Covered Up

Wednesday morning, up well before the sun, in fact 3:30 AM, I hurried to dress and grab a bite of breakfast, then went to town and met Brian Jernigan and Patrick Berg, for the drive to the Honey Hole, a name accurately assigned to this spot by Brian.  This was a new one for me, duck hunting near Goldthwaite!  You actually think of the central Texas area a prime deer country, let me tell you it is that, but adequate fall rains can make this a duck paradise!

After a short drive we arrived at the Honey Hole, unloaded the truck and Patrick’s lab, Tank, loaded everything but the guns on his ingenious cart, pulled by him, of course and walked in over a half mile to a likely looking spot, then the work started.  Along with a “Mojo” duck, Patrick put out the decoys, while Brian and I set up the ground blinds and snuggled into them to wait for shooting time.

After being so busy, under our layers of clothes, we were sweating.  The temp was around 30, because we could see ice collecting on the “pull” cords, my feet were cold too, but as shooting time neared everything started to warm up!

The ball would start at 6:58, sun up, but for the 10 minutes before we could shoot, we were treated to a show of ducks, we’d never seen before!  Hundreds of ducks, big ones and little ones, buzzed by us, with some even landing among the decoys, you talk about apprehension as Patrick counted down to shooting time, “5 minutes, 3 minutes, 30 seconds,” then, “Take ‘um!”  In out excitement we probably took 7 or 8 shots, and only knocked down a single, green wing teal, but for the next 3 hours, we shot many holes in the sky, but still succeeded in getting our limits, 6 ducks each.  Even after all these years, I’m still not sold on steel shot!

It didn’t matter if we were covered up in the blinds, or sitting up exposed, the ducks still bored in on our spread.  The picture shows Brian, Patrick and the dog, watching some ducks flying to the right of us, and kudus to Tank, for doing excellent work retrieving the downed ducks!

Having our combined limits of 18 ducks, we knocked off a little before 10:00 AM, started picking up the decoys, folding the ground blinds, picking up all of our spent hulls and the last thing we added to the load was the “Mojo” decoy.  All of our movement didn’t deter the ducks from piling in, we probably had 10 to 15 other shots we could have taken, but having our limit, we declined!

Hot shooting, as this picture of Patrick, Tank and our limits, attests.

It’s a shame the young guys have to work, because I could do this every day!