By code, I am not allowed to divulge exact whereabouts of hunts - if you are new, you will understand this in time. If you have been around the block you can respect this. With that said, my brother; Ryan, and my cousin and I spent the opener somewhere on its 575 miles in the state. After some engine troubles and a lackadaisical start, we ended up somewhere slightly off the "X" as we say. This meant for excellent shooting, but as the morning wore on, short lived. We set up on a main channel and as such had no real eddies for ducks to loaf in. First light saw a nice woodie, and a sawbill, but the location was fantastic and camaraderie equally memorable. We split the afternoon with an unproductive grouse hunt, but came out happy nonetheless.
Later in the month, Ryan, my dad and I hunted a new area in the vicinity of Leech Lake - through a guide and friend, we found a little spot that is overlooked by many. On our day, it ended up being less than perfect for the wind, but still yielded 4 woodies, two ringbills and a mallard, plus one hoodie (aka lawn dart) for the mix. My dad would have preferred geese, but Ryan - ever the planner - would prefer not to clean geese. Later that night, we grilled woodie and WOW. I can appreciate game when I think of the ways it could go well with other things, but this was pure simplicity - salt, pepper and fire.
In the picture on the right, you can see a wood duck in Ryan's arms. There are no claims laid to this particular bird officially, but the evidence could be compiled to prove a claim were it important. Still, in commemoration of this hunt and what will be the first ever occasion in a troop of meat hunters, this bird is being mounted. I will report when it returns in 4 months but I am super excited as the taxidermist said it was the best looking woodie they had seen.
Time will tell if the season has more ducks - I'm okay with hunting grouse from here on out. I am nursing a knee issue and in the end, its all about the days - not the number of days.