Thanks to a friend allowing us to stay at his house I was able to coordinate a duck hunt for my 10 year old nephew. He lives in Chicago and is about as far removed from my lifestyle as can be, but he wanted to go on a duck hunt.
Not only would it be his first duck hunt, it will be my dog's last. I doubt she will be here next season. I've been lucky to hunt with her as long as I have. I wanted the four of us to experience this hunt together.
My sister, nephew, and Dad flew in on Thursday and the boys left for the coast ASAP amid the driving rain. The ladies stayed with my son for the weekend.
With the wind blowing a gale I decided to get a later start on Friday morning. We got my nephew up at 8 and headed out. Most of the shooting we were hearing had stopped so I wasn't very optimistic we would see much.
In the 2.5 hours we were out one group of bills decided that our spread was the place to be. My nephew saw his first flock of ~50 bills turn on a dime and bomb the spread. I watched as my father (shooting a pump of mine) tried to get his "O/U" to shoot the second barrel. Chicora got a little work that morning with one retrieve. Nick had a big smile on his face when the action was over.
Saturday we got up at the normal hour and made it to our first choice. I had my nephew put out a dz decoys with Dad supervising while I did the rest. We never had a big flock work but a single, and a couple of smaller flocks worked as well as the big one the day before. Dad was able to connect and we each ended up with a pair of bills for the day.
Since this was my "one shot" to give my nephew a good experience I was stressed to my last nerve, but all the work and worry paid off. He wants to get his Hunter's Ed, take wing-shooting lessons, and come back!
Saturday's Hero Shot
Picking up decoys nap (I can't imagine a decoy bag with a few decoys still in it would be that comfortable but she picked it)
My dog's last hunting sunrise
I am not ashamed that I was wiping away tears picking up the decoys.