Excerpt from my 2012 Hunt Log.
Dec 21 Thursday 20° 1” of new snow! 30mph NW wind. Shoot time is 7:20. The roads are icy and the front axle isn’t locking in 4HI, so it takes a long time for Mark B. and me to get to ________. No tracks in the snow, and we park. Go to the same spot as Tuesday and set out 18 mallards. Its 7:23 and we haven’t even gotten loaded up and a greenhead is over the decoys. By the time I get a shell in the chamber, he’s gone. Immediately a flock of teal (wigeon?) come from the right and are landing in the decoys. I shoot but am not sure if any are down. (still dark) The next 20 minutes are chaotic! (no time to record) The Gold is not closing the bolt after the first shot; I could have two more birds if it was functioning…
7:25 A dozen mallards are just over the decoys, from the right. 1 shot – miss. 2 shot out on the right – DOW floating close to the near bank. I pick up the mallard hen later. Mark drops a 30yard high suzie out of a flock of about 5 that go over even higher than the suzie. It floats down the pond, stopping at the dam.
7:30 Three mallards go downstream, turn and come back 20yards up over the decoys. 1 shot – miss. 2 shot – feet up in the snow in front of us. Mallard drake. Mark gets another.
7:35 Half a dozen shovelers come right in from downstream. 1 shot – miss. 2 shot – DOW in the thin line of vegetation. Immature Shoveler drake. I thought Mark dropped one also, but never found it.
8:30 Out of nowhere, a greenhead and a drake GW teal are on the water right in front of us. I stand up, Mark hasn’t seen them. I yell and wave my arms, finally the mallard jumps. 1 shot – down on the left, 2 shot – sluice, 3 shot – sluice. I rush up the bank and then down and pick up the mallard drake. It’s slowed considerably, and we decide to give it until 9:30.
9:20 Suddenly, three mallards are backpeddling right in front of us! I shoot at the drake on the left – DOW. Gun fails to go into battery, I rack it but Mark kills the second drake as the hen climbs to safety. That’s enough, we’re done! Both mallard drakes are feet up in the decoys. A fitting end, and another very sweet hunt on ______. It’s windy and cold, but so very enjoyable.