The tide worked around to agree with my available time, and I knew that today would be the day. A few mallards had shown up with the temporary freeze which meant my cove had what they needed.
The plan was to get to the shore without detection and then assess the circumstances. If I were to be seen, then I would graciously accept defeat. If I could negate the wary eye of the mallards, then I could be within striking range. Today was the day that I would test my reflective practice, today would be that chance to merry the position of the rising tide, time of day, overcast conditions, and my efforts to "get onto those ducks".
It worked as I made my way down to the cove utilizing a baby crawl technique unmatched by no other that placed me just above the mean high water mark. Then I kept concealed and studied the ducks, far more drakes than hens. Too be so close and earn enough time to assess my shot warranted good fortune.
Today I would take a calculated shot once presented, the goal was a limit of mallards with one pull of the trigger. Head shots would be necessary to achieve this challenge. Once the bills presented themselves together, I would shoot down upon the unsuspecting ducks at half tide flood.
And it happened, one hen seemed to have three drakes constantly at her beckoning. As she moved, they followed as one would attempt to cut of the other. The hen turned towards me while the drakes lurched forward to accompany her while I drew down on the target. Then I let the Xtrema2 with the #2 Kent Fasteel erupt with a well placed spread. Three did not quiver whilst the fourth attempted to escape, but fell no sooner than taking off. A second shot rendered the escapee motionless and fulfilled my limit within seconds. The easterly wind and flood tide put the mallards on the shore in less than a minute. As fast retrieve, it took longer for me to find my wife to take pictures than it did hunt the ducks.
I called my Dad who beamed with excitement as he told me several accounts of doubles and the occasional triple. So often, he proclaimed, the old gunners wouldn't shoot unless the birds were on the water and would time the birds to gain multiple ducks in one shot. To lose a duck meant less food on the table. My shot was opportune, and well thought out while ensuring a minimal aspect of error.
I have only shot multiple birds several times including three mergansers in 2003, and several sea duck shots on the wing. However, I almost managed to limit out on mallards with one shot. I suppose that's an opportunity down the road, but for now I'll be happy with my four with two.
Have a great day,
The Downeast Duckhunter