This hunt was the season in the making. Had cancelled a couple times earlier because we had to have a specific setup that wasn't available or the ducks were not present in enough numbers to warrant a hunt.
In typical N.TX fashion we had temps in the lower 60's and zero wind at legal shooting.
We were all comfortable but it was frustrating watching 2's & 3's of gadwall come gliding into practically every corner of the 30 acres pond we were hunting today. had a few fast and passing shots and admittedly, we all missed way more than we should have. but it wasn't for lack of getting the steel out there. LOL
As it became lighter the wind at least made it to 5 mph and we started to connect on some decoying ducks.
Was long until we heard that beautiful sound of fighter jets overhead, AKA, ringneck in tight formation requesting a flyby. Well, the tower never approved Maverick's request as they circled for their final pass: Splash, Splash just like it's supposed to happen.
Blaze finished her work and then some geese announced their arrival. I was able to turn and get them close to about 70 yards but not close enough to seal the deal. 2 broke off and looked like they were going to land behind us and the other 3 banked right.
Thinking we may have an opportunity to get the boys on a jump shoot I went to investigate when I hear: Boom! Boom!
As I turn I see that the three had circled back and this time the young men opened up with their 20 gauges at 20 yards and we had a goose down. (Ha, get it? I know, dad humor.)
High 5's and big smile all around as Blaze made the retrieve on a bird bigger than her.
The hunt could have stopped there as dad was proud of his sons shooting. So was Granddad.
But every time we thought about ending the hunt a bird or 3 would come within range. A few were hit a sailed to the other side of the pond and the adventure began. Blaze and I made the long trek, twice, diligently going after and retrieving wounded birds. On one trip we rustled up a sounder of pigs off a peninsula. 4 big sows and 20 piglets were in-line making their way to safety.
For those interested: 3" #'3 steel Heavy Metal does NOT even break the stride of a full grown hog at 40 yards. So, Blaze & I quickly ran to their exit point to cut them off. We waited as I passed on the 4 mature pigs that exited at 10 yards. With the remaining shots I targeted the tender bacon bits. 2 shots, 2 down. But they coming out so I sent Blaze after the ones that got disoriented and turned around. She pounced and caught one but then looked at me like, "now what?" And then let it go when I wasn't quite sure if it was a good thing for me to have her chasing pigs.
Ended up dropping a few more ducks that morning and all in all it was an interesting and fitting end to the season.
Great family, great experience, fun and memorable hunt.
Till next year!