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Thread: Waterfowl opener this weekend--ca

  1. #1
    Senior Member 7pntail's Avatar
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    Default Waterfowl opener this weekend--ca

    Another season of:

    3:00 a.m. rises, decoys to haul, dawgs to tend, trailers to pull, gas generators to fix, boats/motors to deal with, decoys to put out, blinds to brush up, wives to appease, and a huge myriad of other duties. I am not even scratching the surface.

    WHY DO WE DO IT?



    Will defer to y'all. But, will say, even at 52 years old, it is still in my blood as the say.

    Good luck all on your opener.
    John Stroh, Lodi ca


    There are two spiritual dangers in not owning a farm. One is the danger of supposing that breakfast comes from the grocery, and the other that heat comes from the furnace…........If one has cut, split, hauled, and piled his own good oak, and let his mind work the while, he will remember much about where the heat comes from, and with a wealth of detail denied to those who spend the weekend in town astride a radiator.

    Aldo Leopold

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    Senior Member Jennifer Henion's Avatar
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    No generators for me, no decoys or wife - husband will be out of town. Load up the older dog, the gun and shells and off we go. Jump shooting at Lake Earl! Been there scouting this week and have seen a few birds despite the sunshine. Supposed to rain this weekend and hoping for the best!

    Maybe we can compare notes this spring!

    Jen

  3. #3
    Senior Member KwickLabs's Avatar
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    Dogs are fed and aired. We are "duck camp" bound at 7 am in the morning. Already hit the Illinois Early Teal Opener and we "did" the two Iowa "split" openers which means Saturday will be the "fourth" opener in a little over a month. Then there is the nearby to my house goose pond which has about 200 geese waiting for an early morning greeting.

    We will do a quick scouting run Friday afternoon to check water levels and the best way to approach the shallow spot I hope to hunt. Then about midnight "zoo time" begins. Some will camp out all night to secure "their spot".

    Daisy will be the first dog up. Gunny is set for Sunday. Monday depends on possession limit "issues". I may have to go home and "eat" before returning.

    I'm 72, almost always hunt alone and the "edge" has not worn off. It's a dirty job, but someone has to do it.
    Jim Boyer www.kwicklabs.com
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  4. #4
    Senior Member chuck187's Avatar
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    Good Luck ya'll.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Mark L's Avatar
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    Good luck to everyone going out tomorrow. I'll be working weekends through the end of the year, so my hunting will be limited to Wednesdays.

    Mark
    Mark, Peyton's Touchdown Pass (JH) and Peyton's Sun-loving Baby Bindi (Troublemaker)

  6. #6
    Senior Member Jennifer Henion's Avatar
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    It was a good day for us! My show-line golden (2.5 yrs) did an awesome 250 - 300 yard water retrieve for a crippled diver! Once he got to it, duck dove three times and swam behind dog. Bucky finally made contact and made the long swim back to me. Pretty cool to watch.

    We did an afternoon jump shooting hunt at our local coastal wetland. Saw a large herd of male elk, a few flocks of teal and many many black ducks with a red dot on the bill. We got one teal and one black duck in our hour and half hunt. Pretty fun!!!

    How did you guys do??

    Jennifer

  7. #7
    Senior Member 7pntail's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jhenion View Post
    It was a good day for us! My show-line golden (2.5 yrs) did an awesome 250 - 300 yard water retrieve for a crippled diver! Once he got to it, duck dove three times and swam behind dog. Bucky finally made contact and made the long swim back to me. Pretty cool to watch.

    We did an afternoon jump shooting hunt at our local coastal wetland. Saw a large herd of male elk, a few flocks of teal and many many black ducks with a red dot on the bill. We got one teal and one black duck in our hour and half hunt. Pretty fun!!!

    How did you guys do??

    Jennifer

    Black duck in cali? Red dot? Hum-- First I have heard of. Good job Jen. I had a very nice opener. We shot almost limits of mallards on Saturday, and a very mixed bag on Sunday. Had two bands for the week-end. A drake mallard, and a hen wood duck. made my day! Lost a few in the smart weed despite having three dogs. I hate that, but wasn't for lack of effort or dog work.

    Nice to see some rain!
    John Stroh, Lodi ca


    There are two spiritual dangers in not owning a farm. One is the danger of supposing that breakfast comes from the grocery, and the other that heat comes from the furnace…........If one has cut, split, hauled, and piled his own good oak, and let his mind work the while, he will remember much about where the heat comes from, and with a wealth of detail denied to those who spend the weekend in town astride a radiator.

    Aldo Leopold

  8. #8
    Senior Member KwickLabs's Avatar
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    The nothern Illinois opener on the Mississippi was outstanding.

    After scouting on Friday the 19th, I decided to set up a temporary blind on a sand bar and use a Predator layout. Using a piece of driftwood, cut willows and twine, a frame was setup to "hold" my layout and a dog hide.

    Here is the journal entry.

    Oct 20th Illinois opener.....finished at 8:15 am....pintail, mallard, "spoony" 3 greenwing teal
    .......note: Daisy was "super" with lots of fast duck flying that mostly were spooked and just looking = good thing (many birds).....shooting from a layout blind is challenging for the less flexible & half the field of vision is eliminated

    Oct 21st - Illinois 2nd day.....doubled on a "woody" pair to mount (slow - 2 ducks fun day)
    .......note: I will never forget the way they zoomed in low from the north (from behind me), "jetted" over the decoys, made a huge U-turn and came back right at us about 15yards off the deck. As I set up to shoot, they flared out over the decoys with the drake in the lead. I dropped the trailing hen and swung through the drake dropping him directly to my right. I sent Gunny for the hen first. When he was about half-way there, the drake perked up and started swimming toward Iowa. When Gunny spotted the hen and picked up speed, I finished off the drake.

    Wow! no matter what happened the rest of the day, it will be difficult to top this short interlude. Both ducks looked mature (which was verified back at camp later). They were tripled freezer bagged and will look really cool next to my dead mount Cans pair. After that, the sky returned to "no ducks flying".

    About an hour later, a hunter on the far point of another island dropped a bird and he was having a difficult time getting his dog to retrieve. I began to watch.....dumb. A squadron of seven pintails buzzed right over the decoys and headed north. All I had time to do in that split second was think a brief, silent expletive.

    Packed it up and headed home. What a great weekend!

    early light - east of sand bar


    west of sand bar


    Predator blind & dog hide with boat moored farther north


    Daisy posing in her hide


    Gunny doing the obligatory barge photo


    opening day mixed bag – three greenwings, pintail, "spoon" & drake mallard
    Last edited by KwickLabs; 10-23-2012 at 11:20 AM. Reason: spelling
    Jim Boyer www.kwicklabs.com
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  9. #9
    Senior Member Mark L's Avatar
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    Sounds like some good opening day hunts.

    I am planning on heading down to Volta or Los Banos refuge to stand in the sweat line on Wednesday. I have never done that before, so I hope it works and maybe I will have a few pictures to share.

    Happy hunting everyone.

    Mark
    Mark, Peyton's Touchdown Pass (JH) and Peyton's Sun-loving Baby Bindi (Troublemaker)

  10. #10
    Senior Member labsforme's Avatar
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    Black duck possibly a Black Scoter? Never shot one but a common sea duck. Because of obligations I haven't gotten out yet. For many years spent the first few days before opener in the sweat line at Mendota.Later after moving north to Sacto hunted Delevan and Gray Lodge a lot.
    Jeff Gruber
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