I took the day off from work to Docsit and while he was taking his morning nap, went bird hunting with Elettra and Mia. I was hoping to get the guys on some ducks just as much as Pheasants but it didn’t look it’d happen – that is, until I forgot to lock the truck when we set out. I returned to lock the truck and then decided to set out in a different direction, one that brought us around to the ponds.
The thing with jump shooting ducks is to watch the water rather than for the ducks themselves, since the ripples are much easier to see. This pond had ripples which told me there were either ducks or muskrat swimming around. It turned out to be ducks, four of them.
I hit both my shots but they weren’t as clean as I’d have liked. I wing-tipped one and the other continued for a couple hundred yards before going down. As for the wing-tipped duck, it landed in the pond and Mia chased it around for a good 15 minutes or so with no chance of catching it. Since she couldn’t touch bottom, she was swimming and it wouldn’t be long before she tired; the duck could spend all day diving away from her. Eventually the duck popped up on the opposite side of the pond from Mia and I finished it off.
Meantime, Elettra ran the bank but couldn’t bring herself to enter the water; each time she was about to go after it, the duck dove and she stopped when she lost sight of it. Mia did a nice job of retrieving the duck and we went off in search of the second one.
Casting is going to be something to work on next year since I’ve never really trained the guys on it, especially long distance casting. So I took them over to the general area where the duck went down, where Mia was able to find and retrieve it.
We hunted another hour or so and the guys flushed a Pheasant but I held my shot. We were working the edge of some cattails when the breeze shifted, putting the dogs upwind from the cattails. They overran a rooster that was just downwind of them, but it would have been a long shot and the bird would have gone down in the middle of the cattails. Not wanting to take the chance of dropping a wounded bird in the cattails, I held off.
Back home, I gave the birds to Doc before cleaning them, and he was more than happy to show me what he could do with them.