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Thread: Another great day out with the dog.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Cowichan Valley

    Another great day out with the dog.

    Spent a couple hours pulling off the carburetor draining the bowl and putting some compressed air it to dislodge what ever was starving the motor of fuel. When I dumped the bowl there was a glob of water the side of a smarty and some other sediment that was in there. Put it back together and it still didnít want to start. I replaced the spark plug that I just put in new the week before and it flashed after a couple of pulls. OK thatís strange, so I looked at what could be causing electrical issues and there was one connection to the coil that looked a bit corroded and switched it out with a soldered joint and heat shrink. Flashed it up and it ran smooth
    We get to the boat launch, slide the boat out of the back of the truck, organize all the gear so there is room for the dog and I. I position the new kayak paddle in a spot of easy access for the trip in to the estuary incase the motor craps out on me again.

    We get set up placing out the 4 1/2 dozen or so mix of Mallard, widgeon, pintail and teal decoys Iíve got loaded in the boat. Placing them fairly close to the water line as the tide was still on the rise and I wanted to keep my shots within a reasonable distance as I was trying out a new choke tube for the first time. Itís a Muller ďDecoyĒ choke designed primarily for shooting over decoys (up to 35yards).

    We are set up and waiting for about an hour when a flock of teal buzzes into the spread and a nice drake teal decides to come into the spread for a visit. Iím always so decisive when it comes to the first bird of the day. Iím pretty resolved to only shoot drakes but if any drake comes in itís hard not to get the monkey off your back and get the first bird in the boat. Skadi is thinking the same ďshoot it dad!Ē Iím also using a new choke and part of today was to access how it patterned and what better target to try it on than a teal? I water swat this one to see what the pattern looks like on the water. Looks tight and the teal is flopped on its back doing the back paddle. I send the dog in and she retrieves the teal and takes it back to me this time and making sure I have a hand on it before letting go.

    Maybe another half hour or so passes by and I have a mallard land in within 20 yards of me. I shoulder the gun yell at the duck thinking this sucker is toast, then to fire 3 shots and missed him 3 times. What the hell just happened? Iíll tell you the dog was not impressed with me, hell I wasnít impressed with me for missing that. I was used to shooting the old choke that Iím thinking was more of an open cylinder then a modified choke but I shook it off and waited for the next opportunity.

    To try and make the dog feel better and to get her mind off of me missing I fed her some kibble and I dug out half of my Bologna Sandwich. She snarfled back her kibble then was eying up my sandwich but she was being vocal and I said no youíre being noisy and you donít deserve a bight of my sandwich.

    Shortly there after I had 3 drake widgeon land in my spread on my left side maybe 20 yards out. Iím trying to picture how this is going to play out in my mind and what drake Iím going to target first because soon as I shoulder the gun the hiding is over. Before I had a chance to decide what widgeon to shoot a drake mallard drops out of the sky swoops over the widgeon and lands over on the right side of the spread maybe 20 yards out where most of my mallard decoys are. That changed everything in my mind as I wanted drake mallards today. I shoulder the gun, the duck leaps in the air I pull the trigger nothing the duck keeps climbing I pull the trigger again this time he pulls his head back a little. I readjust my aim one more time placing the bead just over his head and pull the trigger for the 3rd time and he collapses to the water. Iím not sure who was more relieved me or the dog. I send the dog out and she comes back with the bird.

    Itís hard to remember which bird came in next as there was so many opportunities, I passed on letting teal in and out of the spread as well as widgeon and at one point I had teal swimming in the decoys and widgeon landing on the edge of the spread but it was the mallards I was after and the smart ones just stayed out of reach.

    I had a not so bright drake mallard think it was a good idea to circle the decoys but from the shore side of the spread and came directly over top of me and I managed to take a poke and his body went lifeless and all you heard was a thud when it hit the sold ground on my right. The dog had no clue where it fell as she was watching the ducks in the decoy spread so I had to get up and line her up in the area where I had seen it drop and it didnít take her long to get a sent and found it no problem.

    We picked out drake mallards here and there, somewhere singles others had their ladies in tow or was it the other way around? Hens decoy so much better and respond more to the call in my opinion. I had probably a half dozen single hens land right into my decoy spread over the span of the day and I just left them alone uninterrupted and they would do the calling for me suckering drakes in for me. Nothing works better than having the real thing moving and calling in your spread.

    I'm noticing the tide is dropping and we are still shy of one duck, itís coming on close to 3PM when a drake drops into the spread. I shoulder the gun as soon as it hit the water and rush the shot when it jumps and I miss the first shot I aim a little better and smack him twice but obviously with a full pattern. The duck hits the water and does the sick duck thing it looks like heís pretty messed up so I send the dog in. Well shit the duck notices the dog and starts doing the flapping on the water but the duck canít fly and he's going parallel to the shore so Iím running the shore line to get ahead of him then start wading towards him to finish him off. I call the dog off and get to within 25 yards of the duck and soon as I take the shot he dives. I head towards the last position I saw him dive waiting to plug him when he pops up again. The dog and I are both circling and looking but nothing but I few feathers that came loose. After circling and seeing nothing for about 5 minutes I figured that was it he must have grabbed bottom and died underwater, we've lost that one but we did our best to try and recover it.

    I was maybe 50 yards from the shore line and in disappointment we started making our way back to shore. When I get to about 25 yards from shore, I see something waddle out of the water and into the grass with its head down. Sneaky little bugger, that was the drake that snorkeled and snuck past me and beelined for the shore to hide. I picked up the pace and we made our way towards the shore as fast as I safely could without running or making to much noise. The dog was not far behind me at that point as she knew I was chasing something. Once we got to the shore, I saw the duck but I knew it couldnít fly so I lined up the dog and sent her in to find it and she caught on to the sent pretty quick and came back with the drake in her mouth. She was pretty proud of getting that bird and I was happy we were able to recover it and she got some sent training in the process.

    We had to rush when we got back to the boat as the tide was starting to drop pretty quick and we still had to pick up the 4 1/2 dozen decoys and organise the boat again for the trip back to the boat launch. It may seem like a lot of work eight birds but I have to be honest I wouldn't want it any other way. It's all part of the experience.

    In the picture the second bird from the left is not covered in mud it's actually a drake mallard coming out of eclipse. His head is turning green but his undercarriage still looks like a hen at this point. I wonder how many young drakes I passed on that day thinking they were hens.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    somewhere in time......

    Re: Another great day out with the dog.

    ​Cowichan River flats . . . bang, bang!

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Maple Ridge, B.C. Canada

    Re: Another great day out with the dog.

    Looking good Marc!
    Buddi doing what she does best!

  5. #4
    Join Date
    May 2023

    Re: Another great day out with the dog.

    Great story, good job on looking and finding the cripple!

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