Thursday, July 31, 2008

Halloween Hunt

This takes place many years ago in South Central Oregon. Due east of Crater Lake National Park at a place named Savannah.

It was almost Halloween and Wendy and I headed into Savannah a few days ahead of the boys. Figured we have ourselves a "women's hunt" for a change of pace. Now just getting into the cabin at Savannah can be challenging dependant on rainfall etc. There are no roads to speak of, only an old blazed trail through a marsh seeking solid ground and the occasional high spot. Once we turn off the dirt road it takes us about an hour to travel the last 6 miles to the cabin. Everything must be taken in with us. This includes firewood for the wood stove, our only heat source and plenty of white gas for the Coleman lanterns. We can only get to within about 300 yards of the cabin because of all the water, so we dawn our waders and begin shuttling gear. Ice chests, groceries, sleeping bags, dog food and you know the rest of the list. We leave our shotguns and vests in the truck, cause we'll be going right by it on our way out in the morning. It always feels great to settle in to the cabin and take in the incredible views. From the front porch you can see the rim of Crater Lake, Mt. Thielson and Mt. Scott to the west. South and east is the Silver Lake road going through the Klamath marsh, not that you can identify vehicles or anything. To the n.w. is Yamsey Mt. and the headwaters of the Williamson River.

The next morning we have breakfast, pack lunches for the day and head out to the creek that runs through the property. We actually hunted on a cattle ranch that adjoined our property. The weather was beginning to get cold and a tad bit stormy. Ahh ducky for sure. We set up our decoys in the creek and hunkered in on 1 of the 3 little islands there in the creek. The creek is a slow and meandering waterway. The water is very tanic , murky and a bit pungent.

It wasn't long before we were blazing away and had several birds and on our way to a limit. We had a pair of Canada Geese come in and I got one and Wendy shot the other although it went on a death glide. So we pursued quickly, to no avail after more than 2 hours of searching. We came up empty handed. On our way back to the decoys we crossed the weir (bridge) and looked upstream at what was in our decoys. Something just looked out of place. It was hard to see clearly, as the weather was bearing down on us. Cold rain and a serious wind put a chill in the air. Just as we decided to go back to our set, the birds got up and were coming our way. A few Gadwall and Widgeon and a- a - Black (BOOM) Brant! What? Their supposed to be pelagic and at the coast, not 175 miles inland! We are dumbfounded, as we watched Teak(my Yellow Lab) make the retrieve. Still wondering if it really is what we suspect. . . Yep it was a Black Brant.

Well it's getting on around 3:00 p.m. so we pick up our decoys and start the long walk back to the cabin. A longer walk going back carrying the ducks and geese that we shot. We were still talking about that Brant, and how amazed the boys will be when they hear about it.

By the time we got to the cabin the first snow of the year was upon us. We were tired, hungry and happy to be right where we were. What a great Halloween women's only hunt! The next day the boys arrived and as we figured, they thought we must have mis- identified the Brant. That is until I showed them the head! Jaws dropped.

Women's Hunting Journal Integrity For The Hunt


Tom Sorenson said...

Well, I'll be. Wonder what that poor ol' Brant was doing so far inland - he was probably wondering the same thing about that time, too! Wonderin' where all his buddies were!

Terry Scoville said...

Tom, I did talk to a biologist about the Brant and he thought it got blown off course by a storm and ended up with a flock of Snow Geese. It was the second time in (Oregon) that a Black Brant had been reported inland that far. It didn't taste very good as I suspect because it was off it's usual diet of eel grass and quite stressed. Clearly none of his kin folk in the vicinity!

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