Four Hours, Six Species

After the onslaught of the first few really good days, things slowed a bit.  If there was a south wind it almost paid to stay home.  However, if there was a north wind, you had better be in the blind.  In addition, all the beans had been cut, but the farmers were in the process of harvesting the corn.  Waterfowl like corn.  This late into the season, when the corn is out, the farmers may not get back into the fields to disc them.  This is a good thing for the birds as it will make feeding a lot easier and with all the water around, they will stay.

This was the day I could go, and a southerly flow was in progress.  Still, if you don’t head to the blind, you do not get any shooting.  Time to poke holes in the sky was around 7:30 AM.  Arriving at the Big Chicken in Tekamah for breakfast at 6 AM would give everyone there plenty of time to get situated in the blinds.

This is what sunrise looks like peeking out of the top the cover.

It was starting really slow, then traffic appeared.  They were small ducks made up mostly of teal, gadwall, and wigeon with a few pintails mixed in for seasoning.  The nice part was we were seeing some mallards.  That was an excellent sign of things to come.  This late into the season, seeing the small ducks plus the first trickle of bigger birds, was truly amazing.  The small birds usually are gone by now, but the nice weather keeps them around.

Our main man Jackson with his owner ready to go into action.

 They came to the lake looking for water and a place to digest the grain they had been feeding on.  They found instead six hunters all patiently waiting.  Groups of three to six birds circled, responded to the call, and dropped into the lake.  It was truly a perfect picture of birds locking up and setting their wings to land near the decoys. 

Jackson in action.

The highlight of the morning was a flock of snow geese that wanted in.  They dropped down from a high altitude surprising everyone and locked their wings to glide into the lake.  They were probably tired from flying all night and wanted a rest and a drink before heading to Texas where my friend Dean waited in the rice fields.  They circled twice and then came within range.  The feeling was, “Don’t wait for a better shot.  It may not come.”  The call was made to take them.  That was a nice harvest.

Two birds out of the flock.

By noon, it was all over with.  The sky was totally clear, the traffic we experienced in the morning came to a halt, and it was time to go.

Good looking hunter holding a couple of mallards on the way home.  I wonder who he is?

It was an excellent morning and everyone took home birds.  The highlight was the snow geese that dropped into the lake.

Good hunting, good fishing, and good luck.  Hank

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