Scout Trip Ends with a Limit


Last weekend, Zack and I ventured out solo in hopes of finding a new spot.  It was a bitter cold morning with the temperature gauge in the truck reading 21 degrees.  I knew we would be breaking ice where ever we ended up.  When we arrived, the blind was no where to be found.  I checked my maps and knew I was in the right area.  Signs leading the way told me it was in the vicinity as well.  I scoured the shoreline looking for signs of spent shotgun shells and any evidence of prior hunts.  I flashed my headlamp out toward the water and spotted a small island about 60 yards out.  This couldn’t be it.  There was no cover.  I knew it was a pit blind, but this was an island in the middle of a lake.  Sure, this would be a sweet spot for a dog with a calm demeanor, or no dog at all.  I decided to make the best of it.  This was the blind I had chosen and there was no going back.  I spent a good 20 to 30 minutes breaking ice, leaving no time to find a way to conceal Zack from wary birds before shooting time.  We hunkered down the best we could as the first morning flight was upon us.

Still muttering to myself about the lack of cover, and yelling at Zack to lay down – bird after bird came close, but just outside of shooting range before flaring.  If I had a little bit of cover, I could have easily picked up 4 birds in the first 3o minutes of shooting time.  After about an hour I decided to stop fighting it.  It was time to put in some effort and build a blind with the materials I brought with me.  I ventured back to shore and grabbed my fast-grass blind material, along with camera tripods I always bring with me for filming.  They weren’t being used for filming today, so I put them to good use as posts for the blind material.  It wasn’t perfect, but it did the job.  Within 45 minutes I picked up 4 birds.

The morning came with more challenges – ice re-freezing the decoys, Zack running through the blind, sun right in my face, and a hole in my waders that filled more-and-more with icy water as I ventured out to tend to the decoys.  None of that mattered at this point.  I was determined to kill my limit of birds, even if it took the remainder of the day.

Around noon I had one more bird to go.  One thing lacking from this mixed bag of birds was a nice green head.  After letting some teal and spoonbills pass, here came our mallards.  I finished the day with a limit of birds, and the topper was the final shot – a green head.