Saturday, January 03, 2009

James Island

Hunted Bobby and David Connolly on their yacht, Lucy. They took me to a Chespeake island several miles north of Hoopers, called James Island. James is separated into three islands, we hunted on the southernmost island, which is also the largest.

Bobby docks Lucy:

The next photo was taken looking to the next island North. All the islands have a strong stand of evergreens, but not much else. The banks are undercut, and the trees are being dragged off by erosion:
I brought Cobi and Fin today to retrieve our birds. Cobi is a puppy, and loves retrieving, but she hates giving up. If she can't find a duck, she will usually grab a decoy. Here she grabbed a whole string and spent 10 mintutes trying to pull it in before we could get to her in the boat and make her release the string:

The hunt was slow, however, we had a raccoon visit us. Odd to see a raccoon in broad daylight, as they are nocturnal, however, it appeard healthy:

First View:

It had no fear of us, I think it expected to pick up our scraps. It never threatened us, though it would not leave.

Coming up on the boat:

Checking out Lucy:




We tried to chase it away, but it was intent on holding its ground. We threw a rock at it, which landed in the water, and it chased after the splashes, trying to retrieve the stone:





It swam back to shore, and unconcerend with our presence, dried itself on the bank:

We chose not to kill it, though as a bird hunter, that was probably a mistake. Because it was getting late, and we were worried about the dogs tangling with the coon, we packed up to leave.

Dave spied a crab buoy behind the raccoon. He wants the bouy for a project, and went after it to carrying a tomato pole in case the varmit attacked. The coon held its ground, and made no moves towards Dave, however, it did stare him down:


As soon as the boat pulled off shore, the coon made its way to our blind site, and started scavaging for scraps. Bobby had trouble with trailmix, and the coon reeped the rewards. However, a few bits of nuts didn't satisfy it, so it went for our decoys:

It gave up on the decoys, and swam back to shore. We decided to give it one of our ducks to see its reaction.

Evaluating our gift:



We thought it would bite the duck, instead it grabbed it with its "hands":


The duck in its paws, it then dunked its head to mouth it:

Once it had the duck, its curiosity with us was over, and it took off for a private dinner. I'd hoped it would come up for a shot with the duck in its mouth, but it was in flight mode, and I was only able to capture a brief glimpse of the bird:



Friday, January 02, 2009

Field Hunt

I've been hearing many reports of good shooting for ducks in corn fields. I've shot ducks in fields in Canada, but never in Maryland. Today we set up for it, the key to success is mojo ducks, which are a decoy with a motorized wings, ducks love them.

We hunted out of layout blinds in standing corn:

We ended up killing 10 mallards, and 10 geese. We had a once in a lifetime visitor as well. Mojo duck worked so well, it attracted redheads to our field spread. Redheads are a diving duck, meaning they feed by finding vegetation and and invertibrates by diving in ponds, lakes, rivers, etc. For them to come to a field was unbelievable. I took the only shot at the group, and unfortunately did not bring a bird to hand.

Casey Owings, Dave Sikorski, Dave Connolly, Bobby Connolly, and myself with the day's bag:
Cropped field hunt.jpg