We Close the Curtin on Waterfowl 2012-13 CLI

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We Close the Curtin on Waterfowl 2012-13 CLI

Postby Frank Lopez » Thu Feb 14, 2013 5:16 pm

I haven't been out since the close of duck season, but I figured I might as well get out at least once for geese before the end. Today was the last day for dark geese in Central LI, so I got up early one last time to watch the sunrise over the marsh. It was a beautiful sunrise, and the harbor was loaded with birds. Geese, brant, gadwalls, wigeon mallards and blacks were all over the place and they put on quite a show. I had four different flights of geese work my set, all within range, but I let them pass. I had decided that I'd killed enough birds this year, so I'd only take perfectly decoying birds. A couple came close, but I pulled up at the last minute. Kind of fun to watch the suprise on their faces when they realize they've been had!

All in all it was a great year for me. I killed quite a few birds, far more than average, anyway. Those that know me understand that I almost never "wait out" a limit. At my age, there really is no need for that. But, on a couple of occasions this past year, I was done by about 9:00 AM! I got a couple of "trophy" birds, too. In mid December, I shot a drake hoodie. We don't see them that often up here, and they are even less likely to be taken from a shore blind. This bozo came into the puddler spread nice as you please. Ultimately, he paid for his mistake. He's in the freezer now, and as soon as I can finish cleaning up after the season, I'll start on putting him on the wall. A nice pair of buffies met the same fate! Again, rare from a shore blind and again destined for the wall in my man cave. The real prize this year was a kind of odd bird. Kind of looked like an old mallard hen. You know the ones that look like drakes that are a little off color. A closer inspection revealed that it's actually a black mallard cross. Eiter way, definitely not a common bird. Then there's the old squaw that I shot on Christmas Eve with my grandson out of "our" duck boat, the Tytan! All good memories, for sure.

But today was a special ending. For whatever reason, the band gods have never been kind to me. In over 40 years of waterfowling, I think I've shot 4 banded birds, all geese. Today, as I sat there watching the geese and brant trading back and forth, a lone mallard drake came in and landed in the spread, about 30 yards out. It was dead low tied, and the birds were feeding after last night's "snow fall". I was enjoying the show, when something caught my eye. I reached down into my blind bag and pulled out the binoculars. Sure enough, this big old redleg had a bracelet! Maybe next year!

Frank
I feel slightly sorry for a man who has never patterned his gun, who has no idea how far his chosen load will retain killing penetration. But I'm extremely sorry for the ducks he shoots at beyond the killing range of his gun and load - Bob Brister
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Frank Lopez
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Location: Long Island New York


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