Fun Visit Home

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Fun Visit Home

Postby zkalinowski » Thu Jan 09, 2014 12:09 am

Well I'm heading back to the valley soon after a fun trip visiting friend's and family on the North Coast. My dad and I decided to learn to use his bright orange canoe to kill some ducks, and man was it a blast. Ended up averaging just over a 2 bph average for our three hunts, wound up with 15 birds total. Not a lot of birds, and not a great average, but man what an experience. The first hunt we decided to go up a back slough and find some puddlers, right off the bat my dad was up to shoot and we flushed some spoons, he knocked down one drake, but it wasn't dead and found its way into the trees. Frustrating start. My turn. We went a while without seeing anything, but finally flushed up a teal, which I whiffed on, oops. Little ways up the slough and another miss on another (or maybe the same) teal, I was definitely giving my dad a workout. We went all the way to the end of the slough and flushed some more ducks, just out of range. I offered to paddle us out of the slough and my dad gladly obliged. Once we got back in the main river I was up to bat again. We head around the bend and see a few bufflehead sitting with what I thought were some coot. Upon further examination I realized they were scoter, so we decided to make an approach on a bird I hadn't harvested in years, we got to about 30 yards and they bunched up nice, a sluece was tempting but the sportsman in me let them jump, one shot two down, one miss and another down on the third shot. Nice. Paddled up the river a ways and saw another scoter flying down at us. My dad harvested it and it was game over for that hunt. Next hunt rolls around and we decide to try to set up in the back slough for the morning shoot. A few teal came in the decoys before shoot, but they were gone by first light. After about 30 minutes it was apparent it had been hunted since our last hunt. We moved up a little hoping for more luck, but no dice. A flock of about 20 teal landed just around the bend from us, and the stalk was on. I decided to approach from land and soon got about 40 yards away. There was no way I could get closer and there were a ton of shorebirds in with the larger group of teal so I decided to concentrate on a few stragglers on the outskirts. One shot, one drake greenwing down. I'll take it. We decided to leave the slough after that and we soon got into the main river and a hen bufflehead decided to tempt my dad, it was a mistake. He harvested her and once again it was my shot. We paddled out a ways and soon had a few teal flying at the speed of sound right at us, I drew and by some miracle dumped a hen. We paddled out towards the ocean and found huge rafts of wigeon and pintail. There was no approach for a bright orange canoe, but it was still awesome watching them. After a while of waiting for a few stragglers to give us shots we decided to call it. On the way back in I realized that four hen spoons I had seen before had not moved and decided I would get my dad on them, he said he wouldn't shoot a hen spoon, but I knew it was all talk. He made a nice shot and we had another four bird day. Today was our final day hunting together of the season and it was a memorable one. On the AM paddle out we were able to spotlight 30 or so fresh steelhead sitting near shore, I really wish I had money for my fishing license, it would've been a phenomenal cast and blast. We threw out decoys and hoped for the best, but no dice. We paddled and paddled trying to find some birds, but they seemed to be more skittish of our lovely orange vessel. Around 10 AM we decided it was a pain to paddle against the outgoing tide and beached ourselves on a sandbar with a large log. About an hour after we set up a flock of wigeon came from behind, I jumped up, one shot, one kill, a nice drake. My dad was not so lucky. We were blessed to see a large flock of 80-90 sprig cup up about 80 yards in front of us. Would've liked to harvest one, but it was still an awesome sight. The wigeon bounced around, but didn't give us any good shots. We decided to move once the tide turned. Soon thereafter my dad harvested another hen butterball. I'm beginning to see a pattern here. It was my go. A ways up river we see some honkers looking like they want down with some cacklers behind them. the honkers flare and the cacklers go another way, or so we thought, we look over to see a flock of about 30 flying about 10 yards off the water right at us. They come in range and my dad starts shooting, my gun goes click. Damn. Gotta love Mossberg. My dad knocked down one nice aleutian. After that we noticed a lot of birds were moving along a small slough and decide to set up in the mouth. Within about 20 minutes a flight of four spoons flies out at us, they flared and my dad said "They're still in range.", he was right and I don't discriminate. Knocked one hen down which took longer to chase than I'd care to admit. Some birds start going down in an inlet across the slough and my dad decides to try to jump them. He put on a good sneak, put his gun up, and fired, I could tell it was a sluece, but when you work for the stalk, I see no shame in that. He managed to kill a drake wigeon and gadwall with that shot. Nice. We decided to set up on the log that he hid behind on his stalk. A few buffles flew by, but we were running out of shells and weren't too stoked on the buffles anymore. Soon thereafter we both see a teal up in at about 30 yards, I draw and fire and see my pattern hit behind it, my first thought was "Darn, too high.", but turns out it was just right, one pellet through the throat made for a nice clean kill. We decided to call it, it was cold and we left my dog in the back yard. All in all a fantastic trip, also had one slolo afternoon hunt that produced three hen teal, but nothing near as memorable as these three trips. Always cherish the memories of hunting with your loved ones. Hope some of you enjoy reading this novel as much as I enjoyed writing it :wink:
IMG_0605b.jpg
My final pile for the trip minus the scoter
IMG_0603a.jpg
Our birds on day 3
IMG_0601a.jpg
My scoters from day 1
All your spoonies are belong to us
zkalinowski
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Posts: 186
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Re: Fun Visit Home

Postby sprigpig1 » Thu Jan 09, 2014 1:03 am

Nice story and nice shooting. In my opinion all ducks are trophys, but do you realize what you have sitting under that Aleutian in the middle pic ? Appears to be a storm widgeon.. Pretty rare.
"suppose you were an idiot; and suppose you were a member of congress, But I repeat myself".- Mark Twain

"Go to heaven for the climate , go to hell for the company".- Mark Twain
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Re: Fun Visit Home

Postby zkalinowski » Thu Jan 09, 2014 1:09 am

sprigpig1 wrote:Nice story and nice shooting. In my opinion all ducks are trophys, but do you realize what you have sitting under that Aleutian in the middle pic ? Appears to be a storm widgeon.. Pretty rare.

Its just the picture, its actually the same wigeon as is in the top picture, just weird lighting. I wish!
All your spoonies are belong to us
zkalinowski
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Posts: 186
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2011 3:00 pm

Re: Fun Visit Home

Postby sprigpig1 » Thu Jan 09, 2014 1:13 am

Oh ok..still a nice pile bud
"suppose you were an idiot; and suppose you were a member of congress, But I repeat myself".- Mark Twain

"Go to heaven for the climate , go to hell for the company".- Mark Twain
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Re: Fun Visit Home

Postby OGblackcloud » Thu Jan 09, 2014 7:23 am

Nice post :thumbsup:
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Re: Fun Visit Home

Postby zkalinowski » Thu Jan 09, 2014 10:19 am

Thanks guys! It was a blast.
All your spoonies are belong to us
zkalinowski
hunter
 
Posts: 186
Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2011 3:00 pm


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