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All of sudden they seemed to be flying in from heaven

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All of sudden they seemed to be flying in from heaven
The last couple of days I have been at my little spot working on my blind. I decided to take a break so I picked up my camera and just sat there for bit. In the distance I saw some specks that kept on getting bigger and bigger. Good grief if only I had my shotgun. Season was less than 48 hours away.

That mountain peak in the background is at 10,700'. Sorry about the photos but on this day we had a tremendous amount of smoke and ash from the CA fires circulating throughout New Mexico.















How excited would you get to hunt teal if you knew that on the 11th the day's high will be 95F with a low of 63F. Sunday will be 93F and 61F. Then Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday are 92F, 92F, and 91F all with a low of 61F.
I promised Bev that I would pick up my decoys when one hour of hunting was up. No ifs about this at all. This time of the year snakes seem to migrate to where the water is because that is where all the vegetation and little critters like to be.



Took these shot today, Friday. The air quality was much better. Had a small flock of 9 come in while I was working on my blind.

Most of these were cinnamons. Around here we have to wait until January when they are on their reverse migration out of Mexico, to get them in full plumage.







It is amazing how quickly teal can seem to catapult themselves into the air. That is done in a fraction of a second. Just to be able to watch them use their wings and feet to do this is something else.







These teal flew out and away but in seconds made a wide circle and came back in. I was there this afternoon when it hit a high of 96F.













It was a great day and my blind is as finished as it can be. I have some wild sunflower plants to hide my frame and trusty/rusty chair. Chip, my yellow lab duckblind companion will sit on my right hand side. He knows something is up. In 8 hours and 6 minutes our early teal season will open. It sure is fun to feel like a kid again. This time I checked my list twice. All is ready.
Al


I wonder how my portable radar unit will react when he sees something like this. That just made me think of the time I thought Chili was darn near asleep---so I clicked off the safety on my Benelli Nova and you should have seen her leap into action. That was funny.

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Re: All of sudden they seemed to be flying in from heaven In reply to
"Sorry about the photos"

Al,
Sorry my a$$, you are tickled pink you can make the rest of us salivate. Sly Looks like you will have a good start to your season. Yep, keep one eye open for snakes.

Take care, Huntindave McCann Smile SHELL ROCK IA. ,,,,,, "As sailors grow older, the wiser ones move to smaller boats." Thomas Firth Jones, Multihull Voyaging
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Re: All of sudden they seemed to be flying in from heaven In reply to
Dang Al! What is to be sorry for about those photos? All those teal....those temps are about what mine are except my lows are higher and the humidity likely worse. Man do I love teal.

Good luck when you go!
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Re: All of sudden they seemed to be flying in from heaven In reply to
Well Dave, In the first hour I waited 40 minutes before the first teal showed up. Five bluewings/cinnamons came in and I was able to take one of them out. That kept the smile on my face. My very first duck I shot in western Minnesota was a bluewing, So 67 years later I went out and shot a bluewing. It was easy to smile. The heat was intense by 1:00PM today and more of the same for tomorrow. So once again I will only hunt that first hour. Much safer that way.

Dave, when does your season open?
Al
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Re: All of sudden they seemed to be flying in from heaven In reply to
Thank you, Dani. We are very greatful that our humidity rates are relatively low. Makes it easier to put up with warm weather. I am hoping that this pond will be holding water when our regular season opens but maybe that is just a pipe dream. I really enjoy teal hunting just like you. They are a marvelous variety of ducks. Remember I will be looking forward to pictures from you. No pressure at all, I just happen to like what your photographer's eye sees. One thing I have been doing and working on to get better and that is to look through the viewfinder of the camera with my right eye while I look out at the real scene with my left eye. It is challenging but worth it.

Take care and have a great hunting season, Dani.
Al
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Re: All of sudden they seemed to be flying in from heaven In reply to

Looks like you may be adding to the smoke in the air come the opener, Al


MLBob

"Art is like an ill-trained Labrador retriever that drags you out into traffic." (Annie Dillard)

....Here's to Joe Wooster, who made me realize that the useful could and should be beautiful; and who firmly believed that decoy carvers were the last free men in America.

https://www.facebook.com/KOOIdecoy?ref=hl

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Re: All of sudden they seemed to be flying in from heaven In reply to
Good to hear from you, Bob. If shooting one juvenile bluewing female leads to it, then I am guilty. My friend, Tim, called to tell me that we will continue with a south wind through Monday. So hopefully new ducks will be flying south on Tuesday. With water in a lot of the stock tanks in our area, that is a plus factor for the ducks. Our high today, Sunday, is supposed to climb to 95F. Of the rest of the days for our hunt which ends on a week from today, The last day, next Sunday, is also supposed to be winds out of the south. Looks like our coolest day will be ONLY a high of 92F. YUK

Other than that, I will make darn sure to include some one and two hour power naps to keep caught up on my sleep. I am just so darn glad that I can still hunt and be out to enjoy every moment of these hunts.

Are you hunting teal this year, Bob? I hope that you and your family are doing well. Stay healthy and safe.
Al
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Re: All of sudden they seemed to be flying in from heaven In reply to
Al Hansen wrote:

Dave, when does your season open?
Al



Al, Well then you have more in the bag than I this year. Our "early Teal" opened Sept 2nd and runs thru Sept 16th but I haven't been out. Instead, I have been doing some maintenance on one of my boats. A little fiberglass wear repair and bottom repaint was needed.

Our regular season runs Oct 2nd thru Oct 8th, closes then back open Oct 16 thru Dec 7th for the zone I am in. Different zones have different time frames with overlapping dates, so a bit of driving would allow one to hunt ducks continually from Oct 2nd thru Dec 21 within the state.

In the meantime, my helper has been with me while I turn a few bowls. She doesn't seem to mind the shavings and actually looks forward to being blown clean with the air hose when I am done.













Started this as a "winged" bowl, got the outside bottom done, then decided to go a different direction. I am liking how it turned out, although it has no shellac finish on it yet.






Take care and keep those photos coming. Hope you have a good season.

Take care, Huntindave McCann Smile SHELL ROCK IA. ,,,,,, "As sailors grow older, the wiser ones move to smaller boats." Thomas Firth Jones, Multihull Voyaging

Last edited by:

Huntindave McCann: Sep 12, 2021, 3:50 AM
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Re: All of sudden they seemed to be flying in from heaven In reply to
I would have to say that your pup is pretty darn intelligent. Enjoying blasts from the airhose. On hot, muggy days very enjoyable.

Good to see are turning some beautiful bowls. What are your favorite woods that you like and are they all available in your area. Do you have a friend or two that know you are looking for those special trees with lots of burls? When I was cutting salt cedar here for firewood, I had a guy that I would save the trees for him and then he would drive his truck to the spot, put it down and load it up. He liked making his bowls between 3/16th and a 1/4 inch in thickness. They owned a nice bed and breakfast having two or three sites in their large older home. They are always booked solid all fall and winter with mostly birders/photographers going to visit Bosque del Apache NWR. He always runs out of stock.

Good luck to you. I hope you get those projects done prior to duck season opening.
Al

On Sunday when I was heading home after my morning hunt, I stopped to take some pictures of the Turkey vultures. There were a good 12 to 15 of them feeding on what I thought was a dead coyote that some one had tossed in a small pull off by a ranch. When I looked the second time, I noticed that it was someone's old dog, who knows what ailments it had but I read the scene and knew it was one of the oldtimers from this area that had to put his animal out of misery. Most folks take their pets to a vet to have them put down but there is still a group of folks that take that responsibility and get the job done.





If you look at the hole about midway in the bird's upper mandible, that is part of its olfactory bulb, It has the largest one in the world far outdistancing its cloest rival,that being the black vulture. They, Audubon, said it was 4 times the size of the black vulture. Anyway, it can detect the smells of a dead animal almost a mile away. It is quite an amazing bird. If you have ever seen one and how large they look, then contemplate this. They are 2.5 feet long and have a wingspan of 6 feet. Just think that they only weigh between 2 and 4 pounds.



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Re: All of sudden they seemed to be flying in from heaven In reply to
I have a few pictures of Sunday's hunt. It was a great morning because I took three gwt. I had a chance at a pair of gwt but just flat out missed them. Probably the most exciting time was just when the sun was about come up and a flock of 12 eclipse pintails came in to the area. I got them to make four swings over the pond and that was exciting. Chip had a good workout and you can't ask for anything better.
Al

One of the things that I like about Chip is that when you look at him sitting with his radar screen constantly going, he doesn't move his body other than his head from side to side if need be.










Incoming!



















When you look at this picture right up towards the top of the picture there is a group of 3 pintails in a very tight bunch and the 2nd from the bottom there are two birds there.





I can't begin to tell you how much fun this was to have the pintails come in and take some looks.





My shell of choice happens to be a #7 steel shot Dove load




As for the last two shots, I always try to let my retrievers have some fun before we leave. Chip seemed to be doing just that.









It says that it is 11:32PM. That means I will almost get 4 1/2 hours of sleep. I can hardly wait for the opener tomorrow (Tuesday) which will be exactly at 6:20AM. By the way it got nasty hot today when it hit 97F. I am glad I stayed home. It was a good rest.
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Re: All of sudden they seemed to be flying in from heaven In reply to
Great pics and story Al. I still keep the hummer pictures you sent many years ago on my private messages, and just looked at them the other day. Enjoy the birds and dogs. My old gal is 13.5 and hasn't been hunting in a few years, and I miss having her along, but am thankful I stopped hunting her at 10, as her health is good and other than a little arthritis in her hind joints, is spunky and happy. But I think she would like hunting in New Mexico, even if only to watch. Always look forward to seeing what you are up to out that way, and the hunting terrain and birds you have. A little different than New Jersey.
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Re: All of sudden they seemed to be flying in from heaven In reply to
Hi Greg. It is great to hear from you. There is no doubt that your duckblind partner would be hunting here. Each morning has been in the low to mid 60sF when beginning to hunt 30 minutes before the sunrise. Normally within that first hour of it being up it gets into the upper 60sF and a few times into the low 70sF. Monday afternoon reached 97 with Tuesday reaching 95F in the early afternoons. We had a high that had settled in over the 4 corners region.

This morning we were out but never saw a duck and I am including Chip. We got invaded by barn swallows. It was darker than I cared for to try and take some pictures but here is a shot from earlier this summer during some nice bright skies. They must have put a real hurt on the insect population this morning. Anyway, my yellow lab looked like he really tried hard to follow just one bird but that had to be darn near impossible. The way the swallows were zigging and zagging then going into a steep dive to then skim the water at times was way too much for him. He finally settled in and learned that he know longer needed to include the barn swallow. It was fun while it lasted.
Al