Early Season Duck Hunting Adventures

An encore Blair Hansford post from October 2012

In Virginia, we get a four-day season in the middle of October. It is a good time to harvest resident ducks and a few migrators that have trickled in. Usually, it is in perfect unison with the wood duck migration.

We hunted a couple days of it and had a great time.

FRIDAY/SATURDAY

Friday night — Myself, Jake-the-Dog, and two of my good friends, packed up gear and hiked an hour through some of the thickest woods I have traversed to take a shot at a beaverpond on some public property. After many twists and turns and unneccesary zig-zags in the pitch black with just a compass we finally reached out destination.

We strung a rope from two trees, draped a tarp over it and tied each corner off to make an impromptu A-frame tent to call home for the night. By this time we were soaked with sweat and occasional rain as well as everything in the woods being drenched from days of rain.

Jake the dog
Our nighttime fire to warm up and dry off
It paid off with a few flights of woodies (wood ducks) and an early morning double for me. The experience itself is what I will remember for a lifetime — good friends on a common mission that is not easily attainable. The struggle is what makes it fun.
The beaver pond
Jake the Dog retrieves birds
Jake brings back a bird
Woodies brought back by Jake
Afterwards we picked up camp loaded everything on our backs and hiked it out to head home for much needed sleep.
MONDAY
Monday morning with heavy winds and flood tides from the Noreast blowing over the previous five days we decided to hunt a local marsh that was up in a creek in protected waters. We all got to the ramp on time, got to the spot and got the decoys set in good time.
As soon as legal time hit we started seeing flights of birds and it continued until about 9am.
Ended up with only three mallards, due to letting a few pass us by (erring on the side of caution to avoid shooting towards land with some houses in the distance).  Both of the gunners with me got their first mallard so it was a good day in my book. After sitting until 10am we called it, grabbed some lunch at Pops Drive-In and headed home.
 All and all a great first split for the season!

About Blair Hansford

Blair is an avid fisherman in the Lower Chesapeake Bay. He also hunts and offers tips, tactics, recipes and pictures on his blog, Fish The Bay. (http://fishthebay.blogspot.com)

Blair Hansford

Blair is an avid fisherman in the Lower Chesapeake Bay. He also hunts and offers tips, tactics, recipes and pictures on his blog, Fish The Bay. (http://fishthebay.blogspot.com)

blair-hansford has 8 posts and counting.See all posts by blair-hansford

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