The Ducks Obliged

By the third year we were on our McCulloch County hunting lease I had walked over almost all of the 2,000 plus acres. Either hunting quail or still hunting, deer, I kept flushing ducks off of the stock tanks and sometimes, in season of course, would pop one or two.

Noticing one particular spring fed, stock tank, almost a full acre, with a tall dam on one end, that was nearly impossible to sneak was where I had chosen to hunt some ducks. This stock tank was long and narrow, and the end I would hunt was only one to two feet deep with a rock bottom. Since the water was so shallow, I wouldn’t even need to take Gus to retrieve the ducks and “he could sleep in”. There were several mesquite trees around its edge and if I could make me a rough blind, almost under one of the mesquites, I could use my twelve, plastic decoys and I bet, could have some excellent shooting.

In the dark, using dead mesquite limbs, I hastily threw together a rough blind and set the decoys in two groups. Placing one group of four decoys on my right and the other eight on my left, leaving a space between the groups for the ducks to land in, they poured in!

My twelve plastic decoys were bouncing on the ripples as shooting time commenced and never had I had such a terrific duck hunt. With a minimum of calling, the ducks piled in and I thinned them out, being able to clearly identify the drakes of the various species – mallards, pintails, widgeon and gadwall and passing on some beautiful green wing teal.

Just shooting drakes, I was elated getting my limit in forty-five minutes, shooting eight with ten shots, having to shoot two twice. But, bad news, picking up my decoys, I carried four to the bank, laid them down next to my toe sack and returned to the water for four more. The next thing I knew, here came a cow, stepped on a decoy and smashed it beyond repair. Now I only had eleven plastic decoys. I should have carried my sack out with me and only made one trip.

I’m really lucky that the cow didn’t step on all four of the decoys!