Friday, June 27, 2008

Bluebills


Ugh, it's getting hotter by the day. Been splitting firewood for the winter and sweating buckets. Right now I'd give anything to be laying in the snow hunting waterfowl. So I might as well take a break and share a story with you all.

The year was 1988 and the month, December. My friend Willy and I headed out to the Klamath River with his 10' jonboat in the back of his truck. The weather was real nasty, a rainy dark morning with strong winds out of the North. We get to the river dike and unloaded our gear from his truck. Decoys, oars, life jacket, dogs and our chairs. The wind was blowing so hard it was tough to see anything. The river was white capping and had waves about a foot and a half tall or better. Yep, a real ducky day for sure. So Willy drives his truck back towards the fields and parks, and walks back.

As he went to hide his truck it was just getting to be legal light, not that I was able to see very much mind you. Although I did catch a glimpse of a ball of divers flying just above the tops of the waves on the far side of the river, and going with the wind at about 9 - 0 mph. I tossed our gear in the tulle's and hunkered in and tried to find the ducks again against the far bank. I called Teak (my Yellow lab) and got her down off the top of the dike. Then I frantically tossed 2 shells in my gun, all the while trying to keep track of this ball of divers. They crossed the river and were heading back up river on my side. They were closing in fast, hugging the contours of the bank to give them some relief from the headwinds. As they came into range they moved out from the point of land I was on and I had to shoot quickly. I fired once and they all dropped. WHAT?(expletives) I am in total dis belief. I shot once and 6 ducks fell. How can that happen I wondered. Teak was equally baffled and looking at me for direction. I had 2 cripples which I took care of then put Teak to work. Willy is not back yet from parking his rig, and we haven't even got our decoys out yet. I forget about the horizontal rain for a few moments as my focus is on Teak making sure she is safe. The conditions are dangerous for sure.

Willy finally arrives and says "I heard you shoot, did you get anything"? I am still trying to formulate words. I said "Yeah I fired once and 6 dropped" wish you'd seen his expression. Priceless. I said "yep", and then replayed it for him. It actually took him a few minutes to believe me. As Teak retrieved the 6 pack he was starting to believe the evidence. Not only that, but I was actually over my daily limit by 1 duck. They were all Bluebills, and just as plump and round as they could be.

We never did set out decoys, just didn't need them on this particular day. I was shooting back up for Willy til he got his limit, then we headed to the cabin. We were soaked through and through and I had an incredible story to tell my brother. It was the "shot string" which I never knew anything about until that morning. Those divers just flew right into it and I've yet to have it happen again. Those were the days of lead shot, yet I still think my little 20 gauge o/u does just fine. Wouldn't trade it for nothing.

Women's Hunting Journal Integrity For The Hunt

3 comments:

Tom Sorenson said...

Oh man, that's crazy! I was hunting a ditch bank once when a flock of mallards jumped up out of the drainage ditch and I shot - and three of them fell out of the sky! I was pretty shocked and have enjoyed telling that story ever since - but then not only does your story top mine, it doubles mine! Six ducks in one shot - truly a once in a lifetime event! I can imagine the look on Willy's face! :)

NorCal Cazadora said...

That is fantastic!

At my favorite refuge, I spend a lot of time talking to the wardens and staff, and I joke about wanting to be "Holly the Bufflehead Slayer" because they're SO hard to hit. One of the staff told me there was once a guy who went out to one of the more bufflehead-laden ponds, and he fired one shot and dropped seven - which is the limit. Hunt over, gamestrap full of not-so-good-eating birds.

Kristine said...

Wow, I've never heard of something like that happening. It must have been pretty amazing.

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