Sunday, December 8, 2013

November Limit - A Juneau Duck Hunt

In early November we had a nice high tide coupled with a storm blowing through so a friend and I headed out to the flats and had a great hunt. When we reached our spot and started setting up, my buddy realized he was missing his wind duck so he headed back to locate it along the trail. The tide was flooding in and the wind and rain blowing so the birds were really moving around. 

Set up and watching the tide roll in.
The action was so fast that I had 4 birds before he returned from his decoy hunt. Once he got back to the blind he started getting some shooting, but he was having some major jamming issues with his Mossberg 935 auto-loader. At first we thought it was the older shells he was shooting but even a brand new box of 3-1/2" Winchesters would jamb him up every time. At one point after jamming on the first shot and with more birds pouring in, I just handed him my loaded Remington 870. I had 6 birds by that point, so shooting a single shot was fine by me. My 870 doesn't shoot 3-1/2's so it was fun to have some extra fire power. My last bird was a nice Widgeon outside of my usual range. 

My first birds of the hunt; a Widgeon and a Pintail.
We kept hunting until the tide receded to the point that our decoys were high and dry and called it a day. My buddy didn't round out a limit but he still scratched out 5 birds. I was fortunate to shoot my first limit of the season; 5 Widgeon, a Pintail and a Teal.

My limit for the day; 5 Widgeon, a Pintail and a Teal.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

First Hunt of the 2013 Season - Father and Son Time!

My oldest son is still young but he begs me to tag along each duck season. For the past couple of years I've made a point to pick a dry day in the beginning of the season to take him out. 

The forecast was for rain, but it held off long enough for us to get out for a couple of hours. It was a nice gentle start to the season and he had a great time. Not only did he have a duck to play with while we waited for more, but he found a lost decoy and a dead seagull on the hike back. He was in heaven. 

We shot two green wing teal, but lost one to an eagle. It's a common occurrence up here and to be expected but my son was more than a little concerned. He screamed at the swooping bird with a level of anger I've rarely seen in him. "BAD EAGLE!!!", the veins bulging in his neck and face. I laughed and tried to calm him and help him to understand that it wasn't the eagle's fault and we would shoot many more birds in the days and weeks to come. He shared with me what he thought was a proper fate for that eagle and we discussed what federal law would have to say about that action and moved on to looking for more teal.

It was great to be out in the blind with my son and wonderful to see how much he's grown and matured in the past year. I'm so blessed to have an activity that we both love so much and I hope that I can share this with him and my other children for years to come.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

A Score for Safety!

I've wanted to pick up a waterproof VHF radio for several years now. I've had my eye on several radios, such as the icon IC-M88 and others due to their rugged-ness, waterproof-ness and compact size since space is at a premium in my Marsh Rat.

Mean while I stumbled upon a Humminbird VHF55s Plus on Craigslist for $25. It was too good of a deal to pass up, but I figured something was wrong.

Hummingbird VHF55s Plus

At first glance, everything looked fine with the radio. It functioned and came with most of the accessories.

Loose power port connection

It became clear what the problem was when I brought it home. The power port was loose in the charging cradle and would go on and off with any slight movement. 

Re-soldering loose power port on Hummingbird VHF55s Plus

Thankfully that's not more than a 5 minute fix. I popped open the case and re-soldered the loose connection and now it works like a charm.

I still need to come up with a mount to keep it close by and handy when hunting, but I have a few ideas about that. 

My family and I are exited that I  have reliable emergency communications in the boat this year .

Saturday, September 7, 2013

This Season's Secrete Weapon...

the confidence decoy.

I ordered this standing sea gull confidence decoy from Knutson's Decoys. It will sit on my Marsh Rat and help give the ducks confidence that it is just some floating debris. 

My only concern is that it might draw unwanted attention from the Bald Eagles. I hope I don't end up with a talon tattoo on the top of my head.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

2013 Duck Season Countdown

2013 Duck Season is quickly apparoching and I still have lots of stuff to complete. I hope to rebuild and strengthen my kayak trailer, possibly build a second layout boat, rig up a gang line and complete a second weed whacker motor.

It looks like I better get busy! Stay tuned for updates as I kick season prep into high gear.