Friday, December 5, 2008

What's Going On ?

I am sure that I am not alone in my thoughts about the lack of weather this Fall. For central Oregon we are only at one third the typical precipitation amount of 10". Mt. Bachelor is not even open and for the Thanksgiving Holidays they actually trucked in snow to offer a very limited amount of skiing and then closed immediately afterward.

That is making it difficult for both hunter and those animals that are being hunted. The deer and elk are still up high due to lack of snowfall and come down primarily for water. During Elk season it was so dry I couldn't even attempt to bushwhack without alerting every animal within 200 yards of my presence. I stayed on game trails and old logging roads to keep my walking as quiet as possible. The early rain we did have back around late September and early October was just a tease, and is all but a distant memory now.

I sure would like to see some big storms out of the far north start pushing the waterfowl south. I'm talking areas like Northwest Territory, Saskatchewan and then continue to push them out of the Columbia Basin further south. I am cautiously optimistic that we will still see northern birds before the season ends. I have my fingers, toes and whatever else crossed that I can cross. Then when they do arrive, most likely early January I hope there will be open water for them and they'll stay awhile. Reading The Downeast Duck Hunter and The Maine Outdoorsman blogs I am growing increasingly envious of the storms they've been getting. Shoot, and what do we have ? Bluebird weather in December, Oh pleeeze!

When I was in the Klamath basin last weekend there were still White Fronted Geese (aka Specs) flying around. That is unheard of, typically Specs are gone before Thanksgiving in early November. They are not as tolerant to the cold as are Canada Geese. Had I not taken my boat and hunted the Klamath River for divers, I doubt I'd have come home with many birds. As it was even the divers are now decoy shy. My friend Dan and his son Zac were with me and we shot a little over two limits of ducks altogether. Mostly hen Buffleheads, also called "butterballs" for their wonderful plump layer of fat on their breasts. We shot two Scaup, one of each sex and no other divers at all. Not any Redheads, Ring-Necked or Cans. Note that Canvasbacks are completely protected this year, none can be harvested. As for the likes of Goldeneyes(Barrows and Common), well they are known as the harbingers of winter. Once they are in Oregon you know the season is drawing to a close. They are the last to arrive from the far north. They are one of my favorite divers to hunt. They are as tough as they come and you'd better hit them with your whole pattern or say adios! If you cripple one be ready to load and keep loading because they can take a hit. Not only that but they are notorious for diving and not coming back up. They will grab whatever vegetation there is and hang on with their bill and die. I've had that happen more than once and also with Scaup too. Very aggravating to say the least.

Alright all you die hard waterfowlers out there, I am asking you to get involved and start doing your nasty weather storm jig cause we need it big time! Do it before you go to bed and when you wake up in the morning. It can be part of your daily cardio if you like, better yet make it so. I think it is going to take a group effort this year, so times a wastin'. Lets get to wishin' and dancin' for some big ol' nasty, cold and long winded northern storms to come barreling like a freight train into the Pacific Northwest and points south! I want rain, horizontal flurries, frozen rivers, ground fog, and a steady 20 to 30 mph north wind. Does that really seem like I'm asking for to much? I have conditioned myself for those extremes. Both physically and mentally I have prepared myself, just as I have done for the past 30 plus years. Cause when the conditions get really bad the waterfowl hunting gets really good. No doubt us diehards are a breed apart and I would never subject an inexperienced hunter or huntress to such elements. I wouldn't want to lose their interest in waterfowling. There are the fare weather hunters and then there are the rest of us. Some may think we're a half bubble off plumb. Well truth be known, we may well be and wouldn't trade it for nothing!

Women's Hunting Journal Integrity For The Hunt

9 comments:

The Downeast Duck Hunter said...

Terry,
You can have all my cold weather and small craft advisories!!! I'm hoping for some days in the mid-40's and winds light some the southwest... Looks like I might get my wish tomorrow morning as the wind is supposed to die down and the temperatures get above freezing...

DEDH

Tom Sorenson said...

Can't say i'm a die hard waterfowler, but I'll dance a jig...I've been wondering the same thing - I mean it has seriuosly been in the high forties here - unheard of for December - what's more is I got stung by a bee (no lie!!!) on November 29th! Craziness abounds.

Hunter Angler Gardener Cook said...

Boy I hear ya! No ducky weather here in NorCal, either. We had a good hunt in Tule Lake last weekend, though, and I got my first ever drake Bufflehead!

Terry Scoville said...

Thanks DEDH, I'll keep an eye out .
Tom, a bee sting this time of year? Wow we're way off course. Break out the baking soda.
HAGC, congrats on your first Bull Buff! They sure are pretty aren't they? I love Buffleheads, their colors are spectacular and they eat really well too. Have you tried B-B-Q ducks yet?

Kristine said...

I'd be happy to send you some snow. We have lots!

Live to Hunt.... said...

Terry, I've worked up a pair of 6-pack abs doing all the rain dances I can do! As HAGC said, we're high and dry as well. Today went out and the fog was so bad we had to motor out in the boat idle speed watching the GPS not the water/shore - because you couldn't see it! Dry, tule foggy and no wind. Waaaaaa, I want some weather!!!!!

Terry Scoville said...

Thanks Live To Hunt, I think it may be working. Had some sprinkles on my drive home from Klamath today.

The Downeast Duck Hunter said...

Snow yesterday and 13 degrees when I woke up this morning, pushing it west asap... I would say it's officially cold................

Terry Scoville said...

Thanks DEDH, must be taking the northern route as we have our first Arctic storm forecast for this coming weekend!

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