Duck Runner and I went over to Freezeout yesterday in hopes of finding a few of the remaining swans. First we had to locate some open water, of which there was very little. We were into mallards right away and saw some swans but couldn't get close enough to jump shoot them. We had to resort to jump shooting as it would be all but impossible to predict where we might get a pass shot. After some serious walking and many greenheads and a few near missed opportunities at swans the day was nearly over. We had witnessed a mallard put down in a little piece of water that was perfect for jumpshooting. Just as we were about to crest a rise and try to jump the mallard Duck Runner said "swan, swan". I backed away a little and we discussed the fact that there was at least one swan about 30 feet from where we were standing, it had looked right at him but was unphased by our presence. We crept up on the high bank and there were about 10 swans that got up as fast as they could. Duck Runner shot first and as soon as I saw his fall I picked out a good looking bird and crumpled it with one shot, BBB, to the head. Both died easily and should have considering that we were above them and 25 feet away. It was not the way either of us wanted to kill a bird, I wanted to see one fall from up high, but our tactics worked and I don't think we would have filled the tags any other way. My dog was a little hesitant to pick one up from dry land and carry it across the water but she eventually did it.
Both of our birds are juvenilles probably weighing in around 15-18lbs. Having read that those are the best eating we both picked younger looking ones, though I mostly picked the best one I could shoot at and not hit any others.
On the swan hunt I also got my first banded bird, a greenhead that was double-banded with a reward band which says it is void after 8/06. Both bands are very well worn so it will be cool to find out when it was banded. We shot nothing but green and got 10 nice ones and had plenty of missed opportunities at more.