Well that’s about it. The 2010 duck season wraps up on Sunday. I can’t lie. I’ve had better seasons. But I’m still sad to see her go.
I had some big moments. I shared a blind with my brother more times this season then the last 5 years combined. I snuk out for two great, mid-week , rainy day hunts which put mallards in the boat. I spent quite a few hours standing in the flooded corn in three awesome managed areas. Fish Point, Harsen’s Island and Shiawassee. I shot (at) divers in both Anchor Bay and Saginaw Bay. I shot greenheads near Alpena and just outside of Algonac.
I had my share of tough moments too. My knee is screwed up. My back hurts. Hell, just a few weeks ago I was dealing with a concussion compliments of my damn Mojo. The bank account hasn’t weathered the season much better. The boat trailer had to be re-wired and outfitted with two new tires. I’ve wrecked $100 in Fastgrass Camo-mats and $150 in “trailerable” boat covers. Gas and beer money added up quick.
When the weather turned the day after Thanksgiving, none of this bitching stopped me from chasing diver ducks on Lake St. Clair. Winds slammed the lake at 20+ mph carrying a chill of 14 degrees. I couldn’t wait to get on the water. We saw a tons of birds, including some near a boat launch, and I got amped up. I put the boat in the water and parked the truck. By the time I walked back to the dock it was obvious that I forgot to replace the plug. Damn it.
Overcoming this little oversight, we launched into the strong west wind. Arriving at a good spot I hopped out of the boat into the freezing water. At this point I quickly realized that the hole in my waders was NOT patched like I thought. As water slowly seeped onto my pants we attempted to set the anchors but the boat wouldn’t stay put. The wind was too strong to fight. After she drifted away, Mike and my brother turned the boat around, picked me up and we headed out to the back-up spot.
We were lucky enough to find an open blind along the rocks at South River Road. My first hunt there in over 2 years was pleasantly surprising when we got some shooting at a few Rudy ducks, readheads and bluebills. I just couldn’t handle the weather. The punishing wind, combined with my wet pants, left me shivering in the matter of an hour and a half. Zeus made it about 45 minutes until he had to dry out and stay warm in the truck. I somehow cut my hand open moving decoys and missed out on a flock of three big divers, could have been cans, as I sat in my truck pressing a McDonald’s napkin onto the wound. That was it. Time to go home and watch football.
Saturday morning my brother, my buddy Chad and I launched on the eastside of Anchor Bay. It took about an hour on the water to realize all of the birds we saw the day before had vanished. The sun was shinning but that wind was even worse then the day before. We drove around and scouted some other spots but the result was the same. The birds left.
I couldn’t bring myself to hunt Sunday afternoon. I had enough. But after a few days off, I’m ready to get back at it.
Duck hunting can break you down. Early mornings, rough weather and leaking waders take their toll. When it seems like this entire sport is stupid and pointless, one flock of divers tear into the spread and I completely forget what I was talking about.
Enjoy the last weekend of the season.