Saturday, October 20, 2012

Duck Hunting?

"Look Deano, there are five of em up there."
"Where? I don't see anything."
"They're way up there, see? I don't think they are comming this way. They are way to high and their wings are flapping real fast, so I don't think they will land."
"Still can't see them."

Graydon and I were sitting on a finger of mud just west of Killarney Lake's outlet. The sun was out and the wind was blowing about 60 mph, we were duck hunting. 

I met Graydon at about 3 PM behind his place and we hitched up the boat, picked up Ollie and headed to the chain lakes for my first duck hunting experiance.

We launched the boat and loaded ourselves in, Graydon chugged the engine to life and we were off. The motor sputtered and died. Graydon calmly clamored about squeezing the gas bulb, shaking the fuel line and turning the starting key. I watched as we drifted away from the dock and closer to the levee. Finally the engine caught and we were off! Graydon looked at me and smiled then hit the throttle.

The boat jumped and we were immediately up on plane. Seconds later the engine revved up, water and mud flew, and we came to a slow halt.  It was like we were in a big mud bog contest but a bit louder!  We looked back and then to the sides, and found that we had run a ground.  Graydon stepped out of the boat and pulled us to deeper water. We looked around and started to laugh.  That was about how typical this hunt would be.

"Graydon, I don't have any waders. I mean I have waders, but I didn't wear them. How do I get to shore from the boat?"
"Here Deano, get on my back."
"No, it's OK, just get on my back and I'll carry you the few steps."

Once on shore Ollie and I fished while Graydon spread his duck decoys out around the shallows.  We had read the regulations and shooting was allowed up to 5:55 PM that day. The ducks were set and we were in our seats by 5:15 PM  forty minutes of quality hunting time was ahead of us so Graydon lit a cigar and offered me a drink of whiskey.  This is duck hunting!

"Ducks don't like the water to be smooth." Graydon waxed blowing a big puff of smoke. "They like the decoys to be moving. These waves are perfect to make the decs (decoys) do their thing and draw the ducks in."

I listened to Graydon explain duck hunting theory, all the while looking for a duck, any duck, to fly by.  The sky was blue with puffy clouds, but no ducks.  Graydon had said that an empty parking lot was not a good sign. No hunters probably meant no ducks, but this was the shake down trip and so far we had found out quite a bit.  First the boat motor's gas line needed to be replaced. Next the electric duck decoys would not flap their wings and they needed to be repaired.  I needed my waders.  Finally, we needed ducks.
At 6 PM Graydon started picking up the decoys and Ollie and I fished again.  With the boat loaded Graydon slogged over and offered me his back.  I refused knowing that somewhere some guys were watching and waiting to see this fat guy climb up on this tall slender guys back.  I dashed the several wet steps to the boat and we were off. Graydon used the electric motor to pull us back to the dock. We loaded the boat on the trailer and drove home. We laughed about our little excursion and I committed to giving duck hunting one more shot.  Graydon promised to repair all his equipment and find a spot where there are ducks.

"Deano, you have got to see a duck circling in low and setting its wings to glide in and land in your decoys.  There is nothing like it."

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