Friday, January 04, 2008

just another duck hunting adventure

when i got in the jeep this morning the temp read 38 degrees. "good, i like it cold!" i got to the lake about an hour and a half before legal shooting. unloaded the pirogue and all my stuff just to realize that i had forgotten my paddle. "stupid!!!" the house was 45 mins away and i had just enough time to get to my spot as it was so i decided to use my 12' wooden push pole as my paddle working it like a two bladed kayak paddle. making the mile long trek out wasnt too bad because i had the wind at my back. “coming back is gonna be a killer but maybe the wind will die down.” wrong! got to my spot and set up just before legal. passed on two wood ducks early because i couldnt make out the drake in the low light and figured i would have plenty of opportunities to get my two woodies late. wrong again! didnt see another one all day. throughout the day i shot at 4 ducks and bagged 3 (2 bwt and 1 mottled) of them. could of had a limit of blue wings if i had been more comfortable with the pirogue but 3 is not bad for the first time out in a new boat. the crowning achievement of the day was a modification i made to the boat late last night. i put two “u” bolts on both sides and painted two 5' pieces of conduit so I could push them down into the muck and keep the boat more stable while shooting. it worked like a charm. i could even stand up and pee out of the boat which i wouldnt have attempted in a million years without the "muck poles." i knew heading back wasnt going to be fun but i also wasnt expecting the wind to pick up as much as it did. i decided to head straight across the middle of the lake (i had avoided this in the morning for fear of tipping the boat in deep water) to shorten my path and take the wind head on. the mile long "paddle" seemed to take forever. “i would give my left XXX for a paddle right now!” i was barely moving with the little water resistance from the push pole and the 15 mph winds that pushed constantly in my face. i couldnt stop and rest for more than a second or two because the pirogue would get pushed around and i would loose any progress that i had made. things got very interesting when i hit the heavy chop in the middle of the lake being that it was only my second time in a pirogue which sits all of 2" off the water with my fat butt in it. im not sure how many paddle strokes i made because i only started counting about half way across the lake. i was yelling out numbers as i paddled to give me motivation and a goal to reach. "if i can only get to 100, then i can take a brake of a second." when i finally hit ground the count was up to 574 so i would say somewhere around 1200 for the mile long trek. i laid in the boat for about 10 mins trying to recover. my arms have never burned like that before. i will never forget the paddle again! and if i do, i will be getting a late start hunting that day cause im going back home for it!


NoGoodGuitarPicker said...

Go to the hardware store and get yourself a couple "mop clips". They have different sizes -- get a pair that will fit around your paddle. Find a spot on your pirogue where you can screw them on inline, and your paddle will always be at your side. Learned this from some canoe experiences....

Until you posted the first pics of these boats, I never understood the line from the George Strait song, "Stars on the Water". Now I know what one is!

oldfatslow said...

"A pirogue pole and your natural soul keeps you tied to a tree high tide." Jimmy Buffett

Like Duckmanjr says, "You gotta really hate ducks to do this.

Congrats on the new boat and the hunt.


Richard P. said...

the new boat looks like lots of fun

eric said...

Great post! That second photo is somewhat of a familiar sight, but without the crazy tropical vegetation.

Few things are more difficult or demoralizing than paddling an uncooperative boat into a stiff headwind - it's a trial I know all to well. Nice bag of ducks and good for you for passing on the woodies.

Not to beat a dead horse, but those photos would look that much prettier with a big gray dog in them. ;-)