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Early morning is for ducks

The stars provided the only light in the dark skies as we finished loading the truck.  Orion’s Belt stood out among the stars with nary a hint of clouds.  By the time we reached the boat launch area, the lights from Mountain Home AFB provided a bright glow in the western sky while the hint of a rising sun was visible in the eastern sky.  The waters of CJ Strike Reservoir were dark as we loaded the boat and set out for the marsh area.  We had a lot of work to do before sunrise and the beginning flights of ducks.

Mike is a frequent visitor to the CJ Strike marsh lands during the winter months for duck hunting and later working a trap line.  As his favorite spot, a pothole in the center of the marsh, was already occupied, we settled in on a point overlooking the Bruneau Arm of CJ Strike Reservoir for my first duck hunting trip in many years.

We finished setting the decoy spread and settling into the blind as the sun was rinsing in the east with a slight breeze from the east as the fist ducks flew overhead.  The above picture shows half of the decoy spread with the other half to the right.  Perfect setting as landing ducks would be coming into the wind, directly at us.

I was using a Mosberg 12 ga pump and shooting 1 1/8 oz #4 shot loads.  After a couple of missed shots, I dropped the first duck of the day.  The action continued throughout the morning.  Suzy, Mike’s yellow lab, kept busy retrieving ducks. It was a busy and tiring day for her.

The location proved to be a good choice as we were treated to constant fights of ducks and many shooting opportunities.  Starting with the first of the day, a hen Widgeon, through the end a few hours later, we did bag our limits (seven total with two hens). Of the fourteen ducks, eleven were drake Mallards, with two hen Mallards and one hen Widgeon.

A great day and I enjoyed a delicious evening meal of duck…

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