The best laid plans of mice and men, and in this case we relied on the weather forecast. Southerly flow, especially from the east is not good for our situation. Westerly flow is better, but when it is right out of the north, Katie bar the door, the birds are on the way. This is what happened on a beautiful weekday morning. The forecast was for winds out of the north.
|Shooting time. Notice the calmness of the water.|
We arrived at the lake well before shooting time. There must have been at least 12 hunters and we split up into the middle and south pits. The lake was totally empty with the walk in and that is a bad sign. Still everyone was relying on the forecast. We expected the winds to pick up at any time and blow from the north.
RedHead Deluxe Hand Warmer Shell Belt
|Several of our club members wear this setup. Keeps shells handy and your hands warm until you are ready to shoot. Click on the link above or the pic to order from Bass Pro.|
With shooting time, everyone was very quiet and the conversations were kept to a whisper. When you have still days like we were experiencing, the birds can hear you. Also the blinds are made of steel, and that will add to the echo. You make any noise and they are gone. So everyone in both pits was quiet, quiet, and quiet. We waited.
Benelli 12 Gauge Super Black Eagle II Semi Auto Shotgun
|This is the gun I shoot. You can buy it through Bass Pro. Click on the picture or link to purchase and for pick up instructions. If your wife says anything, just tell her it appeared. Works for me.|
Soon the usual local birds made their appearance. How did we know they were local? They never landed or locked up to make the final approach into the decoy setup. They had been there before. They circle and circle and start to come in, then rise up over the lake or the pits showing us their bottoms and wing their way to annoy another group of hunters. The consensus of opinion is that their bottoms start to burn upon approaching the lake or the pits. It makes for action and there is always hope.
Duck Commander Series Hot Shot Motorized Mallard Decoy
|Our club operates two of these decoys. They are very effective and help draw the birds into the lake.Click on the pic or the link to buy from Bass Pro.|
After total daylight, everyone was standing up in the blinds and for most of us the top of the pits are shoulder high. The talk was about patience. If we just waited a little longer, the wind would switch and there would be action. Food was passed around, coffee was guzzled down, but there was never a discouraging word. Well maybe one or two.
Nearing 11 AM, hunters slowly gathered up their gear and started to head back to their vehicles. At that point there was only half of what we had started out with, and by 11:30 I was ready to hit the bricks.
A light breeze developed from the south and put a little ripple on the water. Then it happened. A group of six mallards dropped right out of the clear blue sky. With wings locked up and feet down they were coming in for a drink. No one moved, and our excellent duck callers just gave a few chuckles. I always say to myself, ” I need a movie camera so that everyone can enjoy this beautiful sight.” We harvested the six birds, and everyone headed for home.
QuietWear Reversible Fleece Radar Cap
|I wear this cap in the blind when it gets really cold. Click on the link or the pic to buy from Bass Pro.|
Checking the weather patterns for the next few days, showed a major low pressure developing in the pacific northwest with high winds and a lot of precipitation. That should stir things up.