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My first ducks


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The first pond I came to I saw some ducks a ways down, so I snuck up on them and jumped them. Once they were in the air I shot one and it hit the water. Waded in and retrieved her (the one on the left in the picture) and figured I had gotten a Green-Winged Teal hen.


I walked back in further to another pond and noticed a Drake Mallard, but I was certain he had busted me, though I could not see him moving much at all, so figured he was watching me. The grass was really tall and fairly thick so I eased off and came around for a better angle. When I stood up I figured he would jump up, but... he was already dead. I'm guessing he had been wounded in the days before and landed there in the little pond, eventually dying from his wounds.


Further back in I came upon another group of ducks, I couldn't tell what they were (I really need to remember to bring my binoculars) but there was plenty of cover for me to sneak up on them. I put my first duck down in a spot where I could find it again (yeah, I kinda neglected to buy something to hold the ducks once they were down) and started to sneak up on the other group. Once I got close enough I stood up and up they jumped. There was between seven and ten so I picked one and shot. Down came two! I thought WHOO HOO! At least I thought that until they hit the water, both of them with heads up and I then I thought Oh crap, I've only wounded them.


The furthest one away started to lift off again so I shot at him again, and I could see the pellets pepper the water all around him. He dropped a couple of feet but then began to climb again and by that time was too far out to shoot at, and then made it around the bend where I could no longer see his progress or what he was doing.


The other was still on the water and then moved to shore and was walking up the mud to the tall grass and so I thought Oh crap! I'm going to lose that one in the tall grass! And so I aimed and shot again, but she kept on walking. I hustled across the water and looked and looked for that bird but could not find her. I waded back across and picked up my first bird from where I had left it, and then came back again and looked some more and finally found the other bird. I was really glad to find her as I felt really bad about wounding them and thinking they were going to wander off, suffer and die.


After finding her I went down the edge of that water scanning for the bird that flew around the bend. I didn't see anything on the water, or near the edge but further down I could see more ducks and was sure it was the first group that I had dropped those two out of. I figured that maybe the wounded one had made it to them and was with them as it wasn't too far from where I had first shot, maybe 300 yards. I snuck up on them and then figured I'd just jump them and the cripple would be the only one left. No such luck. Everything on the water flew off, so... I'm sure I wounded that other bird but could not find it once it flew off.


I spent some more time checking out those ponds, making sure I had looked well enough and then headed back home. Was a definite bummer to wound one and not find it. Definitely don't like that feeling.


On the way out I heard some branches breaking in the woods next to me and thought it must be another hunter so I held up. I then saw a flash of brownish tan and stood there waiting. A little forked horned whitetail came within about 10-15 yards of me and stood there looking at me, unsure of what to do. We watched each other for about a minute then he took off like a flash.


All in all, it was a good morning of hunting. Beautiful day outside, only about 35 degree's, but I had a great time.




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