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Sean Hunting Fishing 2010

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Sean Ducks 2010 Dec 29
Dec 29, 2010

This hunt was actually posted on the internet by my friend Chris and then I added to it. Rather than ...more

rewriting the report, I thought this would work and give the perspective of others on the hunt. I got a call from Sean (SCTC) earlier in the week for an invite on a duck hunt with a friend of ours Eric (honk hunter) and another friend, Ben, who I haven't seen in years. We did some scouting the evening before and saw what looked to be a good numbers of ducks, so we decided to give it a go. The ducks were considerably more spooky than the week before. We had countless singles, pairs, and small groups cup up and drop straight down, only to swing just wide and sit down out of range. It was frustrating to say the least. However, we were persistent and managed to get our fair share of birds into decoyable range. We finished with 27 mallards and one BEAUTIFUL bull can. All in all, it was an incredibly fun hunt and memorable in a variety of ways. My pup Abby made some nice retrieves and showed marked improvement from the beginning of the year. She is really starting to get things figured out. It is fun just to watch her progress and learn. Ben's dog Macy made one of the most amazing retrieves I've witnessed on a crippled greenhead. And Sean is one of the best shots I've ever hunted with. The dude can flat out shoot, plus he bagged a banded greenhead. Best of all was the BSing and having a few laughs. What I didn't know was the Sean has been waiting patiently for years to get a crack at a drake can to put on the wall. Needless to say, the can in the middle of our picture didn't fall to Sean's gun...I'll let Sean fill in the rest. One of the funniest moments I've ever had duck hunting. What a great group of guys to share a hunt - I don't know why they agreed to hang out with me all day but I would guess it had something to do with the prospects of lots of ducks. I was a little leery after my scouting efforts but Chris and Eric felt pretty confident when they checked the spot out later in the day. Chris, Eric and Ben are all truly dedicated waterfowlers. Chris has become an outstanding duck caller, one of the best I've heard and it no doubt contributed to our success. Getting the ducks attention was key with all the competition from other groups on this typical public hunt. I was glad he and Eric, who is quite good on the call as well, were able to cover up my pathetic attempts at mallard hen duplication. A huge bonus to the hunt was having Chris and Ben's dogs along. I'm a dog man and it was a pleasure to watch the results of the training Chris and Ben have done with their dogs. Both dogs sat on their stands and never said a peep or moved a muscle while ducks were working but once released they dove into action and worked hard to recover ducks for us. I have to agree with Chris on the awesome retrieve Macy (Ben's dog) made on a crippled mallard drake. It was one of those typical where the duck looks like it's down for good but comes alive as the dog approaches. Well, this duck motored across the pond about 250 - 300 yards with Macy in hot pursuit, then proceeded to dive 4 times and she hung with it and actually put her head under the water to grab the mallard drake on its 5th dive attempt and brought it all the way back. Truly amazing effort - you can train a dog to do a lot of things but you can't put that kind of desire in them. So how about some shots of these fine dogs? Here is Ben's dog, Macy, who weighs in at a svelt 91 pounds and is in her 2nd season at 16 months of age: (Pic’s attached) Here is Chris's dog, Abby, who is about half the size of Macy but is a rocket in the water. She is in her 1st season at about 8 mo's of age (if my memory is correct) and is well on her way to becoming a seasoned pro with the amount of time Chris spends with her: (Pic’s attached) Now about the drake Can, I can just now write about the tramatic experience. Earlier in the hunt a pair of divers flew by the outside of the decoys out of range and we all agreed it was a drake and hen canvasback. I made the statement after seeing them that if a mature drake can came by close enough that they would have to be pretty fast on the draw to beat me to shooting that duck as I've always wanted one for a mount. I could have never envisioned eating those words they way I had to later on. Ben has an older gun for waterfowling and it only shoots 2 3/4" so he is considering getting a different gun and I'm willing to sell my Beretta Xtrema so for some dumb reason late in the hunt, I handed my gun over to him to let him check it out. Well, I reached down behind me to get something out of my gear bag and I heard somebody say "duck", then "diver", then "drake can" and I turned around to look and saw the duck of my dreams take a direct turn outside the decoys and come directly towards us. With tears in my eyes and no gun in my hand, I said "shoot that duck" and Chris and Eric obliged with a nice overhead combo that dropped the king of divers within a foot of Eric's location in the standing water. I couldn't believe my eyes when Eric held the duck up - it was prime. Talk about mixed emotions - we had just taken a prime drake can on this hunt in the most unlikely place and I didn't shoot it. Now I know that sounds selfish but I had already called that duck out - it was mine, right? I had my gun within reach at all times throughout the day and the one minute....Well, the guys sure had a good laugh at my expense on that one. It will be a story we will tell for years to come - one of those memory makers. Here's some poor attempts to show off the duck (I just couldn't get the lighting right to truly show off its beauty): (Pic attached) The banded mallard drake was interesting. I think all of us had a crack at him and missed and I was just lucky enough to get him before he got out of range with my 2nd shot. He could have easily got away and we would have never known the difference. In some fairness, I was due for one considering the average number of mallards taken per band had been surpassed quite some time ago. At the end of the day, it's just a band and I enjoy seeing others collect them just as much as myself but it was my lucky day. Thanks Chris and Abby for making sure he didn't get away. The preliminary info on the mallard drake is he was banded in Alberta on 8/22/08. I was pretty sure he wasn't a baby as you can see from the picture: (Pic attached) 1797 Series is a first for me. This made duck band #17 over about 20 years of waterfowling in WA state so close to one a year. (Pic attached) It's been one of, if not the best waterfowl season I've experienced so far and this hunt added to the memories of a great 2010 season.

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Sean Pheasant 2010 Dec 28
Dec 28, 2010

I took the morning off on this day to have breakfast and play cards with family (in-laws) that was i ...more

n town at the insistent request of my wife. I mean I volunteered to take the morning off to enjoy the fine company of my relation. It was 52 degrees with no wind so it wasn't like I was going to kill some waterfowl or something so it was a win-win. But, I did get out for an afternoon upland hunt on some public ground that I hadn't hunted all year but was curious about. Well, I'm kind of kicking myself for not having checked it out and for not getting out a little earlier. The dogs found some birds - several coveys of quail and a few roosters. I had 3 shots at roosters which is all I can ask on public ground and I killed 2 of them, but the other one which was the easiest shot of all got away due to my firing pin not hitting the primer hard enough. Why couldn't it have done that on a quail? I went solo again on this hunt and we put on some miles but I was pleasantly surprised at the opportunities. I started out the hunt in a T-shirt and of course, it rained about 1/2 hour into the 4 hour hunt and I got back to the truck in pitch dark conditions so it was a little chilly by that point. Anyway, good dog work and decent numbers of birds made for a fun afternoon. I think I will make a point of hitting it again before the season closes.

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Sean Upland 2010 Dec 27
Dec 27, 2010

After the tough duck hunt and the milder weather, it was a no brainer to get the dogs out and do an ...more

upland hunt the next day. Garfield County has been a shining star for upland bird production this season, particularly Hungarian partridge so that was my destination of choice. I got off to a late start for my standards and made the 2 hour drive to find fresh snow and more snow falling when I got up in the higher elevations. The wind was blowing 20 mph+ and the snow stung when it hit me in the face. I pulled up the radar in my truck and dialed in to the 5 mile radius and noticed it was a rather small band of snow that should end within in a 1/2 hour so I decided to wait it out. Sure enough, the snow stopped and the sun peeked out so I unloaded the dogs and took off in search of my favorite birds. I ran the dogs in a draw that held some roosters the last time I hunted it, but this time the snow this area had received had knocked down the grass to nothing and the cover was thin. I was hoping to catch them in the thickets or cattails protecting them from the bitter weather. The dogs only found a couple of hens and I thought maybe I killed the last 3 remaining roosters on the last hunt. But Junior struck gold on a tight sitting covey of huns and when I walked in the exploded and I was able to drop one with the 1st barrel and then a scotch double with the 2nd. I was off to a good start and since the covey held a dozen birds, I felt like I could take a couple more out of the covey if we could find them again. Well, they wild flushed out of range twice but then they flew out in the CRP over the crest of the hill. I was hopeful that we could stay low in the cut and come over on the top and be in range of them. I whistled to the dogs to have them heel and kept them close until we crested the hill. The dogs covered the area I thought I had seen them go down, but they were nowhere to be found. I decided to backtrack and run the dogs downwind and Junior made a loop and came back towards me and then stacked up handsomely. Rose and Jock backed on sight of Junior's point and I walked toward the covey essentially pinning them between me and Junior. It worked great and the huns let me get close enough to be able to drop one with

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Sean Road Closed 2010 Dec 27
Dec 27, 2010

After hunting the private land spot, I decided to go to a Feel Free to Hunt spot since I only needed ...more

1 more hun and I had found at least 2 coveys the prior month on the FF property. I wasn't sure where they would be since the weather had obviously changed a lot from the prior month. As I was on my way, I noticed a Road Closed for Winter sign in the direction I wanted to head. The road didn't look too bad so I decided to venture forth as I only need to go about a mile down the road. About halfway there I began to question my intelligence after breaking through several snow drifts but I got to the road I needed to turn on which was a secondary road off of the main closed road. It didn't look too bad but the weather had warmed up to about 34 degrees and where there wasn't snow, the mud was quite greasy. I got to a point where it would have been ever more foolish to proceed so I found a place to turn around and face the truck in the direction I would need to leave. It got me pretty close to the hunting spot so I took off with the dogs in pursuit of a covey that would provide me with the last bird I needed. The birds were not in the same place as last time so I had to think like a hun to decide where I would be hanging out when the weather got frigid. I decided to head over to a brushy coulee that was out of the wind and we hadn't proceeded too far when Rose went on point. I could tell she wasn't very close to them by her head and body position so I made a wide swing ahead and as I got close to the other side of the draw in the direction she was pointing, a nice covey of 11 huns got up and I picked out a bird and pulled the trigger only to hear a "click". This didn't sound like the click I've heard when the primer doesn't get hit hard enough by the firing pin and I broke my gun open to find out I hadn't loaded my gun before I left the truck. In all the commotion to turn the dogs collars on and trying to avoid the greasy mud at the truck, I had a rookie moment or I guess in my soon to be case, a senior moment. I apologized profusely to Rose and asked her to go find them again for me which required us to backtrack in the direction they flew. I wasn't sure where they flew because the topography prevented me from being able to watch them so I was very dependent on the dogs. Rose saved me as she has done so many times over the years when I found her on point in some scrub brush. As I got closer, the covey flushed and headed back to the original flush area and I picked out a hun and missed but followed it and got it with the 2nd shot to end a short, but very sweet hunt. Or so I thought. I got back to the truck and loaded up the dogs and headed out thinking I was going to have time to get back and scout ducks for a hunt the next day. The road was in bad shape with the now softening conditions and after fishtailing several times about a hundred yards up the road, the road just sucked the truck into a small trench next to a steep hillside and there was no preventing it from happening. I though no big deal, I'll just put it in 4X4 low and take it slow out of the trench. Instead I got sucked into the berm of mud that the road grader had piled up on the side to allow the water to flow through the trench. It was a little (ok, a lot) nerve-wracking to keep trying to get out with the steep decline of the hill out the side of my door and visions of rolling down the hill a couple hundred yards made for slow, calculated efforts to go back and forth to get up enough speed to get out. After getting out several times to assess the situation, I came to the conclusion that I was going to need help. I looked at my cell phone and it showed a good signal so I tried to call the landowner I had hunted a few hours earlier. It wouldn't ring through so the signal was not as good as it appeared. So that left me with the option of walking a couple of miles to the closet farm house which I had no idea if anybody was home. That would chew up a lot of time and provided no guarantee. I pondered some more and looked around and noticed an old fence post and thought maybe I could take some posts and put it in front of the tires to gain some traction. Easier said than done as they used some serious nails back in those days. I did manage to get 2 of them to break free and noticed some large rocks and grabbed them as well. I found one huge skipping type rock and used it to scrape the mud from the berm (since I didn't have a shovel) and then stuck as many good rocks as I could find in the escape path in hopes that I could get the traction I needed to get out. It worked TG! I managed to get out and kept going the 1/4 mile it took to get back up the hill to the much better closed road. I was lucky to overcome my stupidity and learned a lesson for future use. It added a little more adventure to a great hunt than I needed but sometimes it's kind of fun to be put in that kind of situation to see how you respond. My wife didn't quite see it that way and demanded that we up my life insurance! Can you believe that?

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Sean Ducks 2010 Dec 26
Dec 26, 2010

I was up in the air on what to do on this day. I really wanted to get the boys out on a good hunt bu ...more

t it had warmed up and melted the snow so a field hunt was out as an option. I had let the pond rest for 2 days and actually went out with my wife's permission to scout it on Xmas day and the birds were still there in the same numbers and it didn't get hunted for those 2 days. When I asked the boys if they wanted to hunt the pond they said yes, but could Mom go? Huh, where did that come from? Angela hadn't hunted with me since very early in our engagement and 1st married days so about 17 years and even then it was a couple of times at most. When she heard this, she kind of beamed and decided to go. Of course, that meant a shopping trip for Cold Gear. We had a pair of waders left over from Cody that fit her nearly perfectly and I gave her one of my old waterfowl coats to wear and she was set. I decided to push the birds off before LST this time to get set up for them at first light. There was a strong wind forecast and I figured if they went straight to the river, they would come back when the wind started howling. Only one problem - weather forecasters are wrong more often than they are right. We set in mild, sunny conditions with a light breeze and duckless skies for the most part. The boys had a chance at first light on a group of 4 mallards but Darin declined to call the shot in hopes they would finish close for Kyle to have a good chance to shoot but they didn't. I let another mallard drake go for the same reason and he didn't come back. We finally had another drake come in close enough on Cody's side and he KO'd him with a nice shot. After about 4 hours of plenty of jokes and storytelling, we ran out of material and Kyle ran out of patience so Angela and the boys packed up and took went home in Darin's rig but not before they got to see Darin shoot a mallard drake while they were at the parking lot. I was bummed it wasn't a better shoot for the boys, but they still had a good time and Angela enjoyed the outing just to see us do what we do and she even stayed warm so there's a chance she might do it again. It would be great to have her come along at times. I'm already grooming her as a camera woman! Darin and I stuck it out and the wind hit at about 1:30 which required a complete pick up and reset of the decoys to the other side of the pond. The move was worth it as we had several ducks come in nicely and even one lost honk came in feet down for his last splash on water. We ended up with 5 ducks a piece between us and the one goose. My consecutive steak of duck hunt limits ended at 10 with this hunt but it was a nice run. Limits are not the driving motivation for the hunt, but it's cool to do it. Attached are some action shots during the hunt. We hunted to the last minute and had lots of decoys to pack up so I didn't take a picture of the duck pile this time.

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Sean Upland 2010 Dec 24
Dec 24, 2010

The dogs needed to get out for a hunt since I have been duck hunting so much this season so I decide ...more

d to go after the quail and hopefully bump into a pheasant along the way. Darin joined me on a hunt on private land that had yielded good hunts already this season and in years past. The area we hunted has about the lowest numbers of birds I've seen compared to what it normally holds but it was close and the dogs still enjoy getting out. The dogs did their job but my shooting was a bit off but we brought some good eating birds home. I should have had a limit of quail and I killed the only pheasant that got up in range. Well, it was sort of in range - it succumbed to the golden bb. I think I literally put one bb in its head and Darin had to whack him with his gun stock to retrieve it as the dogs never saw it go down and it fell on his side of the creek. It was a weird deal to say the least. Anyway, not much to write about on this hunt except the dogs did great and I took a few photos of their work. The timing was right for this kind of hunt as it allowed for me to get back and spend the afternoon and evening with the family for Christmas eve.

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Sean Duck 2010 Dec 23
Dec 23, 2010

After watching the ducks pile back into the pond after our corn hunt on Wednesday, I checked to see ...more

if the boys wanted to go hunt the pond the next day. Turned out they had plans for sleepovers with their buddies. So Darin and I decided to hunt it along with another friend, Don Benson. Don always brings his trusty labs along and I enjoy that aspect of the hunt and it helps limit or eliminate the number of lost birds. I had decided to not loft the birds until after LST to see if that would make them feel more at ease to come back. I took a video of them lifting off in several large wads that was pretty amazing but the file is too big to send via email. I had also decided to hunt the pond from the opposite side this time to see if that would help as the birds had been decoyed mostly on the west side. That was a good choice as we were able to stand on mud rather than in the water which makes it much more comfortable. We also set out field decoys in the snow behind us to help keep the ducks attention off of us in the standing corn. I was trying different methods in hopes these skittish birds would work better this time. I'm not sure if it was my new methods, but we had a great hunt. It wasn't fast and furious but we had several birds flat dump in tight and we finally finished some flocks to the spread after having difficulty doing so in other hunts on this pond. I was really surprised the ducks worked as well as they did since there wasn't a stitch of wind during the day. Don's lab, Brodi, did an awesome job as usual on the retrieves and recovered some birds that we would have never been able to find in the standing corn. A bonus Hungarian partridge was added to the bag on this hunt. We had a duck fall on the other side of the pond and Don decided to take Brodi around on land to go find it and on the way, Brodi locked up on the edge of the standing corn and a lone hun flushed and Don was able to put it down. Another highlight happened when a flock of mallards came in and I shot a drake that came tumbling out of the sky and fell right on top of Brodi's mutt hut where he sits while we are hunting. It was hilarious to watch him kind of cower like "what the heck was that" when the duck hit and then he poked his head out and looked on top of his hut and grabbed the duck for the shortest retrieve of his career. It was another great hunt in what has been a phenomenal year of duck hunting so far.

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Sean Ducks 2010 Dec 22
Dec 22, 2010

I took vacation recently starting the afternoon of Dec 22nd through Jan 2nd. I ended up hunting 10 o ...more

ut of the 12 days I was off and the hunting was pretty good for the most part. The 1st hunt was an afternoon corn field hunt with my good friend, Darin. A private farm that I have access to was holding a fair amount of ducks and I was hoping they would still be there when we showed up. Well, judge for yourself in the pond picture attached. We decided to hunt the ducks in the field and save the pond for another day when I could get my boys out. When we drove in, the ducks flushed off the pond and headed to the corn but in a different spot than we planned to hunt. So we got set up and I told Darin to get ready cause I was going to drive by and get the ducks up in hopes they would head his way. Well, the plan worked as I had hoped except Darin decided not to shoot any of them since he couldn't get 3 drakes lined up. He had no less than 500 ducks land within shooting range of him and he opted to pass. Wow, talk about restraint. I understood his reasoning but he's a better man than me. As I was walking in after parking the truck and trailer, a lone drake came in to Darin and he shot him to get the hunt started. As soon as I got in the blind, we started working ducks into our spread and after 3 groups, I already had 6 drake mallards and I think Darin was sitting at 2 as he was having some shooting difficulties. I picked out another mallard drake with the next flock to finish up with my limit and Darin picked up with his shooting after some ribbing from me. Then a lull hit and we didn't have any workable ducks for about 20 minutes, but then a few flocks showed up and Darin was able to finish out though he took a couple of brown ducks to get it done. With the decent snowfall the ducks were feeding pretty heavily as you can see from the one duck's neck in the picture. It was a fun hunt and a good way to start off the vacation. Attached are some shots from the hunt. My good friend, Tyler Ono, was nice enough to let me use his trailer for the rest of this season and that has worked out very well and makes it convenient to be able to hunt ducks or geese over water or field. I named it the MKU (Mobile Killing Unit) and so far it has lived up to its name. So far I haven't been able to talk Tyler into letting me put the MKU sticker on it, but I'm still working on him. :)

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Sean Ducks 2010 Dec 19
Dec 19, 2010

After leaving the corn field on Saturday afternoon, Darin and I scouted a private farm that I had ac ...more

cess to for the weekend and we were hoping to find lots of geese in the fields to hunt on Sunday. No such luck, for some reason they weren't using the farm. However, we did watch 1,500 mallards land on the one pond on the farm so that became our game plan for the next day. I had a tough time deciding whether to loft that birds ahead of shooting time or waiting until daylight to see if they would leave on their own - they are several schools of thought on this process, but I ultimately wanted to be set up as close to LST as possible so we lofted them around 6:15. It was quite an experience to see and hear approximately 2,000 ducks lifting off less than an acre of water. They left in 6 different stages and didn't lift until we parked right next to the pond. Eric Jones, Darin and my 2 sons were in on the hunt. So we got setup after the ducks left and worked ducks coming back to the pond continuously for most of the day. They were extremely wary ducks and sometimes would take 5 or 6 passes to commit. They takes some serious patience and discipline to not move and get busted. Eric did an excellent job of calling and the ducks really responded on the corners but were just downright tough to decoy. Singles and doubles cooperated fairly well, but the flocks wouldn't have any part of our pleas to come land on the pond so the shot got called if they ventured into range. One highlight was Eric breaking up a group of about a dozen honkers with some sweet goose music on his call and getting 4 of them to come close enough to look that I was able to knock one out from pretty far up. Another highlight was when my oldest son Cody shot a greenhead and he swung so hard on it that he fell over backwards right into his little brother Kyle. Fortunately, they were both safe with their muzzles so we had a good laugh on that one. Eric left around 12:30 with a nice limit of mallards and we ended up shooting 28 mallards total but lost 2. It was a fun hunt but the ducks were pretty tough. I was glad to have my boys accompany us on the hunt. Pic's attached. Kyle befriended a fat green head and was insistent that it get to ride in the truck on the way home - I don't know about him! He did keep us laughing a lot on the hunt before he went back to the truck to warm his toes up.

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Sean Ducks 2010 Dec 18
Dec 18, 2010

Went on a corn field duck hunt with 4 other buddies on Saturday - Darin Matthews, Eric Jones, Don Mo ...more

ody, Don Benson and Don's trusty lab - Brodi. Normally, I would start a corn field hunt later in the day, but with snow forecast to start that morning, I was gambling that the ducks would fly early. I guessed right and the shoot was on early. We worked flocks periodically into the spread while the snow flew and stacked up a fair amount of ducks. After the snow stopped the ducks shut off and there was a couple hour lull before it picked back up. Don Moody left with his 6 mallards at about 10:30 a.m. and we called the hunt at about 2:30 p.m with a total of 32 mallards in order to get to a different area to scout geese for the next morning. As we were picking up, the ducks were flying pretty good so chances were high that we would have picked up the other 2 ducks but it was a good day of hunting as it was. Attached are some pictures from the hunt.

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Sean Ducks 2010 Dec 14
Dec 14, 2010

Not much time for a full report. I have to say it was brief, but exciting morning of duck hunting. W ...more

ith the ice coming off of a lot of the water, there seems to be an influx of ducks or at least some trading back and forth to provide good hunting conditions. The strong wind forecast for this morning caused me to stay at work late last night to take care of some items so I could get out this morning. The effort paid off as I got to enjoy a morning with lots of ducks flying and willing to work the decoy spread. I couldn't stay long with demands at work and the need to get back in, but I wanted to shoot all drakes this morning and I was able to do so and added a little variety. The ducks wanted to see some flash today so the spinning wing was employed to help out and it really made a difference on getting the ducks attention. Typically, the spinning wing decoy is more pain than it's worth on the water, but not so on this hunt. I can take or leave it, but was glad to have it today with the competition on the river. Anyway, enjoyed another solo adventure this morning and took some really nice ducks. I was able to take a couple drake pintail once again with one of them being really. This has been the best year ever for pintails for me. I also took a couple of nice widgeon drakes that I could have passed up for mallard drakes, but the sun was hitting them just right as they were decoying and it felt like the right day to take a couple. It's been a good duck season so far with December starting out quite well. Let's hope it continues. Pic's attached. It was nice to have some sun for picture taking today. It broke out just after I shot the last duck.

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Sean Ducks 2010 Dec 12
Dec 12, 2010

Got out for 2 duck hunts this weekend. The quest to find a good spot started out rough but turned ou ...more

t well. I got beat to my plan A spot but there were 4 guys hunting it so no joining forces on that one but when I arrived at my plan B spot, there was one guy that was open to me joining him. Turned out to be a biologist with the USFWS who works at McNary. So I got lucky that he was nice enough to let me join him and his dog, Sven. The wind was blowing pretty hard out of the south and it made for a good hunt even with the warm temp's (mid-40's). The birds were a little spooky and didn't want to finish to the decoys very often but they presented reasonable shot opportunities and we were able to convert. Mike turned out to be a great guy to hunt with and we plan to try to get together again in the future. That makes the 3rd time this year that I've hooked up with somebody new that I didn't know and all of the guys have been great to hunt with and we've shared some good days in the field. Mike and I ended up shooting our 7 duck limits each. I was after my ultimate limit that day - 5 mallard drakes and 2 pintail drakes but had to settle for an additional greenhead in place of one of the bull sprigs. Mike went after widgeon drakes and added 2 mallard drakes to his take on the day. We had tons of widgeon bombing us all day and it was tough to hold off on them. Pictures attached.
The next day I hooked up with a friend who went early to get the spot that I hunted the previous day. The hunt was dramatically different with a cold 6 - 10 mph north wind and temp's in the mid-30's. The blind we hunted was on a point on a rock bar with water all around it but the water rose all day and eventually inundated the blind and made it stick out even more so it was even tougher to get ducks to decoy and all the widgeons from the day before had vanished. I did see something very weird in the early morning hours - tons of bluebills heading north low off the water. I'm talking like 500 - 1,000 lesser scaup! It's possible that they could have been ringers, but I think they were bluebills. Anyway, more divers than I've even seen in that spot. Wish I would have had a layout boat with diver decoys out had I known there were going to be that many scaup. We toughed it out and slowly, but surely got some puddle ducks and I changed my quest for the same kind of birds the day before to taking what came in. I ended up with 6 mallards and a GW teal and my friend had 5 mallards. We passed up ducks early thinking it was going to be a great day with the colder weather and north wind, but that's hunting for you - you never know what the day is going to hold. Still a good day. I only took one picture of a really nice greenhead that day as the weather turned rainy and I didn't break the camera out after that.

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Sean Greese 2010 Dec 08
Dec 8, 2010

Got out for a quick goose hunt yesterday morning. The hunt started off a little hectic when the gees ...more

e flew early and we missed a chance at a group of 5 honks as well as a single goose when we got busted still putting out decoys. Nobody expected them to fly a few minutes after shooting time and it wouldn't have been a big deal until I get to the rest of the story. Once we hurriedly finished setting up the 8 or so dozen decoys and parked the trucks, we got back in time for the beginning of the flight. We had a group of 7 lessers work the spread with a couple passes and the shot was called as they came over the top of the decoys for the 3rd time. We were able to knock down 4, but I thought all of them should have died at the range they were with 4 shooters. All I know is the right side of the flock was raining geese! :) Then we had a single dink decoy like you like and one shot got him all the way to the ground. After that, we sat and watched group after group pile into the 1st group of 5 honks that landed out in the field over the crest of the hill from us. We soft lofted the geese and they headed to the next field to the east and pulled in all kinds of buddies the rest of the morning while we watched thousands of geese fly by us with no love for our decoys. It got to clock watching time since I had to cut the hunt short to get back to a meeting for work and a group of 5 honkers appeared low and to our left. They checked things over carefully with a pass behind us but I had a feeling they dug us and though they didn't exactly backwing in, they came over the top of the spread right on top and the shot was called (about a second late I might add but chit happens) and 3 nice honks fell. Once again, I think we should have had all 5. And that was pretty much it until we started picking up decoys and then of course a few nice low flying groups of honks came by just looking for some buddies. The weather forecast was a joke. It was suppose to be raining and about 35 - 40 degrees but it was sunny and 45 - 50 degrees. Just a tad bit off on that forecast! Attached a picture of the birds. I couldn't reveal certain members of the group so that was all I could send out but I do have the evidence for bribery down the road. :) It was an enjoyable way to spend a Wednesday morning and who knows, maybe the last hunt of the year with snow still on the ground. I hope not, though!

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Sean Ducks 2010 Dec 05
Dec 5, 2010

With the crust on the snow still prevalent, hunting upland over the dogs wasn't an option so I decid ...more

ed to go after ducks in the corn fields again. Hooked up with Darin and headed north to hopefully find a field the ducks were using. To my amazement, the word must have spread fast as several fields were already occupied with hunters and we weren't able to get on one of the fields holding birds due to it being leased. I noticed one field was stacked with ducks but the farmer had told me it was leased this year for cattle grazing and that the farmer also planned to hunt it. I knocked on his door with an angle in mind and the landowner took my sales pitch but made it very clear that this was a one-time only hunt for the year. As hard as it was to hear that, I could deal with it as I knew we were in for a good hunt based on the number of ducks hitting it. My prognosis was spot on as I killed my 7th greenhead about 30 minutes into the hunt. Darin experienced some rare difficulties with his shooting, but followed up shortly with his limit of mallards. He blew the all green quest by accidently "scotch doubling" on a hen and drake that lined up when I called the shot. It provided me with a good laugh at his expense, but it by no means took away from a short, but outstanding shoot on ducks in the corn field. I snapped some photos of the setup and the birds taken with my new camera which I like very much. Low light conditions is no problem for this camera. I also took some HD video of hundreds of ducks working us after we had limited. Excellent video but the file is huge so I can't forward it on. I have some work to do to figure out the zooming in and out on moving targets, kind of like my shooting! For those that can, swing by my office if you want to see it. We headed out to get some scouting in for the next day as I had more guns to accommodate the next day and we couldn't return to this paradise.
The next hunt was a gamble. We found ducks using the field I had chosen to hunt the prior day, but I knew this area had seen lots of pressure in the preceding days. We went out early more to secure a spot than because I thought the birds would fly early and sure enough, the ducks flew much later this day and the ones that flew bypassed us with frustrating frequency. I knew they were headed to the spot we hunted the prior day, but had hopes that some of the ducks would return that we saw when we scouted. We slowly, but surely started convincing some ducks that this was the field of plenty and worked some groups in but the birds were much less convinced to finish in tight than the prior hunts. I had Tyler Ono & his 10 year old son, Theron along with Darin to start the hunt and Jerry showed up around 10:00 so he could get some sleep for his night shift job. He ended up leaving around 2:00 with a nice limit of green heads as he capitalized well on the opportunities. It was a much tougher hunt on this day as the ducks weren't finishing just right and at times we landed a few ducks and the rest of the flock wouldn't do it and I chose to hold off to get the rest of the group in. We just couldn't seem to get it quite right, but it was still a great hunt as we finished with 29 ducks for the day. The opportunity was definitely there to shoot a 5 man limit of 35 ducks, but sometimes it goes like that. I was fortunate to shoot 2 nice pintail drakes out of a flock that wasn't quite 100% committed but when it comes to pinnies, my rule is 40 yards and in, we take the shot. No slam dunk this day, but it was a great group of friends to share a hunt. I snapped a few photos of some of the ducks taken on the hunt, but Tyler and Theron had to take off with their 9 ducks before I took pictures.

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Sean Ducks 2010 Dec 01
Dec 1, 2010

We got an early release from work yesterday at 11:30 due to freezing rain and my first thought was w ...more

e have enough time to get to the corn fields to shoot some ducks. I know how that sounds - dangerous road conditions, early release to get home safely and I want to go hunt ducks. We are an insane bunch, us duck hunters. Nasty weather usually means good hunting conditions and I've noticed over the years that a cold rain will drive the ducks to feed in the corn fields. I was able to talk another lunatic into going, my friend, Mike Estes. When we got there it was a sight to behold, literally thousands of ducks hitting every corn field I could hunt. Great you would think but a difficult decision on where to set up with limited time to set up. We chose a spot that I had reservations about, but we set up quickly and before I got back from parking the truck, Mike had already pulled some ducks in and shot a mallard drake. We had some success pulling in some groups and singles and quickly got to 7 ducks between us when the party ended. The ducks congregated in the next field over and pulled every duck in the sky to them. Mike went and pushed them out but we ran into a recurring theme - the ducks headed back to water at 3:00. For some reason this season, the ducks are not hitting the fields until dark and in fact are vacating a good hour to 2 hours before shooting time ends. This is not normal as it typically gets better the later it the day it gets. All was not lost as it allowed me to scout and know where to go next time. Well, that next time was this morning. Darin, Tyler and Mike were able to join me for what turned into a fantastic field hunt this morning. We set up at first light to see if the ducks were coming early. Well, they weren't but we had a couple of mallard drakes get the blood pumping by sliding in nicely to the pocket in the decoys for their last quest for corn. That set the tone for what was to come. From 8:30 to 9:30, we worked in huge groups of mallards and methodically picked out greenheads to dump on the 4 to 5 inches of crusted over snow. It brought back memories of 2 years ago when we enjoyed 2 weeks of incredible field hunting in the snow. So I created the circle of green for the pictures in tribute to those days not so long ago but that I thought would never return. Tyler took a couple of videos with his phone that will give us lasting memories and a good chuckle at Mike's expense. We ran 3 spinners on this hunt for the 1st time ever and I don't know for sure if it made a difference or not from running just one or two, but it sure did work. I picked up a new camera today with HD video so I hope these hunts continue so I can capture some of the action. Let me tell you, 2 to 3 hundred mallards descending from a hundred yards plus right on top of you to 15 yards in your face is quite a sight and a tremendous rush.

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Sean Ducks 2010 Nov 28
Nov 28, 2010

I had been scouting the corn fields I have permission to hunt on a pretty regular basis when the wea ...more

ther hit last week but the ducks either hadn't showed up or just weren't using the corn much. I had scouted the fields on Friday the 26th and saw a few more birds using them, but not enough for a hunt. While I was out pheasant hunting on Saturday the 27th, Tyler was awesome enough to scout the fields for me and called me all excited that the ducks were hammering a particular field that I could hunt. I was already planning to sleep in on Sunday and enjoy the morning with the family and to try a field hunt that day, but this news made it a little more encouraging. When I woke up that morning, I wondered what could go wrong to prevent us from having a good mallard shoot in the fields this day. Well, a quick look out the window revealed potential trouble - dense fog. I've been hosed more than once on field hunts in the fog so as we headed to the spot, I was hopeful Tyler could put us on the X because when the ducks can't see your decoys, you need to be where they want to be or at least in their flight pattern. Well, he did pretty good for a non-white guy as the pictures will show. We were concerned about the limited visibility so hens were an option on this hunt and we took a few. My hunting partners this day were Darin, Tyler and Tyler's son, Theron who is only 10 years old and loves to hunt ducks. He did a great job shooting and enduring the cold weather. Darin was able to harvest a banded mallard drake to add a nice touch to the hunt. The duck was banded at the Kitmas Complex in Alberta, Canada and it was banded on Aug 14, 2010.

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Sean Pheasants 2010 Nov 28
Nov 28, 2010

When I updated my hunt log last night, I noticed that I had hunted 10 of the last 12 days in some fa ...more

shion or another - some short trips, others all day affairs. I had been saving my time for when the weather turned like it did and I cashed in. I got to hunt with a couple new guys that look like they could turn into future partners. We haven't had this kind of weather this early in the hunting season the entire 17 years that I've been hunting in WA. That being said, it isn't necessarily a good thing as I have some concerns that the waterfowl migration is going to go right by us and the upland birds are very spooky with the snow being on for this extended period. But, you take the cards your dealt and do the best you can with them. I'll start with my latest hunts and work backwards. Yesterday's hunt started with a phone call from Tyler Ono after we had just got home from a successful field duck hunt on Sunday. I was fully prepared to go to work yesterday when Tyler called me and asked if I would be interested in going pheasant hunting with a friend of his that I had never met. The friend claimed to have stumbled on a place that had "hundreds" of pheasants on it that he saw while out deer hunting and was looking for someone with dogs to hunt them. Our conversation went something like this: Me - "is your friend a fisherman that is fully capable of exaggerating the number of birds he really saw?" Tyler - "he's a legit guy that wouldn't B.S. about something like that." Me - "you realize there is no place in WA state that has hundreds of pheasants on it?" Tyler - "well, I trust him. Do you want to go or not?" Me - "ummm, hem/haw, ummm, well I guess I'll roll the dice and go prove the guy is full of bull." So his friend, Matt, called me and we set the time to meet. On the drive there it becomes obvious Matt is a die-hard hunter suffering with the same disease as me who only works 3 days a week so he can go hunting and fishing as much as possible. I start to kind of believe his story as he tells me more about the birds he has seen on the property, but still hold a good share of doubt. That all changed on the drive in to the place as I see numerous pheasant out in the snow-covered wheat stubble fields and a good majority of them are roosters. I don't think I've ever seen a higher proportion of roosters on a hunt especially this time of year with the season more than a month old. Ok, so there are birds but the difficulty now is how to hunt them effectively when they are this concentrated in the wide open fields and add in a dense fog that limits visibility beyond 100 yards while walking through 6 - 8" of snow that has been on the ground for more than a week. For those that don't know, old snow and fog make for jumpy pheasants and I don't know the lay of the land or the escape options for the birds. Normally, I would push the birds out of the open fields into areas of cover in hopes that they will hold for the dogs. Pretty tough to do when you don't know where the cover is and you can't even see it with the dense fog. So we had a lot of factors working against us, but we had the luxury of a lot of roosters to hunt and that ended up being the saving grace for this hunt. We/mostly me, made a lot of mistakes on handling the birds and they were very jumpy, but a few of them held for the dogs and some flushed wild just barely in range for our 12 gauges and we made our shots count. This was no gimme hunt as we had walked in the deep snow for 5 hours straight when Matt made a nice shot on a long flushing rooster that Rose had told us was there to end the hunt.

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Sean Huns Pheasants 2010 Nov 27
Nov 27, 2010

My friend Don Benson invited me along on an upland hunt on a private farm he has access to in my new ...more

favorite county in WA - Garfield. I had been fortunate to hunt this farm with him a couple of years ago and I was excited knowing the prospects of pheasants and huns would be good. Well, it didn't disappoint. There were plenty of birds but the weather conditions were less than optimal with a driving snow all day. This was a day when you appreciate having good gear and clothing. Walking in the 6 - 8" of snow with higher spots where it had drifted was some work. Before my hunt on the 29th, this was easily the most pheasants I had seen on a hunt this year. The dogs pointed numerous hens in the 1st leg of the hunt, some holding so tight you had to kick them out of their hiding places. The roosters were all flushing out well ahead with the exception of one that I was able to put in the bag. But things changed after working the creek bottom and moving out into the wheat stubble. There were a higher proportion of roosters in the stubble and the lee side of hills that were protected from the snow drifts. We didn't have much success on those birds, but we did push them into the creek bottom and the 2nd time through, we were able to get close and start filling the game vests. At one point, Don and I stood in one spot and took turns shooting roosters. One flushed in front of his dog, Brody and he put it down. A few seconds later, another one flushed that I was able to take. No sooner than Don had put the first one in his vest, he dropped another one that made the mistake of taking flight. Just like that Don was done but shortly after that we both got a big scare when his lab had a seizure and fell over trembling in the snow. It was an unforgettable sight to see a dog go through that episode and I felt terrible and scared for Don and Brodi. We decided the best course of action was for me to hike back to the truck while he stayed with Brodi and drive back to pick them up. It was a long walk and I knew Don would get chilly with the conditions so I beat feet while Rose & Jock continued to hunt in front of me. As I was getting closer to the truck, my dogs got birdy and a rooster flushed and it was an easy shot so I put it down and continued my rushed pace to the truck. All was well when I got to Don and Brodi was fine for the ride home. He is having additional blood work done on Brodi to determine the source of the problem since this was his 2nd episode. For those that don't know Don, he is extremely devoted to his dogs and puts in way more time, effort and money than I do on mine so this is very difficult for him I'm sure. So we had a great hunt but that part was a real downer. On another note about birds, we did find 5 coveys of huns but shooting opportunities were limited. Don was able to get 3 and I was never able to get a shot on huns. Still always great to see those birds and they are doing well this year especially in that part of the state. Picture attached after the hunt. The conditions were miserable so I didn't carry mine at all and the snow had just let up prior to snapping a shot at the harvested birds.

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Sean Ducks 2010 Nov 21
Nov 21, 2010

Darin and I decided to get out for an afternoon duck hunt on a popular public area near home. We did ...more

n't have high expectations with the lack of wind but cold weather was moving in and we were hopeful ducks would be moving ahead of the front. This spot had probably been hammered for several days in a row at this point at the big ducks were not buying the decoy set up we had out to fool them. It was looking pretty bleak until groups of Green Wing teal started winging the slough periodically. They wouldn't come into the decoy spread but they would buzz the outside of them, providing challenging but fun shooting action. They are such a cool duck - like a dove on steroids and fun to shoot. We were picking off one or two at a time while the normal quarry of mallards and pintail were flipping us the bird. I had 6 teal down and it occurred to me that I had never taken a 7 bird limit of Green Wing teal in this state so the quest was on to pull it off. Unfortunately, the number of teal flying had dropped off and the end of shooting time was coming on fast. With about 10 minutes of LST left, Darin whispered teal to the left and I looked up and a single was making it our way. He inexplicably stopped short and splashed down all by himself away from the decoys. It was my chance but the range was pushing the limits of my ability. My gun came up and the bird lifted off and the shot was true. A limit of GW teal had been achieved on what otherwise would have been a real slow day in the duck blind. The last bird was a beauty, too - a nice mature drake. Darin shot a stud GW teal as well.

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Sean Upland 2010 Nov 20
Nov 20, 2010

I went on an upland hunt with a new friend and hunting partner, Jerry. We headed to Walla Walla Co. ...more

to hunt a farm that I had yet to hit this season. The pheasant hatch in this area was pretty poor, in fact about as bad as I've ever seen it in the dozen or so years I've been hunting the area. The quail seemed to have done much better and have average numbers at least. Well, the quail saved the day and provided a lot of great dog work and shooting opportunities. Jerry seemed to have a good time and the dogs did a great job both finding and retrieving birds. I was able to take a limit of quail which is not something I do very often but look forward to targeting them more this year.

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Sean Ducks 2010 Nov 19
Nov 19, 2010

I got to hunt with my son, Cody and new friend, Jerry at a popular public spot for ducks. Jerry was ...more

kind enough to go early and secure a good spot while allowing Cody to get a little more sleep and I took advantage of the opportunity as well. Jerry and I had an awesome hunt the prior day in this area and we had hoped to get the same blind by him going early. Mission accomplished thanks to him and the first and sometimes most difficult part was achieved. This day was tougher than the prior for 2 reasons. First, we had to compete with 2 other groups on the slough where we had no competition the day before and second, the weather was warmer with less wind. What took an hour the day before to get limits of ducks for 2 took 5 hours for 3 guys, but it was a great hunt overall. I got to hunt with my son and watch Jerry work his new lab pup, Gunner. We took 5 different species of ducks and Jerry had a career day on shooting new species. He not only got his first pintail drake, he got 2 nice bulls and he got his 1st wood duck - a prime, mature drake that is going to the taxidermist for his first mount. Jerry has done a lot of waterfowling in his home state of S. Dakota, but he is fairly new to this area and had not got to experience the quality of hunting we experienced over a 3 day period together. It was pretty cool to take in his excitement over his good fortune. Cody struggled a bit on his shooting as the shots were much tougher today with the ducks not fully committing to the spread as often as we would have liked, but in the end he was able to get his limit of ducks which consisted of 6 mallards and a nice pintail drake. I was able to take 5 different species on the day (wood duck, mallard, widgeon, pintail & GW teal). It was a great day and continued the good start to my waterfowl season.

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Gone Hunting, signed Sean :)
Nov 19, 2010
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Sean 2010 Nov 18 Ducks
Nov 18, 2010

Thur, Nov 18, 2010: I had an insatiable desire to go kill some ducks this week and didn't go on Tues ...more

day so I just had to go this morning. It was worth the early wake-up. I ended up making a new friend and hunted with him and his dog "Gunner". Nice guy and a good shot. We only let 2 ducks get away and the ones we shot were flat stoned. No cripples on the water shots today. Not a lot of birds in the air but the singles and doubles worked real nice and finished extremely well to the call and decoys. Real enjoyable day to be out. It only took a few minutes over an hour and we were taking pictures and heading to the truck. I even made my first work meeting this morning. Here's Gunner over all the ducks he retrieved today. Jerry got a little antsy and took a hen on the first go or it could have been all green. My ducks are the 7 on the right - I could have waited for another bull sprig but chose to finish when 2 drakes came in and Jerry and I both dropped our birds in simultaneous fashion - one shot heard, 2 splashes and that was a wrap!

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Sean 2010 Nov 14 Pheasants & Weekend
Nov 14, 2010

Thur, Nov10, 2010: Headed over to what is becoming my favorite county to hunt upland birds in WA thi ...more

s fall - Garfield, last Thursday. Even though it was a federal holiday and a day off for me, I couldn't talk anyone into going along so it was just the dogs and me which is actually nice from time to time. The plan was to find some huns and maybe even some pheasants. I was hoping to be able to find 6 coveys with the thinking that if I could get one bird from each covey, a rare WA hun limit could be achieved (Montana is a different story). Well, it took some work as the first spot only produced one small covey that Jr made a nice find on, but I failed to connect on the steep, rocky terrain where he found them. They were plenty close enough, just couldn't get my footing for a good swing. I then drove around for over an hour trying to find some spots that a friend pointed out for me after his recent deer hunts in the area but I couldn't find landowners at home. After sliding around on the now melting from frost mud roads, I decided to try a Feel Free to Hunt property more out of frustration to just get the dogs and me out hunting then because I thought it was going to be productive. It's nice to get surprised from time to time as the place held several coveys of huns - in fact, just the right amount to get a WA hun limit. I ran Jock and Rose and they did an excellent job pinning down 3 - 5 coveys of medium - sized hun coveys. The reason I say 3 - 5 is because of the possibility they re-found a couple of coveys. I did alright with the scatter gun and snapped some photos of the 1st part of the successful day. The quest for some roosters was on and I hit the jackpot in a thick grassy waterway that led to a brush tree line. I actually left Rose in the kennel and ran Jock & Jr and they handled the roosters nicely. The first point produced a young rooster that I flushed at close range and as soon as I pulled the trigger another rooster got up at about 30 yards and I was able to get him with the 2nd barrel. Another 150 yards down the waterway and Jr worked the wind on a rooster that didn't hold and popped out of the trees on my side for his last flush in the wild to end a great day of bird hunting. As you can see from the attached photos, I was up pretty high in elevation as there was some residual dusting of snow around. This was one of my favorite WA upland hunts of the year.

Friday, Nov 12, 2010: Got in a short upland hunt last Friday sandwiched around scouting for waterfowl for Saturday. Had a good hunt considering the lack of roosters in the Walla Walla area this year. Had a chance to get a 3rd rooster but they are hard to hit when you're sliding down a steep embankment as they flush and fly away! That rooster pulled a dirty one on me and I'll be back for a rematch. It was nice to get to hunt in the sun for once even though it was wet from the prior evening rains. Picture attached of the bird take on the day. Jr was in on the action as well, but in the kennel during the picture taking.

Sat, Nov 13, 2010: I'm sending this out just so you know that I do take a day off during the hunting season on a rare occasion. Since my scouting of McNary on Friday didn't yield what I thought would be a good hunt for the boys on the Youth hunt, I decided to get some yard work done that was well overdue. I actually got some help from my family and it turned into a fun event. Now that I got that out of the way, I can focus on the remainder of the season. Cody took these shots of the action (attached).

Sun, Nov 14, 2010: Headed back to Garfield Co. on Sunday to hunt the breaks of the Snake River for chukar. Little did I know the place would offer so much more than chukar. I was invited to go along with 5 other guys on this hunt which is a much bigger group than I normally ever hunt with, but there was a lot of ground to hunt so it worked just fine. We immediately got into birds once we got to the top of the breaks with a covey of huns being the first find. I dropped a hun out of that group and then soon after we were into chukar. In about 1/2 hour, I had 5 chukar in the bag. Then Rose found a rooster for me to shoot and the game bag was getting heavy! A covey of quail was next and I added one of those for some variety and a minimal addition in weight, but the hills were really steep so I had to stop and gut some birds to reduce the drag on the back. Another covey of huns was found and one added to the bag and then another chukar for a limit. It didn't happen quite that fast but the dogs were finding birds pretty steadily the whole time. We headed back towards the truck and another quail was added to my bulging vest. Then Rose & Jock got birdy in the wheat stubble (Jr was beat up from Thur & Fri hunt so I left him home) and after 300 yards of Rose steadily working the running rooster, he finally got close to running out of stubble and held for the dogs and it cost him his life. What a hunt - both in terms of bird species variety and physical exhaustion. I was beat but was able to get a WA upland slam - 6 chukar, 2 huns, 2 roosters and 2 quail. That's only the second time I've ever done that in WA and it was in the same general area that I did it the last time about a dozen years ago. The weather was rainy and very foggy so I didn't take a camera so no pictures to show. One stupid thing I did on this hunt that I will not repeat again in the future: my partners had flushed a chukar on the steep hillside above me at one point when I was trying to get my last chukar and I swung on the bird and missed and then really swung hard to try to compensate for the speed of the bird and I fell over backwards on the rocky ground. I was very fortunate to not hit my head on any of the numerous boulders around me nor did I hurt my gun, but it was a very close call. Lesson learned - a bird is not worth that risk even if it's a limit bird!



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Sean Ducks Birds 2010 Nov 7
Nov 7, 2010

Took last Friday off and headed after chukar and huns in SW WA with Darin. We were able to get on so ...more

me private ground and found about 6 coveys of chukar and about the same amount of huns. The birds were very jumpy and the chukar coveys ran over 100 yards in most cases before they would hold for a reasonable shot opportunity and most of them would fly before we got into gun range. I didn't realize there were part pheasant! The huns didn't run as much but wouldn't let us get real close, either. All in all it was a good day but I'm guessing these birds have been hunted pretty hard to be as spooky as they were. I attached a picture of our take. I was a fortunate to get enough opportunities to get a limit of chukar for only the 2nd time ever. I like hunting these birds but my feet sure were aching when I was done! Attached is the only picture I took that day. It was another mostly cloudy day and I had my hands full just trying to kill chukar and huns.
Got home about 8:30 on Friday night and loaded up for a duck/goose hunt with Craig & Kyle Riche and his friends Mikey & Jason at Craig's pit in Block 1 in Pasco. My Kyle came along as well. We had a few groups of ducks work our spread in the buckwheat. The first go on ducks was a memory maker for Kyle Riche. Not only did he shoot his 1st duck, but it was a banded mallard hen! Needless to say, he was pretty happy and we were all excited for him. I think there are many more bands in that boy's future. With the pattern of warm weather we've been having lately, the ducks didn't fly long but we had steady action for an hour or so and was able to shoot some quackers before the sun burned off the light fog layer. A bonus was having several pigeons dive bomb the spinners to give the boys and Jason some extra shooting fun. The geese were far and few between and the ones we did see weren't interested in dying for our cause. Attached are pictures of the 2 Kyle's and the ducks.
I stuck around the house Sunday and went scouting for waterfowl in the afternoon and put the dogs down to find roosters and huns for a few hours at a place that I knew would be slim pickings. We did find 2 coveys of huns that promptly flew to an adjoining property that I couldn't access. The dogs found some hen pheasant but no roosters. I did find a bunch of geese that were using the same property that I can't hunt. I hope they feed those fields out and then move to the fields I can hunt. I also saw about 60 snow geese mixed in with Canada geese on the McNary Refuge non-hunt fields. We sure are getting a lot more snows in this area. I hope we can get some on our hunts this season. The weather needs to get colder!

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Sean Upland Birds 2010 Oct 31
Oct 30, 2010

Friday - headed to Whitman Co. with Darin. It wasn't suppose to rain when I planned the trip, but ra ...more

in it did for 1/2 the day. Got soaked and found a few pheasants, a covey of quail and 2 coveys of huns. As you will see in the attached pictures from this weekend that I've come to the conclusion that it's time to buy a new camera. We managed to get our roosters with a lot of effort as well as 3 huns and a quail.
Saturday - watched Kyle's team get dominated in their playoff game. I have lots to say about that, but this is a hunting report so I'll refrain. Good news is no more practices or games to work hunting around which is what I had to do this day. Headed solo toward Walla Walla for an afternoon hunt and it was dry in Kennewick, but wouldn't you know by the time I got to my hunting spot it was raining and only 42 degrees. So off I headed to hunt the grass in the rain with less 2 1/2 hours of daylight left. I got soaked again and barely made it back to the truck before total darkness, but I had 3 roosters in the vest that were attributed to some great dog work. This was public ground and the birds were jumpy but the dogs managed to pin down 3 roosters so the drenching was worth it.
Sunday - headed to WW area again with Jason Gunter only this time to hunt some private ground that has been good over the years. Pretty lean this time around and it had rained the night before so it was nice and refreshing walking in weeds over our heads. I think the east side has turned into the west side in WA this year. I hadn't seen the sun shine on a pheasant hunt yet this year until it broke out later in the morning on this day. Jason and I took a rooster each with a couple quail in the bag after about 5 hours of hunting - not normal production for this place especially this early in the season. Jason offered to take me to one of his spots so we headed north to finish out our hunt so we could get back for Halloween. We hunted a nice, weedy waterway that yielded a couple more roosters and then hit a river bottom and Jason picked up a quail. The sun was out in force so now I have to complain about how hot it was! I can't be pleased, but it was an enjoyable day of hunting with Jason.

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Sean Ducks 2010 Oct 24
Oct 24, 2010

I was able to get permission to hunt a private pond that I had been keeping an eye on, but couldn't ...more

hunt because the farmer doesn't allow any hunting while harvest is going on. With the forecast for rain they decided not to farm on Sunday so I got the go ahead to hunt at 8:30 on Saturday evening while I was well into celebrating at a buddy's wedding reception. I threw together the decoys and all the other extensive gear that it seems to take to hunt ducks as well as my 2 boys stuff and hit the sack at 11:00. I was excited to hunt this pond since there were a good number of birds using it and I was hoping the boys would have a good hunt since I failed to produce much for them on the youth hunt. I had no idea the amount of work that was ahead of me when we left the house at 5:30 that morning. The pond is surrounded by standing corn on 3 sides and heavy weeds on the other. I thought the best way to access the pond would be to walk down a wheel line. Only problem my pea brain didn't account for was that it's a circle and trying to find the right one that led to the pond in the dark was mission impossible and I wasted valuable time getting in and setting up. Once my gray matter actually started working that morning, I figured out we were going to have to bust the weeds and wade into the open area on the pond. That was a bit dicey with how deep the pond was and how short Kyle is and the fact that I had never been in the pond - not ideal conditions in the dark, but we managed to get in there while hearing what sounded like a jet engine taking off with the number of ducks exiting the pond. I finally found what I thought was a good setup factoring in the wind direction and open water and it was exactly shooting time. So I had to scramble to get decoys out, find shells to load both boys guns and figure out where I was going to stow the 2 gear bags since we were going to have to hunt in the standing water. I had to use the one chair I brought in to stow the bags which was far from an ideal setup since Kyle's shells were in one bag for his 20 gauge and Cody's was in another for his 12. It was pretty much mayhem as numerous ducks were bombing back into the pond and the boys were blazing away. I was so busy retrieving ducks and getting shells that I didn't even load my own gun until 8:30. The ducks were a mixture of teal, pintail, mallards and then a special moment happened. A couple ducks came sliding in while I was feeding shells and I noticed that it was a pair of wood ducks with the drake standing out like he had neon feathers. Cody zeroed in on him and on his 2nd shot folded him with a clean kill to get his 1st wood duck drake. It was so crazy that I failed to take a quality picture of the duck and we determined it was a young male not quite worthy of mounting, but a cool moment for sure. In fact, I failed to take many pictures at all with the craziness of the hunt. We had trouble getting the mallards to commit and I think the fact that I was only able to get out the pintail decoys and the hide was less than the best hurt us on those ducks. The ducks slowed down about the time I was finally able to get my gun loaded (naturally), but enough still flew to keep us in some shooting. I was able to make up for lost time on mallards and pintails and when Kyle called the hunt we had 17 ducks laid out. Unfortunately, due to the weeds and corn and my lack of nose, 5 ducks got away that were shot. I tried my best to call the shot when the ducks were over open water to minimize this issue, but windy conditions and young shooters made it difficult. If my friends with dogs would answer their phone or return my calls, I wouldn't of have that problem! LOL, hard to expect much with such short notice. I need to wrap this up, but a couple of other weird items occurred on the hunt. At one point, I was grabbing shells and some ducks came bombing in with no notice so I grabbed my gun and spun around and got one of my calls caught up when I raised the gun and when I shot the recoil bounced the call right into my right eye. That didn't feel too good, but I didn't think much of it until 5 minutes later and Cody said my eye was bleeding. Well, since I couldn't find any on my skin, he informed me that it was in my eye itself. I still have a blood clot in my eye today! Also, at one point I went back to the truck to move it and get the rest of the gear when I heard a shot on the pond and looked over to see a duck falling in the pond. A second later, I heard a BB hit my windshield and it made a nice little indention. I was at least 150 yards away! I guess with the wind blowing as hard as it was and the angle Cody shot, it was the perfect storm. I don't know that I've ever worked harder on a duck hunt and I know I've never bloodied my eyeball (no one else has, either) and those who know me, know how protective I am of my vehicles so it could be insinuated that I didn't enjoy that hunt. Far from it as my boys had a great time and at the end of the day that was the objective. I think I will be better prepared if I get to hunt the pond again, though! I get an "F" on picture taking on the day. Kyle fell in the water while picking up the last 2 decoys so when we got back to the truck, I had to get him stripped down and the wind was blowing like crazy so neither boy cared about taking tailgate shots of dead ducks. I didn't blame them as I was exhausted to the point of caring myself. As we started to drive off, a flock of 20 ducks landed on the pond so hopefully that's a good sign the ducks will be back in there for a future hunt.

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Sean Pheasant 2010 Oct 23
Oct 23, 2010

Pheasant season finally rolled around and Kyle had an afternoon football game and a buddy had a wedd ...more

ing so I was only able to hunt in the morning. Darin and I took my dogs out and found a few roosters and some quail. I chose a spot that I had already quail hunted a few times and I knew it was going to be tough to get 6 roosters since the pheasant population was down in this area again this season. We had just enough opportunities but identification early in the low light conditions allowed one to escape without a shot attempt and one got away with a missed shot so we ended up with 5 roosters and 5 quail. Not the kind of opener I have become accustomed to, but not a bad morning overall. We could have had several more quail, but Darin was out for roosters only and let them fly away unscathed. I didn't take a lot of pictures due to the cloudy conditions but attached the ones that I did snap. The one of Darin with the dogs was the best opportunity of the day to capture the scene. Rose nailed a rooster and a hen in the creek bottom and I went in to flush and Darin was able to connect on his 2nd rooster of the day to finish up the hunt on a good note. Jock and Junior did a good job for us as well, I just didn't capture them in the action and Rose just happened to jump up in the truck for the tailgate shot. I've heard a few reports from others with varying degrees of success.

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Sean Chukar Huns 2010 Oct 17
Oct 17, 2010

My weekend started off rough. Kyle's team lost their big showdown in Grid Kids football in a hard fo ...more

ught game to start off early Saturday. Darin and I headed out for some quail in the afternoon. We only found 2 coveys with shot opportunities very limited. I was able to take only 1 quail and it appeared we were hunting ground that had already been hit earlier in the day. Such is life when your hunting schedule revolves around your kids sports. I did find a spot that was holding a good number of pheasant and plan to return once that season opens. I got invited by a friend, Jason Gunter, to go on a chukar hunt on Sunday. I was excited about this as I next to never get to hunt these birds and have really enjoyed the few opportunities in the past. We didn't really factor in the fact that it was the opening weekend of firearms deer and the first place we hunted was overrun with an Army of orange. It was crazy how many trucks were lined up on the roads and driving around. I thought it would get better when we got out and started walking early on Sunday, but every little knob we went over had a guy in orange posted on the hilltops. I was a little concerned that the deer hunters would see us and our dogs as intruders into their hunting grounds even thought it was public ground, but the few that I talked to appreciated us potentially moving the deer around for them. I ran only my white dogs and left Jock in the kennel so there wasn't any mis-identification of him as a deer. We got into a surprising number of Hungarian partridge and I was able to take 4 huns and a chukar pretty quickly. Still, it was an uncomfortable feeling and we decided to head to another area in hope of finding more chukar and less deer hunters. It turned out to be a great decision even though it made for a long day. I snapped a photo of Junior nailing some huns on the steep hillside. We hit the mother lode of chukar in the next hunting area! I ran Rose and Jock and Jason ran his GSP, Dottie. The dogs worked very well together and the birds cooperated for good shot opportunities. We were fortunate to be able to find almost all the chukar at the top and only had to get in the deep, nasty stuff to get Jason his last chukar. Jock had only hunted chukar maybe one time and he did really well at handling them. He had one slip up when he nailed a big covey and some of them started running and half flew and landed right away again 10 yards in front of him and he lost his composure and took them out before I could reach the "whoa reminder button". Fortunately, there were enough birds and it didn't hurt us and he didn't do it the rest of the hunt. I took some shots of the scenery. Hard to believe a bird could thrive in this environment. Chukar country is ruggedly beautiful. It's also physically challenging and unlike anything I'm used to hunting. I'm bruised up pretty good from the one fall I took, but it was so worth it. It's also snake country - rattlers abound in this type of area. I only encountered the tell tale sound of buzzing one time on the hunt and never saw the snake. The temperatures were near freezing in the morning, but warmed up to 60 degrees so I think they were holding close to their holes. This bull snake that I ran into seemed quite content to take in the afternoon rays. However, with a little prodding, he got quite agitated and coiled up and hissed while giving me his most ferocious pose. I left him to take care of the rodent population as his days in the warm sun are numbered. A pic of Jason and Dottie on the search for chukar. I had the opportunity to get the Desert Double - a limit of both huns and chukar, but my shooting was challenged on the huns. Apparently, it's tougher to hit huns on an incline than it is on flat land! I hope to get after the devil birds again soon. Jason was a great host even if he had to borrow some shells! :)

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Sean Quail Chukra 2010 Oct 11
Oct 11, 2010

Got in 3 partial days of quail hunting last weekend. Last Saturday, I only had time for a short hunt ...more

and hit a spot close to my house that I saw a covey of chukar on before the season. Others have seen them and have been hunting them as well. The dogs only found 2 single chukar and I killed both of them but was only able to recover one of them. The dogs found one covey of quail and I took 3 out of that group. I'm sure there are huns on this ground as well, but I have yet to find them for sure. Rose was on point so far away from me in a likely hun area, but I couldn't find her due to the distance and not being able to verify the location of her beeper. I'm pretty sure she had some huns locked down, but after 10 minutes of searching they must have flown away and she finally showed up with a look of disgust on her face. I was just as disappointed as her. No pictures that day - forgot the camera. Sunday, I did a solo hunt since I couldn't find anyone to go. Hunted some BLM land north of town and found 6 coveys of quail. The cover was thick and without a partner to squeeze them, most of the quail flew out the opposite sides of the cover so shooting was limited. I did manage to kill 10 quail, but the dogs were only able to recover 8 of them. The covey sizes were not as big as I had been seeing in other areas. It was warm out that day and the dogs did a great job, but they were spent after 4 hours of hunting so I ended the hunt and got back to coach Kyle's Grid Kid game. They won 38 - 13 to assure themselves a spot in the playoffs and Kyle ran for another long TD on only 3 carries. Pictures attached of the dogs and the quail. On Monday, I went back to a spot I hunted on opening weekend and Craig Riche and Don Benson accompanied me. Don brought his 2 Pointing Lab's so we had plenty of dog power. It didn't work out as well as I had anticipated. The conditions were favorable for scenting but the quail just weren't there in near the numbers as the last time we hunted the property. We only found 2 coveys and took 7 quail between us. Pretty disappointing, but the dogs got out and worked hard. Some days you win and some days the birds win. Pictures attached from the hunt.

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Sean Quail Opening 2010 Oct
Oct 3, 2010

Well, quail season opened last weekend in WA. I wasn't able to get out on Saturday due to Kyle's foo ...more

tball game. They played a great game and were able to notch another victory to keep their good season rolling along. So, I got out on Sunday morning and neither one of my boys wanted to go, but Craig Riche and his son, Kyle, were game for a little quail chasing behind my dogs. It was Kyle's first official quail hunt and he was sporting a new gun that he had just bought the day before - a Mossberg "Maverick" over/under 12 gauge in black synthetic. Interesting choice for a 10 year old and I was hoping to get him into some birds to test it out. We hit a private land spot that I've been hunting for many years and it has always held a fair amount of quail. Fortunately, this year was no different and the quail hatch appears to be quite strong. We found the typical amount of coveys (3), but the size of the coveys were outstanding with each having at least 30 birds in them with as many as 40 in one. The dogs worked hard and the hunters tested their endurance and shooting skills with lots of action over a 3 hour period. We ended up shooting 19 quail and brought home 17 which is normal for this time of year with the heavy, green foliage. Kyle was able to get his first quail and ended up getting 3 which is awesome for a 10 year old kid. Craig and I did our best to thin the population some while appreciating the hard work of the dogs. A great time was had by all and the only downer was when I got a flat tire on drive out from the spot. I managed to catch something sharp on the inside wall of my back driver's side tire and punctured it. The tire change was going well until we got the lug nuts off and was ready to pull the flat tire off, but we encountered a wheel that was sealed tight with rust and just wouldn't come off with any conventional method of effort. Apparently, Montana mud and water make a solid seal on a wheel! Fortunately, a farmer near where we stopped to change the tire was able to locate a tire puller and we finally got it off. I attached pictures from the hunt. I took several pictures of the dogs that didn't turn out well due to the dark, cloudy conditions during the hunt so they are mostly hero shots. But, it was great to capture Craig and Kyle on a day that would make any father proud of his son. The objective was met and I look forward to getting out again with them.Anybody else got some hunt reports from the weekend? I expect a chukar report, Synoground!

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Sean Montana Trip 2010 Sept
Sep 27, 2010

Well, last week I was in MT with my good friend, Darin Matthews, for our annual prairie bird hunt. I ...more

t was another great trip to God's country but the conditions were unlike any I've seen in the 5 years I've been hunting out there. MT experienced an extremely wet and cool spring - not good conditions for producing young of the year birds. One of the farmers who has lived there for over 80 years made the comment that he had never seen a wetter, cooler year in his time. The CRP (set aside grass lands) was thicker than I've ever seen it and reminded me of Kansas. It was physically challenging to walk in it for very long durations of time. It also rained twice while we there and made for some difficult driving conditions on the gumbo mud roads. My driving skills were tested to the limit on a few occasions and my truck was a steel mud collection device that required a chunk of change to clean up. The good news is the weather was cool enough this time that we were able to hunt the whole day with the only interruptions being the rain and the need to give the dogs a break from wearing totally out. The bird numbers, especially the Hungarian partridge, were down as expected with the spring hatch conditions, but we were able to do quite well when we found the birds. The sharptail numbers were down, but still quite adequate and they were very hospitable for the dogs. The dogs were only finding 3 - 6 coveys of huns on average a day which compared to last year's norm of 6 - 9 coveys. When I first started hunting this area, we found 10 - 16 coveys a day so you can see the vast difference between a good year and a bad one. However, when I compared my log to last year, we brought home the same number of birds - in fact my take was exactly the same. I attribute this to 3 things: 1) the birds were quite young and allowed for great dog work and excellent shot opportunities 2) I know the area well enough now and the location and habits of the coveys of huns and the highest concentration locations of sharptails and 3) the cooler weather allowed for more hours in the field and fresher dogs to cover more ground. Another bonus of the cooler weather was there were less rattlesnakes out and about even though we did still find 2 of them. With that summary, I'll post some pictures that I hope you enjoy. I didn't take as many pictures as normal this year but attached are some of the unique items and scenery shots. I thought I would break you in softly before the dead bird pictures. With all the rain, there were more mushrooms than I've ever seen. This was a particularly weird one. Darin and I got to see a 30+ inch mulie buck with very high tines and solid mass not far from this oasis in the desert. It’s the biggest mulie buck I’ve ever seen in person and even though I don’t hunt them anymore, it got the heart pounding to see a monster like that. I’m not sure how many of you have witnessed the event when the sun is setting at the same time a full moon is rising, but in MT it will make an impression on you. It had been cloudy every evening and on our last night to hunt with the clock ticking down, we were still searching for birds between these 2 sight. I had a heck of a time getting the moon picture to be clear, but the sun set turned out better. It was one of those moments you had to be there anyway to truly appreciate it. Jock is still learning but he had a solid trip. If I can get him as fired up about finding birds as he is about eating, he’s going to be awesome. Notice how thick the CRP is in this picture – it was a jungle on the ground in some spots. Junior last some weight on this trip! I was very happy with his performance – he really gave Rose a run for her money on top dog honors. The last evening, he had 3 of the best finds on hun coveys I’ve even seen – just stabbed them in mid-stride each time and they held like champs. I have to relay a warning about who you take on these trips as a hunt partner: Junior nailed a covey of huns about 60 yards out in the wheat stubble, I cruised in to flush knowing 2 birds are coming out of this covey – I mean how can you miss with nothing in your way and no competition from other shooters? Well, everything went as planned until I pulled the trigger and my gun wouldn’t fire! Can you believe it – I had borrowed some shells from Matthews since I was running low on heavy 7 ½’s and the primer never went off. Matthews was getting jealous of me shooting so many birds over Junior that he slipped me a bad shell – how low! Well, I hope he enjoyed his last trip to MT


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Sean Doves 2010 Sept 12 (2 Euro's)
Sep 12, 2010

This has turned out to be the best dove season ever. I got out twice over the weekend on doves. The ...more

first hunt was a solo trip since I got to the field late. I didn't expect much and decided I would at least get a good run in for the dogs. I was pleasantly surprised to see a few doves still flying and set up in a new spot. I kid you not, for my first opportunity, a group of about 8 dove came by at about 20 yards and my 1st barrel dropped 2 birds and then my 2nd barrel dropped another 2 birds. I don't know if that is considered a true/scotch double, but it's the first time I've ever done it. Over the next 20 minutes the action was fairly steady and I managed to get 10 dove and then ran the dogs. A win, win and nice to see dove still in the area in decent numbers. The second hunt, I took the boys out and we got to the field earlier. The action wasn't quite as fast as the 1st hunt, but we were patient and provided with ample opportunities. It was cool to watch my boys double on dove and then laugh as they wiffed 3 times on in their face opportunities. The highlight of the hunt came almost at the end. There had been a pair of Eurasion collared dove hanging around where we parked the truck but they had never ventured out in the field where we were hunting. I looked up at one point and noticed 4 dove coming our way and spotted 2 larger than normal ones. I let the boys know the 2 Euro's were headed our way and to make their shots count. Kyle was sitting with me and Cody was set up 40 yard past us. The 4 dove came right into Kyle and I and we both shot a Euro each. Very cool to get our 1st Eurasion doves together! I forgot the camera so we snapped some quick shots in the yard when we got home. One of Euro's was very light, almost white in coloration. My shorthair, Rose, managed to knock quite a few feathers out of it or I might have considered getting it mounted. You can see how much bigger they are than mourning dove. I've seen a lot doves taken on hunts this year and the boys have gotten in lots of shooting. I've been fortunate to limit the 10 times I've gone out and got a bonus dove to boot. I'm probably only going to get in one or 2 more hunts before it ends since I'm headed to Montana for a week after Kyle's football game this Saturday.

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Sean Doves 2010 Sept 6
Sep 6, 2010

We had one of, if not the best, dove openers so far in many years of hunting them. I took bigger gro ...more

ups out this year and most of them shot well which contributed to a large number of dove taken over the first 6 days of the season. I hunted every day from Sept 1 - 6. My boys got out most of those days along with several other young shooters. Cody was rubbing elbows with the big boys on one of the hunts and he held his own. These guys didn't let many doves get away! I didn't take as many pictures as normal this year, but I captured the young guns after a particularly fun hunt last Sunday with a tail gate shot. Be sure to mention this ad for 10% savings at Tri-City Taxidermy. If there is a better way to break kid's into hunting and work on their shooting skills than dove, I haven't experienced it.

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Sean Dove 2010 Sept 1
Sep 1, 2010

My 2 boys and Craig's son, Kyle, all had a good time shooting doves last evening. They all 3 shot th ...more

eir 10 dove limits with a pretty reasonable amount of shells. They had a great time and kept Craig and I busy retrieving doves with our dogs.

Craig and Kyle had to head to football practice so I only got my 2 boys in a hero shot. Cody likes taking pictures so I had to pose with my youngest dog, Jock, for a picture. Good times!

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Sean Turkey 2010 Apr 15
Apr 15, 2010

My buddy, Darin and I headed north last week to hunt turkeys on opening day in WA state (April 15th) ...more

. Our prior scouting paid off and we were set up on 2 mature gobblers, several jakes and numerous hens on opening morning. Our fortunes looked good as the turkeys all flew from the tree and landed in the open area about 60 yards to our right. We watched the 2 gobblers and some of the jakes go into a full strut display to impress all the hens who had gathered together. After several minutes of observing the show, about 10 hens began to come our way with the 2 big gobblers in tow. When they made it directly in front of the blind at 25 – 35 yards, there were some anxious seconds hoping that the 2 mature gobblers would separate enough from the hens to get a simultaneous shot on each of the gobblers. As luck would have it, all the turkeys lined up in single file and a brief moment of opportunity presented itself to take both birds. Even though I had gone through this potential scenario as I fell asleep the prior evening, I failed to communicate the plan to Darin. The moment the gobblers were both open for a shot, I asked Darin if he was ready and a resounding yes inspired me to call the shot with the command “Alright”. I pulled the trigger and watched my tom drop and then watched in amazement as the other gobbler ran off and took flight without Darin firing a shot. Talk about mixed feelings! The plan went worked perfectly until the final second and I felt like I had blown Darin’s opportunity for him. Fortunately, he is still talking to me and is still willing to even hunt with me. He ended up shooting a jake later in the day very close to the same spot so he didn’t go home empty-handed, but I sure would have liked to have pulled off the double. If the opportunity ever comes up again, we’ll know how to handle it. Here’s some pictures of my turkey and my DSD hen at the spot where my gobbler fell. (Pic’s attached) I didn’t have the decoy out for that initial set up. I’ve heard several success stories from other buddies. Darin and I are still looking for our 2nd gobblers after some close calls over the weekend locally.







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Sean Youth Turkey 2010 Apr 03
Apr 3, 2010

I took my 2 boys out and they were both fortunate to convert on opportunities to shoot a turkey for ...more

the WA youth hunt this past weekend. I’ve attached some pictures from Saturday's hunt. My 10 year old son took his 1st turkey on his 1st turkey hunt ever: (Pic’s attached). This is was the sign on the ground where I decided to set up the blind the night before the hunt: (Pic attached). This was the view of the direction the jake came strutting in the last 80 yards: (Pic attached). The middle of the triangle that would form between the 3 center trees is where Kyle ended the strut fest: (Pic attached). This is where Kyle and I viewed the show and where he made the shot from that ended the jakes life a little too early: (Pic attached) When I said the jakes life was ended too early, it's because he had the making of something special: (Pic attached). There was a large group of turkeys within 60 yards when Kyle hammered the jake. They put on quite a show in this video that I took right after Kyle shot his bird:

http://s171.photobucket.com/albums/u...cked_40310.flv

My 12 year old son who killed his first turkey last year had some close calls throughout the day but we never quite got them in close enough for a shot. We had a situation come up with the birds where setting up the blind wasn't an option so the run and gun approach was implemented and he did a great job of getting around in the woods and setting up on a large group of turkeys with me. We were able to get close enough to the flock and when the opportunity to shoot finally came up, he converted on a nice jake in the afternoon. I took some different poses of him with his turkey since the lighting and scenery was quite good: (Pic’s attached)



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Sean Conclusion 2010 Feb 15
Feb 15, 2010

It took a long time to get around to doing this but I had taken several pictures from January hunts ...more

so I thought I would share them. I got in the field a total of 72 days this season for the different species of birds (upland & waterfowl). Duck season was very weird for me this year. As normal, I didn't really start hunting them in earnest until December. The corn field hunting never really happened this season. I think we had about 3 decent corn field hunts and a few tough ones. I ended up doing a lot more water hunts this season than I have in a long time and it was fun to get back to it. I hunted a lot of new places on public ground this season - stuff that I had overlooked in the past. January wasn't fast and furious shooting, but it really produced some steady, solid hunts if you were willing to shoot other ducks besides just mallards. I did a lot more solo hunts and one other guy hunts this season. Pintails were a real plus this season and I was able to harvest more bull sprigs this season than any other season I can remember in the past. I ended up with a 5.8 duck per hunt ratio which is a tad lower than normal years, but the fact is it's just a number and the hunts were all fun so what does it really matter? Here's a picture of the ducks taken on one of my typical January hunts where mixed bags were the norm: (Pic attached)

My biggest disappointment of the duck season was not getting my boys out as often as I would have liked. It seemed they would always end up going on one of the slower days and then the next time they wouldn't want to go and we would do well. I tried to tell them you can't cherry pick the hunts because there are no guarantees each time you go out.

Goose hunting was a different story, however. I easily had the best goose season ever in the first year that I've ever really targeted them. I was fortunate enough to hook up with several guys that really know how to hunt them and I learned a lot from them. My boys got in on several good goose hunts and it helped make up for the lack of duck hunts. I owe a big thanks to Craig Riche, Eric Jones and Jack Wood for the invites and for teaching me the ropes on goose hunting. Here are some shots of the boys in action on some January goose hunts:

Craig Riche's son Kyle and my son, Kyle played baseball for 5 months together last year on the same teams but that didn't stop them from competing for the retrieves on geese as they wrestled for this one: (Pic attached) Looks like size won this time: (Pic attached)

The action in the goose pit provides as much fun for the boys as the shooting does. From the donut eating to the story telling, it all adds up to a great experience. Now if I could just get Riche to tell a few stories as I've pretty much used all mine up and had to resort to lying: (Pic’s attached) All I've got for this one is "Redneck": (Pic attached)

This picture gives you an idea of what we scan the skies for - geese coming off the river our direction in hopes they will like the decoys. Some do and some don't, but we like the ones that do. You get all types of geese from the high ones that bomb down in to the low ones that barely make it over the hill and come straight in. Of course there are a lot more that won't have anything to do with us - it's hunting. (Pic attached)

Looks like we had enough geese down that Kyle didn't have to compete for this retrieve: (Pic attached)

My older son, Cody with Kyle R on the retrieve. They had to do quick work on this one as more geese were on the way: (Pic attached) Speed won this time: (Pic attached)

Craig had arranged for Jeremy Bonderman (Detroit Tigers pitcher from Pasco for those that don't know) to come out and meet the kids. He cruised into the field in style and the boys got to meet him and chat with him. My boys brought a baseball each for him to sign. Not your everyday goose hunt to have an All Star major leaguer swing by to see how the hunt is going. (Pic’s attached) and his son, Champ. Dan is a former WSU linebacker from the days when they were really good. I'm not going to mention how long ago that was to prevent offending any Cougar fans. It was a lot of fun sharing a pit and shooting geese with Dan, Champ and Dan's friend, Blake. (Pic attached)

A couple more hero shots of the boys on my sons' last hunt of the year: (Pic’s attached) My friend Darin and I joined up with a new guy we met while out scouting geese on the last Friday of the season for what turned out to be the single most incredible goose hunt I've ever experienced. We had a public field located that was holding several thousand geese so we set up on them early in the morning and the fog rolled in thick. I thought how typical, another scouting effort to be ruined by the weather, but I was premature in my thinking. The geese not only came, they came early and it was an unusual situation. At first they wouldn't commit to our field and flew around just out of sight while milling around aimlessly it seemed in the surrounding fields. Finally, we had some smaller groups come to our calling (they must have been desperate) and they finished into the decoys just like you want them. It was cool to hear them but not see them, then all of sudden appear and dump right in to the spread. After a couple of groups like that, the fog lifted fairly well and the geese really started coming to our field. I should have videoed the action because I won't be able to describe it nearly as effectively. We had literally over a thousand geese working over the top of our layout blinds on their approach to the decoy spread. The sound of that many geese that close dropping into the decoys was amazing and an experience I'll never forget but hope to duplicate again someday. Darin and I took our geese fairly quickly on this hunt, but our new partner had seen snow geese in the field the day before and he opted to hold off on his last 2 geese in hopes for some white to go with the gray.

I snapped these shots quickly and packed up our decoys to let him finish out his hunt: (Pic’s attached)

As we were leaving, we watched another big group work the field and land but no shot was taken by our friend. Had to commend him for his patience, but it didn't end up working out for him on the snow geese.

When I got back to the truck I took a few pictures of our 2 limits of geese in tailgate fashion: (Pic attached)

One goose had the big white ring around the neck just like the geese that Paul & Joe at Burbank Guide Service had been shooting at that same time. Here's a couple of looks at it: (Pic’s attached)

The next day after that incredible hunt, I wasn't able to get out early since I was helping run a winter baseball clinic for our local league but Craig was nice enough to let me work in with him at his pit. My timing was pretty good as the flight picked up after I arrived and we got some go's at both lessers and honks. The honk's were really fun as we spotted them just clearing the horizon from the direction of the river and they glided in almost perfectly into the decoys without even circling.

Here are a few shots I took in my short but sweet time in the pit that day: (Pic’s attached)

It was another good season overall and I was thankful to get to enjoy it with a lot of good friends. Now bring on the gobblers.

Sorry if I clogged up your email servers with all the pictures. But, you won’t get another report from me for awhile unless I get into some walleyes. Hope everyone had a good season.

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Sean Final 2010 Jan 30
Jan 30, 2010

With all the hunting I did the last couple weeks of waterfowl season combined with some demands at w ...more

ork, I’m just now able to provide a report on my last hunt of the upland season and an overall assessment of the season. It was my intentions to get up to Whitman Co. for one last hunt in that area, but with the constant rain they were getting, I opted to stay close to home. I knew it would be a quail shoot rather than a pheasant hunt, but I was ok with that since they provided more and better dog work anyway. My hunting partner, Darin and I finished the WA upland season the same place we started it with vastly different habitat conditions and one less dog with the passing of his wirehair less than a week from the end of the season. We had a pretty good hunt to end the season as witnessed by this tailgate shot: (Pic attached) I managed to screw a good quail hunt up with the 1 rooster this time, but Jr pointed and wanted it killed. The last 3 hunts on this property produced limits of quail each outing for me and the dogs which was a pleasant surprise since the roosters were far and few between. Upland hunting to me is really about the dogs. Yes, I do enjoy the challenge of shooting them, but my biggest thrill is watching the dogs do their thing and with 3 of them to run, it can be a ton of fun when we get into a mess of birds. I have a GSP female, Rose that can sometimes dominate the hunt between finding and retrieving birds. I’m very fortunate to own a dog of her caliber and intensity, but I really saw my 2 other dogs step up this year and give her a run for her money which I was more than happy to see. Jock is my 1 ½ year old male GSP that just completed his second hunt season. He had the misfortune of starting his WA pheasant hunting in what has been probably the 2 worst consecutive seasons I’ve experienced in the last 12 years. Fortunately, the birds in Montana and the quail in WA this season have made up for the lack of roosters. He is a nephew to Rose and lacks some of the intensity she has in the field, but makes up for it in natural ability and an outstanding nose. He is a little behind the curve on learning roosters in regards to being able to relocate and pin down running pheasants, but he is lethal on the “honest” birds. He points at the first hint of scent and stands his birds solidly. I have yet to see him take out a bird that he has scented. His retrieving is solid and dependable, but needs to improve on locating falling birds in the air and needs to increase his desire to make water retrieves. All in all, he is well on his way to becoming a solid dog and I look forward to seeing him continue to improve. Here are some action photos of him finding and retrieving birds on the last hunt of the season: (Pic’s attached)

Junior is my 5 ½ year old English pointer male that just completed his 6th hunting season. Prior to this season, I was at a crossroads with him. If I didn’t see some substantial improvement in his performance this season, I was considering selling him to the right person. He was not blessed with a tremendous amount of brains nor could he seem to take the punishment of the frequency and duration of the hunts that I usually required of my dogs. When he handles his birds correctly, it is a thing of beauty (well, except for his 9 o’clock tail) and he is an outstanding retriever, just don’t expect him to get anything out of the water for you. Well, I don’t know for sure what happened this season, but he definitely took his game to the next level. I didn’t have him in shape for Montana so he didn’t start off the season any different than in the past, but in WA he really put on a show. He actually had days where he was the top dog by finding more birds than Rose. And one time this season, he actually marked a rooster that I had dropped on the other side of the river and he swam across and went up in the brush and found it and swam back with it. It helped that Rose was not around when the bird went down or I’m sure he would have deferred the work to her, but that was the first time in 7 seasons he has made a water retrieve. Looking back, I would guess that not going upland hunting as often this year kept him from getting wore down as much so he was more fresh on each hunt which contributed to his ability to compete with Rose and find more birds this season. Anyway, I was very pleased to see him have that kind of season and look forward to him being my hunting buddy until the day one of us meets our maker. Here are some photos of Junior in action on the last day of the 2009-10 season: (Pic’s attached)

Rose is my 6 ½ year old female GSP that has been a hard-charging, bird- finding machine since her first season as a 4 – 6 month old pup. The old saying is you only get to own 1 truly good bird dog in your lifetime, but I’ve never really believed that and have been fortunate that she is my 2nd truly outstanding dog. This is obviously my opinion based on my own personal experiences with not only my dogs but past & current hunting partners dogs and field trial dogs. There isn’t much more to say about Rose, she can do it all and has done it all for me for the last 7 seasons. The number of birds she has found, pointed and retrieved over the years has really stacked up. I’ve got the numbers, but I won’t bore you (at least not anymore than I already have) with them. Rose is at her peak right now which is the same age when I lost my last truly great dog. I hope she is able to stick around for the long haul and we get to enjoy each other in the field and at home for many more years. I know the end will be here too soon and I try not to think about it but realize it’s reality. Rose had another great year and though she adapts to all of the types of birds I hunt, her strength is pheasants. She handles running roosters like a champ by keeping just close enough to keep tabs on their scent while working the wind to get in front of them to cut them off and hold them for me to flush for the shot. I’ve witnessed her doing this time and again and it’s truly a special dog that can do this. Here she is in action on our last hunt of the season where she had to share the spotlight with her kennel mates: (Pic’s attached)

Overall, the upland season was a bit of a disappointment with a lot less roosters available to hunt than prior seasons. I went less often (down about 10 hunts)and my average take per hunt for roosters was down more than a ½ bird from normal years. On the bright side, I had my best year ever on valley quail. A big contributor to the fall off is access to quality property. My main stomping grounds is continuing to suffer from development and land changing hands. One of my best late season spots was lost when the original landowner had to go to a nursing home and his son-in-law no longer would give me access. It’s just one example and it’s the sign of the times. I knew it was coming, but it doesn’t make it any easier to take. Upland hunting in this state is going to continue to erode as it has for the last 40 years and the effort it takes to do well is going to increase. The out of state trips help offset the pain, but I hope we can at least stop the bleeding in this state so the dogs and I will have birds to hunt in the future. That’s it for my report. Sorry for the longevity of it, but you won’t get another one for at least 8 months.

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Seam Upland Tribute to Nappy 2010 Jan 18
Jan 18, 2010

This one (report) is for dogs: The upland season was drawing to a close when I took the dogs out wit ...more

h my good friend to chase some roosters and quail last weekend. On a sad note, we were hunting without Darin's German Wirehair Pointer who died of some unknown reason in the past week. I feel like this report should just be action pictures of dogs and birds without my babbling. We will miss Nappy.



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Sean Ducks 2010 Jan 14
Jan 14, 2010

Last week I went on a solo duck hunt at a nearby popular public hunting place. I figured with it bei ...more

ng a Thursday on a non-holiday week that the competition might be low. Well, as I arrived that theory was blown out of the water and I had to settle for Plan C on my blind selection. As you may recall from some of my recent reports, I had been experiencing boom and bust hunts when I went on consecutive hunts. Well, I knew I needed to do something drastic to appease the waterfowl gods but I wasn’t quite sure what it would take to get their attention to send some ducks and geese my way. Well, I think I figured it out on this hunt, although not intentionally! As I picked up the cable and post for the spinning wing decoy to place it in the water, I stepped off into the slough and after a couple of steps I slid feet first into the water and went horizontal due to the drop off and slippery mud. No big deal, though since I had chest waders on, right? Well, chest waders only protect you if you stay up above the water line, but since I went horizontal, I ended up dunked up to my ears! I literally took a bath in the slough and let me tell you, 30 something degree water will take your breath away… for several seconds. Since I was alone, I didn’t have to endure any laughter at my expense but I was concerned my gasps for breath might be overheard by the nearby blind locations. Well, I never heard any belly laughs but the first thing that popped into my head when I finally managed to right myself was….holy chit this hunt is already over. So I trudged out of the water thinking how great this was that another hunt had gone bust. And to make it worse, there were ducks flying all over in the darkness whistling and quacking away. I knew I had to get my 2 shirts off so I did. I literally rung water out of them like a soaked, wet towel. It occurred to me as I stood there shirtless for several minutes that I wasn’t even cold. The air temp of 45 degrees and the lack of much wind didn’t cause any undue chilling effect so I grabbed my hunting jacket that I fortunately didn’t have on while setting out decoys and put it on. I felt the initial chill of the water running down my waders to the end of my toes, but they were neoprene so my body heat would allow me to keep from getting too cold. So the hunt was back on. And what a hunt it turned out to be. I was amazed at the number of ducks flying before LST – the most I had seen in quite some time. The area I was hunting is primarily a mallard and pintail spot, but the number of widgeon working this day was a sight to see. My first 3 ducks came to the spread like long lost buddies and I was off to a fast start. Here are the first victims: (Pic attached) I thought it was going to be an all drake widgeon day and I don’t think I’ve ever taken a limit of all widgeon drakes, but I was willing to take what the gods offered up. Then the gods turned on the mallard faucet and they showed up in force. The mallards were a little more coy than the widgeons so I dropped a few drakes on the overhead pass and then I had a couple more that loved the spread and finished feet down only to end up belly up taking a bath in the same spot I had only an hour or so prior. Here is the second set of victims: (Pic attached) So just like that I was looking at a nice limit of various shades of green to pack out: (Pic attached) So next time you feel like the waterfowl gods are no longer smiling on you, take a bath in the slough you are about to hunt! It worked for me and it can work for you, too. Normally, I like to keep hunting secrets to myself and my closest hunting partners but this one is just too good to keep to tuck away. Don’t be afraid to try it when you’re in a rut – it can be a difference maker!

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Sean Waterfowl 2010 Jan 10
Jan 10, 2010

Here Today, Gone Tomorrow: That's the theme for this year's waterfowling season for me. You can go o ...more

ut and have a great hunt one day and then go back the next and the ducks/geese just don't show back up in the numbers they did the prior day. I've got some pictures from a few recent hunts for examples. Jon Berry and I hooked up on a hunt recently and had a phenomenal day with lots of ducks working our spread and decoying nicely. It was a pleasure to watch Jon's dog, Missy, retrieve our ducks. Here she is retrieving a double of mallard drakes that Jon and I dropped feet up in the decoys: (Pic attached) If the ducks fell on the ice or were near the edge, she will intelligently run the edge of the ice and make quick retrieves. Here she is completing the double via the water: (Pic attached) Jon got an earlier start on the hunt than I did and his phone call to give me the update made it tough to stick to the speed limit on the drive to the spot. It was pretty obvious that this was a day you could afford to be picky and I made the decision to go after what I consider the ultimate limit for my preferences on puddlers: 2 bull sprig and 5 mallard drakes. Jon chose to go for all green. Here he is in all his glorious bling with one of his seven greenheads on the day: (Pic attached) His band karma did not produce anything shiny for either of us on the hunt, but that was about the only thing this hunt didn't provide. As mentioned, Jon was able to pull his seven green but I had to really hold out for that last pintail drake. My patience was rewarded. Here's Missy bringing back the bull sprig to complete the "ultimate" limit: (Pic attached) Here’s a photo of the pintail drakes (it's been a good year for these birds): (Pic attached) Here's all the ducks taken on the day which was a relatively short hunt: (Pic attached) Here's a shot of Jon's all green: (Pic attached) Here's my green & white ducks: (Pic attached) So we have a pretty nice hunt and come back to do it the next day and it was sloooowww! Just seems to be the way it goes this season. We did manage to shoot some ducks. Here's part of the 10 ducks we ended up with the next day: (Pic attached)

This is a continuation of the "Here Today, Gone Tomorrow" report. I swung by and scouted some corn fields Friday afternoon on my way back from a so-so upland hunt in Whitman Co. and found a huntable number of birds hitting some fields that I can access. So yesterday afternoon, my friend Darin and I set up and had a good shoot. I didn't expect it to turn out as well as it did or I would have taken my boys out. Darin is usually a little slow (well slower than me J) in finding the pintail drakes when they come in with the mallards, but this day he got the first and only one: (Pic attached) At one point, we took some mallard drakes out of a nice group that finished hard to the decoys and when I picked one of mine up, I noticed it was a little different looking. It lacked a definitive white ring around the neck: (Pic attached) Here's a close-up of the missing ring: (Pic attached) It also had a darker gray breast and a patch of white before the grey meets the black near the butt than the typical mallard drake as shown here: (Pic attached) Does this happen often? I can't think of a time I've seen one like it other than the park. I'm assuming it's nothing special, but would like to hear how often it occurs from those that know. Here are a couple of shots of the ducks we took on the day since I couldn't decide which picture was better (or just not as bad as the other). I went all green and Darin hasn't been on many good duck hunts this year so he just went for a limit and brown was down for him. (Pic’s attached) Now back to the theme of the thread: so we have a great hunt and now the test was on for today to see if we could keep it rolling. I purposely changed my plans to hunt upland birds today in order to exercise the demons of putting 2 good waterfowl hunts in a row together. I loaded up my boys and Darin came along again and wouldn't you know it - we got set up and no sooner than we got in the blinds, the fog rolled in so thick we couldn't see 75 yards! So, naturally the ducks didn't show or if they did they couldn't see us. I can deal with it, but I'm feeling like a loser of a dad for not getting my boys on many ducks this season. I test the waters for them and think I have it figured out and then when I take them, the hunt turns into a bust. Don't get me wrong, we are still spending time together and enjoy the outings but I'm hoping for a little more action for them.

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