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Re: My duck season so far

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This past weekend was a good weekend. Another chilly weekend by most folks' standards. Saturday started with wind chills in the 20s. Sunday was a bit more moderate but neither day got much above 55, if that. However, it was GORGEOUS!!!!!!!

Belle sure didn't appreciate having to wait. She was rarin' to go and just can't understand why it takes me so long to get ready.



With the kind of wind we had Saturday, it's important not to park under any of the trees. Especially big, grand awesome ones like these. They have a tendency to lose parts of themselves.



We headed out on one field that usually has some birds on the down wind side. There are little depressions that the quail like to hide in when it gets windy but we didn't find them. We continued onto a few other fields nearby and still the quail eluded us.



At the end of the field, it gets really thick and heads down into a gorgeous little pond. The property is scattered with ponds like this. There are woodducks on them but at one time they used to be loaded with gadwall, mallards and the occasional black duck. I don't know what has happened but these days hardly any coots even use the ponds anymore. Just the woodducks.



We changed things up and went to a field we had not yet hunted this year. There are often lots of deer around that field and the deer hunters are often clogging it up, but this time we got lucky. It is freshly planted with something that is bright green, but I am not sure what it is. I keep meaning to ask. There are shore birds galore on it, starlings, red winged black birds, snipe and warblers of many kinds. In short, it is bird dog LOSE YOUR MIND HEAVEN. Belle had a great time clearing the field of the trespassers while I got ready to go and refilling her water containers.

The back side of the two fields goes into a nice swampy pond edge. It looks like there should be woodcock in there. I never saw or heard any.



Belle was having a grand time moving through the woods though. I was following a logging trail through it all, enjoying the show she was putting on. The grass is just taller than her in many places so sometimes all I could see was when she bounced up and over things.



Belle began working a section as we headed back into the wind. You could tell she was smelling something good. Her nose would go way up in the air, trying to catch whatever tastiness she smelled. She would point briefly and then work back and forth, point briefly and relocate. She did this over the course of about 500 yards. Until finally she went on a nice hard point.

She was not moving off of this one. There was no tail flagging of uncertainty. They are here says she.



And boy howdy were they. I walked in and kept walking, kicking bushes and grass. Nothing was happening and still she never moved. I kept kicking and walking until all of a sudden I stepped into the middle of them and the world exploded all around me in quail! There were probably 30 birds. I had one bounce off my head as he flushed. I was so startled that I didn't even get a shot off.

However, I watched the direction some of the birds went off in and I followed. We got into an area where I think they had been and Belle seemed to agree, though we never found them.



We stomped all over the place and she was super wiggly but not much else to go on point for. When we finally decided to leave that area, we got back on the logging trail and not much further down there was a thicket. Belle passed it by but I called her back and sent her in. Maybe there was a quail or woodcock in it. Sure enough, not too far in and she goes on point. Lordy is it thick in there though.



But she holds the point quite nicely until I can work my way in.



I start kicking and stomping and kicking and stomping and nothing is happening but she continues to insist that there is a bird in there. I get within two feet of her and try kicking and stomping some more and still nothing. So, I release her with "okay" and she pounces my left foot! The bird was sitting next to my left foot....I had nearly stepped on it and it never moved! Once it was pounced it got up and flew. I kinda thought I hit it but it wasn't a strong hit and it continued to fly a bit around a corner. I never saw where it went down, just which direction it went.

We headed off in that direction and Belle began working like she was smelling something tasty again. This time though she was working the tops of some of the bushes more than anything. Which kind of made me think that I had possibly gotten the bird. Eventually she went on point again so I walk in and do the kick and stomp. After several minutes of nothing and a still solid point, I release her. She remains steady (which she never does if it's a live bird) so I just stop and look around. After a bit of looking, there it is. My quail.



She was my shero!!!!!



We were pretty much back at the truck and Belle was worn out so after another short push through one small thicket near the truck, we headed on home after a great finish to a gorgeous day.

Sunday I had plans to be out at the WMA earlier than the day before and while I was, it was still not as early as I had hoped. But it was just as gorgeous out and less windy.



Belle had a great time running the wire grass again. I keep trying to get shots of her running but I think I need my "real" camera and not my iphone. She does a great job with pointing but the smile on her face as she runs is tough to capture (especially going away like this :) ) and should be captured.



But in short order, she found me a small covey.



And happily I was able to get her a quail.



That was the only covey she found, but we found one covey each day so we are doing better than most weekends we get out there! It was a great weekend to spend roaming the woods.



Dani
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Thread My duck season so far Dani 3022 Dec 9, 2021, 7:46 AM
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Carl 2943 Dec 9, 2021, 7:59 AM
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Dani 2907 Dec 9, 2021, 10:08 AM
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Dani 2840 Dec 9, 2021, 5:01 PM
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Dani 2573 Dec 23, 2021, 12:10 AM
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Dani 2261 Dec 27, 2021, 8:54 AM
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Dani 1851 Jan 11, 2022, 3:32 AM
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