Tell us about your favorite hunt 2012

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Tell us about your favorite hunt 2012

Postby EcatMagoo » Thu Jun 13, 2013 4:59 pm

My favorite hunt of 2012 was a late October hunt in Central Kansas. I have three boys ages 7,8,9 and this year I took each one individually on a duck hunt. On this morning it was my 9 year olds turn to come along. The forecast was calling for 50-60 degrees and heavy rain throughout the morning.

I don't know about you guys but I am actually more excited when I see rain in the forecast. As I shared the predicted weather with my boy he was surprised to learn we would be hunting as scheduled no matter how much it was raining.To me rain means two things. One, the number of hunters in the marsh will be reduced by 85% and two, the hunt will seem like more of an adventure than normal.

The alarm went off around 3:00 and as scheduled we popped out of bed to hear rain pounding the roof of the camper. My father and I looked at each other and without a word shared the thought, "Can the boy handle this?" The boat ride in was a short one and the rain had seemed to let up a bit. We were hunting a typical central Kansas Marsh. Shallow water, less than knee deep, no trees, and an open view for miles in all directions.

We ran about getting all the decoys set perfectly and our blinds ready to conceal. We still had 30 minutes until shooting time. The larger ducks were still north so we expected it would be another blue wing teal hunt. It was about this time the rain turned from a light sprinkle to a hard downpour. The boy was starting to look a little miserable so I offered him all of my extra clothing and watched him lying on the ground under a pile of jackets. I heard him mumbling and could vaguely hear him complaining about how awful it was and how much he hated it. I thought I even heard some statement about how he didnt want to be a duck hunter. I looked at my father and said, "He will be alright."

As night turned to day the little blue jets started to zip around but as usual we waited until we could get a good view of the targets. About sunrise the show really heated up. Flock after flock of 8-25 teal streaked in and out of our decoys. The action was fast and furious. After about the third flock came in and another couple of teal were dropped my boy stood up and yelled, "Forget everything I said about hating this!! This is the coolest thing ive ever seen!!! I LOVE THIS!!!" I looked again at my father and with a big smile gave him a wink.

We ended the hunt with a two man limit in an empty marsh. What a day!! A limit, an empty marsh, and a son now hooked on ducks.
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Re: Tell us about your favorite hunt 2012

Postby cyoung24 » Fri Jun 14, 2013 10:15 pm

Nice story Ecat. My son isn't quite 2 yet so no hunting with him yet but I can't wait. He is already nuts about ducks and loves watching it on tv. He loves to fish too he held is first bass over Memorial Day weekend.

I probably had two favorite hunts from last season. The first was a youth goose hunt with a friend of mine that runs a hunt club. He donated a hunt to my DU chapter and I got to tag along. Seeing the 2 kids shoot their first goose with their dads was pretty neat.

My other favorite was on the last day of duck season. I slept in after getting up really early to drive 2 hours for a goose hunt the day before. I got the the marsh at about 11am and it was warm and windy. To my surprise there was only 2 othe groups in the whole unit. I wasn't expecting much with the weather the way it was and the lack of people made it seem like it was pretty slow, but I put the boat in anyways and headed out. As I got deeper into the marsh I started hearing ducks but I thought it was someone calling but it kept getting louder. As I went deeper (I'm walking the boat now) I noticed that it was ducks on the water so I headed towards them seeing about 50 on the water. The ones I can see flush when I get about 100 yards away then suddenly about a thousand or more erupt from behind them that were hidden in the grass. The sight and sound of them flushing was worth the trip. I figure this must be the X so I get set up. I couldn't have asked for a better spot the grass blended perfect with my layout boat and I couldn't even pick it out while setting decoys. After setting up the action to my surprise was fast and furious. The strong wind along with being perfectly hidden was putting the ducks feet down practically at the nose of the boat. I bagged three drake mallards in the first hour after several misses. It then slowed a bit and I shot a another drake after a bit of a lull. I then had a group of over a hundred pintails work me but wouldn't come in. This figures because I hadn't shot a pintail all season. I probably missed 10 throughout the season. I've shot many in the past but for some reason they had eluded me all season. Finally after another lull and my wife calling and asking if I was gonna be home for dinner I get a single drake mallard come in that would finish my mallard limit. As I'm getting ready to raise up to shoot while he's hovering at 10 yards I notice a group closing in fast and they're on the deck under the wind. Thinking there might be a bonus duck in the group I let the one land and wait for the group to come in. The flock had about 20 birds in it and they are no more than 10 feet off the water and being led by that one overly eager bird. As the lead bird approaches the decoys I can't tell the species. He then gets into my shooting hole, drops his gear and flares to land, at that moment I see a sillohete of a sprig. Instantly I raise up and shoot dropping him in one shot. I was so excited to finally bag my first pintail of the season I forget to shoot the mallard that landed earlier that would have finished my limit. After picking him up I figured this was a great way to end the season so I packed it up and headed home one duck short of a limit, I even made it home I time for dinner with the family. I've shot pintails in the past even bigger ones but this one was probably my most memorable one so I had huim mounted. Can't wait til this season, hope everyone's having a good summer, cheers!
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Re: Tell us about your favorite hunt 2012

Postby EcatMagoo » Fri Jun 14, 2013 11:44 pm

Thanks for sharing... love to hear about moments like that!! :thumbsup:
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Re: Tell us about your favorite hunt 2012

Postby labs4me » Fri Jun 21, 2013 1:44 pm

2012 was a great year for me--I am blessed with a son that enjoys hunting almost as much as I do and an understanding wife that allows those "occasional" hooky days from school. And of course, a lab that is always ready to roll when he sees camo anything.

It was late October and I had been watching a storm front roll across Nebraska, usually a good sign for a push of new birds into KS. Mom gave the go ahead for a day off from school, and we were off ! Very early morning to ensure that we were on the X with this popular mid central Kansas spot. We did have to bust some ice but ironically enough we were almost alone on this Monday and got set up early enough for a fitful nap while dreaming of what might come.

Daylight didn't bring the rush of birds that we had hoped for but we resisted temptation with the "little" ducks that wanted to land. My dog looked at us like we were crazy, but something just felt right for one of THOSE days. About an hour in we had our first small flock and it was obvious that they were new birds. One circle and feet down into the decoys. After that it was flock after flock of mallards. Some that came out low, others that we had to pull down out of the clouds, but they worked well and with only a few other courteous hunters in the area it was possible to wait until just the right time to rise up and pick the shots. My son was even helping me pick green (I have been known to make mistakes) and it didn't take long to build our bag of birds. The last couple of flocks were pretty big and with all of those eyes, it took a bit to bring them into the pocket, but it was awesome seeing them circle overhead and be able to work them through several passes. I can close my eyes still see the sun shining on the green heads, white wing undersides and grey bellies ! My neck was hurting with all of the twisting and I about swallowed the cigar a couple of times, but it was all worth it.

We did end the morning with our greenheads, but that wasn't the best part. Being out with my son, the dog working very well and a hunting plan coming together set this day up for the memory banks, for sure. It's all good, but some days are just a bit more special than others.

Some day while I am in my rocking chair, the ducks will have been bigger and the shots better, but for me the "good old days" are still here !! Only 5 more months until we get to do this again !!
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Re: Tell us about your favorite hunt 2012

Postby EcatMagoo » Fri Jun 21, 2013 6:48 pm

love it!
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Re: Tell us about your favorite hunt 2012

Postby cyoung24 » Fri Jun 21, 2013 7:46 pm

Great story. Great first post. Don't be a stranger.
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Re: Tell us about your favorite hunt 2012

Postby mudpack » Sat Jun 29, 2013 11:12 am

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.
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