Its taken 7 years..............

orchidmanorchidman Senior MemberPosts: 7,468 Senior Member
edited May 21 in Hunting #1
......for Mark to recover from his illness to the point where he felt confident to try duck hunting again.
A few years ago I bought a single shot break open 410 for him to practise with and help with his coordination. Since then he has managed to keep the birds out of his orchard although it took him a few years to master its use. ( If you want to know what he contracted, google Guillain-Barre syndrome)

Fast forward to last week when we had a charter for a harbour tour. Managed to get back early on a rising tide so I suggested that it was an ideal time for a test run. He was concerned that he may not be able to control the recoil of a 12g as he doesnt have much feeling/nerves in his hands and arms still.
I set up my spare 1187 with a sling and showed him how to wrap his forearm into it so that if his hand couldnt cope he still retained control using his arm and shoulder. I also bought him a couple of packets of reduced recoil steel in #3 shot.

We launched my duck boat around 3.30pm and headed out onto the harbour. As we exited the river I saw a mob of mallards sitting in a mangrove bay about 400m away..........most of them had their heads tucked in so I headed out into the harbour to get up sun  and then cut the motor so that we could take advantage of the 15-20knot wind and drift into the bay. I seemed to fluke it right as we were blown directly in line with the lowering sun until we were within about 30 yds. ( It took about 15mins)

When the birds finally flushed, I was directly behind Mark as he raised the gun and and saw which bird he had picked out. At the shot I saw the bird flinch but it kept flying. Mark only fired one shot and as he lowered the gun he said something like " I am useless. I dont think I can do this". I let him wallow in self pity for a minute or two without saying anything...........then swore at him and said " Stop being a bloody wanker, do you want to go pick up your duck?"

The drake had continued to fly out over the harbour for about 300yds when I saw it shudder in midflight, fold its wings and crash into the water.

He didnt believe me so I started the outboard and motored over, picked up the drake, handed it to him and said "Welcome back:".

For the next 2 hrs I couldnt get a word in as he spoke nonstop about the shot and what it meant to him to be able to go chasing ducks again.
We continued around to one of my 'honey spots' and set the decoys...........but it seemed the hunting gods had done enough for the day and gone to sleep. ( They probably got bored with Mark retelling the story of the shot lol)

Here is the happy hunter. ( He hates having his pic taken btw but I told him I needed to record the smile on his face)


  Took these pics as we watched the sun go down on a great day............

More to come about our second outing on sunday.........
Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....

Replies

  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member Posts: 7,468 Senior Member
    edited May 21 #2
    Mark rang me at least 6 times over the last week wanting to know when we were going out to chase ducks again.
    Unfortunately I ate something that disagreed with me last sunday and ended up with a severe case of gout..........and then I managed to twist my back out and pinched the sciatic nerves which left me crippled. Fri I managed to get to a doc who prescribed all sorts of pills. Both charters were cancelled on sat and sun due to expected storms which didnt eventuate so on sunday I headed up to take Mark out again. The gout had almost gone and although my back was still tender I figured if I took it easy I would be ok.........WRONG!!!

    Got to Marks and went to hook the boat on to the jeep.........twisted slightly and the resultant pain dropped me to the ground. Took another couple of pain killers and anti inflammatorys and managed to get the boat launched without problems. BH launched at the same time so we headed out onto the harbour. I decided to head to a spot we hadnt shot for a few years but due to the tide we had to travel in a huge circle to avoid the sand banks. After 30 minutes of being pounded by the small chop my back/legs were on fire but we managed to get set up in a sheltered bay.

    Lots of birds flying around but they were wary and suspicious and didnt decoy well. Finally a mob of about 8 came in to within 35yds so I told Mark to 'go'. He swung up on a drake and dropped it clean. I was too busy watching him to make sure everything went well and didnt notice a female mallard had landed in the dekes......... when I saw mark was ok I swung around and as she got up I dropped her with one shot.( More about her later)

    BH managed to score as well so we had 3 birds down. Once again Mark started talking nonstop about his shot lol.........
    He was talking so much I didnt hear the sound of wings over my head until it was almost too late...........but a quick snap shot from my V3 dropped the tail end drake into the decoys.

    Things got quiet for about an hour so I decided to move before the wind got up.

    Btw, some of you may remember some pics I took a few years back of the property next door to where we were culling birds and the artwork that the millionaire owner had installed in his paddocks........Well, there is another addition to the skyline.


    Its the white thing poking up above the skyline. If you want a closer look at it go to http://www.gibbsfarm.org.nz/artworks.php

    We headed back along the harbour which now had about a 2-3 foot chop which didnt make my back feel any better and set up in the lee of one of the mangrove islands. I went with a minimalist decoy spread, 6 + a Roboduck on the basis that at this stage of our season the birds would be wary of big mobs of birds on the water. ( I carry about 45-50 dekes in the boat). I also decided to keep calling to a minimum.

    It was a good call as the birds seemed to decoy much more readily, at times without the need for a call. Mark fired a a few shots but as the birds were passing through, he didnt manage to connect on any. BH managed to get another 2 and I managed another 5 which gave the 3 of us 11 birds for the afternoon.

    What made the day interesting was the 'blonde' I picked up.and took home for dinner...........This was the bird that landed when mark shot his drake.

    Here is a pic of her.

    She is a Khaki Campbell/Mallard cross with a bit of Indian Runner duck in her dna. Reason I can tell she has some Indian Runner in her is because her legs are set slightly further back on her body. ( Indian Runner ducks walk upright and dont waddle like normal ducks.) She has the typical mallard face/head stripe, Khaki Campbell feather colouring making her look decidedly 'blonde'.

    Dressed them out tonight and she is the 2nd from the right in the bottom row.


    Figured that my back would make me pay today and I wasnt wrong.............
    However I have got 4 more days for it to come right before next weekends charters I guess.

    Oh and I need to do a range report on how the Remington V3 is going. Maybe tomorrow as it hurts to sit at the computer for anything more than about 10 minutes..........
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
  • Big ChiefBig Chief Senior Member Posts: 31,699 Senior Member
    Great story and all the best for Mark to continue his recovery. Let him know he is in my prayers.

    Congratulate him on whacking some of Daffy Duck's distant cousins from me.

    Watch that back of yours, I feel your pain having a herniated disc myself.

    It's only true if it's on this forum where opinions are facts and facts are opinions
    Words of wisdom from Big Chief: Flush twice, it's a long way to the Mess Hall
    I'd rather have my sister work in a whorehouse than own another Taurus!
  • earlyagainearlyagain Posts: 1,451 Senior Member
    Now he's back to being a duck hunting wanker.👍
  • Old RonOld Ron Senior Member Posts: 2,310 Senior Member
    Ditto what the top 2 said !
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 16,554 Senior Member
    Goddess Mother, what an ugly disease - I googled that. Great, GREAT job getting him out in the field again! Is he likely to see further recovery or has he more or less "leveled off"?
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    My Karma ran over your Dogma!
  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member Posts: 7,468 Senior Member
    zorba said:
    Goddess Mother, what an ugly disease - I googled that. Great, GREAT job getting him out in the field again! Is he likely to see further recovery or has he more or less "leveled off"?
    He has 'levelled' off. He still has trouble walking due to no feeling from his knees down and while he can use his hands and fingers he doesnt have much feeling in them, but he was one of the most severe cases the docs over here had ever seen and wasnt expected to survive. He spent over 14 weeks in intensive care on complete life support before he finally came out of it. The doctors were near to 'pulling the plug' on him.........Thats another whole story.
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 16,554 Senior Member
    Wow.
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    My Karma ran over your Dogma!
  • Diver43Diver43 Senior Member Posts: 7,873 Senior Member

    Your buddy Mark sure is no quitter!! Bravo for him for all the hard work and you also for being there for him.

    Logistics cannot win a war, but its absence or inadequacy can cause defeat. FM100-5
  • jaywaptijaywapti Senior Member Posts: 4,236 Senior Member
    Good to hear he is doing better and is up and around, since i had never heard of Guillain Barre i also looked it up, I cant imagine living with that, glad the docs didnt pull the plug on him. keep us posted on his progress.

    JAY
    THE DEFINITION OF GUN CONTROL IS HITTING THE TARGET WITH YOUR FIRST SHOT
  • Wambli SkaWambli Ska Moderator Posts: 26,665 Senior Member
    orchidman said:
    zorba said:
    Goddess Mother, what an ugly disease - I googled that. Great, GREAT job getting him out in the field again! Is he likely to see further recovery or has he more or less "leveled off"?
    He has 'levelled' off. He still has trouble walking due to no feeling from his knees down and while he can use his hands and fingers he doesnt have much feeling in them, but he was one of the most severe cases the docs over here had ever seen and wasnt expected to survive. He spent over 14 weeks in intensive care on complete life support before he finally came out of it. The doctors were near to 'pulling the plug' on him.........Thats another whole story.
    Absolutely priceless that you get to hunt with your buddy again!!!  So happy for both of you!
    "Attack rapidly, ruthlessly, viciously, without rest, however tired and hungry you may be, the enemy will be more tired, more hungry. Keep punching." General George S. Patton
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 19,443 Senior Member
    Most excellent of you and him. 
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • 1965Jeff1965Jeff Senior Member Posts: 1,560 Senior Member
    He is lucky to have you, kudos to you both. Great hunting and shooting for you guys , hope your back gets back in shape, that is rough.
  • NNNN Senior Member Posts: 23,134 Senior Member
    Good hunting with him in the future.
    I have a need for speed
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 6,861 Senior Member
    Pretty amazing work you’ve done to restore this man’s confidence.  Many blessing on both of you!
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member Posts: 7,468 Senior Member

    Six-Gun said:
    Pretty amazing work you’ve done to restore this man’s confidence.  Many blessing on both of you!
    Its all down to him as far as progress. All I do is try to encourage and help with the details..
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member Posts: 7,468 Senior Member
    Did an afternoon run up to take Mark out on the paddocks after Paradise ducks.
    Weather was crap. Mark scored again on a nice Paradise Drake after missing the first 2 birds that came in. We ended up with 5 birds for the time we spent.

    Interesting event at 5,30pm. Heard some Canadas honking.. saw 6-7 flights go over about 2 paddocks away flying with a 30-40knot tailwind. 5 mins later they came back against the wind and tried to land in the paddock next to us.

    Going back tomorrow afternoon with goose decoys to give them a fright..........But before that it will be an early start tomorrow, Doing a solo onto the harbour first thing in the morning. BH cant make it and with 30-45knot westerlies and 1.5m chop Mark wont be able to take the pounding we will get in my 13' ally boat. It will be interesting...................
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 9,805 Senior Member
    Be careful hey, solo sounds dangerous in those winds and waves, you have a SE shoot to attend next year, don't forget..
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 6,861 Senior Member
    Oh, man...if he scores a goose...
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • knitepoetknitepoet Senior Member Posts: 17,537 Senior Member
    Once again you show why I am proud to call you my friend
    Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates, Rule #37: There is no “overkill”. There is only “open fire” and “I need to reload”.


  • bisleybisley Senior Member Posts: 10,067 Senior Member
    Mark is truly blessed to have your friendship. Best wishes for both of you, in all that you do.
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