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Opening day report ( sorry for the delay)

orchidmanorchidman Senior MemberPosts: 8,365 Senior Member
I wonder if all these...............

opening20weekend20201520003_zpsg3fbu2vs.jpg

........will fit in this......................

opening20weekend20201520005_zpsjs9wijef.jpg

........along with ammo boxes, guns, food, gas cooker...........and 2 guys................Oh, don't forget that because of the tide, we have to get to the shooting spot at 10pm fri night.............and will need to sleep in the boat!

Well, the dekes fit............

opening20weekend20201520007_zpsofkpzorc.jpg

.........but there aint much room for anything else, let alone sleeping accommodation...........


And so it began. Managed to get everything packed in the boat Friday morning........and headed up to Marks early afternoon.

It is traditional to head into the nearest town ( about 25k away) for an opening eve dinner.......so that's where we ended up at 7pm fri.
After a large roast pork meal with all the trimmings, we headed back to Marks to finish loading the boats ( 2 boats/4 people) When we had finished loading up, GB ( who normally shoots with me) didn't look too good. His face was white and he felt very nauseous. An hour later he felt and looked even worse. The place where we were headed goes dry at half tide and what worried me was that once the water left there was no way to get him out short of calling for a rescue chopper.
His son Nick ( who normally shoots with BH in the second boat) decided that he would stay back with his dad while BH and I headed out...........so we swapped some gear between the 2 boats and at 10pm, BH and I headed out onto the harbour.
Arrived at the shooting spot on high tide ( 10.30pm approx) and then set the 46 dekes in the dark, which freed up some space in the boat.......and then it was a race to see who gets to sleep first.

Why is it a race you might ask?
Past experience has shown that the first person to get to sleep normally has a good sleep...........cos with the harbour being still and quiet, the sound of snoring sounds like a runaway chainsaw!

I lost.....and for the next 3 hrs dozed fitfully....until I couldn't stand the noise anymore. Noting that the tide had gone out a couple of miles, I decided to go for a walk around the island we were parked against...............4 kilometres later, having circumnavigated the island I arrived back at the boat to hear the runaway chainsaw still operating at full throttle............so I walked across the channel to the next island..........and circumnavigated that one as well.

There was something very satisfying about the walk. There was a little moonlight and stars throwing enough light to see reasonably well so I switched my headlamp off and enjoyed the sights and sounds as I walked. It gave me time to reflect how blessed I was to have opportunities like this to enjoy what nature has provided and to remember past seasons, both good and bad. This was my 54th consecutive year being out on opening day, having started accompanying my Dad since I was 7.

Anyway, when I got back, it was about 5am.........so I woke up the chainsaw, got the cooker out and fried up some sausages etc. Fresh sausage and cheese sandwiches were followed by a piping hot mug of coffee.........best meal I have had for some time!

Dawn slowly came and the ducks started flying. we managed to shoot a few before the tide came back in and it was quick work to walk over the mudflats to pick them up. As the tide slowly rose and floated the dekes, the birds kept coming in ones and twos and the tally rose.

Here are a couple of pics of the decoy setup..............

Looking to our left...............

opening20weekend20201520009_zpsymiuvn3p.jpg

............and to our right............

opening20weekend20201520011_zpsv4abi87r.jpg

When the tide had risen far enough we heard an outboard coming towards us and GB and Nick went into their spot about 1 kilometre away. It was good to see that they had arrived cos it meant GB had recovered enough to come out.

BH and I had a few misses.............but by the time the tide started dropping we had 19 birds on board..............1 short of our combined limit. ( 10 per shooter)

I decided to leave the decoys set for the following day, so after retrieving the 2 electronic birds we called it a day and headed over to see how GB had got on. They had managed to get a couple so we packed up and headed back to Marks.

Here is a pic of some of the days bag...............

opening20weekend20201520018_zpslmsee0ag.jpg

When we got back we decided to relax and have a rest............I fell asleep on the charter boat............and woke up 3 hrs later to find that the guys were halfway through plucking the birds. After cleaning and breasting, we headed out to my families 40acre block where we wandered around chasing pheasants.........saw a couple but none were withing range.

Another 25k drive for dinner and back to the charter boat for a well earned sleep. A unanimous decision was made to have a late start on sunday so, after a bacon, steak etc breakfast, we headed back out again, this time I took GB with me. We managed to score 7 more birds with BH and Nick adding a couple more and we ended up with a reasonable total for the weekend.

The rest of the guys headed home about 2pm............I headed in the opposite direction to look over Marks sons new farm. Found it, grabbed the gun and a handful of cartridges and went for a walk. Managed to shoot a pair of Paradise ducks and at the sound of the shots, the 7 dams on the property showed potential by ejecting about 50+ mallards..........I shouted "I will be back" in my best 'Arnie' voice, headed back to the jeep and started the 90 min drive home.

A good weekend full of new memories, good times with good mates and gunsmoke.
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
    Awesome, as usual, Alec! Great stuff to bring in every year.

    FYI - a good way to buy more sleeping space in the boat (if you beat the chainsaw to sleep next time) is using tie-offs for the decoy. Put the decoys in some mesh decoy bags, tie them to the boat with thin twine or rope, and float them until morning. It will buy you back a LOT of real estate.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 14,289 Senior Member
    Good day, I can mail you some ear plugs if the ran out in NZ:)
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 27,561 Senior Member
    That's a mess of ducks!!!
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 18,141 Senior Member
    Nice job! Makes a guy want to start duck hunting again....
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,429 Senior Member
    orchidman wrote: »
    I wonder if all these...............

    opening20weekend20201520003_zpsg3fbu2vs.jpg

    ........will fit in this......................

    opening20weekend20201520005_zpsjs9wijef.jpg

    ........along with ammo boxes, guns, food, gas cooker...........and 2 guys................Oh, don't forget that because of the tide, we have to get to the shooting spot at 10pm fri night.............and will need to sleep in the boat!

    Well, the dekes fit............

    opening20weekend20201520007_zpsofkpzorc.jpg

    .........but there aint much room for anything else, let alone sleeping accommodation...........


    And so it began. Managed to get everything packed in the boat Friday morning........and headed up to Marks early afternoon.

    It is traditional to head into the nearest town ( about 25k away) for an opening eve dinner.......so that's where we ended up at 7pm fri.
    After a large roast pork meal with all the trimmings, we headed back to Marks to finish loading the boats ( 2 boats/4 people) When we had finished loading up, GB ( who normally shoots with me) didn't look too good. His face was white and he felt very nauseous. An hour later he felt and looked even worse. The place where we were headed goes dry at half tide and what worried me was that once the water left there was no way to get him out short of calling for a rescue chopper.
    His son Nick ( who normally shoots with BH in the second boat) decided that he would stay back with his dad while BH and I headed out...........so we swapped some gear between the 2 boats and at 10pm, BH and I headed out onto the harbour.
    Arrived at the shooting spot on high tide ( 10.30pm approx) and then set the 46 dekes in the dark, which freed up some space in the boat.......and then it was a race to see who gets to sleep first.

    Why is it a race you might ask?
    Past experience has shown that the first person to get to sleep normally has a good sleep...........cos with the harbour being still and quiet, the sound of snoring sounds like a runaway chainsaw!

    I lost.....and for the next 3 hrs dozed fitfully....until I couldn't stand the noise anymore. Noting that the tide had gone out a couple of miles, I decided to go for a walk around the island we were parked against...............4 kilometres later, having circumnavigated the island I arrived back at the boat to hear the runaway chainsaw still operating at full throttle............so I walked across the channel to the next island..........and circumnavigated that one as well.

    There was something very satisfying about the walk. There was a little moonlight and stars throwing enough light to see reasonably well so I switched my headlamp off and enjoyed the sights and sounds as I walked. It gave me time to reflect how blessed I was to have opportunities like this to enjoy what nature has provided and to remember past seasons, both good and bad. This was my 54th consecutive year being out on opening day, having started accompanying my Dad since I was 7.

    Anyway, when I got back, it was about 5am.........so I woke up the chainsaw, got the cooker out and fried up some sausages etc. Fresh sausage and cheese sandwiches were followed by a piping hot mug of coffee.........best meal I have had for some time!

    Dawn slowly came and the ducks started flying. we managed to shoot a few before the tide came back in and it was quick work to walk over the mudflats to pick them up. As the tide slowly rose and floated the dekes, the birds kept coming in ones and twos and the tally rose.

    Here are a couple of pics of the decoy setup..............

    Looking to our left...............

    opening20weekend20201520009_zpsymiuvn3p.jpg

    ............and to our right............

    opening20weekend20201520011_zpsv4abi87r.jpg

    When the tide had risen far enough we heard an outboard coming towards us and GB and Nick went into their spot about 1 kilometre away. It was good to see that they had arrived cos it meant GB had recovered enough to come out.

    BH and I had a few misses.............but by the time the tide started dropping we had 19 birds on board..............1 short of our combined limit. ( 10 per shooter)

    I decided to leave the decoys set for the following day, so after retrieving the 2 electronic birds we called it a day and headed over to see how GB had got on. They had managed to get a couple so we packed up and headed back to Marks.

    Here is a pic of some of the days bag...............

    opening20weekend20201520018_zpslmsee0ag.jpg

    When we got back we decided to relax and have a rest............I fell asleep on the charter boat............and woke up 3 hrs later to find that the guys were halfway through plucking the birds. After cleaning and breasting, we headed out to my families 40acre block where we wandered around chasing pheasants.........saw a couple but none were withing range.

    Another 25k drive for dinner and back to the charter boat for a well earned sleep. A unanimous decision was made to have a late start on sunday so, after a bacon, steak etc breakfast, we headed back out again, this time I took GB with me. We managed to score 7 more birds with BH and Nick adding a couple more and we ended up with a reasonable total for the weekend.

    The rest of the guys headed home about 2pm............I headed in the opposite direction to look over Marks sons new farm. Found it, grabbed the gun and a handful of cartridges and went for a walk. Managed to shoot a pair of Paradise ducks and at the sound of the shots, the 7 dams on the property showed potential by ejecting about 50+ mallards..........I shouted "I will be back" in my best 'Arnie' voice, headed back to the jeep and started the 90 min drive home.

    A good weekend full of new memories, good times with good mates and gunsmoke.

    It don't get much better n dat my friend. If I ever get a job and get some money coming in I may get my girl and come see you for a few of those ducks.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • Diver43Diver43 Senior Member Posts: 12,190 Senior Member
    With fantastic report and pics, you are forgiven for being late. Looks and sounds like a great time. Thanks for sharing
    Logistics cannot win a war, but its absence or inadequacy can cause defeat. FM100-5
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 25,146 Senior Member
    Was a great hunt, hey.
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,457 Senior Member
    Looks like all y'all had a great opening weekend! Hope you get a bunch more!

    Regarding that runaway chain saw in the boat. I have heard that is caused by the close quarters sleeping causing the bung hole to get pinched shut tightly, and that causes a vapor lock which causes the snoring. :tooth:
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
    ― Douglas Adams
  • bellcatbellcat Senior Member Posts: 2,040 Senior Member
    Good hustle!, sounds like you needed a little longer nap!

    Thanks for sharing
    "Kindness is the language the deaf can hear and the blind can see." Mark Twain
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