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A Few Good Hunts

I was pumped to see the second season come in and for good reason. The last few weeks have been pretty awesome for me and my gang. We?ve been hunting lakes, swamps, ponds, and beaver holes. We?ve seen ducks in every spot we?ve been to. I want to tell you about a few hunts we?ve had over the past few weeks.

One hunt, that really sticks out in my mind, is the morning my buddy, Cole Lowery, put the smack down on a few geese. It was a COLD morning. The water was frozen, but we were determined to hunt either way. We headed out to a little pond- this pond holds a lot of ducks to be such a small pond. Justin Gainey, Cole, and I decided to break a section of the ice and throw out the decoys. We worked and worked to break up the ice but it would freeze back up as soon as we would get back to the bank. Getting ready for the ducks to fly in, we took a break to talk about how cold it was and how we really had no sense to be out in such cold weather. The birds started chirping and then the ducks started flying in. We busted a few wood ducks. We were pretty pumped about it. The ducks were scattered around us, so Justin and I decided to start picking them up. We laid our guns down and took off into the water to get them. While Justin and I were out in the water gathering the ducks, Cole stood on the bank and guided us in the right direction. I glanced across the field, and all I could see were geese coming right toward us. I was too far from my gun to take off to get it and so was Justin. I started yelling at Cole to get ready because the geese were coming in. All I could do was stand there and watch. Man, that made me sick. They came in pretty as could be, all but landing on the end of Cole?s gun barrel because they were so close. Cole started firing and geese started falling. After the first shot, two geese fell to the ice. Then, he shot two more times and two more geese fell. He reloaded, shot again, and another one dropped. He had reached his limit. We were all so excited. We jumped up and down like we were kids again. All three of us were pumped up about our great morning. Not to mention, it is Cole?s first year of duck hunting and he was very excited. We had so much fun that morning. I can still play it back in my mind like it was yesterday. That was definitely a morning to remember.

The next hunt that sticks out is another morning to remember. It was the cold morning of December 18th. The boys got together and headed down the long, muddy, bumpy road that leads us to the honey hole. We got our gear together and headed on into the beaver hole. We got set up, and it was just a matter of time until we would be seeing some ducks. In no time, the ducks started diving in and we started shooting as fast as we could shoot. At one time, I couldn?t keep my gun loaded. I dry fired more than I fired successfully. It is a rush that I can?t put into words. We shot close to ten minutes straight. I was keeping up with the number of ducks we hit. I yelled out to the boys that we could only kill two more ducks before we reached our limit. The last shots were fired and reaching the limits was taken care of. We had reached six limits of wood ducks. All we could do was sit back and admire them as they flew. We had EIGHTEEN wood ducks and THIRTEEN of them were drakes. We were hyped about our great hunt, but also glad we had reached our limits because between the six of us, we probably didn?t have a full box of shells left. Ducks were laying everywhere. It was such a great hunt and the first time of the season that we all reached our limit. I had to go out of town that morning for a Christmas gathering so I left the cleaning to the other guys. I?m sure they had a few choice names for me that morning.

Another impressive memory is when some friends of mine gave me a call one evening to ask if I wanted to go to Lake Wateree to hunt. Of course, I was ready to be in on the lake action, so I gathered up my lake gear that night. I arrived at their house at 4:00 AM. By 4:15, we, with our gear, were packed into the Trailblazer like a pack of sardines. We finally arrived at the boat landing and started loading all of the gear into the boat. The excitement in the air felt like Christmas morning. The boat's throttle is bad about freezing up when it is that cold. Thankfully, we were prepared for it. We had two clothes hangers ready to rig up to get us to the hole. We were determined to make the best of it and shoot some ducks. We took off across the lake with P-Nut driving the boat... with the clothes hangers. (It was worth the trip just to see this!) We arrived to the lucky log, got the decoys out, and hid away the boat. We were ready to hunt. I had my usual "break time". The set up looked good and the sun was rising quickly. We could see ducks flying above and all around us.  We decided to take out a few of those ducks. We killed a few drake woodies. We sat back and were waiting on the mallards to fly in. All of a sudden, P-Nut yelled to Doug to "Call 'em in, man!" P-Nut had spotted three malley birds in the distance. Doug started calling, and the ducks started turning toward us. At first, they came in a little out of shooting range but Doug wasn't going to let them get away. He called them back in. This time they were within shooting range. Everybody sat as still as the tree we were perched on, and it was paying off. When the ducks came into land in the decoy spread, we rose up and fired. All I could see was three ducks hit the water. My heart was pounding. We had dropped all three ducks. We started yelling, dancing, and hooting across the lake. We didn't care if we saw another duck because we accomplished what we came to do. We gathered the ducks and the decoys, and began taking pictures immediately. We started our journey back across the lake so we could get our feet warmed up. We had a good time that morning. I think Doug's head may have grown a little that day, but he called them in so two thumbs up to him! 

The last few mornings have been depressing in comparison to the start of the season. I can count on both hands the amount of ducks I have seen. Hopefully, whatever element has changed will go back to normal soon, and we can have a few more good hunts this season. This also proves that it?s not about duck killing. It?s about the hunt. Not every hunt will be as successful, but the time shared during the hunt makes the good hunts even better. 


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