The promise of freezing fog had me thinking waterfowl this morning. It is generally agreed that the best duck hunting occurs during the worst weather conditions. So I woke up well before dawn, managed to make coffee, fixed a high carb breakfast, loaded up all the gear, and got myself to a popular spot well before first light.
Signing in at the check station, I smiled with some smugness as a couple of headlights started down the access road only to stop and turn around when they noted my parked rig. No ice on the pond or edges, so setting out a small decoy spread was no effort. Finding and accessing last year’s stand on the berm proved more difficult. The thistle and reeds have overgrown the levy. That question was easily solved when I noticed someone new arrive and check in at the wood kiosk. Best to just place my stool along the flat shoreline and bunch grass where I can be seen by the other hunter. Any arriving ducks in the thick fog are going to be committed and in range before they see me.
There were not a lot of ducks flying. Mr. Hunter went off in the other direction to access a couple distant ponds. Presently I heard a couple of shots. Must be jump shooting. Then I had a good-sized duck suddenly appear overhead and I dropped it with one shot. I didn’t like the direction it fell, beyond the bern and into some thick, swampy stuff, but I was satisfied with the shot. I’m trying out the Kent Fasteel this year, and the few shots I’ve taken so far have me happy with the load. A few more shotgun reports echoed in the distance. I waited and before long a lone small duck suddenly arrived. Teal are fast, but I shot, he veered, and I finished him with the second shot.
And that was it for the morning. No further action, except a pair of small ducks that came high and fast and I never had a shot. I will say the available water is low, and we can use a little rain to fill the ponds. The cold, foggy weather is perfect, however, and the December chance for good waterfowl hunting remains.