Saturday, November 7, 2009

What a day in Iowa

Today we set up blinds a decoys in a good field that we got two nights ago. About 600 the birds started flying, the only thing wrong was that they werent flyin our way. So we made the desion to try the field that night and we had them all come to our decoys and, they circled acouple of times just lowenough for us to drop acouple.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Made the right choice… (WI)

It was a good idea not to come down to Onalaska this weekend! This is going to be the weekend to rake leaves, hunt turkey's and keep the decoys in the garage. Sunny, balmy and warm! Checked out a spot yesterday morning and never fired a shot. Refuges are almost void of ducks right now. This is what I call the "calm before the storm". Next weekend things will be looking much better!


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Another Beautiful Day Down South (Arkansas)

Its been another beautiful day in Arkansas. No rain for a couple of days, but still got alot of water. We cant complain about that. The only problem is we may complain about it being to much water. Still seeing some Specks flying around, a few Snow Geese. That is always a good sign here. Only 17 days till opening morning. Still working on getting the boat and decoys ready. Been working with Gauge alot lately. I think this is gonna be a good year for him.


Dont know whats up right now (IL)

hay its jeff in IL its ben hard to work the birds its all the same ones no new brids yet only a hand full they got wise fast to the blinds we have so much water to cover if you know the chain were we hunt u know what i mean the chain o lakes we need ice fast to push them out of the small holding ponds that r safe and they know its safe and a lot of the north birds have not come down yet so pray for crapy weather dont stop it will happen soon (hope).

Waiting for Season (TN)

With the cooling weather and falling leaves it seems that everyone that waterfowl hunts start to get an itch that can not be filled until season opens. Our season does not open for a few more weeks and man can I hardly wait. There is a few birds around here but we hope they start getting here in numbers soon. I hope everyone's season opens with great numbers of bird coming into the decoys.

waiting..waiting..waiting (CO)

So im still waiting for my chance at the geese but ducks open now so hopefully thursday ill find some time to get out and see what happens. I haven't seen many birds around here lately couple geese out east and a couple woods hanging up north. i have been so swamped with the calls, getting some lanyards together filling orders and sorting deeks and all trying to get things ready in my free time i haven't hit the field but i did just get the e mail from my local call maker that my new call is all ready to go so keep an eye out for a review and an update of thurs good luck till then!

Monday, November 2, 2009

First post (Cade Patton)

I figured since this is my first post I would give it a little comedy well its hilarious for me and the guys that know the man I am about to tell you the story about. His name is George he is no small critter, he stands at 6'6" tall and weighs over 300 pounds (a lot like me) but the difference is he is almost 60 years old.
Well to get the story started he is the wildest boat driver i have ever ridden with, and if you have visited Reelfoot lake that is about what our bottoms in Arkansas look like. It is strewn with cypress knees and large stumps all over the place. Well needless to say he still runs his 16' boat with a 40h.p. motor on it straight through our bottoms. He flys through the swamp disregarding all of the channel markers my father made a long time ago. Well this day was exceptionally cold and my father, George, another member named Warren and one of George's friends was going to meet them there an hour after shooting light. After hunting for about an hour George said he would run back to the boat ramp and pick up his buddy. So thinking nothing of it my father and Warren stayed in the blind to watch for birds. Well a half an hour went by and my father got worried he kept telling Warren something happened to George he must be hurt it doesn't take but 2 minutes to get from the ramp to the blind. So my father decided he would try and wade out from the blind and get his canoe about 200 yards away. Well about the time he was going to get in the water and start wading they here the dull roar of George's boat coming up the river as Warren said I told you so to my father they waited for them to pull up to the blind. As they grew closer they noticed George had wet hair and lost his hat and his jacket as well. When he climbed into the blind they noticed all of his clothes were different. They began asking him what had happened.
Well George had made one vital mistake. On his way back to the boat ramp he had to go over a beaver dam. Once the boat crossed over the dam (that was flooded enough to drive over) he happened upon a stump hidden under the water. As his boat was blasting over this stump it caught the front of the motor and caused the tiller to rip out of his hands. The boat shot straight forward into a tree. When he hit the tree he was thrown out of the back of the boat. Struggling to get his jacket off of his head he pulled it off and let it float off through the water. The entire time George was in the water his boat was still running in circles around him the boat ran right next to his head after he pulled his jacket off. After this the boat motor shut off and he grabbed onto the side and pulled it to shallower water to get into the boat. Once in the boat his motor would not crank all he could think was dang now my boat is dead in the water. He pulled up the motor and looked at the prop and there was his jacket wrapped around the prop killing the motor. His jacket was the only safety he had from his boat cutting something off. He got it untangled and the boat fired right up. He had gone back to the truck and put on dry clothes so he could keep on hunting. That is exactly what they did but from now on when you see a war eagle boat with a dent in the front that looks like it was run into a brick wall think twice about safety because you never know what will happen.
From that point on his nick name is Mad Dog and he learned nothing from that error almost flipping his boat running up the river again at the end of last season. I stick to my dads canoe with a small mud buddy on it that has a top speed of 3 mph.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Weekend Review (MN)

Woke up Saturday morning to a steady 20mph west north west wind. Way too strong to go hunt the point at the south end of the big dog leg left, so I decided to try the north end. There isn't much up there but the north shore doesn't have any homes on it, and its where we usually flush birds on the way back to the landing, so I thought it would be pick instead of a 2 mi boat ride in the wind.
We met one of the Duck Junkie members at the launch in the morning to weigh our options. They offered to haul some of our gear for us because they have a much bigger boat than we do. We both decided to stick to the north end of the lake after watching the waves slap against the shore something fierce. We put the boat in the water and before we even left the launch we were taking on water over the back! And I even have splash backs on my boat!
We made it to the north end and found a great spot to set up and right at shooting time I had a mallard fly in but it was right next to a heron so I could shoot. It landed outside the decoys and after a few attempts to make it jump it swam out of range then flew. I hate to whack birds on the water but that was frustrating for me and the dog to watch.
About a half mile down the lake Scott and Matt were shooting as fast as they could load there guns. We watched a few hundred birds work the south end of the lake where we usually hunt but they only made it as far up the lake as where they were hunting from there boat. When I got the call 35 minutes later I knew it was to rub it in. They had indeed limited out on golden eyes, bufflehead, red heads and canvasback.
As fast as the flurry started it ended and we were left with nothing. By the time they had made it to the north end of the lake they were fly a mile high in the wind.
On Sunday we launched at a resort in a bay by the spots we hunt on the south end. We called the day before after our miserable hunt just to see if they would let us use it. The owners were very nice and so we now cut out the wind factor on the boat ride and about 1.5 miles.
The shooting started slow. Not many birds at all for about 25 minutes. Then we herd the oh so great sound of the golden eyes. They swooped in out of nowhere and flared on my side of the blind. I stood up and hit the first one but by the time I pulled the trigger on the second one it was in the next county. Shortly after that we had one solo ring bill right out over the decoys that didn't stand a chance. We waited a short while and another small flock of goldies came in just on the border line of range and we crippled one that sailed out and crash landed. We looked from the blind but we did not see anything and figured that it dove. About 15 minutes later we saw something floating in the water across the lake. We had to use the binoculars to see it but it was the one we hit, so I got the boat out and picked it up.
We had some missed opportunities on a few birds and made a plan for when to pick up. We sat around and about 5 minutes before we picked up a flock of buffleheads came screaming down the lake and turned right into the decoys. After a flock shoot we had dropped 4 but 2 were crippled. One went down right away and one scooted away. I sent the dog on the dead ones and my dad in the boat after the cripple.
As soon as my dad started to uncover the boat I had a feeling that something was a miss in the situation. Not sure what but it was there. I watched him struggle with the boat and after finally getting in he started the motor and throttled it. Then the miss. My motor was locked in the down position to hold it in the mud where we had it stashed, and when he throttled it he ran it right into a stump. The motor kicked up the boat turned sideways and he let go of the motor. All I could do was turn to my brother and say, "He just broke the lock off the motor tilt". My brother asked me how I knew this and all I could tell him is that I could hear it and see it. The motor didn't kick the way it should when you hit something.
While we watched him drift around the lake a flock of buffleheads flew right across the front. My brother and I pulled up and shot. I got 2 shots off and then heard "I didn't know which one to shoot they were too close together." As I sent the dog on the 1 I hit I explained how a flock shoot works so next time he wouldn't be so confused.
After a bad Saturday hunt Sunday went pretty good. 3 Buffleheads, 2 Golden eyes, and 1 Ringbill. Off the lake by 10:00 with another broken part to fix and the hope of next weekend being good.
Shown below, at the far left of the picture, is the newest Duck Junkie member Scott. He can blow a goose call like nobody's business.

Plan B (SW Wisconsin)

Sat. started out perfect. Weather looked good (lots of wind), I got started early, got to the landing without forgetting anything, motor started second pull… I was off made the turn out of the no wake zone right into the 20mph west wind; motor killed. Started drifting down the lake. Got the 10 horse running again for about another 100 yrds. Killed again and drifting off the channel. Started up again and headed back to the landing (ended up rowing in). Trailered-up and decided I needed a plan B. There is a place in the Winona pool that is easy access and trolling motors only, with a fully charged battery I headed north. Got there just in time to troll-it to the far end, set decoys and load my gun. Birds were moving around but my set was out to far in the wind. After a half an hour I pulled a dozen mallards back into the calmer water. Stuck it out until 9am. Dropped all three singles that came in to inspect my decoy spread. Hoodie, Redhead and a Greenwing. all three were as perfect a specimen as one could get! The Delta south of Winona had about half the birds it was holding a week ago, and the amount of shooting I heard Sat and Sun afternoon from the Onalaska prairie tells me that the strong winds have moved alot of birds out. Weeks forcast looks rather balmy. Change in time will give me a chance to hunt mornings before work some so let's see what happens during the week.