Thursday, November 13, 2008

Wet , Wet , Wet

Along with that Mallard that had the large tumor, I also harvested some fine waterfowl to bring home last week. It was a very wet trip from the beginning. I awoke to the first snow of the year, ugh. There was about 3 to 4 inches on the ground and I figured time to go hunting.

Jet and I arrived at Lowlands early afternoon and unloaded our gear then started a short afternoon hunt. Walked ditches jump shooting and being selective for Drake Mallards primarily. Eventually we made our way to the banks of the Klamath River and had "Tumor Mallard" plus 2 drake Mallards in my game bag. The river was chucked full of Buffleheads, and as much as I enjoy eating them I decided to leave them be.

We were also trying to kick up a Pheasant or two. The club plants 100 male Pheasants a year, well at least most years. So far we had zero Pheasants, let alone not even hearing a single cackle. Ummm, I start to think that maybe the coyotes and raptures got the better of them. Yet that many in only a couple weeks, surely there had to be a few "smart" ones still around. As we near the Willows and head in to the thick cover Jet begins to get a little birdy. I am optimistic and yet we never found a single Pheasant. Those are Jets favorite and she gets more than a bit "glazed" over when Pheasants are in the area. That is her drug of choice for sure. She goes from being this gentle, calm and mild mannered dog into a type A, "don't hear a word your saying" dog on a mission that will yield, only after she flushes that stinky old Pheasant. She is really something and we usually are both grinning ear to ear. Although on this day it was not to be. We wandered back to the cabin with 4 ducks to clean.

The next day it was overcast in the morning, and we headed to the back ditch. We did well, shooting 3 drake Mallards , 1 beautiful mature drake Gadwall and 1 N. Shoveller. The clouds were starting to let loose and the rain was coming down. Got back to the cabin and ate breakfast then cleaned birds. By this time it was snowing hard, big wet flakes that were sticking. I was not happy about that. It was the type of conditions that no matter how good of rain gear you have, you're gonna get wet. If not due to the fact that your gear doesn't breathe well, or wet from the outside in. Take your pick cause that's just the conditions. So we went back out early afternoon for a short walk and got 2 G.W.Teal and 1 N. Shoveller. We were both drenched and happy to get back to our little cabin. That was it for the day, we had our limit. I ate the Teal for dinner and they were delicious. There have been 2 small flocks of Swans flying back and forth across the river, what a sight to see. Not legal in Oregon, yet in Texas they are.

The snow turned to rain late that night and as morning broke the skies dried up for a short time. We hunted the same area as the day before and the results were similar. Shot 3 drake Mallards, 1 hen Mallard and 1 N. Shoveller. It was a short hunt, as I needed to get things cleaned up and head back home. Jet did really well. Her 8 and a half years of experience shined through. Her ability to mark fallen birds and deliver to hand was incredible. She is not as quick as she was, yet neither am I.

Our first hunt of the season was in the books and all went well. Both dog and huntress returned home safe and sound, if only a tad bit sore. My shooting was better than anticipated as was Jet's field work too. By the time we got home the first snow of the year had all but melted and the sun was beginning to peak through the grey skies.

I think it's time to head out again, really! I can hear the marsh calling my name. Catch you in a few days.

Women's Hunting Journal Integrity For The Hunt


Anonymous said...

Those are some real nice looking ducks and I hope you have a great time.

Happy hunting and be safe.

Live to Hunt.... said...

Sounds like a very successful series of hunts indeed! Congrats.

NorCal Cazadora said...

Man, I can hear the marsh too. But I'm spending tomorrow in a wheat field hoping to flush pheasants, and Sunday in a vineyard hoping a turkey will strut my way...

Not really duck weather here anyway. But I'm still very ducky.

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