Monday, December 7, 2009

Matt Your Bull !! Your Bull !!!!!

I arrived in SW WI late Friday night with a very sore ankle and lots of excitement for the final 2 days. The weather had changed on my way down and was no longer from the north, it was now from the south. Matt and I unpacked my stuff and loaded up for the morning.
Saturday morning reveled a lot of ice at the launch, but luckily some other boats had alreday made a path. We put our boat in right after a group of 3 that had a much bigger boat and we were hoping to follow them so we wouldn't have to break so much ice. Turns out none of their flood lights worked and they asked us if they could follow us. We made a few jokes but were more than willing because if you do not know the channel, especially this time of year when there is no grass left, you will be stuck in weeds and dead heads.
The morning shoot revealed almost no birds. Almost no shooting anywhere and at 10:00 Matt and I decided to take the boat out to find another spot and see what was frozen. We found a great spot and quickly picked up to move.
Once set up in the new spot way back in the prairie where no one else was, on a spot I'll call the lost bull island, we quickly saw some action. I was eating a snack when Matt yelled out "RY right here"! I crouched down and asked" where" without looking which was followed by a quick gun shot and the response, " In the decoys!" Shortly after that it was my turn. Matt grabbed a snack and out of the corner of my eye I spotted 2 flying at us very fast and about 10ft off the water. I told Matt to stop and explained where the birds would be when he turned around but before I could finish they were on us. I pulled up and vaporized the first one and picked off the second one with a long poke. A Pattermaster choke with HEVI Shot at 10yrds on a shoveler flying full tilt does some damage! The problem was the other birds. We watched as a bald eagle swooped down and picked it up! All I could do is yell at it. It dropped the duck and it came around for another pass> Right then 2 hunters showed up in front of us, almost as if sent by God to help us. They grabbed the bird for us way out in the bay but they had to swat the eagle away! This bird would not give up!
About 5 minutes later we had a huge Drake gadwal drop right in on the decoys. We each fired 1 shot making a clean kill and the race was on between KING and the eagle! Matt and I watched in amazement as this bird swooped down on King as he grabbed the bird. He did a great job bringing it back and it is now in the freezer and heading to the taxidermist. Now with 3 shovelers and a gady in the bag the moment arrived!
Matt and I both have a life long obsession with the big bull pintail. In this part of the country they are not in abundance so to shoot one is huge, but for us its better than any jewlery out there. 3 years ago I shot one that is being mounted, and so when I saw this one dart by I knew this was going to be all Matt.
When it shot by I yelled out Matt your bull Matt your bull!! "I know I know!' he said. I imediately grabbed the dog remote and the call. There was no screwing this one up! I worked the mallard and pintail call both bringing the majestic bird into the decoys. First pass was ok but I knew I could do better. Second pass it came right at us with wings cupped and feet down but flared to my side. "No no no" I called off the shot because I knew I was getting this one all the way in. I looked at Matt and the look on his face was priceless. His eyes were fixated on this bird as it kept circling around. His eyes were that of a 2 year old that you just handed a big bowl of candy and told, "go ahead and eat it all." It brought a smile to my face and determination to my calling. Not too much but not to little. I watched each movement of the bird as I called making sure he was committed. On the 3rd pass it was like something out of a video. Feet down and wings cupped, my blood pumped for Matts sure kill shot on his first pintail. I yelled take'm! 3 shots rang out and he flew away! I reached for my gun but by the time I got a shot off it was too late.
We sat in awe of the recent event. Apparently Matt in not ment to have the bull. Both being frustrated we missed a few birds after that but ended with 7 on sat with a couple of cripples. We should have had our limit, but thats why its a sport. The worst part of the whole story is that Matt had one other chance this year also and came up empty. Its just one of those things that you try so hard you over try. I know the day will come when he gets one. I just hope I can be the one to call it in for him. And if anything else maybe his daughter will shoot one before he does{:>) and I can be there for that too!
Sundays review will come tomorrow with a review of my experimental decoy. It is getting late but the cold temps are definitly here. We are expecting 12" of snow tomorrow and temps well below zero on Thursday and Friday. Alot of geese are moving south with the rest of the birds, I just hope there is some black foots left in a couple of weeks for the official last hunt.

1 comment:

Mark Mangini said...

I would guess he tried to aim the shotgun rather than pointing it. I will keep Matt's Bull Sprig in my huntin prayers.