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Sean Hunting Fishing 2011

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Sean Waterfowl Report 2011-2012
Dec 29, 2011

We finally got some snow around here and the corn fields heated up with lots of action. I had been w ...more

aiting all year for this to happen and I took advantage of it as much as I could. We ran a lot of guys in and out and killed approximately 136 ducks in 5 hunts. I didn’t capture all the action or the duck carnage, but have attached a few. This weekend is the finally for waterfowl so I’m hoping it goes out with a bang.

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Sean Last Upland Hunt 2011-2012
Dec 28, 2011

Hunted private land at Ringold on invite from Johnny. We didn't find the number of coveys he thought ...more

we would but we found enough to have a good hunt & even found a few bonus roosters. I should have had a limit of roosters since I missed a pointed rooster at 15 yards & lost a crippled quail that would have given me 10. Can't ask for much more than that & can only blame myself for missing. The dogs did great especially Jock & Jr. We had a light snow to hunt for the first time this year. We hunted a farm in Basin City for a short time & I was able to get a rooster & saw another one along w tons of Eurasian doves. Good ending to the upland season & I'm kind of kicking myself for not doing more upland hunting this year. This ground is a spot we want to definitely hunt again next year. More pic’s attached. I took a lot since it was the last hunt and it was unique scenery.

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Sean Last Hun Hunt 2011-2012
Dec 27, 2011

Last Hun Hunt of the Season: Closed out the upland season a couple of weeks ago with a few good hunt ...more

s. I checked the weather forecast and decided to head back to Garfield Co. for one last crack at Hungarian partridge. It ended up working out pretty well. Since it’s been awhile since I did this particular hunt, I’m going to insert my notes from my hunting log and add the pictures: Hunted with Johnny on private land initially for chukar & huns after a tip from his cousin that they had been seeing a bunch of chukar in an area that I have hunted huns in the past. We only found 3 along with a couple coveys of huns. We moved to a different spot and found only 3 coveys but I was able to take 5 birds out of them. There was light snow on the hill tops so the huns were down lower this time & we didn't hunt low the majority of the time so we undoubtedly missed some coveys. We finished up on a different piece of ground & missed a few opportunities on quail & 1 rooster. We did see a dozen hens this time so this should be a good spot for roosters next season. It was good to end the last hunt for huns this season with a limit. Jock did very well today, in fact he & Jr. both found more birds than Rose which is a rare occurrence.

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Sean Holiday Waterfowl
Dec 26, 2011

I took some time off over the holidays and hunted some waterfowl with varying degrees of success. Th ...more

ough I’ve shot plenty of ducks this year, it’s not going to go down as a memorable year in a positive way. With the lack of moisture and mild temperatures, it’s taking long days and lots of scouting to be successful. Field hunting for ducks has been pretty much non-existent since they feed before and after shooting hours with the weather conditions. I’m not complaining by any means as I’m fortunate to be able to hunt as much as I do. I’m most bummed about not getting my boys out over the holidays. Busy schedules, special hunt plans falling through and the grind associated with the hunts themselves worked against getting them out. I’m holding out hope that things will change as we near the end of the waterfowl season this month. It doesn’t appear likely, but I’m going to keep the faith. Anyway, attached are some pictures from some of the hunts. Some highlights were shooting my first gadwalls of the season, shooting my first ever limit of all GWT drakes while an opossum played possum in a tree 5 yards away from me, finally getting in on some good goose hunts, participating in an 11 mallard smack down on 1 go and hunting with good friends as well as making new ones. Finally, some geese to shoot! Some ducks and another good goose hunt that would have been incredible if the neighbors hadn’t decided to hunt the duck pond right next to us! The joys of letting a goose field build for the big day to have the only scenario that could possibly screw you up, happen. Oh well, we made lemonade even if we were crying while we did it!

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Sean Holiday Upland
Dec 25, 2011

I also mixed in some upland hunting over the holidays with varying success as well. Pheasants have b ...more

een tough to come by again this year. This will be my 3rd season in a row of declining kill totals. On the bright side, it’s been the best Hungarian partridge year ever with quail being about normal. I had another good hunt on Jan 2nd, but hunted til dark and didn’t capture a shot of all the birds taken. I shot 6 quail and 5 huns that day and should have had a limit of huns, but my shooting let me down. L For those of you who don’t know what a guzzler is, I’ve attached a picture of one. In the arid country we live in out here, these are a vital water source for birds and big game. The one shown in my picture has been around since the 50’s according to the landowner and is in remarkably good shape considering the amount of time that has passed.

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Sean Upland 2011 Dec 18
Dec 18, 2011

Darin and I got out for an upland hunt on Sunday and it turned out to be the best one of the year so ...more

far. I had planned to focus on Hungarian partridge in Garfield Co. after finding several coveys on my last visit to this area. As we got closer to our destination, the sun was coming up on the horizon and I just had to stop and take some pictures. I was pretty happy with how the one turned out that I have attached.



Sometimes, the sun even shines on a dog’s backside and we hit the jackpot by finding a spot loaded with valley quail. As we were nearing the area to hunt huns, I noticed an enormous amount of quail on a side road and slowed down to check them out. At least a 100 quail got up and flew up to a brushy draw while another 50 or so took off running for the closer cover near the road. I told Darin we had to find out who owned that and get permission. After a knock on a nearby door and a couple of phone calls later, I was provided with the location of the landowner so I knocked on their door at about 8:00 a.m. and feared waking them up. My fears came true as the farmer’s wife opened the door with the look that screamed “what do you want”? I apologized profusely and went with my request and she somehow granted it. I temporarily felt bad but those feelings quickly went away when we arrived at the spot and the rest of the quail got up and flew to the same location as the previous 100 or so. I knew they had made a fatal decision for some of them as I quickly unloaded the dogs and collared them up. We headed up the hill to where they flew and the dogs instantly locked up. When I walked in to the side of my dogs, an eruption of quail got up like I’ve never experienced before and I don’t know how I managed to pick just 2 birds out and shoot them, but I did. From that point on, it was a continuous 45 minutes of point, shoot, retrieve for Darin, the dogs and me. At the end of that time span, Darin and I had our limits of 10 quail a piece. Darin took a bit longer than I did and in fact he missed 4 shots in a row after he had 9 birds. At that point, Junior pointed a quail that would not flush so he reached down and grabbed the bird and let Darin take it as if to say, here you go, I’ll get that last one for you. It was a funny moment for sure. We snapped some photos of the quail and the dogs were all on point on more quail as we took the pictures. Attached are photos of dogs on point and the quail taken. I didn’t keep exact count of the number of points, but it had to be over 40 different points by the dogs.

After the exciting quail hunt, we moved on in pursuit of huns. When we arrived at the spot, I let Rose and Jock out and left Junior to rest as he is not holding up well these days to the physical demands of hunting for long periods of time. As I was putting shells in my vest, I kind of half-jokingly commented to Darin that Rose had been gone for a few minutes so she must have a covey of huns nailed nearby. Sure enough as we crested the hill in the direction we wanted to hunt, Rose was a statue in the short grass and rocky terrain that huns call home. The huns had moved ahead as they typically do this time of year and I released Rose and she and Jock went to work on pinning them down. Once they were both staunch, Darin and I moved ahead of them and a covey of huns exploded in front of us. I thought I saw 3 huns come down with our first shots, but it was just 2 and then I was able to take another one as the covey almost got out of range. So we were off to a good start right out of the truck. We proceeded to move 5 more coveys over the next 3 hours and I was able to shoot 6 huns on the walk while Darin picked up one. We didn’t have as much success at nailing all the coveys as I did on my last trip, but it was still cool to watch Rose and Jock work the 10 mph breeze to their advantage to find our quarry. We intended to hunt another spot in the last hour of the day, but when we arrived at that location fog had moved in heavily and it was too risky to run dogs and chance losing them. I snapped a photo of my first ever combined limit of huns and quail and we headed to Dayton for a hearty meal at Ray’s Drive-in to cap off the best WA upland day of the season for me. This hunt actually rivaled ones I’ve had in Montana. The weather couldn’t have been more ideal and the birds were a plenty. The dogs more than did their job on this day and we all got enough walking in that made it easy to fall asleep that night. I’m looking forward to a return trip soon to say the least.

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Sean Ducks 2011 Dec 17
Dec 17, 2011

I’ve been getting out periodically to duck hunt and to be honest, it’s been pretty tough out there r ...more

ecently. We’ll have a good day one day and a slow one the next. I’m getting a lot of poor reports from others along with an occasional banner hunt. The weather has been the significant contributor with an air inversion in place for over 2 weeks straight now. I’ve only seen the sun pop out a few times over those 2 weeks and haven’t seen a wind gust over 10 mph. With temp’s hanging in the mid 20’s to upper 30’s, it’s not conducive to making waterfowl have to move much and the bulk of the ducks are feeding before and after shooting hours. I’m hopeful for a weather change soon to take the advantage away from the ducks and geese and give it back to us, the hunters. Anyway, I’ve attached some photos of a couple of recent hunts that were not barn burners, but fun, nonetheless. I was able to take my first wood duck drake of this year on a recent hunt, always cool to get one of those. I haven’t totaled up my log of different species, but it’s shaping up to be one of my better years for that category.

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Sean Waterfowl 2011 Dec 16
Dec 16, 2011

Got out with several friends and some young guns on a field hunt for geese and ducks awhile back. It ...more

was the first real field hunt of the year for me and it turned out to be a good one. We didn’t end up setting up in the right spot and I’ll have to defer blame on that one since I didn’t scout the property but it worked out pretty well as we ended up taking 40 ducks and 8 geese on this hunt. It was a good time and I got to hunt with and make some new friends. The geese didn’t work our set up as well as we hoped or we would have had even more of them. The ducks provided some exciting shooting early and late in the day but for some reason they didn’t come back out as early as we had hoped. With temp’s below freezing and a steady 5 – 10 mph north wind, I thought it was going to be on by 2:00 with the ducks, but they delayed their feeding until 3:30. We had a 10 year old on this hunt that was on his first waterfowl hunt ever and he had a great time. He learned that he has to wait to shoot at ducks coming in until someone calls the shot! In our haste to set up in the morning, we failed to discuss that item with him and he opened up on a big group of ducks a few seconds early prior to “prime go time”. There were a lot of crazy moments on this hunt and a good time was had by all. Tyler was pretty happy with himself when he “flagged” in a crow with the goose flag out of a group and shot it at a difficult angle from his layout. I’m looking forward to hunting this property again with this crew and next time getting all the details down for even better results.

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Sean Upland 2011 Dec 15
Dec 15, 2011

I’ve fallen way behind on my hunt reports so I’ll just be passing along a few highlights from the pa ...more

st couple of weeks. I had to come into work to attend a meeting on my normal Friday off awhile back so I just ran out to a local public hunting area to try and shoot some roosters. The corn had just been cut on some circles in this area and I knew the roosters would be forced into cover where they could be effectively hunted. I had gone duck scouting that morning prior to my meeting and ran by this spot to see if anybody else had figured it out. I was hopeful when I didn’t see any vehicles. But, as I headed to work I saw a truck going that direction that I recognized and a quick phone call confirmed his intentions. I would later check with him on my way back to hunt the property that 3 other vehicles had shown up. L I didn’t have a lot of other options with the time frame I had to hunt so I headed there anyway, with lowered expectations. I decided to hunt the thickest stuff I could in hopes that most other hunters wouldn’t want to work that hard. After 20 minutes and no pheasant flushes along with a pile of feathers with a detached rooster tail told me somebody else beat me to it. At that point, I decided to hit the fringes of the property since pressured roosters will run to the edges to avoid dogs/hunters. The dogs immediately got birdy and worked into the north wind. Rose came to a stop and the other dogs honored her point and a rooster flushed 10 yards ahead. I was able to catch up with him as he tried to fly into the safety of the next property and my shot piled him up hard into the fence and Rose almost caught him in mid-air as he bounced off the woven wire fence. It was pretty entertaining to watch. As soon as I put the bird in my vest, I noticed Junior was hot on scent and closed the gap to him as he stacked up near a gravel road that crossed through the low, frosty grass we were working. Another rooster flushed wild just ahead of Junior and tried to go back towards the heavy cover but my shot ended his hopes of escape. Once again, as soon as I deposited the rooster in my vest, the dogs were working scent. I followed them up a hill where it crested and the dogs kept pointing and relocating on top of the hill until they seemed to run out of scent. We ran out of cover at this point and I decided to backtrack to make sure we hadn’t missed the bird. Turns out we did as a rooster flushed and crossed directly in front of my truck which was about 60 yards away. I stopped my swing and then restarted it to shoot as he cleared my truck, but I hit him way back and not very hard at all. That was one lucky rooster and I missed the opportunity to capitalize on shooting 3 roosters in a 10 minute time frame, all within 100 yards of the truck! I headed back to the truck with mixed feelings of frustration and pleasure of the events that unfolded. The dogs and I did so well on the first 2 but a golden opportunity to finish out slipped by. I got to the truck and took out the 2 roosters and was amazed at the length of their tails and spurs. These were 2 old timers that had evaded a lot of hunters over the years. The largest tail was 24 ¾” and the other was 23 ½”. I’ve shot very near 1,000 pheasants over the years and this was the longest tailed rooster ever for me. I’ve cut the feet off of 5 other roosters to date and both of these got added to my collection of impressive spurs. I snapped some photos and headed out to try and get rooster #3. I found an incredible piece of grass on my walk that I never knew existed on this property and got close enough to a wild flushing rooster to finish my day off with a limit but I missed, twice. Talk about going from elation to frustration! It’s been a tough year for roosters and you just can’t miss 2 roosters in one day if you want to go home with 3. Oh well, the dogs hunted great and it was a good day overall.

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Sean Ducks 2011 Dec 07
Dec 7, 2011

Got out on the river Wednesday with Jerry and his trusty lab, Gunner. Very foggy conditions but it w ...more

orked out pretty well. Jerry got us off to a fast start when 3 wood ducks came into the blocks and he was able to take 2 of them while I was shucking shells and cursing at my gun that was froze up on the first go for the 2nd hunt in a row. We slowly, but surely picked up ducks in the heavy fog. You can’t even talk in the blind in order to hear ducks in the air so I could call back to them. Ducks would just appear over the decoys and if they dropped in to join our decoys, they died but most would just keep on going. Once the fog started lifting, I told Jerry we were going to have to make the most of our time before the sun started shining. We did, for the most part. Got a nice group of mallards to decoy and that put me close to my limit but Jerry must have been reliving his wild evening or trying to finally get some sleep cause he whiffed (sorry buddy, next time you write the story or don’t miss). I’m just reporting the facts as I saw it happen. Anyway, we got a few widgeon to suck in tight to broaden our species take on the day. I finished with a drake mallard that was trailing a group of mallards that were committed to water away from us but he responded to a hail call and paid the ultimate price. Jerry had one last opportunity to take a GWT for his last duck but he must be getting older as he wasn’t quick enough on the draw and they bailed out before he could get a shot. It was a good hunt but still not the number of ducks in the area we would hope for this time of year. Almost forgot, I had all my decoys in the trailer at Darin’s house so we used Jerry’s decoys and I pulled out my Canvasback decoys and floated them for the first time ever. This hunt came together late the prior evening and I changed my upland hunt plans. I really think the widgeon liked them as they tried to land with them most of the timem Pic’s attached. I didn’t start taking pictures until the fog lifted and the sun made for good photo conditions.

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Sean Upland 2011 Nov 27
Nov 27, 2011

The dreaded Thanksgiving break lived up to its normal routine. Everybody and their dog out and tough ...more

hunting. I won’t go into details, but I got out 4 out of the 5 days I had off from work. Mostly waterfowl hunted with moderate success. Had some decent hunts but no slam dunks and didn’t even take any pictures. I just couldn’t get any hunt to pan out like I planned them. Oh well, it was still fun trying and hanging out with buddies. I did end the break on a high note with an awesome upland hunt. Why didn’t I do that more over the break instead of waterfowl is beyond me. Anyway, it’s not often that I shoot a limit of Hungarian partridge in this state, but I managed to pull it off on Sunday thanks to some mighty fine work from my dogs. They found 6 coveys of huns in Garfield Co. on my solo hunt and 2 roosters. I killed the only 2 roosters I saw in close to 7 hours of hunting. I could have had a limit of huns by 11:15, but whiffed on a nice covey that Jock pointed on a steep hillside. I had been perfect to that point with doubles on the prior 2 coveys, but I just couldn’t make it easy on me or the dogs and ended up going until 3:45 when Rose & Jock found the final covey I needed to end the day. It was the kind of day a pointing dog owner dreams about – all birds were shot over points. Rose did find the most birds, but Jock and Junior did quite well, too. Junior tracked my 2nd rooster out of sight and returned with it to my relief. I found a nugget on this day by trying a new spot and 3 of the hun coveys had close to 15 birds in them which is quite good for this time of year. They will see me and the dogs again in the near future. Pictures attached. I don’t know how it happened, but apparently I only grabbed the camera when Rose had a bird which is unfair to the other two because they both contributed heavily. I could have taken numerous pictures of dogs on point, but this time of year, I don’t trust the birds to hold as I approach and every point counts and I have to be on my game with the shooting. Jock is really starting to come on. A couple times Rose stacked up on initial scent and when I released her, Jock would end up finding the birds. Glad to see him getting better as one day all too soon, he will have to be the man.

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Sean Ducks Pheasants 2011 Nov 22
Nov 22, 2011

Got out for a duck hunt and a pheasant hunt recently. Moderate success for the group on both outings.

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Sean Mixed Birds 2011 Nov 13
Nov 13, 2011

Started off this day with a slow duck hunt, then transitioned to upland. I lost a mallard drake earl ...more

y in the morning and a hun that clearly fell dead on a double over Rose’s point in the cut corn, but the 30+ mph winds must have prevented her & Jock from finding the first one that fell. I hate losing birds, but it happens on rare occasions. Overall, a good day and it was nice to get back to back rooster limits. I don’t take that for granted these days. Finished out the weekend with a laid back hunt with Craig Riche and his gang in his pit. I didn’t capture much action on this hunt and even though the goose flight was a little slow, the talk and entertainment in the pit was fast and furious. We ended up with 5 geese but I didn’t get a pile shot. Good luck to those getting out this weekend. I still haven’t decided what I will be chasing this weekend, but I will be doing something for sure. It’s been awhile since my boy’s have gone out so hopefully they are up to going.

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Sean Ducks Geese 2011 Nov 12
Nov 12, 2011

Went on a duck hunt with Eric Jones and it was his pup, Jasper’s, first real duck hunt so I captured ...more

a lot of photos of him. We went to a spot I hadn’t hunted in about 15 years so it was cool to go back.

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Sean Pheasants 2011 Nov 11
Nov 11, 2011

Had a 4 day run of hunting last weekend with the Veteran’s holiday and Friday off from work. Got a l ...more

ot of variety in and I don’t have time to write any detail, but thought I would send out some photos that capture some of the action. Hope everyone else is doing well this season. Would be nice to hear how others season’s are going.

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Sean Ducks Geese 2011 Nov 5
Nov 5, 2011

It seems to get more and more difficult to get these out with my new job responsibilities so this wi ...more

ll be short. I scouted ducks on Friday and found just enough birds to make a 2 man hunt worthwhile. I let my boys know the outlook for the hunt (slow) and they declined the offer to go so I asked Tyler Ono if his son, Theron would be interested in going and he jumped on the opportunity. Theron is like I was growing up, it didn't matter if prospects were slim, if there was an option to go with lots of birds or very few, I always went. The hunt was actually better than anticipated and we had 7 birds down in the first 15 minutes after LST. The widgeon returned to the area and finished hard to the decoy spread to provide some exciting early shooting. Then the teal filtered in singles and pairs to add to the action. Then the mallards showed up a little later and to my surprise worked quite well and Theron made them pay for being so accomodating. It slowed considerably by 9:00 and we called it a wrap with 12 ducks by 10:15. Theron had lots of good shooting and wasn't on as well as I've seen him in prior hunts, but he held his own for an 11 year old. In all fairness, he was shooting Kyle's gun and switching back and forth with guns can cause issues. I don't know what was up with me that day as I didn't miss a shot at a duck all morning. Must be reaping some karma from somewhere cause that is a rare event for me. I'll take it, though. It was great to get out with Tyler and Theron. They truly enjoy waterfowling and are a pleasure to hunt with. Jock, my GSP, did the retrieving for us again on this day and did a great job. He has found his calling, I think. Pic's attached from the hunt.

I had a hectic afternoon and evening that Saturday and got an invite from Thor Ostrom to join him and a buddy on a goose hunt on private land in Franklin Co. I had planned to go to Whitman Co. and pheasant hunt but hadn't called any farmers or lined up any hunt partners so I jumped at the chance to get in on my first goose hunt of the year. We set out about 10 dozen DSD and Hardcore customs painted goose decoys early in the morning. The spread looked good and the first flock we worked thought so as well. We only took 4 out of the flock as it appeared Thor and I managed to shoot the same birds. It happens especially when you are hunting with guys for the first time. It's like any sports team, you get better the more you work together and I'm looking forward to getting dialed in on these hunts with Thor. We pulled in another pair and dispatched them, but couldn't get any to finish feet down after that. We had some shooting opportunities on a couple more flocks, but the shot didn't get called for various reasons. Oh well, that's hunting and it was great to get in on a goose hunt and work some birds. Pic's attached of birds taken and the decoys. Thanks again for the hunt, Thor!

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Sean Upland Ducks 2011 Oct 30
Oct 30, 2011

Pretty slow weekend as far as production goes on the birds. Darin and I hit the greater Pomeroy area ...more

on Friday for an upland hunt. We were after roosters and huns and possibly chukar. Didn't find many roosters, in fact we killed the only 2 we saw in range. Found 6 coveys of huns but the first 3 didn't cooperate for good shooting opportunities, but the last 3 made up for it. We ended up getting 9 huns and ran out of time to get the other 3 in order to get back for the last football practice of the year. The dog work and cooperation with the last 3 coveys made the day, but the lack of roosters was disappointing. Pic's attached from that hunt.
Kyle had his last football game of the season on Saturday morning. It was a playoff game against a team that beat them up pretty good earlier in the season and this time they played them much more respectably, but the outcome was still the same. As much as I would have loved to see them win, it's nice to have football off the schedule now to move on to other things like....hunting! Darin and I went towards Walla Walla to hunt pheasants and quail that afternoon and knew the property probably got hunted earlier in the day, but we thought we'd give it a go anyway. Darin had opportunities to shoot a couple roosters and some quail and I had one long poke option on a rooster, but we ended up empty handed. I can't remember that ever happening, but it may be something I have to get used to this season. I did manage to get another flat tire on my truck, though. That makes the 4th one in the last 2 years. Recommendation for anyone who buys a new truck with 4 ply Goodyear Wranglers on it - just put new tires on it and get those worthless POS's off. We have thicker ply toilet paper out our house than my truck tires. What a scam! Obviously, no pic's attached from this hunt.
On Sunday, against my better judgment, Darin and I headed to what had been the faithful pond hunt all season so far. The farmer's relatives and buddies had hunted it all day on Saturday and pretty much pressured the ducks off the place. We managed to get 5 ducks in a very slow morning of duckin'. The one highlight was finding out my young shorthair, Jock, is a pretty good duck retriever. I haven't used him much on waterfowl, but decided to give him a try and was pleasantly surprised at his blind manners and retrieving skills. We might have finally found his calling! He found 2 of my ducks that fell in the thick stuff that I would have never found and made the other water retrieves with ease. I took some photos of him doing the duck thing (attached). We tried to get some roosters on the property after the duck hunt, but they had been pressured the day before as well and we missed the best opportunity in the morning to get them while they were still in the roost areas. We watched several pheasants fly from the roost areas that morning into the standing corn and didn't have any success getting them out when we went after them. Darin did drop one in the corn but it had legs and got away. We did find a nice covey of huns that was very cooperative after the initial flush and took 6 of them. Darin managed to get one on the initial flush as he was holding my gun as I crossed a fence. He shot one hun with one arm while he held my gun in the other. Tom Knapp would have been proud until he saw him on the next 3 opportunities. I almost managed to get a limit of huns that afternoon, but fell one short. The only picture I snapped was of Rose pointing a hun that I shot that tried to run off in the corn. She tracked him and then pointed him to make the retrieve. (Pic attached). Overall, a scary weekend of pheasant hunting. I don't think I've ever struggled to kill roosters this much this early in the season.

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Sean Pheasant Operner 2011 Oct 22
Oct 22, 2011

A few of us headed to Whitman Co. for the traditional pheasant opener hunt on Saturday. We actually ...more

were able to go on Saturday for the first time in several years since there were no youth sports to conflict this year. Kyle had a 7:30 p.m. football game that day so we decided we could get in enough hunting by 2:30. Well, it wasn't quite enough as we only got 4 roosters and 2 huns in that amount of time. I was on the fortunate end of most of those birds. We should have had a couple more, but the bottom line was we just didn't find enough birds. It appears there weren't many to go around, but sometimes in the early season they can be spread out and the cover is very thick this year so maybe we just missed them? The wheat stubble was as thick as I've ever seen it so they could have been in there instead of the creek bottoms. We'll go back again and see if that was the case. We did find 3 coveys of huns and almost took out one in the road on the way to our first hunting spot in the morning so that was encouraging to see. Attached are a few pic's from the hunt. I didn't take any shots of the birds beyond Rose's retrieve of one of mine.

On Sunday, Cody and Darin and I went duck hunting and had a pretty good shoot. Cody had an exceptional hunt and was making shots that would make any dad proud. He has made tremendous strides on his hunting and shooting skills in the last couple of years and it was cool to see him in action that day. He has shot his 7 duck limit on all 4 hunts he has been on this season. In fact, we are both perfect so far so I'm going to have to get out a few times without him to pull ahead. :) Kyle has shot his 7 birds both times he has hunted this season as well so the Carr house is off to a great start to the duck season. Kyle didn't go on this hunt due to a late football game the night before and he has a little less drive at this point in his hunting aspirations. They both argue quite a bit when they are out together so it makes it more peaceful to take them separately. It was another typical mixed bag hunt of mallard, pintails and teal. We didn't see any widgeon this time so the 4th species was left out on this hunt. Darin was busy playing in the mud and working the blind and retrieving ducks and missed on a lot of opportunities. Cody and I weren't leaving him much too shoot, either so he ended up with just a couple of ducks so the pond didn't pull full limits for the first time in 5 hunts. I'm going to blame Darin for that one, though. :) Attached are mine and Cody's ducks with him modeling them. One of my ducks was left off the strap inadvertently. Actually, it was so big that Cody couldn't handle the weight so I left it off. :)

We did a little rooster hunt after the duck hunt in the hot, 70 degree weather. I had to get home to mow the yard so it was a short hunt. I was able to shoot 3 roosters, but there weren't any shot opportunities for Darin and Cody. I just can't figure out how to tell people where to be in the right spot. Someday, when I get tired of hogging the birds, I will pass on my secrets. :) I don't see that happening anytime soon, but I'm thinking maybe I should just hunt pheasants by myself cause I can't seem to get my partners in much of the shooting. A good guide I am not. In fact, I missed one other rooster and lost a cripple that I would have bet a lot of money on was dead on the shot. The dogs went after the second one I shot as several birds flushed and they just never saw the first one go down. I hate losing birds like that. It was a weird opening weekend of pheasant hunting. Just doesn't feel like it used to when I was really gung ho to hunt those birds. Pic attached of dead roosters - sorry, had to go mow yard so no fancy shots

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Sean Ducks 2011 Oct 19
Oct 19, 2011

Got out with a couple buddies yesterday morning for another great October duck hunt. I've never hunt ...more

ed ducks more than once or twice in the early season for many years, too busy with upland birds and didn't have good enough spots to lure me into duck hunting that early. Well, this year has been different. I don't know how long it's going to last, but it's already been a success in my book. We had another good hunt today and I was fortunate enough to get a new species band. I shot this young drake GWT when the mallards and pintails stopped flying: (Pic's attached) Here is the banding info: Reporting Encounter of Marked Bird with a Metal Federal Band Thank you for submitting your encounter information for bird band number 0994-07391. Information about your bird: Band number: 0994-07391 Species: AMERICAN GREEN-WINGED TEAL Date banded: 08/19/2011 Banding Location: 40 MI W OF FAIRBANKS, MINTO LAKES, YUKON-KOYUKUK CENSUS AREA, ALASKA, USA Age: HATCHED IN 2011 Sex: MALE I don't get too overly excited about shooting banded birds but this one brought out an interesting background story. One of my friends that I hunted with today and who almost shot the bird before I did actually did almost the exact same thing last year: He shot a male GWT on 10/18/10 that was banded close to Anchorage, Alaska on 8/18/2010. Exactly 2 months to the day after banding which is what happened with the bird I shot today. And to think in less than a second, he almost pulled it off 2 years in a row. Now probably not that big a deal with a mallard, but I don't think teal get banded as much as mallards so I thought it was kind of cool. Here are some pictures of my friends dogs that did the hard work of finding our birds today and bringing them back to us. This was enjoyable and relaxing after retrieving ducks myself all weekend and going over my waders on Sunday. (Pic's attached) Here's each of us with our 7 duck limits on the day: (Pic's attached)

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Sean Quail Ducks 2011 Oct 14
Oct 14, 2011

Friday.Oct14.2011.Had a great weekend of hunting. Started off with a quail hunt on public land on Fr ...more

iday. Got out a little later in the morning in order to touch base with a farmer and scout for duck opener so it got a little warm for the quail hunt, but it was a pretty successful day. The dogs only found 2 coveys, but we handled them pretty well and took 9 birds. I could have pushed harder to find that last bird, but the dogs were beat and I had to get back to mow the yard in time to make football practice. Kind of sucks that everything has to be done on such a strict time schedule, but such is life. That's why I go to Montana every year, to get away from it for a week. Anyway, we found a covey not far from the truck with real young birds and was able to kill one before the rest of the covey flew to the other side of the river. Jock brought back the young bird to hand and I swear it still had egg shell remnants stuck to its feathers. :) We worked the river bank for a good mile without finding any quail and then our luck changed when I heard a quail "whistle" on the other side of the river. Normally, that would just cause frustration, but I noticed the river was down and there was a riffle just above where they were located. So, the dogs and I headed across and got into the covey. Shooting was tough in the thick brush, but I managed to get one and watched where the others flew. I took a break to eat a snack and let the dogs get a quick rest before we went after the rest of the covey. I snapped these photos of the male California quail - they have so much variation in their plumage. (Pic's attached) The dogs and I then went after and found a good portion of the 40 bird covey and I was able to take 8 birds out of it. It was a decent day of quail hunting for sure. Junior was beat, Rose was tired and Jock acted like we had just went on a casual stroll. You can tell the different fatigue factors in the dogs in the pictures. Attached are some more photos from that day.
Sat.Oct15.2011.Had a great duck opener with Darin and Cody. Kyle had a football game at noon so he slept in. We were on a tight time frame so I could get back and coach the game. It worked out well. We shot 21 by 8:30.
Sun.Oct16.2011. Had another good hunt in the same hole on Sunday. Kyle was able to join us. We shot a lot more teal and widgeon this day, but it was a good time.

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Sean Vineyard Quail 2011 Oct 09
Oct 9, 2011

There's a good reason for the question after I went quail hunting on Sunday. I was fortunate to get ...more

on an invite from Tyler Ono to accompany him and his son, Theron along with the most important person on the hunt, Tyler's friend, Esteban who had access to a vineyard that Tyler swore was overrun with quail with nobody hunting them. Sounds too good to be true, right? We had tried to put this hunt together all last year and it never panned out and had it in our plans for this year, but were dependent on Esteban's availability. Esteban had been chasing bighorn sheep last week with a coveted tag in the Yakima Canyon and shot his ram on Friday so he became available at the last minute. So the dream hunt was on when we showed up at sunrise on Sunday morning. I was pretty casual in my initial approach to the hunt as I pictured huge coveys of quail erupting in front of my pointing dogs' noses while I scotch-doubled with every pull of the trigger. I took time out to capture what was a pretty amazing sunrise to the east. It was one of the better WA sunrises I've ever taken in. (Pic attached) As if the sunrise wasn't enough, Theron announced there was a rainbow to the west. Sure enough, there was a dandy one that was visible from one end to the other with a less dramatic double rainbow near it. This had to be a good sign and the pot surely held golden quail under the arch of the rainbow. The pictures don't quite do the rainbow justice, but here they are anyway. (Pic's attached) After taking in all that before the hunt, I almost felt guilty about even shooting any quail but we needed to save the vineyard from these voracious, grape-eating pests. Tyler said they were like starlings on this place and we had to do my part to ensure wine would be made this year so the landowner could make money. We got into quail almost immediately from the truck but they were scattered out and flushing ahead from the sagebrush coulee and flying to thicker cover. Huh, this wasn't what I envisioned, but hey there were quail to hunt. So we worked the dogs ahead and got into quail and proceeded to miss a lot. But, I didn't feel any pressure about the misses as I brought plenty of shells to save the vineyard. As I was hunting along, I began to find spent hulls, recently fired hulls and lots of them. Hmmm, that was weird since I thought nobody was hunting the place. To make a long story, short the place had been getting hunted quite a bit and the quail acted like it. After an hour or so into the hunt, I heard gun shots back towards the entrance to the property and shortly after a truck pulled up to the coulee we were hunting. I think he was as surprised to see us as we were him, but he headed to the next coulee over that we were getting ready to hunt next. That put a wrinkle in our hunt plans so we went to another location on the property and found some more quail and enjoyed good shooting. Then we went back to where we started that morning and let Theron shoot some rabbits in a spot that we noticed was full of them. While eating lunch, we heard the quail whistling back and forth and figured they had got back together so we hunted the main coulee again and got into more good shooting. Though, it wasn't quite the hunt it would have been without sharing the resource, it was still one of the better quail hunts I've even been on and we had a great time. Here are some attached pictures from the hunt: Theron w his 1st quail on the day (attached); Theron with birds taken in early part of hunt; quail w 10 of 12 being males; Tyler and Theron with fur and birds; hunt habitat. More attached pictures: Dogs pointing quail; scenic shots of hunt area. And back to my original question, which do you prefer? Red or white flavored? (Pic's attached) I prefer red wine with red meat and white wine with fish so I'll have to separate these quail accordingly. I was actually amazed that these little quail would eat wine grapes. I can't wait to eat this batch of birds! At one point, the quail must have wised up to our intentions and buried themselves in a thick tumbleweed laden ditch and would not fly out of it. Esteban couldn't take it anymore and went in after them even after my repeated warnings not to do so. I've made that mistake myself before so I burst into laughter while taking pictures of him trying to get out. (Pic attached) I don't think he thought it was near as funny as I did! Hopefully, I'll still get to go back again. And finally, a few shots of some harvested quail in some really tasty grapes that are future bottles of Granache. (Pic's attached) This coming weekend is the waterfowl opener. I normally don't get too excited about it, but this year I have high hopes to get the boys on some good shoots.

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Sean Montana Upland 2011 Sept 25
Sep 25, 2011

I headed to Montana last week for a week of upland hunting for Sharptail grouse and Hungarian partri ...more

dge. The reports for MT were pretty bleak for these 2 species, but a check with my landowners gave me enough confidence to make the long drive. I'm glad I did as the experience is always worth it no matter how many birds are taken. The weather had been hot for most of September and we were hoping to time it right for a cool down and the forecast indicated so, but it didn't turn out that way. We had mostly warm to hot conditions with extremely dry conditions. Not ideal, but we dealt with it and managed to have a good trip overall with good hunting. I usually like to capture the 1st morning sunrise from the house so I kept with tradition this year: (Pic attached) As much as I like to pull the trigger and shoot birds, this trip is about the dogs and I try to capture them doing their thing. Most of you have seen mine and you will again, but I brought a friend this year that took 3 MH pointing labs so I've got some shots of them as well. I noticed I failed to capture Brody, his yellow, in any action shots, but it wasn't because he wasn't getting it done. I just failed.
Anyway, here are dog action shots from the trip: Don's 9 year old BLF, Jade, is blessed with the kind of bird finding desire I can appreciate. When Don wants to bear down and kill some birds, this is his go to dog. (Pic attached) This is her on a retrieve of a sharptail that appeared to be very smart as it was perched in a tree overlooking the rest of the flock dusting and getting water from the pond. The rest of the sharptails all took off and I stood there to see what he would do and he flew from the tree right at me and then veered away to offer a right to left crosser at 25 yards - bad decision. (Pic attached)
We made frequent use of any ponds that we could find to water and cool the dogs. Here's Jade taking advantage of the offer from nature: (Pic attached) Don brought a friend's dog along who wanted to see his dog get into wild birds. She was a young BLF with a lot of energy and an unquenchable thirst it seemed as Don had to pack a tremendous amount of water for her. We managed to get her into some birds: (Pic attached) Here is Tess with the other bird we were after: (Pic attached) My 7 year old EP male, Junior, got in some work on this trip: (Pic's attached) My 3 year old GSP male, Jock, got a lot of hunting time in and his fair share of camera appearances: (Pic's attached) Rose, my 9 year old GSP female, is still working hard and finding birds though I know she is on the downhill side of her hunting life. She has so much desire to find birds that it's going to be tough for both of us when that time comes. (Pic's attached) This next shot had a funny story associated with it. Don saw her on point in the bottom of a coulee and asked what she had and I responded that she was just screwing around based on how tired she was and how slowly she eased into the point. She actually made eye contact with me which she never does on a bird so I walked towards her and told her to quit screwing off as a rooster flushed and hit me in the leg. You would think a guy would know his dog after this many years and thousands of prior points. (Pic attached)
I mentioned earlier how dry it was, well the ground was hard as a rock and the dogs pads paid for it. I've never had to boot my dogs up, but there's a first time for everything and I had to do it on this trip. They didn't like them at first, but they got used to them and hunted away like they had wore them forever, but it still looked funny to me: (Pic's attached) Time for some hero shots. Here's Brody and Jock with a limit of huns for Don and I on the last day. Kind of funny that we hunted Jade and Rose for the bulk of these birds and took Brody and Jock out for about 20 minutes and they got to pose with the birds. (Pic's attached) Rose and my limit of huns by 8:30 a.m. (Pic's attached) This shot shows Don with a full bag holding a limit of sage grouse and sharptail grouse. I wasn't with him when he got the sagers, but I thought his game bag looked pretty heavy and this was the only picture I got of them. (Pic's attached)
Another funny story. We were hunting a wheat stubble field with some small ponds on it and windy conditions. When we crested a pond dam, there was a coyote sitting facing away from me at 35 yards. The farmer requested we shoot them when we saw them, but I hadn't discussed with Don about shooting them around his dogs. Well, I pulled up on it and then thought about it and then it saw Don and bolted and instinct kicked in and I shot at it. I think I hit it, but it kept on running in front of Don and he proceeded to shoot it, not once, not twice, but 3 times before it finally died. It was a chaotic scene with all the shooting and the yelling to keep our dogs away from it. Not a well planned or orchestrated affair, but one less bird killer around: (Pic's attached) We had one last pond to hunt and as we approached, I thought I could hear some ducks quacking over the wind blowing. Well, the middle of the day with several ducks chattering made me think there was a pretty good slug of them and this is what we found as we crested the dam: (Pic's attached) With the MT duck opener coming up in a few days, I seriously considered hunting this pond, but we decided to go after the huns the last day and it was a good decision as we had a great hun hunt that last day. However, after talking to the landowner and he assuring me the ducks are there every year, I'm planning on including it in my hunt plans in future years. The sunrises and sunsets can be spectacular in MT with the right conditions. This year was no different: (Pic's attached) This may be kind of cheesy, but I had the opportunity to capture the setting sun one evening and took a sequence of shots as it set in the distance: (Pic's attached) As luck would have it, the weather finally cooled down on the last evening of the hunt. It dropped 15 degrees in an hour and provided pleasant hunting conditions on the last hunt. A thunderstorm moved in and a couple flashes of lightning and booms of thunder provided an eery background as I followed Jock in search of Sharptails. I captured this picture as the sun tried to break through the thickening clouds: (Pic attached)
All in all another great experience in the Big Sky country. Once the dogs recover, we're ready to turn our attention to what WA has to offer this season. Hope you all have a great upcoming season. Forgot to add one huge bonus on the trip - no rattler sightings this time!!!

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Sean Youth Waterfowl 2011 Sep 24
Sep 24, 2011

I took my boys out for the youth opener on the 24th of September on a duck hunt. Craig Riche and his ...more

son, Kyle and his dog, Tommy came along as well as Steve Schultz and his new pup Mallard. We had a great hunt with the boys burning through ammo like firecrackers on the 4th of July. Fortunately, the ducks kept coming and they killed their last duck with the last shell we had on us. So they all ended up with their 7 duck limit a piece which was just a bonus for a great morning on the duck pond. I was very pleased that it worked out after a couple frustrating youth hunts the prior 2 years. It was a hunt we will all remember.

Craig and Steve's dogs did a great job rounding up the birds the boys shot. It was Mallard's first real duck hunt and she caught on quickly. It was awesome having a couple veteran waterfowlers on hand for the hunt like Craig and Steve. Craig, Steve and I put the blind up earlier in the week and it worked great, though it was too tall for my Kyle to shoot out of it so we put him outside the blind and the early season ducks didn't seem to notice which allowed for him to shoot out in the mostly open.

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Sean Fishing Snake River 2011 Aug 21
Aug 21, 2011

I took the family out for a day at the beach on the Snake River above Ice Harbor on Sunday. We launc ...more

hed the boat on the Pasco side and it was a little chaotic putting in with the family all around and what not, but off we went. As I got away from the launch and into 10' of water, I put the throttle down on the outboard and almost immediately heard the prop hit something. I thought "WT?" and looked back to see if I had hit a stick or something but nothing was evident in the water. A quick check of the prop revealed damage to 2 of the 3 blades, not enough to end the day but enough to ding the bank account about $100 to have it eventually fixed. Little did I know that was just the start to an expensive day on the water.

So off we head to the beach. I dropped the family off to set up for a day of relaxation while I motored to a spot not far away to fish for bass. I caught a few on plastic grubs, but they were small so I switched to a crank bait and started trolling. I caught a nice bass right off the bat and then the next one was even nicer, with it being over 16 inches. I continued to catch a total of 11 bass over the next 1/2 hour before I snagged my lure, a 1/2 oz. Fire tiger Hot lips, and broke it off. I decided to head over and show the family the big bass that I had put in the live well. They were all excited and we took pictures and Kyle and I decided to go for fish for about 15 more minutes. I didn't have an exact match for the lure I lost but I had the same kind in a different color (crawdad) and figured that would work just as well. I was wrong and after 10 minutes of trolling without a bite, I snagged and lost another lure. Those lures are about $8 a piece if I remember correctly. Chump change compared to my next move. I had decided to head back to the beach and called Angela on my 2-way radio to let her know I was coming back. Well, between running the trolling motor and holding my rod and reaching for Kyle's rod, I placed the radio a little too firmly on the bow of the boat and it bounced off and went into the river. Without even thinking, I jumped in to try and get it before it sunk and my glasses came off my head in the water and I tried to catch both the radio and the glasses and got neither - another $50 minimum was added to the day's expenses.

I headed back over and Kyle of course had to recount the story of me losing the glasses and radio which brought a stern look from my lovely wife. I'm thinking surely she knows not to go there after the day I've had so far, but no, she has to tell me the money is coming out of my hunting budget. I question her sanity out loud as I search the beach to find a spot to bury her that won't wash away and expose the body before I can leave the country. It all ended in a standoff as we noticed a family that was near us on the beach picking up their stuff and moving away from our location. I think we both surmised there were just too many witnesses to continue any further with the discussion.

We actually enjoy the next several hours playing in the water, hanging on the beach and eating our picnic lunches. We headed back to the launch to trailer the boat to get back home. We pulled the boat out and I started putting the straps on and wiping the boat and I asked Angela if she had put the transom saver for the outboard in the truck when we put the boat in initially. She replied that she hadn't taken it off and then like a Mike Tyson roundhouse, my brain was crushed with the impact of realizing that I hadn't taken the transom saver off the outboard earlier. The rock or stick that beat up my prop was my metal transom saver and it was now at the bottom of the river! Add another $60 at least as this was a nice transom saver with the rubber cushions, etc. I've used that boat untold numbers of times over the last 8 years and had never forgot to take the transom saver off or beat up my prop and I did both in the same day.

You might think I wish I would have never gone out that day and just stayed home to avoid the beating I took this day, but the way I look at it, it made for a memorable day. Yes, I'm several hundred dollars poorer, but rich with memories of what can go wrong on a day on the water. Plus, I caught a nice bass as seen in the attached photo. Yep, if I keep telling myself it was all worth it, I'll eventually believe it. One more week until the shotgun comes out and speedy, little gray birds try to outrun an ounce of lead #8's.

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Sean Fishing Columbia Riv 2011 Aug 15
Aug 14, 2011

I took my boat out yesterday around 11:00 a.m. mainly to just run some new gas through the motor and ...more

to try for some bass with my oldest son, Cody. We only had about an hour to fish in order for Cody to get back for a scout meeting. On Cody's first cast, he hooked into a fish that we quickly figured out was not a bass and to my surprise was a nice 23" walleye. I was hung up at the time but flipped my bail and ran for the net in time to get his fish from the water. He had hooked it really well through the top of the mouth. It was his biggest walleye ever and possibly bigger than any I have ever caught. We were on the Columbia near Howard Amon Park and he caught it on a Yamamoto 176 grub without a worm tip. Nice surprise for us and we enjoyed walleye dinner last night thanks to Thor giving me some walleye to allow us enough for a meal. It was delicious as usual. Sadly, that was the first time we have been out fishing this summer and possibly the last time with dove season coming on in 2 1/2 weeks.

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Sean Vacation 2011 Aug 01
Aug 1, 2011

We recently got back from a family vacation that took us through Montana, Wyoming and Idaho. We took ...more

in a lot of scenery and various activities so I thought I would pass along some of the memories we captured along the way. We took over 600 photos if I recall correctly, but this will be a substantially reduced account.

We started with a trip to Lake Mary Ronan near Polson, Montana and stayed in a cabin on the lake. Angela's parents had been staying there at the lake for the prior 3 weeks in their fancy motor home. We had planned to take in Glacier Park on the 2nd day, but decided to just relax after the drive to get there and enjoy the lake. Angela and I had been to the lake during our courting days and it was nice to finally make it back for a visit. Apparently, we had missed Phil Jackson the L.A. Lakers coach who had been there prior to our arrival but my in-laws enjoyed a beverage or two with him.

After a couple of days at the lake, we headed to Butte, MT and took in a preserved mining site. Then we hit Lewis & Clark Caverns and took in an awesome caver exploration that ended with a half mile run to get out of a raging thunderstorm complete with lightning flashed all around us. Made for an exciting end to the cave tour!

We headed to Yellowstone on the 4th day and took in some of the park that day and a good portion of the 5th day. We stopped in Bozeman on the way to Yellowstone to take in the Museum of The Rockies. I really like the town of Bozeman - too bad real estate is so expensive or that would be a great retirement location.

We hit the Tetons next after taking in most of Yellowstone and spent most of our time in the Jackson Hole area. Another incredibly beautiful and expensive real estate area. It was interesting seeing the Snake River go from a small stream to a raging river to a calm one in a 30 mile stretch. We took the tram up to ~10,500 ft and hiked around on top but didn't get serious after all the walking we did at Yellowstone. The tram was pretty impressive as it could hold up to 60 people and climbed the roughly 3,900 ft. in less than 15 minutes. We watched numerous paragliders taking off the mountain and sailing down below - as many as 8 in the sky at a time - pretty cool. Kyle really wanted to paraglide but that wasn't in the trip budget. So he and Cody had to settle for a bungee trampoline session instead.

We headed back to Montana after a half day in the Jackson Hole area with a long drive to get back to Butte. We stopped in Virginia City, MT to take in the old town theme. It was a gold era boom town that is now a historical area. We meant to pan for gold but ran out of time so we picked up some goodies from the old time Candy Store and ate some ice cream from the old fashioned, made daily ice cream store. And we had a photo taken of us in the old west style (notice I was the only one practicing proper gun safety) which Angela had always wanted to do.

After a night in Butte, we headed straight to Kellogg, ID to let the boys have some fun at the Silver Mountain water park. I finished the trip off with a big toast since we made it safely and still somewhat liked each other. This was one of my favorite vacations ever. Whenever I get to spend time in Montana, it's bound to be good.

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Sean Vacation 2011 Aug 1
Aug 1, 2011
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Kyle Fly Swatting 2011 May
May 1, 2011
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Cody Gobbler 2011 Apr 17
Apr 17, 2011

I took Cody out on Sunday morning to a place that I had scouted locally and was fortunate enough to ...more

find some turkeys. This turned out to be a short but exciting hunt. The set up was difficult with the turkeys roosting in a tree where they could see all around them for quite a ways. There was an obstacle big enough that could hide my truck from the birds and enabled us to drive in and unload the blind and gear and setup without being seen. It was sketchy driving the truck out and sneaking back in but we got there early and the plan worked out. The toms gobbled sporadically on the roost and seemed content while Cody and I organized the gear in the blind to prepare for fly down. What happened next took us both by surprise as we looked up and saw a gobbler land 10 yards straight in front of the blind just in front of the 2 decoys I had set out. Cody slowly reached for his gun and mounted it as the rest of the turkeys all flew in and landed around the 1st gobbler. Cody locked in on that 1st tom and I told him to shoot when he comes out of strut. With one putt from my mouth call, the tom came out of strut and craned his head up for a perfect angle and Cody laid him out on the spot. It was 5:41 a.m. on the watch as Cody and I celebrated his good fortune. That gobbler never flinched for several minutes until I went out to pick him up. I've picked up plenty of them over the years but this one sneak attacked me and spurred my hand before I could get both legs controlled. Nothing too serious, but it got my attention. Like I said, it was quick hunt but one that we'll remember together for years to come.

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Sean 2nd Gobbler 2011 Apr 17
Apr 17, 2011

As I figured, the next day I had competition in the form of other hunters but we discussed each othe ...more

r's intentions and worked out a game plan. I went after the tom that was gobbling it's head off the prior afternoon which required a steep hike up an open hillside that presented a difficult approach to keep from being detected. All went well until I found the perfect tree to set against that was unfortunately already preferred by 3 hens that voiced their disapproval with my selection by putting and flying off. That scenario usually always ruins any chances of calling a tom in off the roost, but I was committed to the setup when the gobbler kept sounding off. Call it what you want, persistence of blind stupidity but it almost paid off when the gobbler came in quickly to my calling after flying down. The only problem was it was too quickly and with the still low light conditions and the angle he approached, I couldn't see a beard. Even though I could see his fan was perfectly straight as he strutted in front of me, I couldn't see his beard and chose to let him walk off without a shot.

That tom worked away from me in short order and I went after some other gobbling toms in the area but couldn't get any to come my direction. The initial tom I had worked that morning had continued to gobble and had worked his way back to the original spot I called him into that morning. So I headed back after him for Round 2. This time he played coy and gobbled frequently but wouldn't come into shooting range so I took a risk and tried to close the distance and get in tight on him. I must have got busted because he shut up for several minutes and then started up again about 200 yards away. I knew where he was at that point and liked my chances of setting up on him again. I opted to stay out in the open and hide behind some rocks to call to him and this time he came in close enough to provide the shot that quieted the local loudmouth. He was another typical 2 year old with only a 7 1/2" skinny beard. No wonder I couldn't see it in the dark earlier that morning. So the WA turkey season was a wrap for me at 7:40 on Sunday morning.
I had my wife's Aunt snap the attached photo. I like being able to run and gun gobblers solo, but it limits the picture taking potential. I added a couple pictures of a gobbler that was tearing it up as I was leaving the property with my 2nd turkey. He was prime for the taking as fired up as he was.

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Sean First Gobbler 2011 Apr 15
Apr 15, 2011

I headed up north for the turkey opener last Thursday night after Kyle's baseball game so I didn't g ...more

et there in time to roost any birds. Didn't matter, the turkeys were in the same place they are every year when I showed up early on Friday morning. This might be the last year I get to depend on that, though since the property is up for sale. Well, the roost set up didn't work out like it has in the past when the hens decided to fly down the opposite direction from me and the 4 toms all followed. They ended up forming 2 groups that worked their way to the east and north. I chose to get around in front of the group going to the east and after a failed initial setup, I was able to call a tom away from his hens on the 2nd try to punch my first gobbler tag of 2011. It was a typical 2 year old tom with an 8" beard and just a tad under 1" spurs. When I shot the gobbler, he fell off a small cliff and flopped on some rocks and proceeded to knock out all but 4 of his tail feathers so I was limited on my photo shoot especially since I was by myself. The rest of the day was quiet with very little gobbling going on and rain moved into the area around 12:30 and continued throughout the day. I chose to hunt out of the blind to stay dry and called a few hens in while listening in frustration to a tom gobble over 150 times on the adjoining property from 4:00 to fly up. When the gobbler finally moved onto the property I was hunting and roosted in a familiar place, I had my plan for the next morning.

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Sean Youth Turkey 2011 Apr 04
Apr 4, 2011

We wrapped up another youth turkey hunting weekend on Sunday with a mixture of success and failure. ...more

Thor Ostrom (Honkerclan08) came along to help me with my 2 sons, Cody and Kyle. Thanks, again for the help, Thor! The turkeys I had been scouting for 3 weeks decided to roost in another location the night before the opener but they still ended up coming to the location I set the blinds the prior day. We had 2 outcast toms that the jakes had been running off come to within 35 yards first thing in the morning but they didn't present a good shot opportunity for both boys who I had in blinds right next to each other. We had a group of jakes and at least one tom come in behind the blinds and they wouldn't work to the front so both boys could shoot so I had Kyle shoot the tom out the back window of the blind. It was Kyle's 1st gobbler after shooting a triple bearded jake last year on his first turkey hunt.
So one tom down and Cody's turn. Kyle had decided to get 2 tags so he could shoot another one as well. I took the boys to another property after Thor had to leave and we found 4 gobblers and 20 hens feeding up an open side hill. I had the boys load 2 shells in the magazine of their autos to be safe on the long hike up the hill to get in front of the birds. When we got as close as we could, we set up and I started calling. I pulled a silent tom away from the group who almost surprised us. Cody raised his gun to shoot without being detected and an ominous "click" sound pierced the air in place of what I thought was going to be a glorious "boom" and a dead tom. You guessed it, I forgot to have the boys load up when we set up. I asked Cody if he loaded a shell in the chamber as I checked to see where the gobbler had gone and he assured me he did. I made a call to see if the gobbler might consider working back in and he responded by going into strut and gobbling so I got Cody in position to shoot as the tom worked back to us. I called the shot when the tom got to 25 yards and heard another "click" as in Benelli "click". Cody handed me the gun and I pushed the bolt all the way shut since Cody had failed to do so and handed it back to him with the instruction to shoot the gobbler who was now moving away from us at about 35 yards. With all the craziness, it wasn't a surprise that Cody missed and the beating up of myself began! How could I forget something so important? Loser Dad!
We went back to the truck to go back to our original spot and I decided to make a sandwich for the road. Another gobbler started sounding off in the canyon below us and I noted it was 2:00. A gobbling bird at this time of day is prime for calling in so I hurriedly ate my sandwich and kept track of his gobbling. We packed up and moved up the hill to get in front of the location he was headed and set up and I started calling. The next time I saw him, he was 300 yards away in another patch of open woods the opposite direction he had been walking. The wind was blowing about 20 so I don't know if he ever heard my calls. I got after it on the box call as loud as I could and the next thing I know he turned and headed our direction. I switched the boys up and had them face towards the direction he would be coming. There was a big branch hanging down from the tree where we were sitting that was going to only allow one boy to get a shot depending on which side the gobbler came in. When he gobbled below us out of sight it became apparent that Kyle was going to get to take the shot. Sure enough, the gobbler appeared in full strut on Kyle's side and worked to 15 yards. I called the shot and Kyle proceeded to miss him and then stood up as the tom moved below us and took 2 more shots - all clean misses. He was devastated as this was the first turkey he had ever missed in his 2 days of turkey hunting. We roosted some turkeys later that evening on the original property and set the blind on the edge of a pasture for Sunday morning. Thor joined Cody in the blind closest to the roosted birds and Kyle and I set up in another direction to cover the woods in case they headed out that way. The gobbling was insane that morning and Thor called the hens into their setup and watched them pummel my DSD hen decoy while the 2 gobblers came running to them. The toms stopped at about 40 yards to strut for the hens and Thor gave Cody the green light on the shot but he didn't feel confident with taking the shot. So the gobblers followed the hens as they moved away and effectively ended the youth hunt weekend for us. Lots of exciting moments and plenty of lots of lessons learned along the way. It was a blast and I'm looking forward to the regular season getting here now. I've attached some pictures from the weekend. I didn't do a good job of taking pictures and forgot to snap some of Cody. It was a crazy weekend, though.

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Sean Turkey Scouting 2011 Mar 27
Mar 27, 2011

headed north again this weekend and captured some turkeys with the camera. It looks like this will b ...more

e the spot where I will take the boys next Saturday. I got a couple really good videos of 5 jakes fighting 3 long beards and running them off but they are in HD and the files are too big to send via email. Kind of a catch 22 - great clarity but too big of file size. I'm hoping for some decent weather next weekend and that the birds stick around so the boys can get a crack at them. 8 mature toms and 6 jakes on the place right now.

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Sean Turkey Scouting 2011 Mar 21
Mar 21, 2011

With the youth turkey weekend coming up the 1st of April, I had to get out and scout and try to get ...more

some permission lined up for the boys. I had been to one of my spots and only heard 1 single gobble so I ran to the place where the boys both got their turkeys last year and got lucky on my timing to catch a group of 40 turkeys working their way towards a pasture. I stayed in my truck and used my binoculars to pick out 4 jakes and the rest were all hens. What amazed me as they headed my way and walked within 40 yards of the truck was the number of bearded hens. The very 1st turkey that led the flock past me was a bearded hen that appeared to have 2 beards but I couldn't say for sure. As I watched the string go by, I saw another bearded hen and thought to myself to grab the camera and start taking pictures. I saw at least 3 more bearded hens and possibly a total of 6. That is extremely unusual and I've never seen anything like it in my 30+ years of scouting and hunting turkeys. I did my best to take some decent pictures through the truck window and considering the lighting, I thought they turned out ok. You can definitely see the beards on the hens. Anyway, thought I would pass along the pictures and story. There's still a lot of work to do to get a good spot for the boys but I'm hopeful it will all work out. I didn't see a lot of turkeys over the weekend and it appears they are still pretty flocked up in their winter groups.

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Sean Ducks 2011 Jan 30 Last Day
Jan 30, 2011

Well, the WA waterfowl season is finally over. I'm a little haggard from the pace I ran and still ma ...more

rried, though I had to run the UPS man, the Milk Man and the Pool Boy off last night when I got home. Funny, I don't even have a pool, either. I know poor attempt at humor but I had to try to break up these monotonous reports. This one is going to be short. Saturday was kind of a bust. Tyler and I did an afternoon duck hunt since Kyle had a basketball game in the morning. We tried to go back to the spot where Jerry and I did so well on Friday. A guy I knew was in the spot with his brother since they were informed by someone where we had shot the ducks the prior day. They said to join them and it just didn't work out. We shot a goose and a handful of ducks, but the ducks were spooky and not near as many flying as the prior morning. There were some other issues, but too much detail to discuss. Oh well, you can't kill them everyday - sometimes the birds win. Sunday was spent with Darin after Cody backed out. We chose to hunt a pond that had been producing well for us recently. It provided a great finish to the season, though the birds did not come easy. They were very spooky and required some decoy adjustments that I had never even fathomed I would need to do but they worked and we finished the hunt with 11 mallards and 3 pintails along with 3 geese. One of the geese I shot on the pond while Darin shot the other 2 on a sneak after we set some field decoys out and 5 geese landed with them (we actually set up blinds in a field away from the pond and hunted geese while the ducks weren't flying and when we went back to the pond, the geese came to our field setup). It was a nice way to end what has been an amazing duck season. Since I fried my camera on Friday, I took Cody's camera and the picture setting was too small so not the greatest shot of the birds, but their just dead birds anyway. I didn't feel like risking another camera near the water so I only took that shot of the birds. I was the dog this day but no self portrait provided. Time to catch up with life again before turkey season rolls around.

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Sean Ducks 2011 Jan 28
Jan 28, 2011

What a crazy morning! I headed out on a another duck hunt with my friend, Jerry. His dog, Gunner, cu ...more

t his pad last night and couldn't go today and Jerry almost didn't go because of it. He was late getting to my house due to doctoring Gunner this morning and we were hunting public ground so I was a little concerned about getting the spot I wanted on the drive there. On the way, I realized I had forgot my hunting coat, my breakfast shake and the keys to the trailer. It was looking like a train wreck. I was hunting an area that I hadn't been to in a few years so I couldn't remember exactly where to set up in the dark/foggy conditions. Ducks were getting up on several ponds when I was looking for my spot and I just didn't like any of the ponds for a setup. So I started meandering around and headed towards the sound of a bunch of ducks. When I got to the area I heard the ducks, they erupted off the water and I knew that was the place to be. So Jerry and I pulled the carts over and were getting ready to put our waders on when I stepped in a wheel line full of water and went over my boots and soaked my right sock. By now, I was not a happy camper but there was no time to sulk and we hurriedly set out the decoys, stashed the carts and loaded up just in time to start shooting ducks coming to the spread. It was non-stop action and when the smoke cleared we had 13 greenheads and 1 bull sprig in a little over 2 hours to show for our efforts. We didn't lose any ducks without a dog which was a big concern of mine. I can't even believe how great a season this has been for ducks. It appears I got some moisture in my camera somehow so it's soaking in rice and hopefully isn't ruined. So that pictures were taken with Jerry's camera and he has it on some setting that creates big files so I've only attached one of the ducks. Good luck to those getting after them this weekend - 2 days to go!

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Sean Ducks 2011 Jan 26
Jan 26, 2011

I got out yesterday with my friend Ben Lindholm and his buddy, Travis. They wanted to go to McNary b ...more

ut I didn't feel good about the duck numbers there so we chose to go to a private pond that I've had some success on this season. There weren't a lot of ducks using the pond, but I thought it was the best option from what I saw from scouting. I've shot some geese on this pond so we went all out and set up some goose floaters and field decoys as well. That ended up just being extra work and didn't pan out as hoped, but the duck hunt turned out well. It took a long time but we did get our ducks. It took a major decoy adjustment to get the birds to work in close enough and I wish we would have done it sooner when we had more birds flying, but you live and learn. We weren't picky on our ducks and took what came in and ended up with 4 species. We almost added a 5th species when a group of ring-necks buzzed the pond, but they never came close enough for a shot. It was cool to see and hear them cruise by, though. Ben and Travis both have exceptional dogs and it was a real joy to watch them work. I couldn't have asked for better partners on the day. The ducks are tough this time of year but we're running out of days to pursue them. Get after them boys while you still can. I took a lot of pictures of Travis's dog, Louie because I had already snapped quite a few of Ben's dog, Macy on a prior hunt.

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Sean Ducks 2011 Jan 21
Jan 21, 2011

I didn't have much of a game plan for a hunt on this day and nobody had called to hunt with me so I ...more

punted and went to a private pond that has been mostly hit and sometimes miss this season. The wind was forecasted to blow along with some rain so I figured it might be a good option if the ducks wanted to get off the river. The prognosis for the hunt can usually be determined by the number of ducks sitting on the pond when I drive in so I was pleasantly surprised to hear a fair amount of ducks lift off and numerous ducks actually stayed on the pond while I was setting out the decoys and working on the hide. The ducks are extremely spooky on this pond as they get hunted often and routinely pushed off, not to mention the pressure they receive in the general area on the public ground. The key to this hunt was going to be the blind and I worked a long time on it before I was happy with it. As shooting time approached, the remaining ducks started lifting off the pond but others were trying to get back in. I was bound and determined to only shoot when I had a chance at 2 drake mallards. Well, those who have hunted with me know that theory goes out the window as soon as a pintail drake enters the picture and that's exactly what happened. So the 1st duck of the day is a pintail drake and then I proceeded to slowly add single mallard drakes to the tally. At one point, I got greedy and had 3 mallards working, 2 drakes and a hen and I let one of the mallard drakes land with the intent to come back to him while I shot the other drake in the air. Well, when I came up the hen and drake crossed and I got confused like a rookie and shot the hen and then came back to the drake on the water and he had already gotten out too far. So I ruined the Big Macray (6 mallard drakes, 1 pintail drake) opportunity and called myself a few choice words. I was able to redeem myself and shoot mallard drakes the rest of the way to finish out. On the last duck, I actually had 2 drakes and a hen finish right into the decoys for the easiest shot of the day. Another fun one in what has been a great year. Dead duck pictures attached. I haven't figured out how to take pictures of myself retrieving ducks or shooting so that's the only picture I had to offer from this hunt.


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Sean Ducks 2011 Jan 20
Jan 20, 2011

I was fortunate to get a call from Jon Berry with an invite to hunt down his way along with a goose ...more

guide for Bill Saunders named John Plughoff. The local creeks and rivers were flooding down his way and it had created some ideal hunting conditions for ducks in flooded pastures. This is about a once every 4 year event Jon said so to get in on it was very lucky. Thanks, Jon! We had a little issue with some other hunters trying to set up too close to us but Jon resolved that and the hunt was on at first light. It wasn't fast and furious but very steady action and we were getting mallards one and two at a time. Before you knew it the trees were growing mallards (see pic). Jon's dog, Missy, handled the retrieving duties and the set up was really cool and unique. We were hunkered in willows in the standing water while calling and shooting. At one point, 8:33 a.m. to be exact, my son Cody tried to call me to check on the action and I had forgot to turn the ringer off so I went ahead to answer it. Well, he had hung up by that point but it was enough to pull me away from my shooting position and of course, a flock of wood ducks bombed into the decoys and before J & J realized what they were, they got out too far for a good shot. There were 3 prime drakes in the group! Thanks, Cody! We proceeded to get our 7 ducks each and I was fortunate to add a pintail drake to the 20 mallards. One thing we learned was that the ducks were picking us out on the edge of the willows. They weren't flaring and would still work over the top for a decent shot but not finish into the decoys. We happened to all be back deep in the willows working on John's gun (he had issues with it) when some ducks back-winged into the decoys. So we opted to move further back in and the last ducks we needed came right into the decoys for good shooting. John took advantage of that while shooting my gun and it was cool to watch them decoy so well at the end. I wish we would have picked up on that earlier but better late than not at all.

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Sean Upland 2011 Jan 17
Jan 17, 2011

Monday the 17th was the final day of upland season. I had a hunt planned with a new friend that I ha ...more

d a great hunt with earlier in the season but he wasn't able to make it. He was, however, gracious enough to allow me to hunt the property he had lined up. Thanks, Matt! During a conversation the evening before, Matt gave me some pointers on where I should park and hunt and made the statement that I should be done in 15 minutes. I was thinking, yeah right. Well, my dogs and I must suck because it took 20 minutes! I got a fairly late start for me after going out for donuts with my wife and 2 boys before heading out so I didn't start hunting until about 10:00. I wish I would have talked Cody into coming along but I had no idea the birds were going to be this accommodating. I walked about a grand total of 100 yards up over a hill along the wheat stubble and grassy edge to watch Junior slam on point facing a depression with some thick grass. With the wind blowing about 25 mph, it was the perfect sanctuary for a pheasant. When I walked in front of Junior a rooster took off running and then flew straight away - he died with the 1st barrel and then 3 more roosters got up and one made the mistake of going straight up into the wind and the 2nd barrel ended his crowing days. Jock retrieved both birds for me. What a start to the hunt! The dogs were already hot and thirsty with temps in the 50's so I took a break and snapped some photos of the birds and dogs and quenched my own thirst. We then continued on and Rose started working a runner but it never stopped and I called her off since Jock was working a runner in the wheat stubble. Jock's bird eventually flushed wild and I pulled him back and sent the dogs down a steep hill that had some good grass and tumble weeds next to another stubble field. Junior was working back toward me and then slowed down and I could tell he was getting some scent. He turned around and went back the other direction while tracking scent the whole time. After about 50 yards of this he froze solid with his nose saying there was a bird trying to hide in the tumble weeds. If I would have known the birds were going to be so cooperative this day, I would have captured both points but this is late season roosters, right? Not only do they usually not hold but they can flush wild at any second while you are approaching. Well, this bird not only held but I had to kick him out of the weeds and it was another rooster that provided for an easy straight away shot. Rose stole the retrieve and when I took the bird from her, I looked at my watch and I had been out for 30 minutes so factoring in the 10 minute break, actual hunting time was 20 minutes. I typically like to work a little harder than that, but considering how tough the pheasant season had been this year, I wasn't going to look a gift horse in the mouth. I ran the dogs around some more to see if we could find some huns but we only found a couple more killable roosters that got lucky to survive the last day of the season. I did find a pretty good wad of pheasants that flushed wild so there is plenty of seed for next year on this property. I took the opportunity to get back home early and spend some time with the family as this was my 6th day in a row of hunting and it was a good run.

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Sean Ducks 2011 Jan 16
Jan 16, 2011

My 10 year old son Kyle had a reservation at a local public duck hunting area and even though my sco ...more

uting efforts revealed very few ducks on the place, we decided to give it a go anyway since the temp's were warm and strong winds were predicted. The only positive about the warm temp's was that Kyle wouldn't get cold easily and should be able to stay comfortable long enough to wait for the slow trickle of ducks that I expected to endure. What I didn't predict was that we would have the whole pond to ourselves and that was a good thing because there wasn't enough ducks to share on this day. My friend Jerry accompanied us on the hunt along with his young black lab, Gunner. Kyle ended up getting the 1st choice of blinds and I gambled on the wind direction and it worked out pretty well. It wasn't a limit shoot, though it could have been if we had stayed longer but Kyle is still pretty fickle about how long he stays out on a hunt so we wrapped it up a little early having shot 18 ducks but we lost 3 of them including a drake canvasback that I shot that fell out too far for the experience level of Jerry's dog. So the drake can still eludes my wall, but Jerry was able to shoot a beautiful can that I missed. Jerry has been able to take 3 new species of ducks on some of our hunts this year - drake wood duck that he has at the taxidermist right now, pintail drake (at least 3 that I can remember) and now a stud canvasback drake that I think he is getting mounted as well. We have had some enjoyable hunts but they are getting pretty expensive for him. Kyle was a trooper and had a blast. He ended up shooting a drake mallard and a couple widgeon and was very safe handling his gun. I purposely took him out without his older brother to see how he would act and he seemed to really enjoy himself. The 2 of them get on each other's nerves if it's a slow day and I had a feeling it would be better to take him on his own. We could have shot a few more birds but there were times we were taking pictures and I had to work on the blind I put Kyle in which cost us a few that snuck in when we weren't paying attention but killing was secondary to Kyle having a good time today. The blind worked out well so Kyle didn't have to stand in the water and he stayed more comfortable that way. I took a lot of pictures this day and attached a few of them.

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Sean Ducks 2011 Jan 14
Jan 14, 2011

I had planned to do an upland hunt in the morning and a field duck hunt in the afternoon on this day ...more

, but overnight the wind came up and it wasn't in the forecast to do so. I called Jerry when I got up and told him I wanted to change the plans and do a water hunt instead in the morning and upland in the afternoon. It worked out well to make the change as we both shot a limit of ducks on public ground. I didn't know if we would even be able to find a decent blind to hunt with it being a Friday but when we arrived right at shooting time my 2nd choice blind was available. We missed some early shooting opportunities while we set up but we caught up in a hurry after we got set up at 8:00 or so. The #1 blind on the place was doing some shooting but that changed once we were ready to go and we were able to pull the majority of the ducks flying into our spread. Widgeon were pretty much the only ducks flying early and I wanted to go quail hunting so I shot them rather than being picky and ended up with a limit of widgeon which I think is the first time I've ever done that. Jerry had a couple of widgeon when I finished up and then proceeded to get a fortunate break when the pintails and mallards started flying. He ended up shooting a pintail drake and then 4 mallard drakes for a nice limit. He also shot a banded mallard drake, his first ever banded duck. That's the 5th banded duck that I've seen taken on my hunts this year so it's been a pretty good band year. Jerry has had a lot of firsts on our hunts this season - 1st wood duck drake, 1st pintail drake, 1st canvasback drake and now his first band. I'm pretty sure I'm on the top of his speed dial list these days which is fine by me as his is a great hunting partner and I enjoy his black lab, Gunner, immensely. It was another great duck hunt which I've been fortunate to experience a lot of this season. We finally got packed up to go on the quail hunt after Jerry passed up a nice GW teal drake that delayed our hunt for another hour before he got a chance to shoot a mallard drake for his 7th and final duck. He heard about that one for the whole hour! We were pressed for time and the quail hunt was not as good as normal. For some reason, we didn't find many birds and only shot 1 quail a piece but it was the first upland outing for Gunner and he got to retrieve both quail, one on land and one in the water so that was a bonus.

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Sean Ducks 2011 Jan 13
Jan 13, 2011

My good buddy Tyler called me up and asked me if I wanted to hunt a certain pond that he knew I had ...more

been wanting to hunt for years so I told him to quit asking me dumb questions. He repeated his question and I told him the landowner won't let anyone hunt it. He gave me one more chance so I played along and then he told me this 16 year old kid had someone got permission on it and he needed someone to take him out to hunt it because he couldn't drive. Well, I was a little leery about the whole deal but I've taken bigger risks than this before so I called the kid, Colten, up verified that he did indeed have access so we planned the hunt. I had always figured it would be a great hunt if I could ever get on this pond and it played out almost as well as I had dreamed except for my poor shooting part. Colten is 16 and can call and shoot better than most guys I've hunted with so that part was easy. He brought his dog, Starr, along and she did a great job of retrieving our ducks. When the 1st birds came in, a drake mallard and hen, the drake swung to my side so I shot him and then I saw Colten miss the hen and I yelled out, let her go this is going to be an all green hunt, buddy. He wasn't used to doing that but quickly jumped on board and that's what we did. An hour or so later, we had 14 greenheads on the straps and we were headed back to the truck. Very fun hunt and it was a real joy to spend some time with an up and comer in the hunting circle. I almost felt like he took me out. We stood in the water under a submerged tree and shot our ducks and I struggled a little bit with the shooting through the trees thing. Between leaving the easy shots for Colten and my missing, he shot his 7 before I got mine which was just fine with me but I was hoping he was thinking I was some kind of old goober along the way. It was a great time and we are already planning on doing it again soon. I kind of feel like a girl hoping to get that call! Hey, if you had the chance to hunt this place you would feel the same way! I mostly took hero shots since we were standing in the water. I would have liked to have taken more action shots but I didn't want to drop my new camera in the drink.

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Sean Pheasants 2011 Jan 7
Jan 7, 2011

I got the dogs out on a solo hunt for another crack at pheasant and quail and went back to a public ...more

land spot that had produced with surprisingly good bird numbers the last time I hit it. Not nearly as good this time, but at least I got to hunt without rain this time. The plan was to hunt upland in the morning and then ducks in the afternoon in the corn field. Well, I got in deep and spent too long hunting to get back in time for the duck hunt. We only found 3 coveys of spooky quail this time and one shootable rooster. I ended up with 5 quail and almost didn't get the rooster but Rose made the best water retrieve I've even seen her make and was pretty much the highlight of the hunt. I have a sequence of pictures that depict the retrieve but by no means does it show the difficulty of the retrieve. The rooster flushed off the edge of the river and tried to escape across the river but I ended that plan for him. He fell dead in the water next to the bank on the other side but the current was raging in this location and actually pushed the pheasant under the ice line so I had no idea where it would end up or how Rose was going to get it. She swam to the other side but hit heavy rapids that actually took her under the water for a few seconds which was kind of scary for both me and her. Fortunately, she re-emerged and started looking for the rooster. She eventually found it in an eddy area of deep water surrounded by a fallen tree. It took her a good 3 minutes of searching to find it and she had to dive in from the tree to get it and then pull herself back on the tree to get out. Once she got back on the tree, she took several minutes to try and figure out the best way back out and she was not going to come back through the rapids. She eventually went down below the rapids and when she ran out of area to walk the bank, she swam back across through some pretty swift water to bring the bird to hand. I was blow away at her tenacity for a 40 lb. shorthair as I'm quite certain the water was frigid. Junior actually became very concerned about the situation and twice tried to go over and help. I had to call him back both times as he is a poor swimmer and probably would have drowned. Jock just stood there and whined. That is going to have to change as Rose isn't going to always be around and Jock is going to have to step up and make those kind of retrieves. Anyway, it was an adventure packed hunt and a little light on the harvest but it's the end of the season and it's tough out there in the uplands right now. Pic's attached.

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Sean Ducks 2011 Jan 5
Jan 5, 2011

I got out for a morning duck hunt last week with a new friend from the west side. I believe he lives ...more

near Bonney Lake, WA. He is a pastor for a local church there. We had talked about getting together for a duck hunt in the past and the timing finally fell together to do it. He came over the prior evening before the hunt and stayed at our place so we got a nice visit in before the early wakeup. I had scouted the place we planned to hunt and there was an open water area surrounded by ice that we hoped to get before anybody else. Well, it worked out and we got the spot. On the way in we saw several thousand ducks lift off the water and ice so we were hopeful for a good hunt. Though there were some struggles with getting hidden well enough and some annoyances from a neighboring party, we managed to have a good day. The ducks were extremely spooky, even more so than was expected for late season birds but we had some singles and doubles come in close enough for good shooting. David ended up being a great hunt partner and his dog, Deuce, made some fine retrieves. David did lose a couple mallard drakes, one that dove under the ice and never reappeared and one that fell way out on the ice that he didn't feel comfortable sending Deuce after. He did get a banded mallard drake and a goose and I was able to shoot the Double Big Macray (5 Mallard drakes, 2 Pintail drakes) which is what I consider the ultimate puddle duck limit. That was what I was after on this day and I was lucky to get it as spooky as the ducks were.

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Sean Ducks 2011 Jan 2
Jan 2, 2011

This is the last hunt report from my holiday vacation time frame. Ducks were the quarry again when I ...more

hit a popular local public hunting spot. I had a spot lined up when I noticed a couple of other guys looking for a spot had a dog. I have had good luck going with new guys I met in the parking lot prior to a hunt this season when I've gone out solo and the spot I had picked for this hunt was one where the water gets deep about 40 yards out. I asked if they would like to join me and they were happy to do so. We kicked a lot (thousands) of ducks off the patch of open water in front of the blind and excitedly set up decoys in the dark. We worked to open the hole up a little more towards the shoreline that ended up being time not spent wisely and we missed some early opportunities with ducks coming into the decoys. There were still plenty working throughout the morning and Jim and Jim ended up being great company. They even let me shoot the Big Macray - 6 mallard drakes & 1 pintail drake by taking turns at singles and doubles. We just couldn't seem to get hidden well enough for the flocks so it ended up being pretty much singles and double mallards coming into the spread. There were a fair amount of dumpelstilkin's (high flyers willing to dump straight in without circling) on this day and with the sunny skies, the mallard drakes heads lit up like a beacon providing a good aiming point. I enjoyed the company and Jim and Jim provided me with a lot of laughs on the slough. Their dog, Jake, a 105 pound yellow lab was on task to get our ducks and save us from trudging through the cold, deep waters. He didn't like going through slush ice so we lost a couple of mallard drakes and adjusted our shooting to closer in to prevent anymore losses. All in all, it was another successful day and I got the opportunity to get to know a couple of other waterfowlers and share some laughs. Jim J. was probably one of the more excitable hunters I've been around in quite some time. He was like a kid in the candy store until he fell in the water and it sapped a little of his enthusiasm but I bet he'll be back at it in no time. When you have the fever, you can't get out often enough. Trust me, I know. Pic's attached. I didn't take a lot of action shots due to the circus atmosphere (details will not be provided to protect the innocent) and the ones I did show too much background so a couple of hero shots is all I have to share.

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Sean Ducks 2011 Jan 1
Jan 1, 2011

I didn't hunt on Dec 30, just ended up scouting the corn fields in the afternoon with my oldest son, ...more

Cody. We were prepared to hunt but the ducks just didn't fly earlier enough to allow time to set up. We did, however, locate some for the next day. My friend, Jerry, had been back in S. Dakota for the holidays and was itching to get out and my boys turned me down so it was just Jerry and me on the 31st. We set up in the corn field close to where I saw the ducks using the field the prior day and it worked out quite well. We didn't get a lot of flight ducks from the north as is typical but worked several local flocks and shot well enough to get in and out in a little over and hour. I was able to shoot doubles out of the first 3 flocks and added a single drake to finish up my limit and Jerry was lagging a little behind but pulled an impressive triple on the last flock that flat did it in close to finish up the hunt. Jerry was stoked to get back after it and knock off the rust. I tried a similar game plan on New Year's day with Darin and it just didn't work out. The ducks didn't show up and it looked like a mass exodus from the area. The clear and cold conditions either moved them out or had them feeding heavily at night. I did, however, connect on my 2nd band of the season only 8 ducks after my last one. Darin should probably befriend after this deal. I had forgot my box of shells at the truck after parking it and walking back in my clodhopper cold weather pack boots and Darin knew I hated walking in them since they pull my socks down so he offered to go get my shells. While he was gone, I got loaded up and no sooner did I look up and there was a pair of ducks working low out in front of the field. I hit them with a call and they turned and then I hit the spinner and they bombed in. I took the 1st one on the right, dumped him hard and then shot the other trying to escape to the left. Darin helped me find the other one and picked it up and it was banded. Crazy scenario and if I was him, I would have given me a load of crap but he was pretty good about it. I had him setup on the right side, too which is where the banded drake was at when it came in. Timing is everything!

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