...and then it turned into a "why?"
Scrambled together last night's preparations for this morning's hunt, a private pond I've had permission to hunt for a while, but haven't had time to go. An hour's drive this morning, I get there 15 min before shooting light, not as early as I had hoped for. 100 yds through the woods and then 10 or so of marsh and I'm on a delta from a creek bleeding into the pond. I'm trying to load my gun and I can't seem to get a shell in the magazine...@#$%$&%$#...and a drake woodie flushes from 7-ish yds away, no time for a good shot...OK, it's a semi-auto single shot for now. This could be good, I'll forego the decoys for now.
I settle into the grass and cover up the dog. A pair of woodies drop in well within shooting range, I jump up to shoot...<click>....DOH! What now?! As the woodies streak away, I check the gun. No imprint on the primer, safety was off. Hmmmm...I'm starting to believe those Rem oil stories, no rust on the gun but it is dry (a Mossberg 935). Should've brought the Citori....!$#^&%$#@. I cycle the action and click the trigger a few times, at least one other pair of woodies considers the area and then zips out for quieter spots.
OK, let's see what happens.
Another pair of woodies zips behind me and now continues upstream...drops in about 300 yds away. Then I hear a mallard hen drop in about the same place. Then I see a white butt pop up...geese, they stole my X. Alright, sneak time. Make way into the bush, carefully, methodically and Uber-quietly, I was quite impressed. Get close, peek in...nope, they're still a ways off and moving away, feeding. Back and forth I play this game, sneak in, peek, sneak out, work up 50 yds, repeat.
Finally, I can see them even with me, but there's a skidder trail to the water and lots of thick stuff upstream, sun is peeking over the mountain and illuminates the skidder trail. OK, if I move low and slow, I may have a chance to get close enough to wait. 20 yds from the water and I'm on a bluff about 20 feet up from the shore, birds still feeding, though one goose is playing sentry and looks my way....freeze!...I'm a tree, go back to feeding! 5 min or so and I make a couple small, slow moves, all is good, I can keep this up for a while...BUT, now the lab, who has recently come back from flushing grouse in the uplands, and has been at heel for an hour....breaks...runs down the bluff...into the water...geese swim off, ducks flush and head out, and I'm standing there in disbelief for about 30 secs...."NO! HEEL! COME! NOOOO!"
And so, the bluebird day started like that...
To top it off, I had started to write this about an hour ago, got 3/4 done, and Windows decides to update.
Did you say woodcock or woodduck?