After the near blizzard of yesterday, nearly 4 inches of snow, and almost needing a snow plow to get to the shed, hopes were not to high this morning. However we did drive out to the pits under clear skies and with all the stars shinning. I had met with my crew before the walk in and had talked them out of taking another box or two of additional ammo for each. This would lighten their load quite a bit and it is a long walk, with so much moisture, of the past 3 months. However it was cool enough to put a heavy layer of ice on the pond, as well as a little frost in the ground, making the walk much easier. When we reached the decoys it was easy to see that each of them had a heavy coat of snow plastered to their north and northwest side. Once at the pits there was snow to clean off the broom corn, before you could open of remove the covers. Got that done, lit the burners, and then got the customers into their seats. Then the duty’s turned to getting the blaster operating and check the time when it would be legal to shoot. By this time the sky was lighting up a little in the east preparing for old Sol to brighten up the day. His absents has been the norm for so much of this spring season, so this was likely be about the only exciting thing to look forward to for this day. With all these duties done, I poured a cup of hot caffeine, reached for a brownie in my lunch kit and decided it was time to get acquainted with my crew. I had two young boys and their uncle. The youngest had never waterfowl hunted before and had never seen a blind that was dug into the ground, so everything was new to him. I laid out the ground rules, just in case there should be a flock come along. We had just got each name logged into my brain when the word come there are birds behinds us and they were locked up. Even us old hunter enjoy hearing this type of news even though I was sure they would just give a little look and go on. At least there was something to get the customers a little excited. The next thing I know we are picking up birds. Then the empty hulls were starting to cover the bottom of the trash can and then there were empty boxes being tossed into it. Then we were talking about the boxes of ammo I talked then out of carrying down and weather or not a return trip to the parking lot, was going to be necessary. Have to say with a slight adjustment in the shooting habits, stretched the ammo, to days end. You know it is a good day when I burn my dinner, because of the activity in the shy, but it happened today.
We have some guys that are going to sleep good tonight, since they run all over the country picking up the sailers, that was scattered around the lake. The dogs, are going to sleep too. That is hard work when on every retrieve you are breaking ice for each step. The ice was not heavy enough to hold the dogs, so their job was a rough one too. I can not tell you the number of go-a-rounds we had today or total number of birds for sure.
The carry out count was over 75, but blind score was above that. We are just a couple birds short of spring record, and that is 79. So the tally is around 75-77. I know with a good sweep of the property we could pick up birds to set a new record. I do know there are some young hunters that are going to have a lot of memories of this day for a long time. Of course there is a lot of us old hunters that will talk about today for many years too.
Need to get this posted, so best stop. Remember the troops tonight and every night in your prayers.
Please check back and will see ya Carl