Friday, October 23, 2009

Rain Rain Go Away!

SW Wisconsin
On Friday morning we woke up after a great home cooked meal and a short sleep with the intention of getting on the "Strip". We started out late because we lost one of our wallets. We spent 20 minutes looking for it only to find it in a gear mix up. We showed up at the landing late and now in a rush we hurried out into the main channel.
With it still raining and no end in sight, Matt wanted to take a short cut to shave about 15 minutes off our ride. He was looking for 2 specific trees that marked the channel we needed. When he found what we were looking for he told me to" turn in here". We didn't make it far until the boat was stuck. We shouldn't have gotten stuck, even towing the 10ft boat, but the whole way out I knew something didn't feel right the way the motor was running. It seemed to be loosing power as the ride went on... we would soon find why.
Once in the main channel in this bay my uncle seemed confused. We had missed the 2 trees we needed. We got out of the boat and pushed it back toward the main channel the whole way trying to figure out where the turn was that we missed. We made it back and decided to take the long way around and continued on. It only took a few minutes until we encountered our next problem. I herd a loud snap and felt the boat jerk. I looked back and "OH MY GOD"! The 10ft boat was under water and our gear was floating down the channel. It had been taking on water (which was why we felt like we were losing power).
We quickly turned around and I yelled out "nobody miss the bags on the first pass"! I knew if we did not grab them the wake from the motor would sink them. My brothers bag is the only one designed to float so as I motored up to them I decided if I had to miss one on the first pass it would be his.
We managed all the gear bags in one pass! Now we had to get the cooler then the thermoses. After that it was the decoys and then the boat. We dragged all the gear to nearby shore as the channel is way too deep to get out. The guns were in our boat as I have never ever trusted something so expensive not right by my side, even though my case is a floating one. My uncles isn't, I think its designed to absorb water and sink, not sure because the tag is missing. After dumping the water out of the little boat and repacking we were on our way for the 3rd time.
We managed to find a spot in badger bay that we thought would work even though the wind was not right. We had to carry our wet heavy gear a ways to our spot and set up with just a little time to spare.
It was still pouring rain when shooting started and we jumped on a nice drake mallard right away. Shortly after that a green wing teal came 20 yds right over the decoys. My uncle and I stood up and almost at the exact same time powdered this teal. All that was left was a falling carcass and a floating cloud of feathers.
After this short burst we sat in the rain for awhile. All our gear was soaked right to the skin. We had birds work the bay but with the wind just not right it was hard. We managed one more hen Gadwall and decided to go in early and dry out our gear and hope for an evening shoot.

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