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Duck Hunting

Since opening day we have hunted 4 days and so far we have 31 Grays, 4 widgeon, and 2 mottle ducks. The weather on 3 of the days were sunny and no wind, these were our most productive days. 1 day with clouds and moderate winds (ducky looking day) and it was the slowest day. On Thursday we shot an easy two man limit which consisted of 11 Gray ducks and 1 Widgeon, best hunt so far. Just about every duck that came thru wanted in, lit in the decoys, and that is what duck hunting is all about. Weather was sunny with no wind. Friday was a little slower. Weather cloudy..12 knots of wind. Our hunter was K. Krogstad jr., I want to say this was his third time duck hunting. Opportunity was there for us, but it was shortlived. As soon as we got set up we had our first single come in, he was greeted with three warning shots and knew not to come back to our area. Then we started getting a few big flocks coming in, most would just about cup up and commit, and then decide to take another circle, then come right back at us again, then pull off. They weren't flaring, that problem could have been easily fixed, they were being very cautious and flying around the dekes a couple of times before 1 or 2 would get in range. It has been this way since opening day. We slowly picked off the ones that would get close enough. We had one flock drop in from way up, I mean way up. We both saw the flock and I had just got finished saying it is very rare for a group of ducks to drop down on decoys from that high up in Venice or anywhere I have hunted for that matter, well sure enough they started flipping and twisting and down they came. While eating my words I was also thinking that was good for us because I knew for sure the ducks wanted to be where we were, but after all that they still circled a couple of times and wouldn't commit, I don't think we got any of those. Finally, a nice pair of widgeon, young but with all their colors cupped up and lit in the decoys. Got both of them. After that we had ducks come by but wouldn't give us a second look. So we went from high altitude ducks flipping and twisting trying to get into the decoys, having just about every duck that saw us wanting to get in, then to ducks flying by that wouldn't give a second look, then no ducks flying at all. We ended the day with a pair Widgeon and a pair of Grays. The ducks did not fly for very long on Fri. for us. Although I did not hunt on Saturday the report I got was lots of ducks sittin but not flying...very little movement. So far I would have to say the season has been about avg. so far. The only ducks that we have really been shooting at have been gray ducks, a few widgeon, and a couple of mottle ducks which I will take any day of the year. We have not shot at the first teal yet this season. I have seen a few flocks, but the groups of hunters that are hunting east and west of us--4 miles away are shooting all teal and a few pintail, so there here there just not coming into the area I am hunting. This will change though as we start to get more ducks down here. Teal, Pintail, and other birds like canvasbacks and redheads as the season progresses. So far the amount of birds we have looks very good, I know there are still more to come so this season should be one of the better ones. We've got grass so thick that if the wind does blow the decoys aren't moving anyway, good things the ducks want into it. We've got plenty of days open to hunt, I only see it getting better from here on out. Back at it on Monday.

Damon Mcknight