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Opening weekend report.
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.....