4:30 AM... up at at 'em boys. We're loading up the guns, dogs, and heading out for the first hunt of the trip. With the promise of hunting in North Dakota I think the hopes are automatically a bit higher than normal. But keep in mind that it's still hunting. Anything can, and likely will, change from what you had pictured in your mind. No matter. We're not working, and we're hunting, so therefore life is good...
As the watches chimed legal light's arrival, the sun was busy bursting over the opposite horizon from where we last left it. Only minutes later the birds were trading places in the air, with a single duck following the script we wrote. Right up the center, making a death charge at our stubbled in ground blinds, the call of "shoot that bird" rang out and immediately following came the shot, then a folded up mallard falling from the sky.
Only problem was that mallard was the only one who stayed up late and read the script! The ducks couldn't make up their mind what they wanted to do, flying sporadically here and there. The geese came from a few different directions, but the first flock wasn't interested in our spread and decided to light in an a neighboring field. Just far enough away that we were able to watch every other group of birds dump in, or circle the feeding geese.
Maybe it was the hotter than normal weather we had to contend with, or it could have been the Harvest Moon. We weren't certain, but something had to change. We decided to abandon the field set up, and take up posts on those loafing ponds near by. A short while later while scratching out a couple birds, we decided to pick up our toys and head back for lunch. Still a fun morning in the field either way.
Scouting later on that afternoon was productive in the fact that we found a field holding a ton of birds. Both ducks and geese. It would've been a slammer of a hunt except that we needed to track down the land owner and get permission since the property was posted. That task proved to be impossible despite having a friend in town making call after call to an unanswered phone that week. The birds in this field went unhunted to our knowledge, and the size of the flocks only grew throughout the week. It was big tease to say the least. We continued to keep tabs on it just in case we were able to get through to the land owner, but it turned out that it just wasn't meant to be.
We made the call to hunt that diver pond we scouted the night before in hopes of putting some canvasbacks and redheads belly up in the water.