The weekend weather was dry, but windy. Saturday winds were gusting to 40 mph. There were plenty of ducks in the area, but getting the right spot to hunt and then trying to hit them as they whizzed by proved a challenge.
Saturday morning the hunters put in for the draw to hunt the Reserve.
When you hunt the Reserve, you have to enter a draw. Once your number is called, you pick your area in the order your number is called from the ones on the map. Obviously you hope to get called early because the good spots go first. In the first 10 is the best. There were something like 130 hunters and Thunder’s party was called in the 20′s (sorry can’t remember the exact number ). They got Area 20, which should have been a good enough spot. But alas all of the birds seemed to want to fly over 21. Those guys had a great day. The nice thing about that spot, the blind allowed Thunder to be out of the water rather than on a stand. It was awfully windy and cold to be standing on a dog stand that morning even with a vest.
Sunday morning they did not get a good number in the draw so they tried the bay, but had no luck. Sunday afternoon they tried the draw again and were drawn in the top 10. They took the spot next to where they had hunted the day before. (You know the one where they watched the other party have some great success?) It was still fairly windy as you can see in the pictures. Unfortunately they had no luck. Drat! Waterfowl hunting is partly being in the right place at the right time and they just don’t seem to be getting it right. Would Thunder get any action?
Monday morning they decided to go out into the bay. They took great care putting out the decoys. It was still windy and a lot of new ducks had arrived overnight. The action was fast and furious and all together got 11 ducks. They limited out on Red Heads. At one point they shot a quad (four ducks down at one time). Thunder had his work cut out for him. He was lined to each bird and handled if necessary. He got all four. It was a lot of swimming. The birds were drifting due to the strong winds which made some swims longer than if it had been calm. Thunder also had to chase a cripple quite a long way, but he got it. They did give up on one Bufflehead because it kept diving and moving further out into the water before Thunder could reach it. One of the hunters grabbed one of the ducks that was starting to drift out because Thunder was busy retrieving another bird.
Thunder got 10 retrieves total because he was the only dog. I think that is the most retrieves he has ever had while duck hunting. Plus, he was swimming with strong winds. He had a ball, but needless to say, he has been sleeping ever since coming home.
Thanks to Cindy, for the great weekend and invite up to Fish Point. Thanks to Chris for the invite on his duck boat. I understand a good time was had by all.