I decided to give one of my very best friends a call to see how the wind looked at his waterfront property and although it didn't seem favorable, it still seemed plausible. We had talked in the past about me hunting the tidal frontage, but never actually got around to trying until this summer we constructed a small blind on one of the better spots.
However, the early goose season came and went, the first part of the duck hunting split came and went, and here I was still wanting to give this spot a go. So today with super double clearance, I set up for buffleheads on the high tide with a dozen GHC magnums. My pal, Craig, joined as an observer with an immense curiosity about the passion I call duck hunting. He has never hunted, but I'm starting to feel he's getting quite interested.
It didn't take long for a group of three drakes to veer into the decoys, and I quickly dispatched the closest one as I was handcuffed by a rock which saved the other two. However, the wind had all intentions of shuttling the downed drake away so I moved to retrieve the duck. Craig who had returned from his house grabbed the oars and we paddled his skiff out for a tedious retrieval. To sort of explain what we were facing, the forecast was as follows:
NW WINDS 25 TO 30 KT WITH GUSTS UP TO 45 KT... DIMINISHING TO 20 TO 25 KT WITH GUSTS UP TO 35 KT LATE. SEAS 5 TO 8 FT.
|My buddy Craig admiring the possibilities of duck hunting, hunter safety here he comes...|
The strong Northwest wind did not relent nor did I. About one hour later, a single hen quickly arrived from the east and laid perfectly outside the spread. One shot took her down, while another finished the job. This duck I would get via wading, but I learned a hard lesson. When one goes wading, make sure if you take your jacket off, make sure it is somewhere where the wind will not cast it into the ocean. As I waded back out of the water, my new Herter's waterfowl jacket was drifting as it had blown off a rock and was on it's way elsewhere. Thank god I've got that Motorola waterproof military phone which has been washed three times and now dunked in salt water.
|The author with a matching pair of buffleheads...|
Shortly thereafter, my wife and kids arrived for a dinner date. Craig and I have girls the same age who are the very best of friends. Our wives are top notch buddies as well, so it became clear that our afternoon of gunning would end as dinner neared.
After picking up the gear, hauling out the boat, and cleaning the buffleheads, we went upstairs for some grilled burgers, ribs, and all the fixings. The buffleheads found the grill as well and didn't last long.
I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving, and also hope the wind subsides somewhat so that the eiders may find my way.