This time it's 4:00 AM boys... gotta get up a bit earlier to make sure we're set up and completely ready when the birds get off the roost. Pulling the truck into the field in the early morning darkness we all got to work. You could see a system starting to emerge with Kent taking blind placement & brushing duties. He made sure that we disappeared into the corn stubble, leaving our layout blinds looking like guille suits. Mike and I took to setting out the full body ducks and geese, making sure to replicate what we had observed from the feeding birds the prior night. Rob runs the electronics department of the crew, setting up and trouble shooting all the mojo ducks that were intermixed into the set up. By day 3 we're turning into a well oiled machine.
Our hard work finally started to pay off, as we hunkered down in our blinds watching the birds that took to the air about 10 minutes before we could click off our safeties. One of my absolute favorite things about waterfowling is knowing that you've done everything right, and fooled the birds. When they see your decoys from the air, decide to hook in for a closer look, and then actually land in the spot you want them to you know you've just won the game. As the clock ticked ever closer to toward shooting time, we watched as birds practically landed on top of our blinds. The dogs laying in wait, the look in their eyes practically saying "when the hell are you guys gonna shoot!?!?"
Soaking in those moments is an awesome feeling because they don't just come along everyday. You put in a lot of work for those moments like that. Minutes later it was time. Game on. With calls pressed to our lips it only took a few quacks and feeder chuckles to turn the first group of birds our direction. "KILL 'EM!!"
And we did. It was a great morning with the birds working in small groups right into the hole, giving everybody shooting opportunities as mallards dropped to the ground and feathers floated off in the morning's strong breeze. With everybody shooting well this morning we had a four man limit of mallards in short order. Even mixing in a few geese for good measure. The long afternoons driving around just searching for the hunt finally paid off.
The only bad thing that happened was my camera taking a dump. It was set up on a tripod when the wind gusted up and knocked it down, damaging one of the lenses in the process. Luckily the camera body itself was still functioning, and the lens can be replaced. I was about sick.