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I found some older pictures

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I found some older pictures
Back in the 2008 to 2012 period of time I had an absolutely wonderful,let alone beautiful spot to hunt at the ranch I still hunt now. This picture was taken in 08. I can remember it well. The very first birds in happened to be a pair of mallards and I took the drake. Chili quickly went out and got my bird and was back in the blind with me in no time at all. I recall grabbing the drake by the neck and hoisted him up above the burlap so that what light was available would shine on him and that is when I saw the band. Hot diggetty damn! Not 10 minutes had gone by when I had another pair come by and I needed to coax them in with my duck call. I consider myself a terrible duck caller but I can do the "lonesome hen" call maybe ok. So that is what I used and they made another swing by me. I pulled out front on the drake and when I squeezed the trigger that is when they made one of those quick shifts in mid-air and down came the hen. Back then I tried very hard to shoot only drakes and of course I most likely uttered some non printable material! There was enough light by this time and it was amazing how cuss words changed to "How lucky can a guy get?", when I saw the banded hen in Chili's mouth. There is nothing quite like the glint of a shiny leg band when the light catches it just right.

Here's the scoop on that hen. When I got the paperwork back on where it was banded, I already knew it was from Bosque del Apache NWR. No band could look newer than this one. I was also very familiar with the number system that the biologists used at this refuge. I did find this out. On the morning that the duck was banded I had helped the crew that day with the ducks that were banded. Yes, it was possible that I handled this hen prior to her being banded or I might have released her after being banded. I knew exactly where the impondment was and my guess was that she had flown a total of maybe 1.5 to 2 miles to where the beaver pond was that I hunted. The other bit of data was that she lived less than a week from the time she was banded to when I shot her.

Left click on picture to make it larger.





This hunt was on January 7th of 2007. Back then I had labeled it "A ton of color!"



On this hunt which was November 18th, of 2007, I started taking pictures with my little pocket camera because I already had my limit of mallards. The sun wasn't up high enough to shine on me yet but the light was good enough to see the greenheads and what I thought were two hens. One of them was a drake Mexican duck, so there were four drakes and one hen in this group coming into my decoys.




It was great fun to sit there and watch all the ducks come in to eat smart weed. They were very comfortable in that spot. The Rio Grande was behind mty back about 50 feet away. I left me decoys there all season and normally hunted it Monday through Friday. One Monday morning I found a dollar bill tucked in a spot where I would see it. Evidently the guy who hunted there on Saturday or Sunday had a good hunt. I never ever lost one decoy. Nice to know how respectful duck hunters are in this area.




In all the miles Chili rode with me on the 4 wheeler when I hunted this area of BLM land, she had only fallen off once. She was a quick learner.
All total it was close to 7,500 miles that we put on that 4 wheeler. We were packed and ready to go other than to get the ducks in a bag and into my decoy sled where I tied it down in back of Chili.




I was at Bosque del Apache taking pictures during duck season when I thought I might see a mid-air collision. They came very
close to hitting. If you look at the bull sprig you can see it is banded.



I wished I would have found this picture sooner. I took this at the
Beaver Pond (ranch) so you could get an idea of how scenic and very special it was to me.

There is way more to duck hunting than just shooting ducks.




One morning when the sun came up I just had to take this shot of Charlotte's web. I had been out changing my decoy set up when I spotted it.



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Re: I found some older pictures In reply to
Geeez that is one unlucky hen Al!

Nice pictures. Thanks for taking us back down Memory Lane......since you've been wandering down that lane, I'd love for you to do a memory lane or two post of sheep hunting....there are some hunts that will likely never be one I get to do but I do still find them fascinating....
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Re: I found some older pictures In reply to
great story and pics
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Re: I found some older pictures In reply to
Wonderful stories, and I just love that near collision picture. It is amazing.





Oxford, CT
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Re: I found some older pictures In reply to
Dani, thanks for those comments. In the meantime, since I have once again lost some of my Alaskan hunting pictures, I did find this one with a couple of sheep I shot. I will try to get together some materials and other pictures if I can find them.
Allan

The Dall ram on the right is the sheep that I took when I went in on a solo hunt in 1972. That was the time when my pilot, Ron Warbelow, flew me in to the Dry Tok Creek and dropped me off. I told him that I would be at this spot when our designated day for pickup was going to happen. We had flown over some sheep and I remember prior to us taking off in his Super Cub with tundra tires on, he asked me this. "What are you looking for?" I said, "Ron, I am looking for a respectable full curl ram." Then when we were flying over the sheep, he asked if they would be what I was looking for? I had a small pair of binocs that easily fit in my shirt pocket and from what I saw, I'm sure I had a tough time wiping the smile off of my face. I patted his shoulder and said, "They look just fine to me."

I liked this young man a lot. He was 23 years old and told me that he had been flying since he was a kid. He knew how to fly around the sheep. Airplanes really spook them easily so he kept his distance and it all worked out just fine. I saw him look at his watch and then he told me that when we got to the Dry Tok Creek landing spot he had, he would tell me how many miles it was to get back to the spot where the sheep were. Ron said, "It is a good 7 mile hike to get back there to where we dropped your tent." He went to the tail and told me to push on the opposite side of the plane on the strut. We backed the plane until the tail wheel was in the Dry Tok Creek. I watched him take off, then disappear around a bend in the Dry Tok that he was flying over.

Then it got quiet---very quiet. I looked about, smiled and began putting some miles on my legs. I absolulely loved the environment that I was in and was as ready as I could be for any of the challenges that I might be faced with.

More later, Dani.





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Re: I found some older pictures In reply to
Thank you, Joseph, I appreciated what you said.
Allan
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Re: I found some older pictures In reply to
Thank you so much, Mike. I'm glad you enjoyed them.
Allan
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Re: I found some older pictures In reply to
Al,
Another great story with pictures from the members here!
I am at the stage of life where strapping a pack on my back and walking miles in the wilderness are memories. Ok, I probably feel I can still do it, but is it wise. A loving wife keeps me in check!
My thanks to the writers here on Duckboats like Al, Todd, Dani and many others who put your hunts to words and pictures.
Many of us here are beyond the "shooting of bird limits" stage of life. And for me there are no limits on a memorable hunting or outdoor story.
Thanks again,
Steve
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Re: I found some older pictures In reply to
Well said, Steve. I am glad that you are still young enough to make another trek and also realize that with life comes more responsibilities.

Not but a few minutes ago, I had fallen asleep in my big chair. I had a program that I had taped and was watching that with Coal, our almost 6 mo. old black lab, who was curled up on my lap. Today we are going outside for some more retrieving work and to see how is retention is regarding walking at heel. I love these moments with him.

Stay safe and guard your health.
Allan

Does this look like Coal is practicing a Texas 2 step crossover?




I can hardly wait for next year's early teal season to be here. I'm hoping that Coal will enjoy being in the duck blind with me.

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Re: I found some older pictures In reply to
Amazing photos and stories, as always!

I imagine a sprig and snow goose collision would make fan an interesting puff of feathers!


Carl
Mobile, AL
DHBP Member since 1998

"Life is too short to drink bad beer."
Disclaimer: This post and/or report is not a substantiation of or reflection on the true accuracy of the present surveying methods. It is only a report on or comment concerning local observation and/or results. Your results and observation may vary based on your location, local water conditions, food supply, weather conditions and migratory patterns "
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Re: I found some older pictures In reply to
Carl, I was just trying to visualize that impact then going out on the limb and wondering what that would look like if the timing and focus were to be spot on. My camera takes 8 fps and what if the 3rd or 4th frame happened to catch the instant impact? Called interesting for me but not them---

That, sir, just reminded me of a snow goose that I saw falling back down into the water. There had to be about 5,000 light geese that I was photographing at Bosque del Apache a couple of years ago.
Al

Maybe it was this one who later on decided to fly.

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Re: I found some older pictures In reply to
Resonates.
James Woods