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Fingers crossed---

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Fingers crossed---
Our regular duck season opens next Thursday, Oct. 28th and ends on the last day of January. The picture I took of the pond of water was two days ago and it just seems to be hanging in there. Most of the water has evaporated. All I can do is hope that there will be enough water to float maybe 4 or 5 big duck decoys. I will bring some teal decoys just because of how they would react to winds and or breezes. By the way the pond had 9 big ducks on it and they quickly left the area when I drove up. The ducks were a combination of mallards and Mexican ducks.

I can tell you that Chip, my duckdog, is ready to go. He always is and I love him dearly. He is a great duck blind partner.
Allan

I know exactly where my blind will be and if a duck or some ducks do come in my furthest shot over the water is 35 yards.




Chip is my radar screen in the duckblind.



As for Coal, he will be ready to hunt next year.



I am taking it easy with this not so little tyke. He is coming along just fine.



Coal will be ready when that time comes. Fingers crossed!



Coal is lucky that Belize is as mildmannered as she is. He goes in for his 12 week shots on November 1st.

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Re: Fingers crossed--- In reply to
Al, good luck. There is an intense low pressure system that is going to roll across the northern border and well into Canada beginning on Friday that should push good numbers of birds south ahead of it.
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Re: Fingers crossed--- In reply to
Thanks so much, Rick. I just was reading about the Bomb Cyclone that the weather folks have been talking about. We look to be on the far southern end of it but it will bring some winds up to the 50 mph range. With our continued warm weather pattern along with those winds,it will be interesting what happens. It is good for us because like you said, it should push the migrators south.

I'm hoping that the northern Rockies of NM and southern Rockies of CO will get their fair share of snow. This will all help keep the Rio Grande flowing. This year they shut off all irrigation to the farmers/ranchers for September and October. Even with this done,the Rio Grande is showing way too much sand.

I have all my gear packed and am ready for this coming Thursday!
Allan
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Re: Fingers crossed--- In reply to
I'll keep my fingers crossed that it brings you both precipitation and birds! Good Luck!
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Re: Fingers crossed--- In reply to
Good luck to you Al. I Can't tell you the last time I saw the Mississippi river this low. After 4 years I finally have access to a blind. Our area is DNR regulated. I can't get a boat to it so I dragged brush 200 yards from the boat to the blind to brush the blind. That weekend we had about 6" of water at the blind. Yesterday was our opener. I dragged two doz decoys and my gear in to find not enough water to float a decoy. I just turned 66 on the 21st and by god I can still do it! I did manage a Woodie yesterday. My first duck in 4 years. It's raining now and for the next few days they say. Thank goodness. I'm pumped to get back out there.

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: Fingers crossed--- In reply to
All I can say, Ed, is congratulations on what you have been doing on your hunts. Keep on doing it and enjoy every minute of each hunt. It was good to hear that you got that first duck in 4 years.

I have plenty to do in the next three days. Then on Thursday I will be duck hunting once again. That is a good feeling. If my pond dries up---I should have said, when my pond dries up, I know of a few spots on the Rio Grande that I can hunt as long as it doesn't run too fast or is too deep. It might take a month or two of water flowing in the Rio Grande to get some water in the channel that I hunt on a private ranch. So we will see how it all works out this year.

Every time I toss a ball to Coal, I can't help but think of next year's duck season. He will be ready for sure.
Allan

Coal is now 11 weeks old.









Coal enjoys the games we play.




He loves this blue ball with all the pointed nobs on it. The reason I like it so much is that it is already teaching him about having a soft mouth. I took these shots today.


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Re: Fingers crossed--- In reply to
I went out to check the pond today (10-25) and it looks as if there can only be about 6 to 8 inches of water left. I have some Herter's model 72 mallards They use a very shallow keel and float well in not much water.
Allan




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Re: Fingers crossed--- In reply to
Good luck, we are headed for the St.Mary River mid-week for a handful of daysin hopes of running into migrators.
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Re: Fingers crossed--- In reply to
Best of luck to you, Rick. Hopefully you will get into some of the migrators heading southward. I'm sure you will be prepared for what ever Mother Nature throws your way.

As for us down in the southwest, we are going to get some winds but unfortunately no rain. The sandhill cranes are on their way here and two days ago I heard a southbound flock of light geese flying south.
Allan
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Re: Fingers crossed--- In reply to
Al Hansen wrote:
I went out to check the pond today (10-25) and it looks as if there can only be about 6 to 8 inches of water left. I have some Herter's model 72 mallards They use a very shallow keel and float well in not much water.
Allan


Get a tanker of water trucked in. We could use some teal and mexican duck pics.

Little consolation, but we are getting a rain nor'easter today with 3-6 inches predicted. It hasn't stopped since midnight and it isn't supposed to stop until tomorrow morning.
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Re: Fingers crossed--- In reply to
Tod, that sounds like a great idea but then it would make me feel guilty as all get out. I know a lot of the farmers and ranchers in this area and you can't imagine what that tanker of water would mean for them if they could have it. Yes, water is more valuable than liquid gold around here. Be careful if you will be hunting. By the way, what is the name of that great looking brown dog who is at your side when you hunt?
Allan
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Re: Fingers crossed--- In reply to
Al Hansen wrote:
Tod, that sounds like a great idea but then it would make me feel guilty as all get out. I know a lot of the farmers and ranchers in this area and you can't imagine what that tanker of water would mean for them if they could have it. Yes, water is more valuable than liquid gold around here. Be careful if you will be hunting. By the way, what is the name of that great looking brown dog who is at your side when you hunt?
Allan


New pup is "Beaver".
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Re: Fingers crossed--- In reply to
Tod, would it be possible to send 3 tankers of water? I went out to work on the blind today and found the pond almost dry. Not only that I had a friend of mine stop to see what I was doing and all he did was shake his head saying, "I just don't think there will be any water there by Thursday morning. Oh that friend is a farmer and he told me that they have shut down for this year. All the hay is bailed. This all happened in the morning as the winds began to pick up. The wind directions shifted from south west to a north wind. That is when it really began to blow. It was also a very dry day with the humidity rate at 12 %.

I did toss one of my Herter model 72 decoys into the pond about 15 feet out and watched it stick in the mud after it hit on its side. That was telling me that there was possibly 2 or 3 inches of water. So if by some miracle there is still an inch or two of water I will toss out about 3 teal decoys. My decoy retrieving stick reaches out to 18'. If no water I will be off to use plan B

Plan B is setting up on the Rio Grande. If there are ducks in the area I might get lucky. We will play it one day at a time.

Plan C will be to use one of the low flow ditches that I know have Russian olive trees growing along the banks. Wood ducks happen to love the nuts/fruit that this tree produces. The only problem at this time of the year is that the trees are still loaded and are now just beginning to drop them. I will spend some time scouting in that area.
Allan
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Re: Fingers crossed--- In reply to
What a bummer, we ended up with 4 inches of rain, that is the 3rd or 4th major rainstorm in the past couple months.

Hope the water holds for you, a couple teal decoys should be more than plenty if the birds are using it.
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Re: Fingers crossed--- In reply to
Al,

What a lucky dog Coal is. I believe that the best of the dogs are given another go of this experience here once they pass on.

If there is a list of possible places and people they could come back to
it is likely that a shot of being your bird dog is at the top tier.





Don't just do something, Stand there!
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Re: Fingers crossed--- In reply to
Tod, when I tossed out my 2nd teal decoy it got stuck in the mud. There was so little water left. So I stuck it out for the morning seeing no ducks---however, I was entertained by hundreds of sandhill cranes flying into a chopped cornfield just north of where I was. During the morning, I also saw a southbound flock of light geese that were heading for Bosque del Apache. With no ducks seen I made up my mind to try the Rio Grande next just to see if any ducks are beginning to use it. There are some places that I can get to and that is all I need.

The best news is the rancher that gave me a key to his locked gate back in 2007. He told me that there was no water showing up in the drain channel yet but with the Rio Grande running it shouldn't take more than a month or so. I'm thinking perhaps the beginning of January.

Anyway, he then said, "Hey guess what I bought?" He ended up telling me about the used Cat D-6 bulldozer that is now his. He will re-establish the one mile road along the drain which will give me multiple hot spots that the ducks loive to go to. The drain is loaded with Russian Olive trees and that has to be another one of the wood duck's delicacies. The nuts that drop into the channel the just gorge themselves with them. So not all is lost. All I have to do is be patient and live long enough to enjoy what will be happening at the ranch. It is fun to have something to look forward to.

Good luck with your upcoming hunts with Beaver.
Allan

This muck hole took too much out of me and I made a decision not to come back. Thank goodness for my 18' retrieving stick. There is no way I can walk in the mud.

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Re: Fingers crossed--- In reply to
Todd, good to hear from you again. I sure hope you are doing just fine. I loved what you had to say about dogs and in particular, retrievers. Of course, that made me think of your great pal, Red Dog, I believe was his name. It seems to me he also loved going after grouse.

Enchanted Desert Chipotle aka Chip was by my side in the blind and boy, he did not forget what he was supposed to do. He stayed in that spot all morning long. Yes there were times where he got his left ear scratched! Of course when I was setting out the decoys early in the AM, he had to go check out what water was left and was half covered in mud. When we finished hunting I took him over to the Rio Grande and he got all cleaned up with what seems to be more muddy water! We had fun.
Allan

As you can see cockleburrs love him. However, Chip does a good job shaking most of them off. I put on my gloves and pull the rest of them off. Called part of the hunt.














From this picture below, you can see that the Rio Grande is not exactly cyrstal clear water---




"Hey, there is a cockleburr on your back. Don't worry, I will get it. Good boy, Chip!" I am a very lucky man to have him as my partner in the duckblind. He is special.



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Re: Fingers crossed--- In reply to
Chip sure is handsome! Sorry to hear about the water woes......
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Re: Fingers crossed--- In reply to
Thanks for the kind words about Chip. I will tell him.

Bev and I drove across the Rio Grande today when we went up to ABQ. The river is surprisingly low. No one is using the water and there is hardly enough to keep the water flowing downstream. That is how bad it was in the southern Rockies of CO and northern Rockies of NM this past winter. Very little snow if any at all.

It was either two or three years ago that a scientist made this statement to folks living in the southwest. Get used to 6 months of summer. That is what he said. This year was the first year that our hummingbirds were up here in March. For 20 + years they were always here in April. This is also the first year that we fed hummers during the 2nd half of October. In the past, they were all heading south by the 10th of October. Little tweeks of changes on both ends seem to make a big difference!

I hope we have enough folks who are heeding the warning signs.
Allan

Looks like I will be hunting the Rio Grande when I can. The pond has only an inch or two of water and that should be gone in a day or so.

Last edited by:

Al Hansen: Nov 1, 2021, 10:13 PM