Man, that brings back memories. I used to hunt that spot hard more than a dozen years ago when we would set up in the back bay and pull the birds all the way in to the mud flats. Playing with the dam induced "tide" was always a pain, but it seemed to draw the birds in closer than the side blinds. Just having that blind you're in tells me you don't mind the "midnight" boat rides. Good looking hunt. thanks for the memories.
We were on the water by 4:30 and mostly setup by 5:00. In process of putting out the decoys we flashed off two other boats. Come early or go elsewhere for sure. Certainly know about those "tides" as I forgot to anchor the sled out a bit and within an hour we returned to find it mostly high and dry. Still a bit sore from getting that boat back in the water.
No idea on how it did this year, outside of in general it was hot before Christmas and then on so so with the weather. I'm just starting out hunting. In fact that's the first time I fired that gun (got it last week) and first duck for my dog. My new bad habit...
LOL. Yeah, back in the day I ran a boat with a 10 hp outboard and even though we would launch earlier than anyone the @holes would still roar past us in their big boats knowing full well where we were headed. If I could have scuttled those ya-hoos I would have.
I'll never forget one duck hunt in the snow that turned into a surreal chucker hunt. The chucks would fly back and forth from one bluff to the other (maybe it was just one side to the other, but still) and were almost in pass shooting range. Even though we could see them against the snow, hunting them from river side up the hills was near impossible. Damn those birds can climb! Even in my mid 30's at the time I could not get above them. We got a few, but just a drop in the bucket compared to the coveys we were seeing.
Man, I miss that spot. I hope you picked up all your shells and the sh#it others left behind (somehow I suspect you did). Those blinds would become a public dumping ground...
Welcome to the true "dark side." Steelheading is child's play compared to waterfowling. If you're worried about losing time on the water, just think of it as "feather collecting" for steelhead flies. Pretty true, actually.
Those are great photos. I am interested to hear how you have been going about training your dog; I am looking for a pup right now and would like to be prepared to train properly. Looks like a good day onthe water. Jeff
Jeff, you directed a comment and question to Chris. I hope you don't mind if I offer my thoughts, too. I've had a number of hunters ask about my Lab: where I got her, who trained her, etc. I would tell them my sources and offer my suggestions. They wouldn't do what was suggested and they ended up with very poorly behaved dogs that they won't take hunting. My suggestion on the training is find the area where the pro and field trail trainers are working their dogs near your home. Go watch them, strike up conversation, talk them up and offer to help them. Many of them will help train you so you can train your dog. I paid to have my dog trained but the most value was being trained myself. Getting trained in handling my dog was the best learning experience I've had related to duck hunting.
Anyway, just my two cents and sorry for butting in.