Opening Day, Waterfowl 2014
This morning, my nephew Craig James and I headed out at insane o'clock for the waterfowl opener. We had scouted a great new spot over the weekend and were pretty sure that we'd be bringing home some fresh duck for diner. And we were right. By 8:30 am, we had 6 mallards and 3 teal, all fetched to hand by my go-to dog Henri. By 9 am, temps were rising fast so we decided to shed the chest-waders, lace up the upland boots and head to the field in search of snipe.
Snipe are migratory, so we can hunt them when the general waterfowl season opens, usually a week before the upland season. But in some areas they are actually found in the very same pastures frequented by sharp-tails. So we had a hunch that we'd come across both. And we were right again. Henri had a total of 10 points in a little less than an hour. 6 points were on snipe and 4 on sharptails. All the snipe were singles, the grouse were in pairs for the most part, but one point was a sort of 'popcorn all around him' kind of thing with probably 8-10 birds flushing in one's and two's.
As for our shooting, well... it sucked. We only shot at snipe of course (sharptail season doesn't open till next week), but we missed them ALL! I blame it on the new shells. You see, I ran out of my regular snipe cartridges, so we had to use a new load, Kent TealSteel #6s. And sure, they went 'boom' just fine when we pulled the trigger, I am sure they are a decent load. But blaming them is easier on the ego than blaming our rusty shooting skills, so I will stick with the 'bad shells' excuse until I start knocking down more snipe with them. Then I will change my tune to 'these shells are awesome!'
All the photos in this post are from today's waterfowl hunt. I didn't take the camera with me for the snipe hunt and now I regret it. I am pretty sure I would have shot better with my Canon than I did with my side by side.