Well, I can say I defnitely had a good time. That's the most important part right? I didn't limit out, but that's hardly ever a goal for me. Honestly, I can't eat that much duck...mercury or not
I didn't really believe my buddy when he told stories of how many folks and how much shooting would occur...I should've. As he had predicted, the opening salvo was fired at 0750 and a barrage of unheard of proportions happened for the next solid half-hour. I doubt if that much ammo was expended during the Tet offensive. I couldn't have shot early if I wanted too, I was awestruck.
I also didn't believe anyone would take the time to walk as far as we had, but about 7:30 in the morning, some "pass shooters" persevered in order to make it to about 100 yards away from our decoys. Although it cost us ducks, we got some good laughs out of their skybusting efforts. I mean this was the kind of shooting where your normal skybuster would look at them and go "wow, that one was really out of range...that's embarassing". Eventually they ran out of shells, or got tired of us making fun of them, and left. After that, we had a really good time with the occasional bird actually decoying. We ended up with a few teal, a couple of mallards, and one red head. A pretty decent mixed bag.
My buddy has a young lab who's hunting for the first time this year. It was a great experience for her. He walked her out on the first few retrieves and then the light bulb went off over her head. She made a couple of solo retrieves and found a couple of ducks in the tules that we would've never found. It's awesome to see that.
Only saw a couple of geese, so the addition of the goose floaters to my spread was only a confidence measure for the ducks. Hopefully they'll contribute in a different way at a later date because they sure increase the load!
Hope everyone had as much fun as I did and had a safe hunt.
I've been around enough to know that the crowds and the skybusting will decrease as the season progresses. Now, we just hunker down and pray for arctic cold fronts. Overall, I was impressed with the number of ducks and look forward to many more hunts in Utah.