I should have known better...
The decoys were already set out by the blind, buffleheads were diving out in deeper water as the tide flooded, and I was fierce for some steel to fly. All I needed was Purdy to get here, but apparently Santa was coming via helicopter over to the Coast Guard base and until that chopper took off I would not be seeing him. Whatever, I had options and when you have options all is right with the world. Well, so I thought...
I watched several big groups flirt with my decoys and then the text messages started.
7:42 (Jab) Iced up big time and water not running it yet. Take your time.
7:57 (Jab) I got water flowing in now... in an hour or so u could get set up
8:34 (Purdy) Okay I will be over shortly
You see, I had options. We could hunt below the house for some buffleheads and then head out to the black duck mecca (Jab's waterfront) for a quick shoot. But one hunt began to potentially screw up the other and one needed to go, and that became the buffleheading. Purdy and I would venture out to my favorite black duck habitat, after all it was supposed to warm up and the ice should clear so that the ducks would have a spot to splashdown. Two hunts became one and our chips were pushed all in.
Jab was right, there was ice and lots of it. Within a week we had gone from no ice to push any ducks to the coast to "holy crap, look at all this ice". Undeterred, the triad made way to a group of trees in the middle of the marsh and threw out the decoys.
Well the ice never let go but rather continued to make while we watched the decoys hold position in the new skim. Eventually, one black duck completely committed surprised us as we talked fantasy football and buzzed my baby MoJo. None of us ready left none of us with a duck. And that's all we saw.
After several hours of frigid conditions, we attempted to grapple the decoys and power the frozen spread out of the stream. Eventually we scored the victory, but it didn't go without snapped lines and lost anchors.
The forgotten option apparently was more successful according to my father. Not only did he say the ducks were frolicking amongst my early set spread, but a random goose opted to visit my backyard down by the water. He had asked my wife for one of my shotguns, but that's like asking me to find a pair of her shoes. Realizing his window of opportunity was closing, he bolted back to his house and grabbed his shotgun and one shell. With a speedy return, he shot the unsuspecting goose not far from the house.
My wife sent me this picture at 10:25 a.m. which included this text message-
Look at what your dad found while you were away... LOL
Isn't it amazing how your second option leaves you wondering why you walked away from the first one?