Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Forecast Calls for Snow . . .

So, like normal, we're 3 days shy of the opener and the weatherman says to expect volatile weather. Rain Friday and Saturday with temps in the 50's and SSE winds @ 12. What does that mean with regards to Saturday's hunt and the prospect of full bags?  Who knows.

What I DO know is that the Lost 20, Jones, Baser, & Chuck's are ALL stacked. Don't recall that having happened before. Lots of ducks, but the white trash is moving in fast.

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Sunday, November 2, 2014

In The Moment

Okay, so I was chastised yesterday by the esteemed members of the Trigger Happy Hunting Club for my obvious failure to maintain anything resembling status updates on the net. I would have explained the difference between my life as a lawyer and my life as a farmer, but instead folded to peer pressure. So here we are.  The view from the second floor of the compound suggests that the big dance is drawing near:

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By the calendar, it's cold . . . really cold. Temps are ranging between the 30's and the 50's, and it's extremely early for us to be enjoying the weather that we'd hope for on during the opening week. As for the birds, they're certainly here. Have been for weeks. Chuck's is absolutely blown out with specks and ducks, and it isn't 25% flooded.

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The rest of the fields are stopped up, rolled down, and ready for water. If the forecasted rains don't det in on Tuesday, I'll start wetting them down the old-fashioned way.

Yesterday marked the annual gathering of club members for the purpose of readying our blinds. Dear Lord, it was a rough one. We started at 7:00 a.m. and quit at 4:00 p.m.  I, for one, was pretty worn out by the time it was over.

So, here we go:  3 more fields waiting for harvest, one more blind awaiting panels, umpteen fields to flood, one deck to build, and 24 dozen dek's to string. There'll be no rest between now and the opener.

Monday, December 23, 2013

A Season of Extremes . . .

So much to report.  Where do I begin?

Alright, so let me start by setting the record straight for the purposes of understanding the underlying weather patterns that have dictated our success and failure this season: 

First, as the season opened, we watched perfect weather and large concentrations of birds go to pot when the whole place surrendered to temps in the upper teens on the second day of season.  We fought through it, and prevailed, to some degree.  On the heels of that cold snap, we had the ice storm of 2013, which crippled traffic, ruined gutters, and halted duck season as we knew it for a full 7 days of season.  Temps dipped into the single digits.  Everything stalled out. 

As said weather cleared out, we were graced by the biggest, brightest full-moon I've ever witnessed, which threw the ducks into a mad-dash night feed, which continued between Sunday evening and Thursday morning.  Fortunately, the moon gave way to clouds, and on Friday, we got after em.  Unfortunately, it didn't last long, because on Saturday the torrents of rain moved into town.  My rain gauge tops out at 5 inches.  It ran over, and then some.  Looks like we'll be losing another week of season.  For what it's worth, this has been a tough one. 

Okay, so Saturday, December 21, Blake & his Uncle, David White, joined me at the home field.  Didn't last long, as the lightning ran us out of the field before 8:00 a.m.  We left with only a handful.

Saturday, Dec. 21, 2013:
Home Field
4 Ducks
2 Shovelers
1 Gadwall

Friday, Dec. 20, 2013:
Lost 20
11 Birds
3 Snows
4 Shovelers
4 Mallards

Charles' West:
20 Birds
6 Gadwalls
14 Mallards

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Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013:
Louis Williams & Yours Truly, Chuck's West
12 Birds
5 Mallards
5 Gadwall
1 Shoveler

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Wednesday, December 18, 2013:
Jim, Mike, and Tyler Davis; Chuck's West
14 Birds
2 GAdwall
3 Redheads
1 Mallard
8 Shovelers

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Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013:
Jim, Mike, and Tyler Davis; Chuck's West
21 Birds
11 Gadwall
5 Mallard
4 Shovelers

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Monday, Dec. 16, 2013
Jim, Mike, and Tyler Davis; Jimmy Scott; Home Field
14 Birds
3 Shovelers
8 Mallards
2 Gadwall
1 Redhead

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Sunday, December 15, 2013

Hellfest. Yum.

Alright, so On Saturday, Blake, Reece, Ryan, and I fought the heavy fog on the east side of Chuck's, only to live with a singular mallard. On Friday, the day before, however, Blake and I weathered the rain in the same spot and brought home 9 birds. Not too shabby for an impromptu hunt that only lasted an hour.

Saturday, December 14, 2013.

1 mallard

Friday, December 13, 2013.

9 Birds
3 shovelers
1 gadwall
1 Mallard
2 snows.

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As for Friday night, Hellfest was in full swing. Heck of a shindig with food that'd make you slap yo dead grandma's corpse. Fine times, indeed.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Back At 'Em . . . Momentarily

Johnny, Taylor, Elders, and yours truly slipped in for a little post-ice shindig about 1:00 p.m. this afternoon on the west line of little Chuck's. Not a bad little shoot, I must sat. We came out with full bags. Papa eased in behind us and popped an additional 3 birds behind us before he left.

Chucks a East
27 Birds
15 mallards
10 shovelers
2 Grey Ducks

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Friday, December 6, 2013

Winter Arrives . . .

Well, friends, this is gonna be a rough one. We ended the first split on a whimper and patiently waited for the second season to make its way around the corner hoping all the while that the birds would reset and give us a shot at redemption. And it shook down exactly like we'd hoped it would . . . With one blindingly painful exception: we didn't see the weather coming. For purposes of recording the matter for future reference, I shall quote from the weather channel's forecast:

Friday: ICE STORM WARNING. high of 29 @ 7:00 a.m. With temps falling. N winds @ 15-25 mph.
Saturday: low: 18. High: 21
Sunday: low: 23. High: 30 with snow
Monday: low: 9. High: 30. Partly sunny
Tuesday: low: 10. High: 28
Wednesday: low: 12. High: 34

 Do you see the problem here? Unfortunately, waterfowl habitually inhabit areas with water in its liquid form. We're fresh outta that stuff for the next week or so. We knew we had problems when temps hit 20 degrees on the second day of season.

The pattern has played out exactly as expected. With that in mind, we looked to wreck em while we could. And we did. Thursday, as a last ditch to get what we could while we could, we started in on em on the home field in the morning with a seven man crew, including Grey, the Bakers, John, Brant Tosh, Brian Elders, and myself. We stepped out of the blind early with 36 ducks and a speck. Thereafter, we took a few mystery guests out to break the seal on Chuck's and smoked another 27 birds.

Total for the day 64 birds.

 Memphis Blind:
8 mallards
10 gadwalls
12 GWT
6 spooners
1 speck.

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15 gadwall
6 mallards
2 shovelers

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Sunday: Johnny & the Gipper in Memphis . . . 1 hoody

Saturday:  Reece, Blake, John, Garrett, Gibby. 10 birds in Memphis.

4 Shovelers
1 Mallard
1 speck

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Friday a.m.:  8 birds. Reece, Blake, Johnny & the Gipper; Memphis

4 redheads
1 gadwall
1 Mallard

Friday p.m.:  Blake, Reece, Johnny. Chuck's on the east side. 2 Gadwalls.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Nope. We did NOT Forget the Proper Technique For Spanking a Flock of Mallards

Alright, so it looked like things were going downhill fast. Saturday was a hot shoot, but temps in the lower 29's and 20 mph north winds wore us out on Sunday. Disgusted, I blew off the Monday hunt, and on Tuesday we broke ice for only a handful of birds. Having had enough of that, I deemed it an appropriate move to get off my lazy butt and scout em on Wednesday.

Found em on the southeast corner of Chuck's, and John, 2 mystery guests, and I went to task on em. Killed a trophy in the process, too.

 Wednesday, November 27, 2013: Johnny, Gibby, and two guests who choose to remain anonymous. 23 birds
18 mallards
3 shovelers
2 gadwall Tuesday,

November 26, 2013.  Dave, Garrett, Gibby

4 Shovelers
1 Wigeon

 Sunday, November 24, 2013. Franks, Garrett, Grant, John, Blake, Gibby
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Sunday, November 24, 2013

Game On

Alright, it's been a while since I've posted. Let's face it: I've been a bit busy. Nonetheless, whilst not completed, the barn is functional, and opening day has come and gone. I must say, the barn ain't too shabby . . . Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos As for the hunting picture: I've got mixed reviews. As of Wednesday, we were holding something in the neighborhood of 15-20,000 birds in the Home field. Problem is, most of them were holding there after dark. Thus, I've been running em out for a week. Anywho, on Thursday, a blustery cold front blew through and mixed everything up. Forecast for the opener was for highs in the 40's with STIFF north winds, and that forecast was spot on. Bad scenario: facing south, with clouds, and heavy winds. Even so, we whooped 'em. Tasha, Johnny, Franks, Dave, Papa, Blake, and yours truly, left the blind carrying full bags at 8:01 a.m. Once we got back to the barn, we noticed that one of the pins we took was BANDED. Awesome morning. 44 birds 15 shovelers 12 Gadwall 5 GWT 4 Pintails 3 Mallards 2 Scaup 2 specks 1 merganser. Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Monday, July 29, 2013

The Progress, Albeit Slow, Continues . . .

Well, at this point, the framing is FINALLY done. That said, if anyone tries to tell you that you can't frame a 3,000 sq.ft. house with a $64 Harbor Freight nail gun, I'm walking, talking proof that they're wrong. HVAC guy is finishing up the AC. Lawson is well on his way with the framing, septic is down, and the plumber is scheduled to be there tomorrow to finish the inside plumbing. With some luck and a little help from my friends, I'm hoping to get upper level flooring, the rest of the insulation, balcony handrails, the rest of the security cameras, and interior wall covering knocked out by mid-week next week. Wish me luck . . . I'll need it. Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos