As I woke early Sunday morning, I wondered what the cold, blustery winds would have blown into the state in the days before. The thermometer read 26 degrees as we left the driveway, and soon we were at the launch, slipping the johnboat into a marsh in the greater metro area. Along with me was my younger brother, Cole, and my friend, Dominic. We motored away from the launch and soon found the point of cattails on the lake we had hunted in times past.
We tossed out about 2 dozen mallard and gadwall decoys, a couple honker floaters, and another 18 divers on a couple long lines. As shooting time neared, we could see ringnecks and other divers skirting along the skyline. As shooting time came, we loaded are guns and prepared for action. Soon a flock of green-winged teal came buzzing from our left, and with a couple of greeting calls, they banked quickly to our spread. The silence of the cold morning was broken as we let out a volley of gun fire. Three green-winged teal lay motionless on the water. As we picked up the ducks, mallards and other divers traded across the lake, and soon a flock of four mallards came in, and we folded one. More mallards circled and looked at our spread, but had a different spot in mind.
As the sun rose, the action slowed a bit, but in time I spotted a diver low to the water, coming up the line of diver decoys, and soon a drake ringneck lay belly-up on the water.
Scanning the sky, we then spotted another diver in the distance. A few greeting calls later, and a perfectly-plumed drake goldeneye sailed toward our decoys. As we rose to shoot, the blazing fast diver darted to the side, and as we discharged our scatterguns, the elusive bird kept flying.
We ended the morning with two more mallards, one being a big fat greenhead that might be destined for the wall.
It had been a good morning. A scenic marsh. Camaraderie in the blind, and a nice bag of ducks. We were happy.