picked one out of the litter.
    Yellow Male, going to name him Finn.
    Watch out next opening.

    The flight was uneventful, which is what one wants when one is transporting an Elephant.
     Reuters, Dec 2020.
Sign In or Register to comment.
Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Guns & Ammo stories delivered right to your inbox every week.

Advertisement