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It pays to get up early when duck hunting.

orchidmanorchidman Senior MemberPosts: 8,238 Senior Member
This weekend is a special 2 day duck season for our Paradise duck. ( These are what I call 'goofy' ducks, you might remember a couple of years ago my post about using my rubber boots as decoys)

Plans were made, dekes were gathered, guns were checked, and I arrived at Bloodhounds place right on the dot of 5am.
I saw a pile of gear by his back door so started loading it in the Jeep. My cellphone rang and I get a very sarcastic Bloodhound telling me to wake up and get moving. ( He was expecting me to still be asleep....that boy has no faith I tell you). My reply (edited) was something along the lines of " Get your fat ......... ..... out here, I' ve loaded your gear and am waiting!!!!"

45 minutes later we arrived at 'The Place'. Wind was SW about 25knots. One of us knew that it was going to be cold, the other one was wearing shorts and T shirt. Bike gets loaded in the dark and we rode the 2 k's to where I wanted to set up. It was still dark when we had the decoys out and we sat for 20mins or so until the first faint glimmerings of light showed up over the hills. Thats when the one who was wearing shorts decided to change into his polarfleece trousers and get his heavy duty coat on. (You can always tell my hunting mates, the trouble is you cant tell them anything.)

We could hear birds calling 2 paddocks over but decided to wait till we had more light before making the call to move. After watching the early dawn flights we grabbed the decoys and moved over to where the birds were, putting them off the paddock without firing a shot. Reset the decoys and about 15 mins later the ducks started moving back in.

After we had about 11 birds down ( limit was 10 each per day for the special 2 day season) we saw a flight of Canada geese take off from way out in the harbour and while it looked like they would pass directly overhead at first, they did a big circle around us and landed 4 paddocks away.

(Canada geese were taken off the 'Game Schedule' last year and are now classified as pests with open season, no limits and you can hunt them with anything from .22's through to shotguns and centrefire rifles.)

After watching about 160 follow the same route I said to BH 'Lets go and ambush them'. After a sprint across 2 paddocks we lined up on their flightpath and waited till the next group of 5 came over. They passed out of range but gave me a better indication of where to stand so I moved.

I suddenly realised that I still had my skeet choke in the 1187 but when the next 4 birds flew directly over my head I knew they would be within range so I stood and 'Bang'..... heard the pellets hit the body, saw the bird rock....'Bang' again the same result. I figured that my lead was too little so gave it a bit more and the bird I had 'chosen' crumpled its neck and fell stone dead!! Range was about 35-40yds and I was loading 1 1/8oz of lead #2 in a 2 3/4" shell. ( It took me three times as long to type the 1st 2 words of this paragraph as it did to take the three shots!)

The next 3 came over so I picked the 'tail end Charlie' and at the first shot it crumpled stone dead.
I yelled at BH to move to my position and he made it just before the next 4 arrived. We both took a bird each and then the flight stopped.

Bout time for a pic...( These birds are 'Giant Canada's)

specialparryseason2012002.jpg

While we were 'chasing geese' I could see ducks landing in our decoys so we headed back to fill our limits. Here is a pic of the setup.....can you spot the live one?

specialparryseason2012001.jpg

We ended up with our limit of ducks and 4 Canada's.

specialparryseason2012006.jpg

Some of you may remember this farm from my previous pics and in particular the 'Artwork' on a neighbouring property.
To refresh your memory here is another pic with the camera set on its highest zoom.......

specialparryseason2012003.jpg

Well, on the hill to the left of the giant 'trumpet' they are erecting something else...I havent figured out what it is yet but here is a pic.....

specialparryseason2012004.jpg


Dont you hate it when the neighbours look over the fence and gossip about whats happening......

specialparryseason2012005.jpg

We gathered the gear and headed up to the farm offal pit to breast them out. Everytime I go to this place I always stop at the top of the hill cos the view over the farm and out to the Kaipara harbour is impressive......so I will share it with you. I love this place.

specialparryseason2012008.jpg

We were home by 1130am with all the birds dressed and made plans to head back up there tomorrow......at 4 am, as I will be taking the geese decoys and want to be in position with everything set up before daylight.

BH has some video of the shooting so I will probably post that up tomorrow night when I get back.

As the title says.....'It pays to get up early when Duck Hunting'...........

( Apologies for the length of the story)
Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....

Replies

  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,155 Senior Member
    Excellent haul, man! Those paradise ducks just look amazing. One day I'll have to get over to see them in person. That's great how you worked those Canadas. That's exactly how I got my first Canada goose myself: we ambushed some that flew over a Wildlife Magament Area boundary fence low and slow every day. By the way - are you guys using paradise duck-specific floater decoys when you hunt the water or some other species?
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • FisheadgibFisheadgib Senior Member Posts: 5,797 Senior Member
    Cool story Alec. Do those ducks respond to a call?
    snake284 wrote: »
    For my point of view, cpj is a lot like me
    .
  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member Posts: 8,238 Senior Member
    Six-Gun wrote: »
    Excellent haul, man! Those paradise ducks just look amazing. One day I'll have to get over to see them in person. That's great how you worked those Canadas. That's exactly how I got my first Canada goose myself: we ambushed some that flew over a Wildlife Magament Area boundary fence low and slow every day. By the way - are you guys using paradise duck-specific floater decoys when you hunt the water or some other species?

    Thanks Luis.
    Ambush tactics work although sometimes it can be tricky getting in just the right spot....a few yards either way and its an empty bag for the day as you probably know..Lol

    Paradise Shelduck are a paddock grazer so most of the shooting is done on dry land with silhouettes. I do have some full bodied 'floaters' and occasionaly the birds will go and sit out in the harbour. They hang around ponds normally by sitting on the bank mostly. If there has been rain and there is surface water on the paddocks they will happily puddle it up and graze on the underwater grass. They are twice the size of a mallard......almost small goose size.

    They are not actually dumb, sometimes they are quite smart. It just seems that either their eyesight is crap or that when they make up their mind that they want to land, short of standing in their flightpath and waving your arms, they are so fixated they will land even if you are standing in the middle of the decoys. I actually got 'landed on' by one about 10years ago while bending over setting up some decoys...gave both of us a hell of a fright!!!!..........until the 1187 'spoke' and then only one of us was 'frightened to death'. Lol.

    When you come over we will go hunt some......
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member Posts: 8,238 Senior Member
    Fisheadgib wrote: »
    Cool story Alec. Do those ducks respond to a call?

    Yep. Its a high pitched 'caw' type of noise tapering off. The females do the calls , the males normally sound like an athsmatic drunk.

    One interesting fact is that they mate for life ( or until one partner dies). If you only shoot the female the male will fly away and find another lady, if you shoot the male and miss the female, she will circle around and if you give the female call she will try to land next to the dead male.

    ( Its easy to tell them apart, the male is black/dark purple with white wing marks, the female is orange/brown with a white head and white wings)
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 22,197 Senior Member
    Great retelling my friend :worthy:
    Looks like a great hunt too
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,457 Senior Member
    Good duck hunting and some bonus geese to boot! NZ is truly a sportsman's paradise.
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
    ― Douglas Adams
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,429 Senior Member
    First goose I ever killed was a greater Canada. It had a wingspan of about 5 feet. I didn't weigh it, but he must have been 15 pounds. BTW, what's a paddock? And also you get to use lead? Fantastic! I'll be right over. LOL!!! Now about those Paradise ducks. I want one!!!
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 24,953 Senior Member
    Great story as usual.

    Maybe those fellas are building an ark :uhm:

    The horn is for the next version of a ricola commercial.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,429 Senior Member
    orchidman wrote: »
    Yep. Its a high pitched 'caw' type of noise tapering off. The females do the calls , the males normally sound like an athsmatic drunk.

    One interesting fact is that they mate for life ( or until one partner dies). If you only shoot the female the male will fly away and find another lady, if you shoot the male and miss the female, she will circle around and if you give the female call she will try to land next to the dead male.

    ( Its easy to tell them apart, the male is black/dark purple with white wing marks, the female is orange/brown with a white head and white wings)

    Sort of like with humans ey! The women do most of the talking.......
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
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