|Dad's mallard double taken 12/5/2012|
I found myself at home with a sick little girl today but also found myself watching the shoreline all day long. Buffleheads dove out in the bay, the first whistler (goldeneye) arrived, and several mallards & black ducks worked the shoreline back and forth. The mallards in particular were very interested in the three drake decoys I had thrown out just to the northwest of the bufflehead decoys.
As the tide came up, the mallards were convinced that they needed to be in my little cove. Once they began their migration, I immediately called my father to let him know of the circumstances. His first response was, "I'll watch the girls and you go" but I told him to go for it. After all, he's been missing the water frontage since we've (my wife and I) finally finished the house and he moved out of the first floor back to his first home. He didn't seem to mind being handed this guaranteed opportunity.
|Drake mallard banded in Easton, Maine 2009.|
I'll just say that there are several ways to hunt ducks: wing shooting, stalking, and silent ambush. The silent ambush is a very difficult but often high yielding opportunity where you time the tide, wind, and your location in hopes that one may be able get a quality shot. It's sort of like deer hunting. My property however offers an expansive view where I can easily view all types of birds and make more predictable judgements than the average joe. As I watch the ducks every day, I'm learning so much about their patterns.
I'm very pleased with my father's shot. When he was younger, he didn't have much so he always made his shots count. For that, he still is the most amazing shot whether it be a snipe crack shot or three eiders on the wing.