Well the story of November has been the freakish weather. Bitter cold October and a extremely warm November has keep the birds well into Canada. Went out Fri and Sat to a lake that was holding birds but sunny sky's kept them in the park basking in the sun. Got to do a little calling but nothing being pressured and nothing working at all.
When down to the river in Stillwater this morning hoping for some honkers and was suprised, and caught off guard by mallards. We only packed a dozen mallards and about 3 dozen geese and before the sun came up the mallards were circling. I would have pulled up a little early on 2 groups but someone showed up 10 minutes before shooting and tried to motor into where we were set up. By the time they made it down the shore there was 4 minutes to go and big drakes in the decoys. I played by the rules and waited until shooting started the whole time keeping the in a circle pattern around us. Right at shooting time a group od 12 set into the decoys and we hit 3 drakes but 2 dove. We had some landing behind us but we weren't paying attention back there because it is wooded. Turns out there was a huge pond back there they were roosting in. By the time we caught on to this and moved some decoys back there it was too late. We let hesitation kill us on a few I thought would "finish" but go away.
We did see alot of honkers flying out of the north. Lots of calling with little effort ( they were very high ) but then success! I pulled 2 of of a huge "V" and they came right over out into the bay and flew in 10ft feet off the water into the decoys. When they came down the shore line I could see that they were 2 of the biggest honkers I have seen in a long time. When they started to land short of the decoys I called out head shot right as they hit the water in their back stroke. All we saw was feathers flying and the spray of the shot on the water all around them, BUT THEY WERE NOT DIEING! All 3 of us unloaded on these 2 birds and they were flying away. I loaded 2 more shells into the gun and shot at the closer on again. It flew down the shoreline twards the 2 late arrivals and they unloaded 6 rounds into them fallowed by a boat chase and 2 more rounds. I thought they went home early but they stopped calling and let me do it for them. Must have realized their flute didn't sound good.
We sat and laughed at the "Iron Bird" and reflected on the season. Quite possibly on of the worst in a long time with the funky weather, but also filled with missed opportunities. The push will happen for sure this weekend as the temp on Thursday drop from 45deg to 10deg over night and day time highs are below freezing. According to the guide in Canada it is going to be a show because they say there are still record numbers of birds holding in their area but expect them to leave by Wed.
My only hope for another duck hunt is the possibilty of making it back to SW Wisconsin because their season ends on Dec 6, but otherwise all I have is a couple weeks of late season goose hunting coming up. Better get some scouting in because I still need to shoot some honkers! I have only 1 in the bag this year.