Sunday May 25th 2008
Dwayne invited me down to fish
with him and Ross in Rockport on Memorial Day weekend. He had a cabin
reserved at Pelican Bay Resort for the weekend and booked a kayak fishing trip.
I arrived with just a little light left on the 24th and we tried to pick up a few
but nothing was biting. The next morning bright and early we set out to
meet the guide at his house and launched from there. He had a pretty neat
setup of four kayaks on his boat. We anchored up near some old well heads, got in the kayaks, and paddled towards some islands. I was the last one
off the boat and by the time I got to the islands Ross already had a red on topwater, I was pumped. I
put a broken back lure on my spinning rod that I was curious to
try. I didn't get one cast before the guide told me to
change it. Big mistake here, I did what he said. As Ross later said,
"fish what you have confidence in" and he was right. For whatever reason, I
could not get comfortable throwing from the kayak, I'd get about five casts and
then I'd have to rest as my rotator cuff was killing me. I brought my bait
caster as well, but I'm still not good enough to throw it one handed. I
don't think the long handle of the spinning rod helped as I had to hold the reel
really high, sorta like fishing in deep water. After watching both Ross
and Dwayne catch fish I finally caught a nice 18-20" trout on a topwater, a
little later I caught a rat red and that was it for me that morning. It was
really frustrating to watch two other people catch fish so easily when I
couldn't. If I were to try it again, I'd probably get a spinning rod
with a short handle.
That afternoon we went out and drifted in Dwayne's boat.
The wind was kicking and fishing was tough. I caught a few small trout but
no keepers. Dwayne caught a nice trout and both he and Ross picked up some
Monday May 26th 2008
I don't have a good memory of
this days fishing, other than both Dwayne and Ross caught some very nice trout
and I finally caught a keeper redfish on topwater. Oh, and it was windy,
good god it was windy. Dwayne has two drift socks for his boat, which are
both rated for bigger boats, and it still wasn't enough to slow the boat down.
Saturday June 14th 2008
We went on a pig hunt at Damon
that turned into a frog hunt. We had 0 pigs, but we did check a few ponds
and hand grab some frogs.
Monday July 14th 2008
Lake Sam Rayburn, TX
I had been wanting to do
something with both Ginger and Liz for a while and thought a crappie trip to Sam
Rayburn would be a fun trip. The fishing isn't very complicated and it is
something a beginner could do and catch just as many fish as someone who has
been fishing for years. So I booked a trip with
Roger Bacon, a buddy who guides
on the lake. I have fished with Roger before and felt Ginger and Liz would
feel comfortable around Roger and his deckhand Ronnie. After having a few
issues trying to book at room at the marina, Roger turned us onto
Rayburn Rentals. A fully
furnished double wide not far from the marina. AC worked great, it had
a nice front porch with swing, and the most important thing to Liz, it had The
Disney Channel (Hannah Montana). We met Roger and Ronnie at the boat dock
around 6:30 and loaded up in a pontoon and set out for the lake. They had
been watching the weather before we left the dock, worrying about a small squall line
that was moving
through. Sure enough it forced us back into the marina, but in less than 30 minutes we
were back out on our way to Roger's spots. As I said above, the fishing is
nice and simple, holding minnows 15-20 feet down. Ronnie kept Ginger and
Liz baited up as neither of them wanted to touch the fish. Ginger is
dating the wrong person if she is afraid to bait a hook. Not long after
Liz dropped her line in the water she had a tug-tug-tug and set the hook on her
first crappie and the first fish of the trip! We ended the trip with eight
catfish, 17 crappie, and one bass. Liz lasted about four hours before she
got bored, Roger said that is about right for her age; without constant action
they get bored soon. The weather was kinda crappy for fishing, but it did
keep it cool and covered the sun, so no-one really broke a sweat. Thanks to
Roger and Ronnie for a fun trip, Liz has already asked about fishing again.
Now if I can get her to eat fish...
Worn out LL
Help clean fish?
Kiss the fish?
Eat the fish?
Friday August 8th 2008
Port Mansfield, TX
Another trip down to PM.
This year my brother and his buddy Jeff were going with us. Usually
Dwayne plans the trip out but he was busy this year so I helped him
out and got the house. We usually try to reserve
529 North Shore but
it was already booked, our second choice was
516 but thanks to
Dolly, it had
no pier. We settled on
512, which was a
little bit more than we wanted to spend, but it had a fish fryer and two
fish cleaning stations on the pier and that made up for the extra cost. We didn't
leave Houston until 7 or 8 Thursday night, so by the time we arrived at
PM, it was well into morning. The wind was pretty flat so I told Andrew
and Jeff, we might as well turn on the lights, try a few casts and see what
happens. We started at 3 AM and fished until we woke Dwayne up at 6:30.
By the time we stopped fishing and started cleaning, we had 13 keepers, with two
or three over 17" and one 20" that my brother caught. Most of the fish we
gulp glow shrimp,
saltwater assassin shad glow, or
Trout Killer II Jr. in glow. I was impressed with how the TTKII held
up, Jeff and I caught 30 or 40 fish each and the lure lasted just fine. I
had a saltwater assassin shad rigged up from years ago and it lasted about three
fish. Towards the end of the morning I put on a topwater and out of four
casts caught two fish; hindsight, I wish I would have put it on earlier.
Dwayne drove down so we let him
sleep. I went to wake him around 5:45 and tell him we were catching lots
of fish, even some on topwaters, but he went right back to bed. At
6:30, he got up and started fishing and caught a few before we loaded up the
boat to head out and drift the bay. After launching the boat we got ice
and Dwayne was having a little trouble getting it into reverse, but it would go
in after a few tries. After we cleared the harbor Dwayne tried to put the
boat up on plane, when he did it died near the first or second channel marker. We
checked a few things on the motor but it would just not run for long before it
died, so our only option was to get towed back in. Dwayne dropped us off
at the cabin to nap while he took it to the local mechanic. The mechanic
said it needed a new powerpac and some sensor. Dwayne had to drive in to
Rio Hondo to get the parts. A few hours later he was back at the cabin
with a fixed boat and Ross and his crew were there also. They geared up to
go offshore for snapper so we likewise geared up. We got ice, bought
some frozen bait, and then were off, or so we thought. The boat died right
about the same place as before. Ross towed us back in, then they went
offshore and we went back to the mechanic. The mechanic put the boat into
the water where it started and ran fine. He thinks the water pump is going out and if the motor
is jacked up, its not getting cool enough. So we launch again with the
motor all the way down and it runs fine. We read that the gulps were the
hot bait so Andrew bought a bunch. I tried all my favorite colors before I
put on a gulp and it made a big difference. Andrew was throwing
swimming mullet in pearl white and was catching fish three or four to one.
I finally put on a shrimp in new penny and started catching fish. I had a
lot of piggy perch bite the tail off my shrimp but I did catch some trout and
lost a NICE redfish. We ended the day with only two keeper fish, both
caught by Andrew, one being his first red on plastics.
Saturday August 9th 2008
Port Mansfield, TX
I woke up at 4 AM today and went
to check the wind. I had turned on the lights before I went to bed incase
the wind had died down; it was calm so I went fishing. A pier two
down had green lights on as well attracting a lot of shrimp, you could see the
fish tearing them up. I started off throwing the same glow and caught
fish just about every cast, but mostly schoolie, so I put on a top water shrimp
and started catching bigger fish. I woke the guys up at 5:30, but by the time
they got going the bite had turned off. I had a solid stringer of five
with most being right around 17". Today was the day to go offshore.
We rigged up all the gear and then went to look for bait. That delayed us
about an hour, but we finally got out of the harbor with four dozen piggy perch
each. Then off to the spot, I guess we ran near an hour to the spot.
There were a lot of boats in the area and one was right on top of Ross's spot, so
he drove around until he found fish on the sonar. Ross dropped anchor and
Dwayne tied off of him and started fishing. Dwayne had a bunch of reels in
storage that would work for snapper but the rods were surf rods, so Ross picked up two cheap rods at Bass Pro
that worked out great. All the reels worked fine but one, which
needed to be re-spooled. Andrew was using that one and lost two fish.
I helped Dwayne re-spool while Jeff caught a nice snapper, 8 or 9 pounds if
Once D was done rigging up the line he was having trouble catching fish, until
he caught the biggest fish of the boat, my guess is right around 12 pounds.
A little later Andrew caught a nice one at 6 or so. I couldn't catch
any big fish, just lots of little ones, oh well, it was still fun as hell. One
nice piece of equipment was the cheap lipper I bought, this was VERY useful
in handling the snapper around without getting cut. When we got to the
tried to put the boat into reverse but it wouldn't go; then he tried to put it back
into gear... there was no forward. He thought he blew his lower unit,
but we went fishing and would worry about the boat later. The wind started
picking up around 1 and we decided it was time to go. Ok, now to work on
the boat. After taking off the motor cover, we could see a broken part of
the linkage. It was a plastic piece that connected the throttle cable to
the linkage that put the motor into gear. After 20 minutes of Jeff and Dwayne working
on it, they got it into gear and we were off back to port. We made it
fine, but it was nerve racking for a while.
That afternoon they went out to
drift the bay, but I was shot, so I took a nap. They woke me up around 9
when they got back in. Andrew caught a nice red and a black drum.
Sunday August 10th 2008
Port Mansfield, TX
There was a little mix up in
what each group was doing. When I got up from my nap, Ross and them were
back and sleeping downstairs. Dwayne thought they had already eaten, so we
just made a small batch of fajitas and went to bed. I set my alarm for
3:30 so I could get up and try to catch some fish. When I got up I could
tell the wind was blowing and I was just about to go back to bed, when I
saw people fishing on the pier, so I decided to walk down and try my hand at
it. Damn, nothing like the day before. They were catching them on
DOA shrimp in glow.
I was able to catch a few, but not anything of size. I should of taken it
as an omen of things to come and for all of us to sleep in and get on the road
early. Once on the water our last real fish was boated at 8:20. The
drift that produced the reds also products a sea turtle, a stingray, and lots of
skipjacks. Seriously, that was it for the day at 8:20 with the last real
fish of the day.
Jeff's sea turle
|Sorry, no pictures
of my skipjacks
All in all it was a great trip, a ton of trout, a nice mess of snapper for everyone, and as always, those reds allude me. Till next year...
Sunday August 31st 2008
Dripping Springs, TX
I've been lazy and haven't written my dove hunt logs and its the middle of November so here it goes. I got to Dripping after my brother and his buddies due to traffic coming to a standstill in Bastrop. I couldn't tell the details, but I did see sheets over three people near an overturned SUV. As soon as I got there I could hear them shooting clays in the back and I started to unpack. There was a god awful smell coming from inside the cabin when I opened it up. That and I got bit by a flea as soon as I stood still... oh crap, not a good start. My first thoughts were if I could make it to Luling before dark, but decided I was too tired and just started cleaning up stuff. I stripped the sheets and plastic off the bed I sleep on and started sweeping everything I could. We would later find out that a raccoon had somehow got in the walls and died. Only thing really to do was just deal with it and put out air fresheners and sweep the floor; which helped some on the fleas. I think we sprayed Off around the beds and the floors near them and then crashed.
Monday September 1st 2008
I got there a little early and
wasn't sure where to setup, so Andrew and I went looking for a spot on the ATV.
We found what looked like in the dark a milo field, turned out to be just hay
grazer but thankfully there was a sunflower field next to it. So we setup
along the edge of the field and waited. It wasn't long before we started
getting a few birds here and there. Holyshit its hard to find the birds in
that field. I would have thought with it being row cropped and all they
would be easy to find, not at all. Sometimes there were three of us in the
looking for a bird there would be two guys on the tree line guiding us to the
bird. I kept moving and
trying to get under a better flight path, only making me miss more and pissing
me off, it was a never ending cycle. Slowly but surely I started
connecting and limited out around 9 shooting 12/49.
Tuesday September 2nd 2008
Andrew and his buddies left that
night, so I slept in and went out in the afternoon. I setup in
the same place as the day before, but I had my back against the sunflower field.
My first bird was a left to right I dropped easily and walked right to it, or so
I thought. I had a good spot on that bird and marked it with a hull on a
stalk and walked it over and over, no luck. I pulled the hull as I passed
up quite a few easy shots while I was out there and went back to my chair.
Back on the fence I got a few more before I decided to move to the sunflower
field with my back to the tree lines. I really started picking up birds
here and had one sail in the field. As I was going after it, I jumped some
that flew towards the fence. I decided I could find them easily because there
was no grass or weeds under the mesquite trees. Well I did that three or
four times and had a count at twelve so I picked up everything and double
checked the bag, yep twelve. Not bad work for an hour and 45 minutes with
13 birds and 27 shots. When I got home that evening, I started laying out
the birds for a picture when I saw something on the leg of one of them. It
caused me to do a double take when I saw one of the birds was banded! I've
been hunting for about 22 years and shot hundreds of doves, ducks, and geese and
I finally got a band. The bad part is I have absolutely no clue when I
Wednesday September 3rd 2008
A buddy from HS was gonna hunt with me today so I slept in as well. I got there around 3:30 and setup at the same trees. I was determined to let the birds come to me and the mojos. Steve got there less than an hour later. Early on the birds were feeding and were avoiding the trees and landing in the middle of the field. So we moved there, and guess what, the birds went somewhere else. After watching them fly somewhere else we moved back to the trees. They worked this time! We had birds coming in every few minutes. It wasn't long before I was close to a limit and decided to jump one up to finish it off. During the shoot, I thought we had knocked more birds down in the trees, but never could find any. When I got back from my hike Steve had shot one that fell into the trees and found two or three more birds. I should of trusted me gut. Steve's gf Julie got there with just enough time to shoot a few times before the sun was down. I shot my limit with 13/38 and Steve was three or four birds short.
Friday September 5th 2008
I took off the day before to do
some work around the cabin and do some LMS for work. I wanted to hunt the
morning since Ginger was going to hunt with me over the weekend to see how
the birds were flying. I had noticed birds cutting the corner of the field
by the tank (BONE DRY) so I thought I would setup there in the AM and see what I
could get. It really was a good flight path as I shot birds coming from
the top of the hill, the road, and the south. By 8:29 I had shot 12 with
30 shots and finally got a white wing.
Saturday September 6th 2008
Ginger and Liz showed up last
night and the first thing LL said was, "this place smells bad." Yea, join
the party. Well we took the ATV down
and went behind the tank. I set up a fair number of decoys in hopes of pulling
in easy shots for Ginger.
Earlier in the summer I bought her a Cordoba
20 gauge for dove hunting. The M1 she shot last year was taken back by her
prick of a father. Not sure what happened to my birds, but they
disappeared. I started passing shots so she could try at them, then I
started taking them as well. We just didn't see any birds flying. I
ended shooting seven birds with twenty four shots. She had a little
jamming issue with the gun. I think it was still just breaking in as I
shot it before but all with 1 oz. loads and she was shooting 7/8s. The
next day I gave her some of my 1 oz. shells and they worked fine. Liz was
bored, hot, and hungry all within 15 minutes of getting there.
Thankfully she had her gameboy and ear plugs to help pass the time.
Sunday September 7th 2008
After the crappy hunt the day
before we drove around on the ATV and found the milo field that I thought we
found on the 1st. Damn, I should of looked for it more earlier. It
was MUCH better for hunting doves. We were running later than I wanted and had birds flying all around us while we setup. I sat Ginger and Liz
by a tree against the fence line, put the mojo and a few decoys in a clear
spot in the field, and sat down about fifty yards down the fence in the next
clear spot. It wasn't long before I knocked down a bird. I went out
to my mark with Ginger and LL directing me but no luck. So LL came over to
help me and while she was coming over I shot one or two more. So now all
three of us were looking and LL finds it first, but won't pick up the bird. Kinda weird cause last fall she picked up ducks and geese no problem. At
least she would point to it. We found them all and went back to the
fence. As I started to add birds to my bag, Ginger had a few shots, but
still no luck connecting. After the flight seemed to slow down a little we
went walking to see if we could jump any. LL was happy to sit under the
shade and play gameboy. Ginger and I started out in the field and I
started picking up a few birds here and there. We got to the edge of the field where I knocked down two, I marked one and went looking for the other. By this time LL was bored so she came over to be with us and she found the one I was missing. We started back towards the other end of the field and kept kicking up cotton tails. I can't recall in 20 years of hunting out there seeing that many rabbits. My only guess is the two donkeys my Godmother got have kept away the predators? I pick up a bird here and there and Ginger keeps shooting. A little over half way I take one off to my left and hear Ginger shoot and Liz yell, "mommy got one!" Alright, she finally got one!!!
All it took was a $1600 gun and about three boxes of shells. They find it and we meet up, but I'm two birds short so we swing towards the opposite corner where I pick up my last two and she shoots at a couple more. I'm happy, my baby finally got a dove. I went 14/34 and we finished a little before 10.
Liz's thought on the hunt.
Monday September 8th 2008
Now that I knew where to hunt I
made the most of my remaining hunts. I went back to the milo field with
the 20 gauge today and was done by 9:24 with going 13/38 and lost one bird.
Tuesday September 9th 2008
Same song different verse.
I hunted the same spot today and the only reason I had to hunt till 9:48 was a
little rain shower that caused me to run back to the truck for some RemOil.
And damn that dirt when it gets wet, my ATV weighed 30 more pounds today after
the hunt. I shot my limit with 35 shots and got my first white-wing with
Wednesday September 10th 2008
After I was done the day before
I drove around the field in the ATV to see if there were any better spots.
I found a clearing on both sides of the fence down about one hundred yards from
where I was hunting and decided I would hunt there the next day. In the
front was the milo field, in the back was a clearing next to some tall dead
trees were the doves were roosting in. I put the mojo behind me and a few
decoys on the ground and waited for legal. I was using my O/U today so I
only had two shoots. That was probably a good thing as it made the hunt
last longer. The birds wanted to land on that mojo bad! I was done
at 7:48 (sunrise was at 7:12). It was one of those hunts you wish you could live
over and over. I shot pretty good too, 12/24. This turned out to be
my best year yet, I wish I had found the milo field earlier in the week.
Sunday September 14th 2008
Andrew and I went out and
scouted on Friday and found a nice open spot in uncut rice. We got
everything ready just incase
Hurricane Ike was going
to be far enough east that we could hunt on Saturday. Nope. Saturday was
out, but by Sunday we could hunt. So I met my brother at his house where
Brandon met us also. Talk about a weird drive, there were NO lights in
midtown. We were on 59 somewhere north of Sugar Land when the bottom just
fell out, wow, we got a TON of rain and it stayed pretty hard from then on.
We went by storage hoping it would have power so we could get the ATVs, nope.
Then to the lease. No-one had signed in for the spot we wanted, so after
we signed in, we drove to the spot to park and get ready. It was raining BAD and
blowing 25+. When we got to the spot we could see a ton of birds just
sitting in the field looking for cover. Some actually got up and landed in
front of the truck to get out of the wind, one of the most unusual things I have
ever seen. Next fun part was finding the spot. Andrew had GPS'ed it
in his ATV, that was back in storage, so we started walking down levies in the
dark, which look NOTHING like they do in the day. By this time the rain
had stopped and the mosquitoes were out and they were pissed! I walked
what seemed like miles looking for the spot, when I finally found it I put my light
on strobe and hoped my brother would see it. We met
back on the road to get our gear and guns and then back to the spot.
It was still storming off and on and was really dark, so we weren't in too much
of a hurry to put out the decoys. Once we finally did, it was sit down in a
hot, muggy field and try to keep everything covered so the mosquitoes couldn't
get to it. When the birds finally started flying, it was a bit of a mess, they weren't really decoying, just dive bombing out of everywhere. It
didn't take me long to have my four with seven shots by 7:46; Andrew was done
soon after. We moved to actually be IN the rice and Brandon picked up the
rest of his limit. By nine we were packed up and back on the road.
Monday September 15th 2008
A little cold front blew in
during the night and it was a blessing for those of us without power from Ike.
It also made the hunt VERY enjoyable, a slight breeze and no mosquitoes.
This time it was, Andrew, Jeff, and myself and storage had power! Back to
the lease with two ATV's and our gear. We get the same spot and enjoyed a
nice leisurely setup process since we didn't have mosquitoes to worry about.
The wind to be PERFECT for the birds to decoy right into us.
We put out eighteen decoys and a mojo and sat in the water with our backs to the
levy. After seeing how well the birds would work, we deiced to take turns
shooting birds to make the hunt last longer. It would go right to left and
I was first. I finished by 7:12 going 4/10 with four shots being on one
bird. One to bring it down, and three more to keep it from getting away.
Andrew and Jeff were done within five minutes of me. This might of been
the best teal hunt I've been on, certainly in the top three.
Saturday November 1st 2008
We knew it was dry out there so
we planned to put out my brothers
SilloSocks and my Greenhead Gear
Pintails and hoped to get
some geese and pull in some ducks just close enough... Trey had scouted earlier
in the week and said the rice wasn't cut, so we went out there early to try to
find some low area or somewhere where the decoys would be visible. No
luck. I also knew the guy who had the lease next door and they had a pond
that was COVERED up in ducks, so we tried to get in line with them in hopes of
getting their leftovers. That actually worked pretty good, we ended up
getting around eighteen ducks and three specs. The conditions sucked and
the rice was just too tall. One good thing from the hunt was the rice
straw was thick out there and I loaded up my blind and two trash bags full of it
for future hunts. Note to self, ALWAYS carry duck loads during a goose
hunt, shooting BBs at teal was a bit of a waste.
Wednesday November 5th 2008
After the opener no-one was
really in a hurry to go back out there unless the weather looked good for a
goose hunt or we had LOTS of rain. The forecast looked pretty good for a
goose hunt so my brother and I went out and hunted a DIRT field in a good flight
path. We hid around an old well head and put the decoys behind us, three
dozen spec decoys and nine dozen snows just to show up well against the black
dirt. It wasn't long before we had a spec try to sneak in from the left
that was an easy shot for us. We had singles work us most of the hunt.
We shot our four specs and four snows. After we limited on specs, we had
five hover right over us that would be been an EASY shot for a 20 gauge.
Not a bad little hunt, eight birds between two of us and we only shot a total of
15 or 16 times and we called it by 8:30.
Thursday November 6th 2008
With a good hunt the day before, Brandon wanted to go the next day. Hindsight, I think we setup wrong, and the wind was different. We setup in the same spot, but had the decoys in front of us and not behind us. We never could get them to finish and I think that was why. We finished with three and I think I shot two of those. If the decoys were behind us, we could of easily doubled that.
My first day back and Andrew and
I bought some
Rancho Safari blankets to try to hunt a plowed field on the lease.
Holycrap was the fog thick! You couldn't see more than 60 yards until
around 9 AM. We were able to shoot a couple of ducks that were shot on
reaction alone. The first group were some gadwall and my brother just pointed
and I just raised up and shot, I brought down a hen and he missed. Next up
were some specs that came in loud but we didn't see them very well and they
didn't want to work. We shot before they drifted too far out of range and
Andrew dropped one. A little later we each dropped a teal when a group
tried to buzz through the decoys. The one last group of snows got too
close and we were able to bring one down. That was it for the day, five
Jeff, his dad, and Trey had a place they hunted near El Campo and they said there were birds there. Andrew and I knew we had none at our places, so we decided to give it a shot. We met up with them in Wharton at Jeff's grandparents and also with Trey and Chad. Once loaded up there we went out to the place. At the field we setup all of Trey's decoys and most of my brothers, very close to 1000 SS, plus my dozen shells we used to put over our gear. We had no wind and heard no geese, hmm... not good. We were hunting in a rowed dirt field and dug in a little between the rows. I made a good little rest and fell asleep for a good hour, hour and a half. I woke up to a single spec coming right in to the middle and Trey and Chad made short work of it. A little bit later we all took some long shots at some snows, but didn't bring down any. And the last birds of the day were a pair of specs that came right in to be cut down by the group on the right. Andrew and I never picked up our guns. We drove a long way to take a nap, but the positive of it was Andrew and I went to Prasek's Hillje to get BBQ and turkey jerky.
I wanted to hunt ducks BAD and this was a chance for Ginger and I to get away so we went to Luling and I brought some duck decoys. I brought one mojo, a hand full of decoys, some quack grass, and the Rig 'em Right Jerk Rig. I hadn't used the jerk string yet, but read good reviews on the fuge. Yea so it doesn't work so well if the decoys still have line on them. We didn't see nor hear anything for most of the morning. I guess around 8:30 or 9, a single duck flew over us going away. By the time I got to my duck call, it was already at the far side still going strong. A few quacks and it turned and came right on it. I pulled up and dropped it on my first shot, but only crippled it. Not sure how I missed the next two shots, but I did. After yelling at Ginger to shoot, it took two more shots from her to kill it. First decoyed big duck, Gadwall hen. We waited till 10:15 and decided to call it quits, and wouldn't you now, 10 more minutes and a pair flew over us, but I was picked up decoys.
Sunday November 30th 2008
More of the same, but not near as cold as the day before. Somewhere near 9 AM a pair started dropping in, but I moved too fast and spooked them. They circled around us and I tried to call them back in, but no luck. They were gone. Well hell, only 1 duck shot during the first split, record low.
Monday December 1st 2008
Well the day before Andrew
called me to say he hunted solo and shot one goose and was going to sleep in for
a while. Then about 10 minutes later he called me again to say we were
going goose hunting Monday. Hmm.. ok. After a long slow drive back
to Houston I didn't get to bed till 10-11ish and was exhausted. As always,
I set two alarms on my phone, but I didn't remind Ginger to set one also.
I woke up at 3:40ish in a total panic. I had over slept by an hour. I
checked my phone and sure enough the alarm went off and I had two texts from
Andrew, but no calls. I called him and he said we can still make it.
Damn good thing we did. We got to the field to find a few trucks already
there and we parked down the way next to some other trucks, thinking if they
could park there, so could we. Wrong. Andrew and I just finish
putting out decoys and are working on the blinds when someone starts walking
towards us. I'm thinking game warden. Nope, the trucks we parked
next too were only there to unload and they want us to move, no worries, Andrew
takes a ride with them and moves the trucks as I get our blinds ready. As
Andrew is walking back some specs work us, but because they see him they don't
finish. We shoot and hit the bird, but don't bring it down. Ok, next
time we'll wait on decoying birds only. We didn't have to wait long, there
were lots of birds in the area. We had some specs decoy and come right in
and we each dropped a young bird. A little later we had some Ross geese
almost land and yet I only crippled one. Then a little while later, we had
some snows fly over us and we dropped one, and had two sailors and would recover
one later one, a nice mature snow. During a lull, my brother got up to go
after the crippled Ross. When he was out there, some geese flew over him
and then towards me, but I thought they were specs so I just sat back and
watched. It was only when they were flying away that I saw the white
patches on the heads and realized they're were cacklers. Crap!
Andrew got back with the Ross and asked why I didn't shoot, yea, yea. I
still had one spec to go, on the next decoying birds I picked out a nice
mature one and shot once and dropped it. Andrew waited and when the next
ones worked, he let them work and picked one out a bit too close and blew a hole
through it. We ended the day with 14 geese and lost 2. I'm glad we
didn't sleep in.
Tuesday December 2nd 2008
After our hunt on the 1st, Brandon wanted to join us. We scouted the field and found a better spot to hunt for the next day. I drove down to Clear Lake to pick up some decoys from Texas Fowlers. His shop was destroyed in Ike, but he had the decoys we wanted at his house and I went over to get some of the Sillosock Flapping Decoys and a couple of the Reel Wing Snow decoys. After getting back to Ginger's and putting together the decoys, I was finally done and went to bed around 11. Note to readers, for the SS Flappers, get steel rods (or fiberglass), not aluminum, it bends too easily. I think the reel wings look good, but you need a LOT of wind to keep them up and going. Anyways, we should have looked at the forecast better, cause we had NO wind and it was 33 when we got there. We ended up with three birds and I doubt I got any of them.
Wednesday December 3rd 2008
The forecast looked better today
so we made plans to try at them again, along with Trey and Jeff. The
afternoon of the 2nd Trey rolled his ankle and he called to cancel early in the
morning, so it was
just the three of us. Andrew wanted to hunt the farther field and he took
the wrong route in my ATV. His was missing some bolts and the back rack
was looking like a low rider. He swamped the sled with the dekes and got
my nice and clean ATV VERY muddy. After he got me and back to the spread
we setup the blinds and decoys and I went to move the ATV. Jeff's blind
had NO grass on it and we all grabbed some grass and covered it as much as we
could and touched up ours. Then we waited, and waited. I sent Ginger
a text around 7:17 that said this hunt was going to suck and I should of slept
in. At 7:40 I sent her one that said we shot four birds and there was a
good chance I shot all four; the day would only get better. We could of shot
better, and I'm sure if Trey was there with his decoys we would of decoyed more,
but damn it was a great hunt. The only low point in it was our not
counting specs right, we had stopped shooting when we thought we had six, but it
turned out, only four. We ended it just little before 11:30 and of course,
10 more minutes and we had birds everywhere in the air. Jeff and I looked
for two more birds on the way out and found a nice little ross. Today was
one of the hunt that I could relive over and over, all but the part where I
didn't get back to Ginger's till 4:30 PM. Oh, we had no camera in the
field, so all the picts were taken at my brothers with a 5D.
Monday December 8th 2008
So we learned to only hunt geese
when we had good weather, therefore we didn't hunt any after the 3rd. But
today was looking good and it was my last chance to hunt before I left for
Alaska. Its nice to actually have both ATV's working and not having to be
a damn taxi service. We also had the decoys and blinds setup early and
enjoyed the early morning. But wow oh wow were there cranes in the area,
and we had some fly over us in range, good thing for them season wasn't opened.
It took a while for the wind to pick up but once it did the birds wanted to
play, all but the specs. We had nine snows on the ground before our first
and only specs. The first group of snows that came in we dropped three
from, I'm pretty sure I doubled. Then a few singles that got hammered.
Then we had a mass of birds in the area, all different levels and all different
directions. I told my brother to get ready and if you see them, he said
well yea, it was only when I called the shot that he saw the four that were
REALLY low. We dropped all four. Then a couple of times we should
have shot, and didn't and hoping specs would work and they didn't. So
finally on the next lowest specs we just shot and dropped one each. We
shot a couple of singles after that and then Andrew had to get to work so we
called it. We both agree that if we hunted later we could of shot more,
but we were both happy with 13.
Wednesday December 24th 2008
I got back the night before and
even though the weather wasn't great, I wanted to hunt regardless. Also crane
season was open and they shot one out there the day before, so I was excited to
use my crane decoys. They shot some pintails too, so I brought my
full bodies. We setup a small spread, mainly for darks and cranes.
Forty or fifty dark decoys, my cranes, and the pintails. It worked, we
shot three specs, a decoying crane, and our pintails and a juvi-snow. We
should have taken a shot at some more cranes but we hoped they would work.
Not bad for my first hunt back, plus my first pintail of the year.
Saturday December 27th 2008
Trey scouted on Thursday
afternoon and found a lot of birds eating in our fields and we were supposed to
go after them on Friday, but Andrew was worn down and Trey went out with some
old friends in town for the holidays. Saturday rolls around and Trey has
to guide so its just Andrew and I. I bought four more
and put them together the night before, so we now had eight to use. We get
out there to find the wind was cranking! It was also over an hour before
LST so we put out all the decoys and grassed up the blinds more and had time to
stand around and enjoy the morning. Teal were heard overhead so I loaded
up with Kent #3's and got in the blind. Not long after we see three cranes
heading right towards us and the decoys. We let them come and call the
shot when they are overhead and dropped two. Great start! Then over
the next hour we had all the snows slide off to our right. We got
frustrated and went to lay in a rut outside of the spread and dropped three
geese with two shots. After that we picked up all the crane decoys, the
snows worked a little bit better, then we put the flappers in front of us.
That was the trick! The birds really started decoying well after we moved
the flappers. Andrew
was having a tough time dropping them while I was knocking down two birds out of
every group. We had a lot of cranes fly near us and we decided a little
too late to put them back up at the top of the spread. The final count was
22 birds, 2 cranes, 4 specs, 2 cacklers, 11 snows, and 3 blues. I'm sure
if our initial setup was like our final one, and my brother would of shot better,
the bird count would of been closer to 30. This is my personal best for
goose hunting in Texas.
Saturday January 3rd 2009
The weather guessers suck!
Today was supposed to be overcast and windy, dark and dreary; a great day to
hunt geese. Ha! We had wind, but somehow ended up sunburned.
It was Andrew, Jeff, Brandon, and myself. The hunt started out great, wind
and clouds and we had three specs decoy in perfectly at LST. That didn't
last long, the clouds disappeared and the wind died. Everything would
flare us a hundred or so yards from the spread. We did shot two cranes
that tried to sneak over us while we were watching some geese work, that was
nice. So around 10 we called it and started to pick up when the wind
REALLY started cranking and the geese finally started working. We doubled
our bird count from 10-noon. There were two groups of snows that were so
low, but they didn't quite fly right over us, damn, only if they had... We
ended the day with 7 specs, 1 Canada, 3 snows, and 2 cranes. We lost one
Canada and one blue.
Friday January 30th 2009
Another trip out west to shoot
some cranes. I am writing this about six months after the hunt so I'm
gonna be brief. This time my brother and Andy went on the hunt and my
brother drove his truck pulling our ATV's; which turned out to be a good thing
because Mike's POSlaris wouldn't start. We got into town early enough to
do some shopping for lead ammo and Andy found some fast lead #4's, Federal P1284
which is 1-1/8 oz. of #4 @ 1500 FPS. I was a little worried about the size
of the shot, but the speed more than made up for it. These loads CRUSHED
the cranes. So anyways our first hunt was in a cotton field that was
between a roost and feeding field. Not the best spot, but we did end up
with about 17 or 18 cranes. Our group got out of the spread and I knocked
down two by hiding near the sprayers.
Saturday January 31st 2009
Today was in a different area
and in an ag field. The birds were roosting way behind us and would be
flying over us to go to the feeding fields. We put out a wide spread and
caught them coming from all directions. It was a long hunt but we ended up
with our 30 birds. Andrew and I went out of the spread and just laid in
the dirt trying to get some cranes looking at the spread. He got two cranes in one shot
and had 9 people see it.
Sunday February 1st 2009
After the hunt the day before we
scouted and found where the birds were and where we wanted to hunt. The
guys could not get permission to hunt there, or anywhere else that looked
promising so we went back to the same place. We setup a little bit closer
to the end of the field, so if the birds were flaring us, we could get in the
ditch and pass shoot them. Well they didn't really flare us, they totally
shifted their flight plan and weren't even coming near us. So about half
of the group went to the edges of the field to try to pass shoot them and the
other half stayed in the spread. I shot one in the spread and then went to
the aforementioned ditch. Here the fast #4 lead really proved itself.
I dropped one from about 50 yards with ease. Next bird I pulled feathers
all three shots with #4 buck and the bird kept flying. We ended up with