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Opening weeked....a SUCCESS

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Opening weeked....a SUCCESS
Well after a very slow start on teal season, I was greatly anticipating the opener of first phase of regular season. Another chance for me to get my Black Dog on some birds, see how well the training has paid off. Saturday dawned with me getting to my spot a little later than I anticipated but no one was there so I got set up as quickly as I could. I was not sure what the water levels were like at my spot and so was only hauling the decoy sled through the marsh. Very quickly I found it was too deep for dogs, so into the sled my Black Dog went. It wasn't the most stable of platforms for him but with me standing on one side to help counterbalance his weight it wasn't too bad.

There were lots of teal and I shot well on them. There were some other bigger ducks that I shot extremely poorly on. I was watching the Mottled Ducks pass by on the other side of the pond where I was hunting and as it got later in the day I moved us over into some slightly tall grass, grassed the sled up as best I could and hunkered down and waited for them to fly by. Not three minutes later I had a pair flying straight at us, I shot and one came down, into the grass we were in, crippled, not 15 feet from us. I sent my Black Dog after the bird, following along behind him. This stuff is pretty thick above and below the water so I was keeping an eye out for the bird so that I could shoot it if necessary. My Black Dog caught her scent and off he went a followin his nose....I saw her at my 3 oclock, and shot her, letting him continue following his nose...and he did...right to her. I was so thrilled. Sure is fun having a dog to hunt with. I decided to call it a day since that was a most excellent retrieve on his part and my shooting was sorely lacking that day. End on a good note ya know.



The next morning we were out earlier and in place just at legal. I decided we'd give the sit on top kayak a try that morning. My Black Dog took a little getting used to the idea, but he eventually figured out that it's not the best idea to sit on the edge cuz you just might slip off into the water. But he figured it out.



The first flock of the morning was a group of teal with a big duck that came in with them. I watched the teal land in the decoys and the big duck continued on, swung right around, put the landing gear down and down it was coming. I shot and when I shot the teal got up and I shot again at a teal....A DOUBLE for the morning. The big duck was a purdy drake gadwall. Later on I had a mottled duck drake that came decoying in so pretty, as well as more teal. The Black Dog had to do a blind retrieve, taking hand signals from me, which he did quite well, as well as hunting up a "dead bird" that decided it was going to pretend to be a fish and chill out under water. He found her quite well too. I was very proud of him.



So we had a most excellent weekend for our opener. It sure is fun to hunt with a dog, and it's nice to have "someone" along with me, even when I'm hunting solo. I do believe I have me a bonafide duckdawg...can't wait to try him on quail and snipe this year. See how he does with those little buggers.

Dani
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Re: Opening weeked....a SUCCESS In reply to
Thanks for taking me on that great hunt, Dani. Congratulations on a beautiful limit of ducks. Looks like you were really lucky that no one else was in that area. Sure enjoyed those pictures. Black Dog doesn't know how lucky he is!
Al
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Re: Opening weeked....a SUCCESS In reply to
Congrats on a great weekend!!
He looks like a very hansome dog too! Ha.

Best,
Brian F.
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Re: Opening weeked....a SUCCESS In reply to
hahahah Thanks Al, but I think my Black Dog knows just how lucky he is....at night he purrs when he sleeps. The funniest thing...somewhere between a snore and a growl perhaps....sounds just like he's purring though.....he must be a most happy dog to be purring.....
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Re: Opening weeked....a SUCCESS In reply to
Way to go Dani! Looked like a great opener for sure. Kind of babying the black dog ain't ya?..........:-).........I know, there are toothy things in them waters but he does look a little funny sitting in a big yellow kayak! Looks like you've done well in the training department. I hope you two are pards for a long time.

Take care,

Ed L.
East Moline,
Illinois
_________________________________________
If I'd had asked what they wanted they would have said faster horses" - Henry Ford

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Re: Opening weeked....a SUCCESS In reply to
Thanks, he is a handsome boy....

And Ed....in addition to the tooth-ed creatures, there is also the fact that the water is butt deep...a weeee bit too deep for the dog to be in the water...and since you scoff at the pretty yellow kayak, I'm going to paint it PINK....
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Re: Opening weeked....a SUCCESS In reply to
There you go.....He thinks my duck boat is sexy....

[URL=http://imageshack.us/...epinkcamofabric.jpg/][/url]
Uploaded with [URL=http://imageshack.us]ImageShack.us[/url]

Take care,

Ed L.
East Moline,
Illinois
_________________________________________
If I'd had asked what they wanted they would have said faster horses" - Henry Ford

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Re: Opening weeked....a SUCCESS In reply to
It's great to see Black Dog working out so well for you. The Gaddy and Mottled look like nice some birds.

Tim
-----------------------------------------------------------------
"Ah Nuts!"

http://snipehunterfishart.blogspot.com/
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Re: Opening weeked....a SUCCESS In reply to
Dani,
What about gators and the dog?
Bill.
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Re: Opening weeked....a SUCCESS In reply to
And pythons?

Looks like a nice pair of hunts.

"At first blush I am tempted to conclude that a satisfactory hobby must be in large degree useless, inefficient, laborious, or irrelevant."
— Aldo Leopold
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Re: Modify the sled In reply to
Dani, you can build some legs for that sled to make it stable. PVC pipe sleaves pipe clamped to one end of the sled. Seal the screw holes with 5200. Then use EMT conduit for the legs to drive down into the muck to hold it still. You could drill holes in the sleaves and use pins to make it adjustable for water levels. The top of the poles can support some netting to make a better grass blind over the sled.



"Where all men think alike, no one thinks very much......It requires wisdom to understand wisdom: the music is nothing if the audience is deaf." -- Walter Lippmann
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Re: Modify the sled In reply to
Thanks Ray....that's a most interesting idea.

Pythons are easy....haven't seen them that far north. At least not yet. I hear that it's just too cool in the winter for them, as that's still a couple hours north of where they are now. Not to say they won't get there, but I think like the cuban tree frog, the temperatures in winter limit the range of the pythons. However, if I do see one, it will be a dead one very quickly.

Gators are a bit more difficult. There are gators in that general area primarily in the rim ditches and canals. A good number of them. But the water temperatures are dropping so they're slowing down, so the liklihood of them taking a large critter for food decreases. Takes a lot of energy to take down something living and big, than something lying dead on the water and small. That said, I'm not going to hunt my dog in a deep gator infested lake on warm days. But that area is so choked with vegetation that I'm not as concerned with the big ones in where I'm hunting, but I do not let him go cool off in the canals. Or go down to get a drink from the canals, especially if I can't see if there's something sunbathing on the slope.

Dani
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Re: Opening weeked....a SUCCESS In reply to
Dani
There you go again almost full circle--West coast back to East coast, North to South. I hereby name you "HUNTER OF THE YEAR'
wis boz
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Re: Opening weeked....a SUCCESS In reply to
Dani
Good success on your outing. That is a good load for that kayak. What type of new boat are you looking for to fit your needs? I hope your dog never finds one of those snakes on is own.
Dennis
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Re: Opening weeked....a SUCCESS In reply to
Dennis I sure hope to avoid those snakes as well as my black dog avoid those snakes as well.

What kind of new boat to fit my needs.....wow now theres an open question. I'd love an airboat. A mud motor rig. The most practical would probably be a wide 16ft jon boat, open floor plan, motor maxed out and up on a jack plate so i could get into really skinny water if I wanted, but also use it for fishing in the summer. For that place that I hunted and a couple other places like it, a light rig like that kayak....perhaps a flatter floor for the dogs to be more comfy...stable enough that I could get in and paddle it if I wanted, but it's gotta be light since i'm hauling it on my bicycle...not sure what fits that description though....a really light canoe perhaps....10ft probably....that would likely be the most ideal...

Dani
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Re: Opening weeked....a SUCCESS In reply to
Dani, Welcome to the retriever world, it is a wondeful place to be. I can kinda share your good vibes, just got back last night from my first South Dakota hunt which was Bookers first pheasnt hunt. Did better on the deer than pheasants with a very nice doe but Booker took to the "ditch chickens" like a lab to water. Bird numbers were WAY down but had a wonderful time anyhow. Hope the rest of your season(s) go as well. Thinkin of you. I have heard dogs purr too but only when they are very happy.
"There is nothing- absolutly nothing half as much worth doing as messing about in boats or with boats. In or out of 'em, doesn't matter." Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Graham

Shiny side up,
Wicker T, Booker T & Charlie Brown
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Re: Opening weeked....a SUCCESS In reply to
Excellent journey Dani.....thanks for taking us along. Great shots! There is nothing better than sharing the day with a good duck dog.

dc
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Re: Opening weeked....a SUCCESS In reply to
Dani
If you are looking for something light like you are using that may fit your requirements better, go to creekboats.com. What they have is better than your kayak.
Dennis