All in all, I had a good year. It was my first but I learned a boat load. And no doubt made a ton of mistakes, everything from sunken iPhones to filled waders and forgotten decoys. I have to tell you that it's been one of the most enjoyable things I've done in many, many years. I enjoyed every sunrise on the hunt. Don't let the photos kid you with those blue bird skies, most mornings were cold, raining, freezing and hellish.
My unofficial harvest:
1 Green Wing Teal
I will never admit to the number of times in the field for that modest harvest. :)
Unfortunately, I was unable to retrieve about 5 more. Some taken by swift current, others scampered away wounded, hiding in thick brush etc. Those are my only regrets.
I'd like to think I covered most of it. I did a very honorable amount of scouting. I found a wonderful private hunting spot. I ventured around the state scouring all the good public land. I hunted in all forms of weather. I broke through thick ice. I witnessed huge amounts of migrating birds (although they didn't want anything to do with me most times). I had the opportunity to hunt from a boat on open water. Hunted a couple times with a well trained lab. All in all, I am pretty sure I am still at a calorie deficit. :)
My biggest mistake was to not scout south of RT 70. I'm now shut down, got no where to hunt! The fat lady is singing for me and it is truly sad.
I hope you all had a good year in the North Zone as well and I thank you for all the help and advice. It was awesome. I can't wait until next year.