Opening Day!

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Opening Day!

Postby Outdoor Gal » Mon Oct 13, 2008 12:22 pm

Well, this past Saturday was the opening day and it sure turned into an interesting one.

While scouting I found a great pond full of mallards and woodies tucked away from some higher pressured area. This is public land, so we always have a lot of competition. We got up at 3:30am on Saturday morning, met my father-in-law and uncle at the parking area and headed into our spot. My husband carried a kayak in partially, and then paddled in to set up the spread, while the rest of us hiked in. We had GPS'd the route in the night before, because of some really nasty brush that we had to get through in the dark.

We got set up and then waited. A few minutes before shooting light, we heard the gunfire start in the distance and then it just rolled from the south to the east to the north, is was something. And we waited. A few mallards had landed, but it was still awfully dark and we couldn't really distinquish hens from drakes, but about ten minutes after we heard the first barrage of gunfire the greenheads just started pouring in! It was awesome! I brought the gun up, pulled the trigger, missed, pulled the trigger again and nothing. My gun had jammed! :mad: GAH!!!!!!!!! At least the guys got some good shooting in. Unfortunately, they all dropped hens on their first shots. lol. Whoops. They had to be really careful the rest of the day, we're only allowed on hen mallard a day in Michigan.

Eventually, Joe got my gun unloaded but the bolt was stuck and it was inoperable. Throughout the morning he did give me his Citori to use while he paddled around picking up fallen birds, but I never got another shot of with it. I tried a couple times, but it's way too long and I kept getting the stock hung up in my jacket. :no: Oh well, that's the way it goes, right? It was still an awesome morning. It was my uncle's first duck hunt and he dropped three mallards. Joe ended up with 2 mallards and 2 woodies, and his dad had a mallard and woodie. We didn't limit out, but that's the best mallard shooting we've had since we started duck hunting last fall. All our homework was definately worth it!

Now, for my gun. Joe and his dad stripped it down and reassembled it that afternoon and it seems okay now. I'm going to take it to the range later this week, to make sure it's cycling things ok. I'm not sure what happened. I haven't had any problems while shooting clays, and I even had it checked by a gunsmith because I bought it used and it was given a clean bill of health. :huh:
2009 Season Totals
2 - Baby boys

"Any woman who does not thoroughly enjoy tramping across the country on a clear, frosty morning with a good gun and a pair of dogs does not know how to enjoy life." ~ Annie Oakley
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Postby crewchief252 » Mon Oct 13, 2008 12:48 pm

Nice to find a spot like that, especially on public land, sorry about the gun though, my son and i were out this morning and i had the same thing happen, drake woody came through, had plenty of aim time, lined him up pulled the trigger, and ....nothing, trigger was froze up ( not cold though) mechanically, a tiny little piece broke of inside and jammed it.... back to the 10 g for now
Just once i would like to hear you scream in pain !....wanna hear me scream in pain? Play some rap music!
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Postby Outdoor Gal » Mon Oct 13, 2008 1:05 pm

Man, that sucks doesn't it?

I was awfully wary about buying a semi-auto, but when I researched the Beretta 390 I only heard good things about them. *shrug*

I am awfully tempted to take my side-by-side 20gauge out next weekend though. Especially since we found a smokin' deal on 20g HD shells. We have 7 boxes sitting at home.

I'm holding out hope that our spot stays undiscovered, or that whoever finds it is lazy and doesn't want to do the work to get back there. :thumbsup:

This was the first time I've ever seen flocks of mallards cupped and committed, and just WOW! It was an awesome sight!

Aat least got to practice my calling a bit in the field. I picked up a Primos wood duck call on sale at the end of last season and figured what the hey, I'd try it. We had some woodies on the far end of the pond out of range, so I started squealing on the call and they started to work towards us, until the call got wet and stuck. It just wasn't my day. Joe bought a Buck Garnder wood duck call for me yesterday. I think he felt sorry for me. lol.
2009 Season Totals
2 - Baby boys

"Any woman who does not thoroughly enjoy tramping across the country on a clear, frosty morning with a good gun and a pair of dogs does not know how to enjoy life." ~ Annie Oakley
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Postby okiequacker » Mon Oct 13, 2008 3:23 pm

wow, what a day Outdoor Gal! Worked on that calling did ya? hehe

I had heard that earlier 390's had undersized gas ports which would not allow the shells to eject properly sometimes. I would experiment with different brands of shells and loads to find one that will not jam. Good luck with that and your calling...remember...don't look at your front sight...pull up, follow with your eyes and swing thru! hehe....glad you got to enjoy the experince of seeing those mallards committ..such a pretty sight!
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Postby Outdoor Gal » Wed Oct 15, 2008 7:12 am

Yep, that practicing paid off. Actually, we really needed to do a minimum of calling, which was great. Just before shooting light we had a hen land in the decoys and start up with a homing quack. It was great. But, I'm definately getting better for sure! All those funny looks I get while practicing and driving are paying off. :thumbsup:

I didn't know if the woodie call would work or not, but they definately started swimming towards us while I was calling. Up to the point where the call stuck. lol. Good to know though!

As for the gun, we took it to the range last night and determined that it was most likely the ammo. I had loaded Black Cloud #4's on opening day. Last night Joe tried to shoot some Black Cloud BBB and they wouldn't feed at all. We compared the shells to some Winchester shells and the BC bulged out. Joe tried them in his Citori and they didn't even fit in the chamber of his O/U. So we loaded the 390 with Winchester and it cycled perfectly. At least it was an easy fix!
2009 Season Totals
2 - Baby boys

"Any woman who does not thoroughly enjoy tramping across the country on a clear, frosty morning with a good gun and a pair of dogs does not know how to enjoy life." ~ Annie Oakley
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Postby NorCal Cazadora » Mon Oct 20, 2008 4:53 pm

Great story, OG!

Question: Are you wearing a jacket that's too big for you? I started noticing that problem a lot last year, my stock getting caught up in my jacket. I just ordered a smaller one (Drake men's small) and hope it works better for me.

On the gun, I haven't had the same problem. I've had very few jams. Last time it happened, though, I cleaned it really thoroughly afterward, getting to all the parts of the ejection system. Hasn't happened since, but then again, it's just the start of season.

Our opener here was this Saturday, and it rained mallards. Got more mallards Saturday (four) than my entire first two years of hunting (two). I'm used to plucking lotsa itty bitty teal and wigeon, so I had a lot of work to do Saturday night!
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Postby Outdoor Gal » Tue Oct 21, 2008 7:13 am

My jacket's actually the right size, a women's small, it's not a "waterfowling" coat, but as long as it's not raining it works great. Joe actually adds a slip-on Limbsaver pad to get his Browning the right length. The man likes a long stock. lol.

Hope that Drake jacket fits well! I FINALLY saw a youth 2X 4-in-1 coat at Gander last weekend. I just couldn't quite justify the cost at the time though. I have stuff that works for now, and we haven't done a lot of foul weather hunting yet. Somehow I think the first time I do, I'll be out buying a coat like that immediately after.

We're pretty positive it was the ammo which caused the gun problem. I bought the gun used, so we had it checked over and cleaned by a gunsmith before the season began and he said everything was good. I haven't had any problems shooting Winchester or target loads from it, just Black Cloud.

Great shooting! Hmm, I could use some plucking and cooking a whole duck tips. We always just breast them out.

We had another good day last Saturday. Went back to the same spot and again the mallards dumped in at first light. Again, I only got one shot off, but it was my fault that time. I'm just slow. We should have had a few wood ducks in the afternoon too, but I think we forgot to put our game face on or something. Just couldn't connect. lol.

I'm hoping to get out again Saturday morning. I have to watch the nieces and nephews at 1pm and Joe and I were hoping to try some field hunting near home. Turns out he has to go up to the Upper Peninsula with his dad to get things set for deer season. He's not real happy. I'm hoping my uncle can make it out. If he can we'll try our little mallard spot. Otherwise looks like I'll be field hunting for the first time ever, but myself. That should be interesting. lol.
2009 Season Totals
2 - Baby boys

"Any woman who does not thoroughly enjoy tramping across the country on a clear, frosty morning with a good gun and a pair of dogs does not know how to enjoy life." ~ Annie Oakley
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Postby NorCal Cazadora » Tue Oct 21, 2008 7:37 am

I just did an article called "Don't breast out that duck!" that gives top-to-bottom instructions for plucking, dressing and cooking whole - it comes out next month in a California magazine. PM me your email address and I'll email you a PDF as soon as I can get one.

I have - hopefully - a weekend of horrific plucking ahead of me - going snow goose hunting. They're the worst. I once spent two hours plucking a single snow!

-Holly
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Postby Outdoor Gal » Tue Oct 21, 2008 8:21 am

Ouch! That sounds... torturous. lol. Good luck with those snows! I've only seen snows once and of course they were flying over our house. They sure make a racket!
2009 Season Totals
2 - Baby boys

"Any woman who does not thoroughly enjoy tramping across the country on a clear, frosty morning with a good gun and a pair of dogs does not know how to enjoy life." ~ Annie Oakley
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