Solo morning.............

orchidmanorchidman Senior MemberPosts: 7,470 Senior Member
Mentioned in my other thread that I was heading out solo this morning to chase ducks. The forecast was updated at 5am to 1.5-2m chop on the harbour with winds gusting to 45knots,torrential rain, squalls, thunderstorms and lightning..........In short, perfect duck hunting weather.
Launched the boat just before first light then spent 30 mins checking, double checking and then triple checking that I had covered every contingency and that everything was tied down while I waited for the sun to shed some light.

Headed down the river into the estuary and was going to head out on the harbour............Being a cautious kind of guy I slowed down as I came around the last river bend before I felt the full force of the weather. ( My 13' Ally boat will top out at over 30knots according to my gps)
As I rounded the last bend before entering the river mouth I was travelling around 10-13 knots. The first wave I hit was approx 1.m high..........the second wave was about 1,5m and as the boat rose to climb over it I was hit on the bow by a gust of wind that I estimated was over 30knots. It lifted the bow off the water until the boat was at about 45deg and completely airborne and I had visions of it going completely over before it crashed back down. My instinctive reaction when I hit the water was to turn hard to starboard and open the throttle wide before I hit the 3rd wave. The boat spun in its own length and climbed the back of the second wave before burying itself into the trough...........and I was back in shelter. I have been out in some gnarly weather many times on the river/harbour but this was something else entirely........

Ok, plan B........( I always have a plan B.......sometimes I just dont know it Lol)

Back up the river about a mile till I found some shelter, out with the decoys and park the boat under the cover of the mangroves.
Was still getting settled and loading the V3 when I hear a raucous quacking from above the dekes.   The V3 spoke twice shattering the peace and quiet and  a brace of ducks ( Drake and Hen) were down on the water.... 

Although the tide was coming in, the torrential rain overnight had swollen the river to the point that it was running against the tide at about 7 knots, so instead of the birds drifting up river, they started heading down towards the harbour. I managed to untie and catch them about 200yds before the last bend in the river........all the while thinking that if they made it around the last bend I wasnt going to poke my nose around the corner to get them.

Back to the decoys and I had just got settled again when I heard the sound of what seemed like a steam train approaching ......and before I could react, the heavens opened with a torrential downpour. By the time I grabbed my rain jacket I was drenched to the skin.......As quickly as it started, it stopped..........and once again I heard a raucous quacking over the decoys.......

The V3 spoke twice more and another pair of ducks joined the first  2 on the transom........after another chase down the river.
As I motored slowly back to the decoys, 2 of the decoys decided to up anchor and make a break for the harbour...........chased them down and collected them ( there was so much weed/debris/logs etc they couldnt cope with the current.) so I picked up all the decoys and reset them in a more sheltered spot with heavier weights, all the while getting drenched again by the next downpour.

The next bird was a Mallard drake........and he was flying in from the harbour in front of yet another squall/downpour at mach 3 with the wind up his tailpipe........I saw him about 300yds out and only had time to snatch the gun up and literally 'throw' the barrel through him and slap the trigger before he disappeared behind a mangrove tree............I reckon I lead him by 30+feet..........and although I didnt see him fall, I heard the splash over the sound of the wind as he crashed into the river stone dead. As I went to pick him up in yet another downpour, the boat felt sluggish to turn.......so I carefully returned to tie up and checked the bilges. ( The floor boards sit about 4-6" above the hull btw) Turned the bilge pump on and the  600gph pump ran for about 2 minutes emptying the boat out. The torrential rain coupled with the water channeling off the mangrove I was parked under, combined to fill the bilges.

Here is a pic I took of the tail of the squall as it headed over the hills


The weather kept alternating between great and terrible ..........as you can see by the next 2 pics

10 minutes later the next squall hit so I hunkered down and waited for it to pass.........then took this next pic.


 

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

Replies

  • Old RonOld Ron Senior Member Posts: 2,316 Senior Member
    Nice bunch there ....good shooting !
    High price to pay for ducks.....until you set down to eat them then it all seems worth while.

  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member Posts: 7,470 Senior Member
    I ended up resetting the decoys about 4 times during the 3 hrs I was out......and had 8 birds in the boat.
    I was thinking that it would pay to pack up before the tide turned as I figured the current would be much stronger so I started tidying up the boat in preparation for pulling the decoys out.

    Nek minit.........a pair of birds appeared over the mangroves on the other side of the river. They were a bit shy and I had to work the caller for about 7-8 minutes while they circled before they decided to come in. When they flared over the decoys I missed the first shot but dropped them both with the 2nd & 3rd shot and  they were ready to pick up........As I untied the boat I realised the tide had turned and now the current was really racing. By the time I got clear of the mangroves and the motor started they were 400yds down river and they beat me around the corner..........I poked the bow out, and the estuary was just a mass of white water. so I decided discretion was the better option and didnt try to retrieve them. I dont like leaving birds and it was the only sour note in an otherwise perfect shoot.

    Getting the decoys out was a mission. I had to drive the boat up to each one, hook its string with the gaff and then wind up the cord frantically while I was swept down river. It took me 40 minutes to pick them all up and I lost the last one as a log dragged it under before I could get to it.
    I climbed out of the boat at the ramp completely wet to the skin and shaking from the cold.

    Was it worth it......Hell yeah!.
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 19,445 Senior Member
    Awesome!!!

    i am inviohs if your opportunities. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member Posts: 7,470 Senior Member
    Old Ron said:
    Nice bunch there ....good shooting !
    High price to pay for ducks.....until you set down to eat them then it all seems worth while.

    Thanks Ron. Duck hunting is one of the most fun things you can do ....with your clothes on.
    I have been hunting that area since I was 7 ( with my dad and a whole bunch of other old timers) and have never lost the passion. This is my 57th year on the water and I am still learning lol.





    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member Posts: 7,470 Senior Member
    Zee said:
    Awesome!!!

    i am inviohs if your opportunities. 
    Thanks Zee.
    I couldnt help thinking today that, while I love going 'solo', I would love to take you and other members here out for a day.
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 1,463 Senior Member
    Not being a duck hunter it sounds like one needs to be part duck and a tuff old bird at that to chase em' down.
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 13,969 Senior Member
    Thanks for the tale....glad you are safe...Duck hunting can certainly have it's moments...
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • ojrojr Senior Member Posts: 692 Senior Member
    edited May 28 #9
    Good Stuff, white knuckle time some of that, glad you didn't have any mishaps.
    No where near as exciting in my part of the country ,thanks be.
    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member Posts: 7,470 Senior Member
    Duck hunting has many facets ojr. Shooting where I do sometimes means you have to really earn your birds.
    I would love to have a large pond, a comfortable maimai, and enjoy a few creature comforts like a bed to have a nap on instead of curling up on the floorboards of my boat............but I enjoy the challenges the territory brings.
    My aching back, not so much lol.
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 23,144 Senior Member
    What a hunt----HEY
    I have a need for speed
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 21,096 Senior Member
    edited May 28 #12
    I used to do all that but I was only like 15-30 years old when I did it, not in my 60s. And when I'd come in from a day of it there was nothing I was interested in but the bed. It was like gut the ducks, wipe the guns down with oil and wash the mud off my body and hit the bed for at least a couple of hours. I don't see how you can do that by yourself at your age. You are one salty ol' ****!!!
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member Posts: 7,470 Senior Member
    edited May 28 #13
    snake284 said:
    I used to do all that but I was only like 15-30 years old when I did it, not in my 60s. And when I'd come in from a day of it there was nothing I was interested in but the bed. It was like gut the ducks, wipe the guns down with oil and wash the mud off my body and hit the bed for at least a couple of hours. I don't see how you can do that by yourself at your age. You are one salty ol' ****!!!
    I aint 'ol................... :) I just look it., and I lied about my age so I could join up here.

    I figure if I dont keep doing it I will stop doing it

    ( good grief, 9am in the morning is too early for deep comments)
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,068 Senior Member
    orchidman said:
    snake284 said:
    I used to do all that but I was only like 15-30 years old when I did it, not in my 60s. And when I'd come in from a day of it there was nothing I was interested in but the bed. It was like gut the ducks, wipe the guns down with oil and wash the mud off my body and hit the bed for at least a couple of hours. I don't see how you can do that by yourself at your age. You are one salty ol' ****!!!
    I aint 'ol................... :) I just look it., and I lied about my age so I could join up here.

    I figure if I dont keep doing it I will stop doing it

    ( good grief, 9am in the morning is too early for deep comments)
    You are right about that - stop doing it for two years, and you may not be able to do it, when the spirit finally moves you to do it again.

    I was dead serious about duck hunting in my twenties and thirties - different from how you hunt them, but physically very taxing. We walked for miles into the roosts, wearing chest waders, walking underwater footlogs, then walking out in the dark, with a load of ducks (mallards, mostly). By the time I was 40, I physically couldn't continue to do it on weekends, and still make it into work on Monday morning, to put out a similar effort for my employer. I found myself taking it easier through the week, so I would be rested up for duck hunting - not a good career path, and my family wouldn't help me eat the ducks (they don't taste as good when somebody else shoots them).

    Anyway, I'm very respectful of your keeping up the tradition for as long as possible.
  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member Posts: 7,470 Senior Member
    bisley said:
    orchidman said:
    snake284 said:
    I used to do all that but I was only like 15-30 years old when I did it, not in my 60s. And when I'd come in from a day of it there was nothing I was interested in but the bed. It was like gut the ducks, wipe the guns down with oil and wash the mud off my body and hit the bed for at least a couple of hours. I don't see how you can do that by yourself at your age. You are one salty ol' ****!!!
    I aint 'ol................... :) I just look it., and I lied about my age so I could join up here.

    I figure if I dont keep doing it I will stop doing it

    ( good grief, 9am in the morning is too early for deep comments)
    You are right about that - stop doing it for two years, and you may not be able to do it, when the spirit finally moves you to do it again.

    I was dead serious about duck hunting in my twenties and thirties - different from how you hunt them, but physically very taxing. We walked for miles into the roosts, wearing chest waders, walking underwater footlogs, then walking out in the dark, with a load of ducks (mallards, mostly). By the time I was 40, I physically couldn't continue to do it on weekends, and still make it into work on Monday morning, to put out a similar effort for my employer. I found myself taking it easier through the week, so I would be rested up for duck hunting - not a good career path, and my family wouldn't help me eat the ducks (they don't taste as good when somebody else shoots them).

    Anyway, I'm very respectful of your keeping up the tradition for as long as possible.
    Thank you my friend. The bones ache and creak at times and I have had to adapt to take into account some of the injuries that are coming back to bite me...........but with perseverance, motivation and experience most of the hurdles can be overcome.........plus painkillers  lol.
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,068 Senior Member
    orchidman said:
    bisley said:
    orchidman said:
    snake284 said:
    I used to do all that but I was only like 15-30 years old when I did it, not in my 60s. And when I'd come in from a day of it there was nothing I was interested in but the bed. It was like gut the ducks, wipe the guns down with oil and wash the mud off my body and hit the bed for at least a couple of hours. I don't see how you can do that by yourself at your age. You are one salty ol' ****!!!
    I aint 'ol................... :) I just look it., and I lied about my age so I could join up here.

    I figure if I dont keep doing it I will stop doing it

    ( good grief, 9am in the morning is too early for deep comments)
    You are right about that - stop doing it for two years, and you may not be able to do it, when the spirit finally moves you to do it again.

    I was dead serious about duck hunting in my twenties and thirties - different from how you hunt them, but physically very taxing. We walked for miles into the roosts, wearing chest waders, walking underwater footlogs, then walking out in the dark, with a load of ducks (mallards, mostly). By the time I was 40, I physically couldn't continue to do it on weekends, and still make it into work on Monday morning, to put out a similar effort for my employer. I found myself taking it easier through the week, so I would be rested up for duck hunting - not a good career path, and my family wouldn't help me eat the ducks (they don't taste as good when somebody else shoots them).

    Anyway, I'm very respectful of your keeping up the tradition for as long as possible.
    Thank you my friend. The bones ache and creak at times and I have had to adapt to take into account some of the injuries that are coming back to bite me...........but with perseverance, motivation and experience most of the hurdles can be overcome.........plus painkillers  lol.
    My personal experience is that old injuries didn't bother me, until I retired. I intended to remain active, but got out of the habit while tending to aging relatives, which kept me very busy, but didn't demand as much physical strength. By the time all of the lingerers went along their natural way, I had established a more sedentary life-style, without even realizing it. I'm trying to get back, now, and I can remember every spill I ever took that my friends thought should have killed me. They may do it, yet.
  • Old RonOld Ron Senior Member Posts: 2,316 Senior Member
    I get up every day & grab my Pepsi & aspirin.  It really does help me forget the pains of the past ......& even the pains of yesterday. I have never been duck hunting.  It looks like fun. Over the years I have quit hunting & just shoot.  I did kill a dozen geese for a friend .......used my 243 & I took there hat racks off. No holes in the meat that way. Not to sporting but fun any way. For my effort he gave me 2 geese & 6 rabbits .
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 17,546 Senior Member
    Sounds like quite the adventure, my friend.

    Glad you didn't flip bow over outboard.
    Probably would have been enough for me to need to leave to change my knickers.

    Like the old Bill Cosby line, "First you say it, then you do it. No matter what happens, you've had an accident"
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


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