Well, after this morning’s post, I wasn’t sure what today would bring. I went to an Access Yes parcel I hadn’t hunted. I’d heard from one of my students that there were lots of chukar out there, which I doubted. I was right; not being a chukar hunter he no doubt confused Huns with chukar. And there were lots of Huns out there. Angus pointed one covey, I flushed them and fired once. Angus located and retrieved the one bird I saw fall, but I noticed what looked like another bird squirming on the ground where the first one fell. I hustled up there to find three more. My first four-for-one.
Early in the hunt I approached a little pond with a row of cottonwoods between us and the water. Thinking there might be some ducks there, I slipped some steel in my Benelli. As I neared the water, no ducks in sight. One more step revealed a handful of mallards still in the water ten yards away. They took off and I shot twice and hit both. Angus, who disdains or even fears water, beelined it for the mallard in the middle, swimming, grabbed it, and brought it straight back to me. It was a bird and it was flapping, evaporating his fear. We couldn’t find the second duck. I thought it had sank. On the way back (after a stellar pointing sequence on several Hun coveys), we visited the pond again and Angus found the wounded mallard in the reeds at the far end of the pond and brought it back to me.
So I bagged 8 birds today, the most killing I’ve done in a long time. I had to look the wounded birds in their eyes as I suffocated them. There’s no pretending. It’s a blessing to get a bird stone cold limp with its eyes glazed over. That hardly every happens (just once today). I’m not used to numbers like this, so it’s weighing on me a bit. But I’ll get over it. Or not.
7 Replies to “Huntastically mallardiffic”
Glad you got a few. Sorry the chukar hunting has not been so good up your way. Love your blog though.
Great day, and super picture of Angus on point. Jake, also hates the water. I guess I’ll have to see if that will work for me. All my other dogs loved swimming but would not even touch the water when it cooled down.
We’re having different experiences. Your finding huns and I’m finding chukars. In five days I only saw one covey of huns on the other side of your pond.
I’d rather find chukars, Larry, but I’ll take Huns for now!
As long as you eat those birds you’re doing your part. What size shot are u using? Could larger shot kill them quicker?
Thats a mixed bag you don’t see too often.
If I might humbly offer some advice on a more pleasant and swifter way of dispatching cripples… instead of suffocation (which can take forever and is neither pleasant for bird or hunter) wrap the back of their heads quickly and sharply on your gunstock. its a lot quicker than suffocation (instantaneous) and a lot prettier than neck wringing and it won’t hurt your gun stock one bit, and the birds will still look good for pictures.
I once bought some pheasants for DIY taxidermy practice and dispatched them via suffocation… turned me right off taxidermy and haunts me still to this day!
It is always bittersweet to take a game bird’s life. I learned a method which seems to be somewhat more humane. I grasp the bird around the body and swing the back of the head for a sharp rap against my gun stock. Quicker and cleanser than suffocating or wringing necks. Learned this from a Ted Nelson Lundrigan book