Well, I hit Rend this morning. Wasn't about to head north with everyone else so i took my chances out on the main lake near the refuge. Today was one big lesson. Lesson 1) opening morning at Rend in the open hunting area there isn't much competition, especially if you head south instead of north with everyone else. Only three trucks in the parking lot when I got there around 2 am and from what I saw four or five other boats were launched at the ramp I used. Not too bad. Lesson 2) A motor that ran great in warm weather may not run all that great in cold weather. A 30 horse that was running like a 9.9 is pretty frustrating. Lesson 2) Even though you get there plenty early and get your choice spot and have everything set-up just right, doesn't mean some jacka** won't come in later and screw things up. At 4 am everything was set perfectly. At 5:30 an old man, his son and his grandson come walkin in through the woods and decide to set-up no more than 100 yards from me. I walked over and the guy started in with " I don't want any trouble buddy! I'm here to kill ducks and you're here to kill ducks so let's leave it at that." I told him I was concerned about gettin shot (if they were stupid enough to shoot at a duck between us then I have a feeling I would have felt it). To which he replied, "Hey we're well over 200 yards from ya and besides we're only going to shoot at ducks that are close anyway." I played a little football and I know how long 100 yards is and they were that close. But since I had no other option, I went back to my boat and cussed em for hours. (If anyone has a suggestion as to what I could have done, short of starting either a shouting match or a shooting match, I'd love to hear it) They by no means busted ducks off of me and they did shoot more than I did, but this has nothing to do with it. I have never walked in on someone and set-up that close. If someone is where I wanted to be I moved on, it's that simple! Lesson 3) Always check the weather and find out where the wind will be blowing from and how hard it's gonna be blowing. That wind was howlin out of the north and I was facing straight into it with nothing but open lake between it and me. It was brutal! Lesson 4) When you are heading against the wind when it is that rough a 9.9 is about as much as ya want. So for this I was thankful for the motor not running right.
I saw quite a few birds flying around the refuge, but most just flew around and then settled back in. Saw quite a few teal and spoonies and mallards at a distance. Didn't see a single canada, but quite a few snows and a handful of specks. Grand total: No ducks killed and only two shots taken at a goldeneye that decided to swim by. But, like I said, the day was one big lesson and for that I'm thankful for.
Vegetarian- Indian word for lousy hunter.