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Sean Hunting Fishing 2012

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Sean Ducks 2012 Dec 31
Dec 31, 2012

I have a ton of reports to send out. I just did an 8 day run in a row of hunts and have 6 to send ou ...more

t that I haven’t reported previously. It was an incredible run of hunts last week! Just going to insert my field notes with pictures due to lack of time. Hunted a private corn field again w Jerry, Tyler & Theron. We shot 28 ducks - 25 mallard drakes, 2 mallard hens & 1 pintail drake. There was still snow in the field and the ducks were working it as we set up at 1:00 & continued until we shot our last duck just prior to 4:00. Another great day in this field and the corn field duck hunting has really heated up with the colder temp's.

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Sean Ducks 2012 Dec 29
Dec 29, 2012

Decided to tap the same field we did on the 26th for a duck hunt. Rounded up buddies Jerry & Don and ...more

Jerry brought along his lab, Gunner. We hit the field bright & early but the ducks wanted the north end of the field so we had a slow first ½ hour or so. After that it was on and we pulled in flock after flock of mallards in the corn field and before you knew it we were done. Wish I could say it was really that easy but it did require adjustments to the decoys and the blinds to get them to finish the way you like for optimum killing. We never did really get them to finish like we would like but they were close enough to pick out 21 mallard drakes in a couple of hours. Gunner did a great job of retrieving the ducks. So it appears he field hunting has come on lately. Let’s hope it continues!
Hope you all have a great New Year’s holiday. I’m looking at a 6 day run of hunting coming up starting tomorrow so little sleep in the days ahead but I’m not complaining. Check out Jerry “McGoo” with his goofy hat & Don “I Didn’t Inhale” in the pictures. Gunner was the only one that took a decent picture!

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Sean Nephew's MO Buck 2012
Dec 28, 2012

My 12 year old nephew back in MO took this 184” whitetail buck during the late muzzleloader hunt thi ...more

s December. May take a few years to top that one but he’s young enough, he could do it. That’s a buck of a lifetime for most people.


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Sean Ducks 2012 Dec 27
Dec 27, 2012

Hooked up with my farmer buddy, Joel and Johnny and went after ducks on a pond yesterday. The strong ...more

southwest winds we got last week laid down the corn we had been using on prior hunts to hide so we had to set up in a spot that I didn’t like at all. The ducks picked us out time after time but we had enough singles and doubles work in close enough that we shot our ducks but it wasn’t nearly as good of a hunt as we had hoped. We ended up shooting teal and the occasional widgeon and pintail to finish up so I could get to work. Hard to complain about shooting 21 ducks (though we only recovered 19) but it was a little frustrating to not be able to decoy them like we had been on this hunt. We’re going to have to figure out how to hide on this pond cause the ducks love being on it. They don’t love it enough to be stupid, though.

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Sean Ducks 2012 Dec 26
Dec 26, 2012

We thought we had a goose hunt lined up for this day but the geese didn’t come back to our field on ...more

Christmas day so I scrambled to find a hunt and my buddy, Tyler, was nice enough to run up north and check a field for me. He found some ducks but it sounded a little iffy on the numbers but we had the weather in our favor for this day. It had snowed 1 – 2” on Christmas day so a field duck hunt was worth the gamble. I love hunting waterfowl in the snow and this was the first opportunity of the year for us to do so. I pulled in Johnny and Eric and Tyler brought his 12 year old son, Theron and we set up our blinds and decoys before shooting time. My boys opted not to go on this hunt – big miss on their part. It was snowing pretty hard again that morning so we had to brush off the decoys to keep them looking realistic. I only set out 3 doz. in order to minimize the work with keeping them cleaned off rather than the 6 doz. we brought. At first light it was on and the ducks just kept pouring into the field from the north. We had trouble finishing them just right for optimal shooting on each go and had to keep adjusting the spread to get them to finish in front of the blinds for all the shooters. We eventually got it right and had some great flock shooting at the end. We finished up by 9:15 with 34 mallard drakes and one young pintail drake. Absolutely fantastic morning of field duck hunting and it reaffirmed my enjoyment of field hunting in the snow. I wish we could get more days like this but snow is just not something you can count on in our area

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Sean Upland 2012 Dec 23
Dec 23, 2012

I took the opportunity to get Rose out on a hunt again even though the ducks were calling my name. D ...more

arin and I headed to Garfield Co. to find mainly huns but we hoped to get into pheasants and quail as well. We accomplished our goal of all 3 species but I ended up a hun and a rooster short of a limit of each. Still, it was a great day to be in the uplands with temp’s in the mid 30’s and a steady 5 – 10 mph breeze and even some snow in one of my higher elevation spots. We found 6 scattered coveys of huns in the first spot we hunted but just couldn’t maximize on our opportunities between jumpy birds, the sun in our eyes and poor shooting. We even missed one covey while I was taking pictures of a couple of huns while unbeknownst to me, Jock was pointing a covey of huns. Normally, I would cover all the ground these birds could have flown to but they always fly to the adjoining property that I can’t hunt. So, it was frustrating not putting more birds in the vest but the good thing is they will still be there for the next hunt. Rose hung in there today but Jock really stepped it up on the bird finding today. He was very aggressive and competed with Rose toe to toe. I wonder if dogs can sense an opportunity to take over because he showed no signs of even wanting to compete with her earlier this season. At the end of the day, Darin and I ended up getting split up and Jock was working pheasants with Darin in hot pursuit and I guess he pointed multiple birds but with the dark conditions, Darin couldn’t tell if they were roosters or hens. He usually relies on my eyes for that. We did end up finding a decent number of pheasants so a return trip is in the plans. I was hunting with Rose at the end and she actually acted like she was hunting for herself rather than me. That is extremely rare for her so I don’t know what is going on with her mentally with her condition. I didn’t want to be upset with her considering our limited time left to hunt together but I was not happy with her. Hopefully, it was just an anomaly. I took lots of pictures of her over the course of the day.

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Sean Geese 2012 Dec 22
Dec 22, 2012

We put together another big goose hunt last week and it was an outstanding shoot with limits for the ...more

first 7 shooters in a little over an hour. We had some good shooters on this hunt as we shot 11 out of the 1st big group & 15 out of the 2nd big group. You get done quickly when you make it rain like that. We back filled the blinds with other shooters including my son, Kyle and they took 11 more geese and a couple of ducks before we called the hunt at 10:30. We ended up getting some honks on that second set up but the dinks weren’t as cooperative later in the morning. It was another great goose day. I haven’t hunted for them much this year but most every time has been great with a lot of geese taken. It’s a lot tougher to convince geese to come to your spread setting up on the edges of fields with lay down blinds but getting to watch them work and cup up and drop the feet right into the spread makes that extra challenge well worth it. We hunted over 5 dozen of my FFD lesser decoys, 3 dozen of Eric’s DSD lessers & 4 DSD honks and Grant’s 1 ½ doz. FFD honker decoys. The lesser hit the kill hole perfectly and the honks really keyed in on Eric’s DSD’s and several of them landed right with them. Amazing day of goose hunting that will be forever filed in my memory bank!

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Sean Upland 2012 Dec 21
Dec 21, 2012

As most of you know, Rose has been battling tumors that I assume are cancerous due to their aggressi ...more

ve re-growth after 2 surgeries. When I went to feed her last Monday night, I noticed she was stretching her legs in an unusual manner so I checked on her and found a huge tumor had appeared almost overnight underneath her abdomen where it meets her upper leg. The prior surgeries removed the tumors from that same upper leg. So I pretty much freaked out as her condition became very real to me again. Though I think she will be around for at least a few more weeks, I knew for sure at that moment that she wasn’t going to survive her condition and most certainly will pass way sooner than I want. So, with her condition deteriorating, I knew an upland hunt or two was in the cards. So I hooked up with buddies Chris & Darin and headed to Whitman Co. to hopefully get her into some birds and get a lot of pictures of her. The hunt wasn’t a big producer of birds for the group as the landowner had let someone hunt a portion of the property the day before we got there and they had moved the birds out of the normal areas we have found them in the past. I had a good day personally and picked up 3 roosters, 5 quail and a hun. Rose did a great job as always and seemed to get around just fine but I did keep her runs in check and rested her a little more than normal. Jock is really coming on and appears very capable of taking over though I doubt he’s ever going to be the dog that Rose has been for me. But, I can always hope. Anyway, not going to do a huge write-up. Bottom line, Rose is on borrowed time and I was lucky to get to shoot some more birds over her doing what she has loved to do for the last 9 ½ years. We hunted until dark so I did not get a picture of all the birds taken on the hunt. That’s probably a good thing, though.


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Sean Ducks 2012 Dec 19
Dec 19, 2012

The flight was slow yesterday for ducks but we eeked out a few and shot a couple of mount worthy duc ...more

ks. I went with my farmer friend, Joel to a pond and didn’t know what to expect since I hadn’t scouted the area for ducks in at least a week. There weren’t many birds in the area so we did the best we could with what we had to work with. The hunt started off well with Joel and I each taking a wood duck drake. Joel had never shot one so he was excited to get one. He is planning to get his mounted. Another highlight was shooting a pair of gadwalls between us with mine being a prime drake that I plan to have mounted. There was suppose to be wind this day but it didn't pick up until right as I was leaving. It got down to about 26 degrees last night & the pond started to form some thin ice on each end before the temps came up into the low 40's. Joel left about 9:30 with his ducks and I stuck it out to try and get 2 more ducks for a limit. I decided to start picking up decoys one by one while watching for any ducks flying and I spotted a couple of mallards flying on the perimeter of the pond and quickly got back in the blind. Then 3 more mallards showed up and they were more serious about checking out the pond than the other 2. I gave them a greeting call and the spun around and headed towards me. One of them broke off but the other 2 locked up and committed to the spread. When they got outside the decoys, they were still too high to make it all the way end and I figured that was close enough and pulled up on the drake & missed him on the 1st shot – WTH? Both the drake and the hen that came with him climbed to get out of dodge and ended up wadding up close together and my next shot killed both of them. Perfect – just what I needed to finish out. I used my shorthair Jock to retrieve our ducks and he proceeded to fetch the drake but we couldn’t find the hen which had fallen in some Russian olive trees on the perimeter. Jock hunted around and then stopped and looked up in the tree and there she was hanging by her neck in the fork of the tree. I had to help him out and climb up in the tree to get her.

I floated my new Tanglefree mallard decoys yesterday as a group for the first time. I like them. What do you think of them? Ultimately, the ducks are the ones that matter whether they like them or not but it’s nice to have confidence in your decoys. I hope to get them out again soon on a few more birds and see how they work.

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Sean Ducks 2012 Dec 14
Dec 14, 2012

Finally got out on a field hunt today and had pretty ideal conditions with the weather. It was spitt ...more

ing snow throughout the morning and we had a low cloud ceiling. There were plenty of ducks flying but they were difficult to decoy for ideal shooting today. We set up on the edge of a mowed corn field and the ducks just were a little leery of coming to the edge. The first flock of the morning came in really well but it got tougher after that. Funny thing happened on the first flock - I had just given Johnny a pep talk about shooting greenheads only today after his down with brown display yesterday and then I went and shot 2 hens & a drake on that go – WTH! It was a dark, dreary day and very difficult to pick out drakes. It was frustrating at times to not be able to decoy the ducks in tight that makes field hunting so much fun but we stayed after it and grinded out our 21 ducks. It wasn’t pretty and we killed a lot of brown today, even the pintails we shot were hens. There were a few widgeon flying with the mallards and they decoyed great but we passed on them until Johnny shot a pair on another go on mallards because the thought they were pintail drakes. That was just kind of how the day went. But hard to complain about shooting 3 limits of ducks and only burning a ½ day of vacation to do it. We’re going to make some adjustments for tomorrow and see if we can’t do it again but better.

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Sean Ducks 2012 Dec 13
Dec 13, 2012

Hope you guys aren’t getting tired of these duck reports cause I’m not even close to getting tired o ...more

f shooting them. Got out this morning again on Joel’s Pond. The ducks are really loving this pond lately and I wasn’t sure it was ever going to happen but it’s on fire now. I hooked up with Johnny & Joel for this latest hunt. Once again, there were several thousand ducks on the pond & this time they were hesitant to leave even as we were setting up. We held off shooting at first light hoping the ducks would all leave to feed but Joel went ahead & shot a single mallard drake & the chaos began. In the next 15 minutes after the initial duck, we shot 10 more ducks as big groups of mallards mixed w/ pintails swarmed our decoy spread. Why on earth you would shoot a hen on a day like this is beyond me, but we had a big flock come in and I was back putting ducks in the pile and I got to watch my partners cut into the flock and bring down 4 ducks – all mallard hens. Are you kidding me? LOL! After that flock, the ducks started making us earn each one. I think they angered the duck gods for shooting all hens but that’s just my theory. I ended up breaking out the spinner again to help pull the ducks to us but we pretty much only pulled single drakes out of the flocks until we shot our 21 by 9:30. I was able to shoot my ideal limit today – 5 mallard drakes & 2 pintail drakes. There are a lot of young sprig drakes still around. I wish they would hurry up and plume out! I brought Jock today but left him at the truck in his kennel & then got him out to retrieve a couple of our dead birds that were in too deep of water. He did a great job getting them for us. Conditions were chilly, not cold, with temps in the low 30's & low clouds/high fog & just a hint of a breeze. This pond has been amazing over the last week or so. I haven’t been taking a lot of pictures when we hunt this pond because I’m in the water all the time and am also constantly working ducks and hoping to get in and get out quickly so I can get into work and save my remaining vacation time to spread it out over more hunts. So far it’s working but I apologize for the just dead bird pic’s. I’m really kicking myself for not taking a picture of the dead bull elk I found at the pond on our prior hunt. It was a massive-racked elk that had been eaten all the way to the bone. I figured I would just get a picture of it on the next hunt which would have been today but the day after I found it, the game wardens called Joel the next day and came out to take pictures of it and cut the rack off and took it with them for evidence. They didn’t say much but it appears the elk might have been poached and they are investigating it. Pretty wild.

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Sean Pheasants Ducks 2012 Dec 09
Dec 9, 2012

I had a work Christmas party on Friday night and kept it reasonable on the partying but still got af ...more

ter it a little. I was on babysitting duty for our pond Saturday morning that we planned to hunt on Sunday. I was hurting a little when I woke up that morning but knew I had a job to do. I loaded up the dogs and headed out and got to the property in time to watch an amazing sight of thousands of ducks hitting the corn field around the pond and then the bulk of them went to the pond to loaf for the day. Once I knew nobody was messing with them, I took the dogs out to try and find some pheasants. I put all of them down and Jock stole the show. He pointed a rooster in the swampy cattails that I was able to kill with my 1st barrel and then he found another one in the thick weeds on the edge of a field that provided an easy shot. I snapped a picture of the roosters and then headed over to check on the pond and the ducks were still happy, happy, happy. I took the dogs to the other side of the swampy area and Jock went on point again and two roosters and a hen got up and I missed the longer flushing one and came back to the closer flushing one and hit him hard but he flew about a hundred yards before he piled up. I took the dogs over and found the rooster and as I was walking back to the truck feeling good about my luck on the hunt, I noticed a truck with a dog box in it driving around the field where the duck pond was located. I quickly loaded the dogs and headed over to see who it was. I didn’t get a picture of the last rooster in my haste to get to the other field.



I met up with the other truck and found out the person had acquired permission from another family member who owns the farm and passed along the request from the farmer to not hunt anywhere near that circle with the pond. He had planned to hunt the pond but agreed with the request and our hunt was salvaged for Sunday. I headed home to change and go watch my oldest son compete in his bowling tournament. I came back later that day to check on the ducks and watched quite the show of ducks in the field and on the pond. The ducks were still happy, happy, happy and so was I.
I arrived at the pond the next morning to an amazing sound of thousands of ducks resting peacefully on the pond. Joel showed up a little later with a couple of his buddies from OR and we quickly set up while all the ducks lifted off the pond – quite a sound. There were even 5 swans on the pond that let us walk within 10 yards of them before they flew. I would like to tell you that the hunt was a slam dunk but the ducks were playing tough to get and were not decoying well at all the first hour. We didn’t have any wind and then Joel’s other buddy that he invited must have set up on the other pond as we started hearing calling and shooting. I knew we had to do something different so I set up my spinning wing decoy and had the other guys join me on the calling and the hunt changed in a hurry. We started pulling ducks in consistently and piling them up in a hurry until we hit a lull at 11:00. The guys were satisfied at that point with having shot our 28 ducks but only recovering 26 of them and we were all hungry so we called it a hunt. It was another good morning on the pond.

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Sean Ducks 2012 Dec 06
Dec 6, 2012

Got out this morning with JWill again and hooked up with my farmer buddy, Joel and his friend, Antho ...more

ny for another duck hunt on a pond. The weather is finally turning a little more fowl and we had a good breeze today with cooler temp’s. I actually had to wear gloves & my hunting jacket today. Joel texted me to tell me the ducks had shown up on his farm by the thousands and were hitting the corn fields and one of his ponds. I had planned to work all day today but he said he was going to hunt it so I had to get out there with him. I wouldn’t have been able to concentrate anyway thinking about what I might be missing. How sad, huh that a guy could be that consumed with missing a duck hunt after just going the day before. I know, I lead a pathetic existence. But, I would have died if I had missed this hunt. It was another good one. We pushed off thousands of ducks off the pond this morning and quickly set up an 8 decoy jerk cord and tossed another 10 or so out to supplement. We placed the swamp seats in the standing corn and loaded up with high hopes of some of the ducks coming back to the pond. Man, did they come back. At shooting time, we had mallards bombing in on us and started laying out some ducks. The shooting stayed steady and then the mother lode came. We had a flock of close to a thousand ducks come of a nearby corn field and finish into the decoys. We killed 8 out of that bunch with a mixture of pintails and mallards. I would have preferred not to shoot into a group that large but I don’t think Joel would have gone for that suggestion. He was there to shoot ducks and not to worry about the repercussions of educating that many birds. When the wind picked up, it become difficult to kill the ducks without them falling out into the deeper section of the pond where we couldn’t retrieve them. After we lost a few, we decided to call the hunt with 22 birds in hand. It was a good way to spend a morning!

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Sean Mallards 2012 Dec 05
Dec 5, 2012

Hooked up with buddies Johnny & Jerry for a duck hunt this morning. Johnny had a pond lined up that ...more

had been producing well lately but we had not scouted it so were rolling the dice on what might happen. It turned out to be a little slower action than his prior hunts on this pond but ended up being a solid hunt with a couple of mallard limits for JWill & me. Jerry chose to work on his dog to steady him up and did not shoot until the very end and picked up a couple mallards himself before we all had to leave. There was a good wind today with sunny conditions and the ducks responded well to our setup, there just wasn’t a continuous flow of them. Anytime you can shoot a couple limits of mallards and mostly greenheads in 56 degree weather, you have to be thankful. The lulls between ducks flying provided opportunities for us to figure out all the problems the world faces today. Gunner did a great job on his retrieves and we didn’t lose any ducks today. The sunny conditions allowed for prime picture taking conditions & I took advantage.

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Sean Geese 2012 Dec 02
Dec 2, 2012

Had a tough weekend this past one with the way things rolled. Took Kyle to a private pond that a fri ...more

end was nice enough to allow us to hunt since he was out of town hunting elk. He thought he had sole permission on it but when we showed up, there were other guys already there setting up on it. So I scrambled and took him to another private pond but the ducks just weren’t there and Kyle shot the only duck that came in for the hour we gave it an effort. Very disappointing considering I have a tough time getting him to go as it is. We scouted for geese and I took him out for ice cream at the Country Mercantile – good ice cream that I hoped help salvage the day for him. I went back home and loaded up the dogs and got out for a couple hour run at roosters and quail with the other purpose of scouting for ducks in the corn in the evening. I managed to kill 2 roosters and a quail in an area that does not hold many birds – the dogs did very well & I held up my end of the deal with the gun. I did not take pictures because I was in a hurry to chase the flight of ducks to the corn field they were headed to. Johnny managed to find a field with a bunch of snow geese and a some Canada’s so we decided to give that a go on Sunday. I hadn’t shot a snow goose in about 12 years so I was excited to see if we could get them to come into a decoy spread. Well, the 2k of snows didn’t come back in any significant numbers but we were able to kill 3 and I was able to get one. We also shot some Canada’s but we just couldn’t get the bulk of the birds to decoy in the 60 degree weather even though we had a good breeze to our back. It was fun to give it a try and we learned a lot in our attempt to apply next time.

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Sean Ducks 2012 Nov 25
Nov 27, 2012

Sunday the plan was to hunt ducks on a pond in Franklin Co. that Colten has sole permission on with ...more

him and my oldest son, Cody. Remember Colten, the one who hunted with me on Friday and who was late for departure? Yeah, well he was late again so I guess the convo had no sinkage to the brain. Maybe having to burn your own fuel as a struggling college student to get to the spot when you could have had a free ride will work? Time will tell but Cody and I took off without him and he met us there. We had scouted the pond the evening before so we anticipated we were in for a good hunt by the numbers of ducks using the area. Thank goodness there were good numbers of ducks using the pond because it got down to 23 degrees and that’s the only way it stayed open. We pushed the birds off when we went to set up and had about a 10 minute dilemma on where to set up but I finally decided on a location and got to work on building a blind while Cody and Colten put out the decoys. It was a rush to get set up at first light but we just did it in time and the shooting was on in a hurry. We had ducks dumping into the decoys and Colten got off to a great start while I was picking up dead birds. We worked singles, doubles, medium-sized groups and large groups and stacked mallard drakes up in a hurry. Cody shot 2 hens for some reason that I can’t quite figure but it’s his prerogative to shoot what he wants. There was no way Colten and I were shooting anything but green on this banner day. We did see a few pintails, widgeon and teal but 99% of the ducks were mallards and the percentage of drakes to hens was overwhelmingly in favor of green. The last time we hunted this pond it was the exact opposite with mostly hens decoying. Thank goodness for new birds in the area. Colten and I finished up with our mallard drake limits of 7 each in less than an hour and Cody had 5 at that point when the flight slowed a little. Between the cold temps and our guns being in and near the water, Cody’s M2 started to freeze up and wouldn’t cycle a 2nd shell so he got a little frustrated between that and missing. I gave him my Berretta 390 to shoot and it started acting up as well. It turned into a bit of a grind with the need to keep Cody pumped up and dialed in and after close to another hour, he made a fantastic shot on his 7th duck to wrap up the hunt. So another outstanding hunt in the books and I completed an 8 out of 9 day span of hunting spree that culminated in 3 epic hunts in consecutive days. I even made it home to mow my yard for hopefully the last time this year. It’s been a darn good hunting season so far - on pace to be the best ever. How’s everybody else doing?

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Sean Geese 2012 Nov 24
Nov 26, 2012

On my drive back from the epic upland hunt I spoke with good buddy, Johnny – aka JWill, about the pl ...more

ans for Saturday. We had planned to duck hunt a pond where he slayed them on Thanksgiving morning but as per typical for him, he threw me a curve ball and said he was sitting on a pile of geese in one of his fields. I always dread doing a goose hunt because of the numerous factors out of your control that can impact the hunt especially on the field he was planning to hunt. The duck hunt seemed to be a slam dunk, but I left the decision to him which is out of character for me, lol. I was on cloud 9 with the upland hunt and was just glad I didn’t have to make all the arrangements to put the hunt together. My son, Kyle, had planned to do the duck hunt but when I told him the plans changed to a goose hunt he opted out and I was bummed about that but he’s a fickle kid when it comes to hunting so I wasn’t going to stress about it. Instead, I called Eric Jones and found out he was available and got him in on the hunt knowing he would be a great addition to our hunt crew. So I loaded up Tyler Ono’s trailer that he is kind enough to let me use during the waterfowl season with part of my goose decoy spread and JWill assured me that the 3 dozen I had at my house was going to be sufficient since Erron & Eric were bring their decoys as well. That saved me a trip to get my other 4 dozen which was good since Colten ended up donating his upland birds to me minus the rooster so I was up cleaning birds and packing until 11:00. 4:00 a.m. came early for the wake up but as they say you can sleep when you’re dead and the only thing I planned to see die that day was a bunch of geese. For those of you who don’t goose hunt, it takes a lot of things to go right for a good hunt to come together. First, you need a decent number of geese that want to be in your field or at least flying in the area and willing to come to it. Tyler, Theron & Johnny confirmed that the day before when they scouted the field. The other thing that is necessary when you don’t have a pit to hunt from is you have to be able to hide from the geese in a location where they are willing to come to your decoys and not be able to detect your presence. We had to hide 7 people in 7 blinds on the edge of the field – no small task. Check out the hide job we did in the attached picture. Can you see my gun sticking out of my blind on the 2nd to last blind on the right? Another component to killing geese is using realistic decoys. We were taking a bit of a risk by running 3 different types of decoys. Eric was running his 40 DSD’s (Dave Smith Decoys), I put out 36 of my FFD’s (Fully Flocked Decoys – GHG brand) and Erron was running about 30 Hardcore custom painted decoys along with 8 DSD Honkers. See the attached pictures on how we chose to arrange them. Tyler had also brought a new machine he built that has 2 flyer decoys that spin around about 10 feet in the air that he was testing on Canada geese. He built it mainly for ducks and snow geese. We tried it on the first goose and the goose didn’t finish well so he decided to pull it but I think he will be trying it out more in the future. I’ve attached pictures of the decoy spread for reference.

You will notice that my FFD’s were in the middle of the spread so we were sure the geese would land with the best decoys in front of the blinds. I made this joke while setting up that morning just to irk Eric and Erron. It worked. Another marginally important part of getting geese in close enough to kill is good calling. We had that covered as well with Erron and Eric. Both did an exceptional job of working the geese into our decoy spread and getting them to hit the “kill zone” which puts them right in the middle in front of our 7 blinds. We had arranged the decoys in a manner to hopefully get them to land in the best spot for everybody to get shooting. Another important aspect is calling the shot at the right time when the geese are most vulnerable to being killed while factoring in the location of the guns and how many guns will be shooting. Several times we had geese drop into the spread while others were working to also come in and it was fun to try and “call it” at just the right time to maximize the number of birds killed per “go”. I ended up getting that responsibility and I got lucky most times on the call. I really enjoy the challenge of calling the shot at just the right time. You have to read the birds and factor in the shooting ability of your crew. Which brings me to the final component to killing geese – actually making good, clean shots to put the geese on the ground. We did ok in this category on the hunt. Some “go’s” we did well on and some we didn’t but thankfully we had enough opportunities that we were able to get our 7 man limit of geese for a total of 28. Two highlights stand out among many exciting moments on the hunt. One was after we did a quick count of our geese and somehow surmised that we only needed one more to finish out. So we assigned Theron, Tyler’s 12 year old son, the task of ending the hunt. We worked a nice group into the spread and he pulled up and missed on the first shot and as the geese were climbing he smoked one at 40 yards with his 20 gauge to hoops & hollers from the crew. When we pulled out the geese to take pictures and do a “final” count we found out we were 4 short still. Everybody piled back in the blinds and got back to work. Within minutes more geese were working the field and Eric said “speck” and I looked at a group of 4 geese where the honking came from and all I could see was lesser Canada’s from my perspective as they worked behind us. Well, they circled around from our left and as they were coming in I could see one of them was a speck so I told the crew it was the lead one and then Eric said there was another one on the left back. I called the shot as they back-winged over the FFD’s and we all realized at that point they were all speckle-belly geese which are pretty rare this time of year in our area. I think I was the only one who didn’t shoot since my gun was unloaded and all 4 died! Now what are the odds that you need 4 geese and you get exactly 4 of a rare species to come in to end the hunt? What are the chances you get in an epic upland hunt one day and the next day you get in on the best goose hunt of your life? It was a great group of guys to share this hunt experience. I should have run out and bought Lotto tickets after the hunt but I had to get ready for a duck hunt the next day. Could the luck continue?



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Sean Upland 2012 Nov 23
Nov 25, 2012

I finally got a hold of one of one of my other landowners and got permission to hunt so we headed fo ...more

r that property with hopes of finding at least one more covey of huns and some roosters. I pulled Rose & Jock out for this run and we were off on another jaunt. As we neared a spot that had some scrub brush and old equipment I told Colten this was a good place for a covey of huns to be and almost on cue Jock slammed into a point. The huns didn’t hold though and took off out of range – uggghh! We rounded the brush and Rose got birdy and 3 huns got up and Colten & I shot at the same bird but he was a tad quicker and Rose brought him back for us. We pushed on with the plan to stay in the shorter grass habitat in the CRP in search of huns. Rose’s beeper went off on the crest below us and we headed to it but the covey of huns flushed before we could get close to them. It appeared the last 2 huns were not going to come easy at this rate. We walked a good distance before Rose got birdy in an ideal location for huns but as we moved in, it became obvious they had already flown. Jock was backing from a distance and once Rose started moving he came our direction and then slammed on point. I moved his way and a single hun got up and I killed it with my 1st barrel. The rest of our walk didn’t produce anymore huns and we had some close calls with roosters but no shot opportunities. So we headed to our final spot with about 45 minutes of hunting time left. Since it was our last push of the day, I let all the dogs go and we headed down a thick draw that I anticipated would produce some roosters and was “hoping” for a covey of huns but I knew it would be a long shot. Once again, we had close calls on a couple of roosters and found a nice covey of quail that provided fun for the dogs but just couldn’t pin down the birds we needed. On our last push up a finger of the main draw, the dogs got birdy and I could see Jock tracking a running bird. It was tiring trying to stay with him in the mucky disced ground and when he came to a halt, a rooster flushed in the middle of the trees and I tracked him and shot and saw feathers come out but he was still going strong until Colten piled him up when he came out his side of the trees. He was a nice, colorful older rooster with a 22.5” tail and Colten was looking for this exact bird to go with his “green” pheasant he shot earlier this season. When we got to the end of the draw, a single hun flushed wild and Colten put him down with a nice shot. What are the odds? We needed one more hun to complete a double limit of 2 species and we were basically at the end of our hunt. When it’s your lucky day, you just take it in stride like it was meant to be. This hunt will be remembered for quite some time – 2 guys, 33 birds, great upland weather and outstanding dog work. For me, it took epic upland to a new level especially considering we were in WA not MT.

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Sean Huns 2012 Nov 23
Nov 24, 2012

I hadn’t been able to get a hold of one of my landowners that usually has several coveys of huns so ...more

I headed to a spot where we might find some roosters with the potential for huns. Well, we didn’t find any roosters but we hit the jackpot on the huns finding 3 coveys with one having over 20 birds in it. I put Jr. & Jock out for this run and Jock found the 1st covey on the edge of a pasture and they flushed wild but offered good shooting and I whiffed on 2 shots but Colten got one. I watched where they went down and got out some tissue to dab my tears over my poor shooting display and vowed not to blow the next opportunity. When we got close to where I thought the huns went down, Colten almost stepped on the covey and I doubled on the raise while he was crossing his legs to keep the crap in his pants from running down his leg. I thanked him for his fine dog work and then we headed up the hill to run the dogs along a wheat stubble that bordered the CRP. Jock went on point about 10 yards into the stubble and then crept along further into the stubble while Jr. joined him. After about 50 yards of this, I began to suspect a running rooster but finally a 20+ bird covey of huns got up a little far out and Colten and I both knocked a hun a piece down. I watched where the covey went and headed that direction. Jr. found them again but was actually pointing the back portion of the covey so when Colten and I walked in the majority of the birds got up in front of him so I was limited on my shot selection. I hit my chosen bird but had to shoot him again while Colten also got a bird on the flush. We were doing well on finding birds but our shooting could have been much better. We headed back to the truck rather than chasing the numerous huns we had spread out on the property. I wanted to leave these birds for the next time and Jr. was getting to the point I knew he would be hurting if we pushed much longer. When we got about 80 yards from the truck, Jock went on point below me on the hill but Jr. didn’t see him and ran into another covey of huns that flew across the road and I marked their landing location and put the dogs up and got out Rose. Rose found the covey and I took another hun on the raise and Colten hit one that piled up in the air about 100 yards out. We took Rose to the spot where it fell but she couldn’t find it. I grabbed Jock & Jr. and brought them over as well but no dice on finding that bird. Huns aren’t know to run that much especially when hit as hard as that one but we lost that bird and that would be the only one lost on the day. So we left that property with 9 huns out of the 3 coveys we found. Not bad for what I anticipated to be a pheasant hunt with the “potential” for huns.

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Sean Quail 2012 Nov 23
Nov 23, 2012

I have always hated hunting around the Thanksgiving break – too many people out and about causing sp ...more

ooky birds and the weather is usually too mild for ideal hunting conditions but this Thanksgiving break will go down as the best ever. I had a run of 3 hunts in a row that were top notch and some of the best hunting trips I’ve ever been fortunate to partake. I checked the weather forecast and decided last Friday would be a good day to run over to Garfield Co. for an upland hunt. I was planning on going solo but Colten didn’t end up going on his elk hunt and he texted me late Thursday to see if he could go. The ground I hunt is fairly rugged and it’s always a good idea to have a partner on these trips so it made sense for him to come along. Well, he showed up about 20 minutes late so I had to give the speech about timeliness which is never fun. Then when we got there, he discovered that he had forgot his hunting boots so he had to hunt in his loafers all day. I made sure we got plenty of walking in so maybe he learned a lesson but I doubt it. I don’t know about these kids these days. Anyway, when we pulled in to our first hunting spot, the quail were all over the place (over a hundred of them) where we drive in and they flew up to a weedy ravine – big mistake for them. I let Jock and Rose out of the kennel and we went after them. The next 30 minutes was non-stop pointing, shooting and retrieving of quail. I shot my limit of quail in about 20 minutes & Colten had 7 when we finished our push through the ravine. Jock was pushing ahead of Rose and finding the majority of the quail which was great since Rose usually kicks his butt on finding birds. We headed up to the upper ground looking for huns but only found one covey that didn’t hold both times we tried to get close to them. On our way back to the truck, Rose pointed a rooster in a thick area with a tree and Colten stayed down low so I was screwed on a shot when the rooster flushed and kept the tree between me and him. When we got close to the truck, we got into the quail again and Colten went 3 for 4 on his shots to complete his quail limit. So we were off to a good start and could concentrate on huns the rest of the day.

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Sean Ducks 2012 Nov 22
Nov 22, 2012

Got out for a solo duck hunt on some public ground in the afternoon last week. I ended up backfillin ...more

g a couple guys in a blind that had limited on mallards in the morning. There were plenty of ducks flying on this day but very few wanted to finish to the decoys even with a strong SE wind to my back. The mallards would look great coming in with wings cupped & just when they would get to the kill zone at 35 – 40 yards, they would pull out and it didn’t take long with that kind of wind for them to be out of range. Having watched this play out several times, I decided to shoot them as soon as they got into range and it worked out when I dropped the last mallard drake for my 7th duck a couple hours into the hunt. I lost a really nice bull sprig that between the distance he was shot & the push he got from the wind fell about 80 yards out and though he looked stoned, he managed to swim into the weeds and I couldn’t find him after an exhaustive search. That was a bummer. A buddy of mine had hunted in the blind next to me in the morning and 3 of them only killed 3 ducks with none of them being mallards so I felt pretty fortunate to do as well as I did. Little did I know that the hunting would improve dramatically over the upcoming Thanksgiving break. I didn’t spend much time on picture taking on this hunt. I was watching thousands of ducks heading to some corn fields that I can hunt so I was in a hurry to get up there and see what fields they were hitting. I ended up finding them and was astonished at how many ducks were hitting the corn fields in the mild weather. Amazing what a strong wind will do to make birds get moving. Wind is a waterfowlers best friend!

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Sean Geese 2012 Nov 21
Nov 21, 2012

Got out on a goose hunt, an upland hunt and a duck hunt prior to Thanksgiving with moderate success. ...more

The goose hunt was in Prosser and a new area for us to try. Johnny & I were invited by a co-worker of his that has lived in that area for years and has numerous contacts including the farmer who allowed us to hunt this field. The geese had been using the field heavily but the day we went they took a different flight path to other fields. We did get 2 flocks to come by and they worked us well but the first flock landed a bit long so we killed the 3 that committed and the second flock decoyed nicely but we didn’t’ shoot well as a group and only took 4 out of the 8 geese that were in close. Not the bang up results were looking for but it was good to get out after geese and get primed for the hunts to come which would end up coming much sooner than anticipated. Attached are some pic’s from that day. I forgot to take a picture of the hide – it was interesting but it worked. We just needed more birds to come by the field.

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Sean Upland 2012 Nov 20
Nov 20, 2012

Went to a new area for me on an invite from Colten Cole after he heard me talk about how much I like ...more

to hunt Hungarian partridge. He said he had access to a place that was loaded with them. So we put my dogs down and got after it. We found plenty of quail and a few pheasants but did not see one Hungarian partridge, but that’s hunting for you. I could tell by the lay of the land that they should have been there but they were probably in the wheat stubble and we just missed them. Though, this was a private land hunt, it appeared the ground got hunted fairly hard. The spookiness of the birds, the small covey sizes of the quail and the way the roosters were spread out and by themselves led me to that feeling. But, it’s always fun to hunt a new area and the scenery was very cool. The cover was there for the birds to prosper and escape guys with guns and dogs. We went hard all day and managed to take some good eating birds for the table. I almost got a shot at a ruffed grouse in the creek bottom but he got around a bend on me before I could pull the trigger. I sure would have liked to have added him to the take – those are still the best eating wild bird I’ve had to date.

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Sean Upland 2012 Nov 15
Nov 15, 2012

I took a vacation day on Thursday and went north to Whitman Co. to hunt upland. My dogs hadn’t been ...more

out for awhile and we both needed to get after some dry land birds and get some exercise. My buddy, Jerry, accompanied me along with his BLM, Gunner. Whenever I take a vacation day, I have this built up expectation that it has to be good or I feel like I “wasted” the day off. Well, I hit this one right as we had a banner day of upland hunting on 3 species of birds that exceeded my expectations for this particular area. I rarely get into a lot of quail in Whitman Co. but man did we on this hunt. I was able to take a limit of roosters and quail along with 3 huns and if the last 2 coveys had cooperated, I could have potentially pulled off a triple species limit which is something I’ve never done in this state before. Jerry had a great day as well and the dog work was fantastic with ideal conditions for the hunt. The morning started out in the low to mid 30’s for temps with a 5 – 10 mph sustained breeze out of the east all day. It warmed up to the upper 40’s but the dogs and I never got warm but the shotgun barrels sure did get hot. Jock had an outstanding day and I got to run him on his own a couple of times. I was very pleased to see him put on a great performance. Anyway, enough talking. I’ll let the pictures tell the rest of the story. Geese are on the agenda for tomorrow and upland for Sunday.

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Sean Ducks 2012 Nov 11
Nov 11, 2012

The rest of the weekend was a montage of various types of duck hunts with varying degrees of success ...more

and frustration. I was able to shoot 27 ducks in 4 days but the shooting wasn’t evenly distributed for all on the hunts. We had some interesting things happen like my partner forgetting to bring his dog, the prop falling off of his boat, setting up on a field loaded with thousands of mallards with permission from the farmer than having to pick up right before the ducks showed up because they started fumigating the field and other weird things that make you go, huh. Rather than taking a bunch of bird pile pic’s, I concentrated on capturing the dog doing his thing on the hunts that his owner remembered to take him. We had a good shoot on Monday but it was raining the whole time and I didn’t even break out the camera. So here’s some photos of Louie the wonder lab. He is one of the coolest dogs I’ve ever had the pleasure to hunt over and is in his 10th season - a grizzled vet, he is. Hope you like.

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Sean Ducks Pheasants 2012 Nov 09
Nov 9, 2012

Hit a pond up north in Franklin Co. last Friday with a couple of young guns, Colten & Seth. Strong n ...more

orth winds were predicted to coincide with a cold front that had finally cooled the temps down around here. Colten & Seth had scouted the pond the evening prior and verified there were a good number of ducks in the area. With this pond, we have to compete with a larger pond owned by a different landowner that doesn’t allow hunting so we are as close as we can get to the “refuge” and have to convince the ducks they want to be where we are so it’s not a slam dunk by any means. Well, the north wind never materialized but it was a crisp foggy morning with the sun fading in and out throughout the morning. We ended up having a good hunt and if all would have went right, we would have all limited. Colten had gun problems so he had to use mine periodically and once I shot my 7 the gun was all his but the flight shut down before he could get all of his birds. Seth had his chances but missed a few too many birds to seal the deal for him. Overall, it was a good morning and we shot a predominate mix of mallards with a few widgeon, a GWT drake and my last duck was a nice, wood duck drake that almost snuck past us but I was able to follow him through the trees and interrupt his pass over our spread. He landed on the bank behind us and never even got wet. He would have made a great mounter duck but I already have one on the wall so I just took pictures of him. Pic’s attached. After our morning duck hunt, we busted out my hounds and went after the pheasants that frequent the property. We got into a good number of birds and were able to take 3 nice roosters over the dogs but a good number of them gave us the slip. That’s okay cause we’ll get after them again another time. We also hunted a nearby public piece of ground mainly to scout for duck ponds but Colten managed to shoot a banded rooster pheasant which was obviously a released bird but to my knowledge they don’t plant on this property so that was a “surprise”. We had to wrap up the hunt early in order for me to get back to scouting ducks for the weekend. Pic’s attached of the birds.

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Sean Ducks 2012 Oct 29
Oct 29, 2012

Going to make this report much shorter (at least going to try). Went to a local private pond that I ...more

have access to and took a friend, Travis and his awesome BLM, Louie along with my oldest son, Cody and long time hunt partner, Darin. We were hunting this particular pond for the first time this season and had been holding off to allow the grass to die back some since it was so dense earlier in the season. When we walked in to figure out where to set up, we jumped at least 200 mallards and probably more off the pond so anticipation was high for a good shoot. Well, the mallards just never came back in any numbers at all so we took what we could and ended up shooting at least 28 ducks but only recovered 24. We shot 6 species including mallards, GW teal, pintails, shovelers, a ring neck & a ruddy duck. I hadn’t shot a ruddy duck since I was a kid. Unfortunately, it was an immature bird and not mount worthy. The hunt was pretty slow and Travis and Cody left around noon while Darin and I stuck around hoping the mallards would show back up but they never did by the time we left at 3:00. I didn’t get any pictures of Louie making some great retrieves because I couldn’t find my camera in the bag until they were getting ready to leave and finally realized I had stuck it in a different pocket.

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Sean Ducks 2012 Oct 28
Oct 28, 2012

My buddy, JWill had been watching several hundred ducks for about a week on a local pond that a budd ...more

y of his had permission to hunt. We tried to get his buddy to go when the pond was at its peak with water and duck numbers earlier in the week but he couldn’t get off of work to shoot it. So JWill watched the water drop and the duck numbers decline as the days went on but he set up the hunt for Saturday with still a good number of mallards using the pond. JWill and I discussed the plan on how best to kill these ducks based on his scouting report. We agreed on the blind location and the decoy setup. We agreed that since the ducks were coming in big flocks and in waves about a minute apart that we were going to have to shoot as many as we could when they came in and then reload and leave the dead birds on the water. This plan also meant we could only have a steady dog in the blind to endure this kind of temptation. What I knew of his buddy’s dog after having hunted over him last year was that it would be best for him to stay in the truck nearby and then get him out to retrieve ducks after the flights of ducks ended coming to the pond. JWill and I also agreed on this part of the plan. We were hunting in an old rock quarry that was down in a hole with no cover above it for crippled ducks to escape so this plan made a lot of sense (to me). We wanted to maximize our opportunity to kill as many ducks as possible.
So the plan was in motion and all aspects agreed to Friday night. Well, things started getting interesting when JWill told me that there was going to be a total of 6 guys hunting. I almost pulled out a that point but decided to give it a try. JWill was chomping at the bit to get there and get set up so he showed up at 3:00 a.m. When I showed up at 5:00 with still 2 hours to go before shooting light, I noticed the blind location was not where we discussed. I mentioned discreetly to JWill that the ducks will be coming in from behind us and will have to come right over the blind to get to the landing zone on the pond. He informed me that his buddy and his buddy’s buddy had talked him into setting up on a point right next to the pond that had not only lacked any back cover but had no cover around it at all except for the huge 6 man tumbleweed blind that they had put together that even in the dark looked to me like it stuck out like a turd in a punch bowl. All the decoys were set up right next to the blind as well and not near the area where JWill had watched them land for 5 straight days. I noticed the dog running around and JWill mentioned that his buddy had decided to have the dog in the blind after all because he didn’t want to leave him in his truck and chance destroying the cab since he hadn’t brought a crate to put him in. So needless to say, I was as close to having a stroke as possible at that point without actually having one. I think I ate and drank my whole breakfast, lunch and chew can in the time leading up to shooting time to keep from actually talking and ending any chance of ever getting invited back.



So our duck militia and Chesapeake retriever crammed into the tumbleweed mansion and waited for the ducks to show. I asked JWill if we were putting killers on the ends of the blind (very important as the end shooters can shoot ducks on the sides where nobody else can shoot for muzzle safety) and his buddy took one side and he put another guy on the other end. I was placed in the middle of the blind which made sense cause I’m not a killer. We had a nice flock of mallards bomb in just a few minutes after legal shooting time but they blended into the hillside and landed long, right in front of where the agreed upon blind location was to be so we couldn’t shoot. We got on our calls and the ducks swam to our decoys and knowing another flock was in route any second, we jumped them and the fireworks began right along with the circus that had started hours earlier. We laid out a good number of ducks and then we sat back down and reloaded while the dog began tearing down the whole left side of the blind. Thank goodness it was still pretty dark when the next flock came in and actually tried to land long in the same exact spot as the prior group but they picked up and came towards us in their attempt to leave the pond and we knocked down several more ducks. By this time the whole left side of the blind was destroyed by the dog and he was whining loudly and contesting his unique situation of not being allowed to retrieve ducks. We had another group come in shortly after we reloaded but they split apart on descent from all the commotion in the blind and we dropped a few out in front but the guys on the ends whiffed even though they had the best and most shooting opportunities. A few more groups came to the pond but it was getting light enough that they picked out the blind and didn’t come close enough to shoot.
So after a week of scouting and 4 hours of preparation that morning, the hunt was called after a grand total of 15 minutes. We killed 19 mallards and picked up over 60 hulls near the blind after the hunt. I can’t imagine what that sounded like to the crack heads (I missed out on the interaction at 4:00 a.m.) that were fishing in the next pond over but I can tell you it wasn’t fun on my ears in the middle of the blind. It was an experience like no other in all my years of waterfowling and as you can probably guess by my write-up, not one I will knowingly engage in again. If we would have done it right, I have no doubts that we would have killed at least double what we did. But, I’ll have more fun talking about how we screwed it up over the years than I would have with just another limit hunt. I was appreciative of being included in spite of my story. You have to roll the dice every once in awhile and experience something different. That hunt definitely qualified as different. J Pic’s attached.

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Sean Ducks 2012 Oct 25
Oct 25, 2012

Took a few hours off of work this morning to do a duck hunt on a private pond with my buddy, Johnny ...more

and the farmer who owns the land. This is the same pond I took the boys on the youth hunt and I had been able to hunt it last year on the regular season opener but this year the field around the pond was in sweet corn so after it was harvested, the farmer applied some serious chemicals to get it ready to rotate to spuds so we couldn’t get on it for 3 weeks to allow the chemicals to dissipate. Well, today was the first day we could hunt it. I know how stupid to risk our health for some ducks, huh? Well, that’s what we do as duck hunters. If I had a couple respirators available to use, I was going to take pictures of us hunting with them on for a good laugh. Anyway, the pond was loaded with ducks when I checked it on Sunday and even had 3 snow geese hanging on it. So, I was chomping at the bit to hunt it but I checked it again Tuesday and it only had about 80 ducks on it (down from over 300) along with the 3 snows so I was a little worried. I checked it again on Wednesday evening and there wasn’t a single duck on it so I wasn’t even going to bother hunting it but the farmer wanted to go out with us so my hands were tied and I begrudgingly went out to at least hang with the farmer and get to know him better and at least have some laughs. The farmer had went out and bought new waders on Wednesday and to my knowledge had never set up for ducks over decoys. Anybody who knows me, knows that this goes against my credo to go hunt a spot that wasn’t holding ducks. Well, the hunt wasn’t a barn burner by any means but we ended up shooting 21 ducks for the 3 of us and had a 7 species day. Who would have thunk? Shooting 7 species of ducks in one day is a very rare event for E. WA. To put it in perspective, in all the years I’ve been hunting ducks, I’ve only had 1 day that topped it for different species and that was clear back in the mid-90’s when McNary changed to a lottery and fee hunt only area. We shot 9 different species on opening day and I don’t think I’ve been on a hunt since that has come close. Today we shot a gadwall, widgeon, mallard (only 1, how strange), pintails, shovelers, GW teal and a bufflehead! I would typically snob some of these ducks but today was not a day to be picky and we had a blast. We had a group of 50 teal come in and I blew it calling the shot but then we had another group came in right after them and laid into them and then had teal everywhere in the sky only to have them circle around not once but twice more for 3 rounds of shooting as fast as I could reload my gun and Johnny and I killed 8 teal in less than a minute for one of the highlights of the day to finish out our limits. Joel had just left prior to the craziness to push these ducks off another pond on the next circle over. Another highlight was killing 3 shovelers with 2 shots that Johnny and I will remember for a long time to come. He’ll have to remember it because I will always remind him of it. Anyway, it doesn’t usually work out this well but it just goes to show you, you can’t kill ducks if you don’t go! It was a good day on Joel’s pond. Pic’s attached that I took with my brand new camera. A weather/waterproof Nikon that I think I’m going to like a lot. Hopefully, it lasts longer than the prior ones have.

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Sean Pheasants 2012 Oct 21
Oct 21, 2012

Headed to Walla Walla area for the pheasant opener with good buddy, Darin Matthews. We found enough ...more

pheasants to take our limits in spite of pathetic shooting on my part. We endured extremely windy conditions but had a good hunt. The dogs did well and we had the property to ourselves which is always nice. Heard lots of shooting on adjoining properties. It appears the pheasant hatch is better this year than prior 3 seasons but still not near the numbers prior to the past 3. Pic’s attached.
What a difference 24 hours can make in one’s perspective on the pheasant populations! Darin and I hunted on Sunday for pheasants again and started off on a property that hasn’t cut the corn, yet. I was hoping we would catch the pheasants early in a thick eye brow next to a standing corn field but we only saw one lone rooster that flushed wild just out of range of Darin. We headed to another property near Walla Walla that has always produced in the past but we walked the whole south side of it and never saw a pheasant. We moved to the property we hunted the prior day and Jr. found a rooster for me. I snapped a picture of him after I changed out a pheasant load for a quail load as I thought for sure it was a quail as tight as it was holding. Turned out to be a rooster and he fortunately was plenty close enough for quail loads. We worked the area thoroughly with Jr. finding quail here and there but we didn’t shoot at them in order to be ready for roosters. I swapped out Jr. for Rose & Jock and worked the creek bottom. Rose pointed a hen pheasant and then we moved another 10 yards and she got birdy and a rooster wild flushed over the creek for bird #2 for me. She made a nice retrieve on the other side of the creek and brought it back to me. We moved further down the creek bottom and Jock went on point after Rose had already gone by so I was skeptical but sure enough, a rooster came up out of the thick brush and I dropped him in a tree. He did he last death quiver and fell into the creek and Darin made a nice retrieve as the dogs had no idea where it was with it staying up in the tree for so long. We worked the creek bottom back to the truck in an effort to get Darin into some birds and rounded a bend when Rose got birdy. Darin went down in the draw with her and pheasant started exploding out of the brush. Darin took a shot at one and missed and I watched 6 more roosters get up all around along with a few hens but he couldn’t get a clear shot at any of them. If he had been on the other side of the creek like we normally hunt it, he might have shot his limit standing in one spot. It just wasn’t his day. Much tougher day but still a good one. Pic’s attached

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Sean Quail Ducks 2012 Oct 14
Oct 14, 2012

Got out on some quail and duck hunts this past weekend. I spent part of the day last Friday on my 44 ...more

th birthday hunting quail with Don Benson. We found 5 small to medium coveys of quail on some private land and didn’t get a lot of quality shot opportunities nor dog work. We knocked down 14 quail between the two of us and had some hot and tired dogs after 3 hours. We saw a decent number of pheasants so I hope that bodes well for the coming opening weekend. I only took one picture that turned out decent and it was of Junior pointing a quail (attached). On the drive back home, I saw a group of duck hunters putting in their boat at 1:30 p.m. to hunt the next day! That’s Tri-Cities opening day duck hunting for you – crazy. We did a relaxed opening day duck hunt on Saturday. I went with Johnny and his cousin, Darrel as well as a youngster named Mike (13 y.o.) who brought his new lab, Samson to retrieve our ducks. Mike and Darrel were both hoping to score on wood ducks and the pond we were hunting typically holds some. Johnny wasn’t really shooting and I held off for the first hour to allow them to get the bulk of the shooting. They did great on their shooting and both scored on wood duck drakes right off the bat but Mike’s drake got away by diving under the Russian Olive trees and evading the dog and us. Mike did score on a Gadwall drake that he was stoked about getting and is planning on getting mounted. The bulk of the ducks flew a line along the river so we didn’t pile them up as hoped but we get steady shooting and ended up with 15 ducks. I shot a very nice wood duck hen for this time of year and Darrel took it home to potentially have mounted with his drake as a breeding pair. Can’t wait to see how it turns out. I snapped some photos of the hunt (attached).
Darrel likes to upland hunt as well so we hurried home and swapped out gear and I loaded up the dogs and headed for Franklin Co. to hunt some quail. We got in a quick 2 hour hunt and moved 3 coveys and knocked down a dozen birds before Darrel had to head back to the N. Spokane area. I didn’t take any photos as time didn’t allow for it.
I had watched a lot of ducks fly the river line the day before and decided to try a new spot not far from where we hunted on Saturday. Well, the weather changed dramatically from Saturday and we didn’t have the wind on Sunday but we still managed to get in a good duck hunt. I took some younger hunters out that day in my boat who were fired up to kill some ducks. It’s pretty cool to go back in time and remember how I was at that age. These guys are well on their way to being great waterfowlers – they call well, shoot good and are willing to work hard to back up their desire to kill ducks. It was a good match of people and the ducks that came near our spread paid the ultimate price. We didn’t have a lot of ducks to work with but we did very well on the ones that flew by within seeing or hearing distance. We worked a diverse group of ducks that morning – mallards, widgeon, gadwall and had some woodies sneak over us from behind that we were all bummed about missing out on. Teal, pintails and geese were noticeable absent from the skies in this area though we did see a flock of snow geese fly by and saw a lone snow goose as prime as could be hanging with some Honkers in the park where we launched the boat. First time I’ve ever seen that.
A highlight of the hunt occurred when we had a group of mallards work us and come in over the top of the decoys and I pulled up and took a mallard drake over my head. The young guns had dropped some other mallards from the small group and were working the dog to them so I went back to retrieve my duck. As I reached down through the reeds to pick it up, the silver on its leg immediately caught my attention. Always a nice bonus to a hunt to kill a banded bird. When the flight stopped enough that it became obvious we weren’t going to get 9 more ducks to limit out completely, we pulled the plug on the hunt with 19 ducks down. It was a good hunt overall and after they got zeroed the day before, they were pretty happy with the results as was I knowing that I had rolled the dice on this new spot. It’s always cool to hunt a new area especially when it pans out. Well, the season is in full bore mode now with only pheasants left to open now. That’s what I’ll be after next weekend.

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Sean Partridge 2012 Oct07
Oct 7, 2012

I woke up the next day to a tender ankle after a tough night of sleep. The Pacific University rugby ...more

team was staying above us and they partied on the town until 2:00 a.m. I know this because that’s what time they arrived back at the hotel and woke me up even with ear plugs in. I anticipated this occurring when I saw them piling in the van with cases of beer. They were pretty interested in my dogs and how we did on the birds and seemed like cool guys but we had different objectives in the sleep category. I resisted the urge to confront them figuring I was outnumbered and out aged especially with a bad ankle. Not to mention, reasoning with drunks has never gone well for me in the past on either side of the equation. Man, I’m either getting older or softer maybe smarter – nah! I’ll recommend the restaurant highly and will discourage the hotel just as adamantly but I was in unfamiliar country and shot from the hip on a place to stay. Anyway, I decided to try a different area on the private property for chukar based on one of the landowner’s tips that he had seen chukar there in July. Well, I could see there could be chukars there but we didn’t find any. I ran my pointer, Junior and Don ran Tana. We did find 2 coveys of huns, though and I was able to put a couple in the vest and Don scored one as well. Junior made a couple of great retrieves on the huns. Don added another one on a covey of huns in the CPR when we were almost back to the truck. We moved locations and found chukar tracks in the ag ground on top and Jock went on point several times in the field but didn’t produce any birds. We found another covey of huns that managed to flush wild twice out of range on us. Don then found a covey in the thick brush with Brodi in the bottom of a coulee and picked up another hun. He had to head back home at that point and I went off prospecting more ground the farmer owned. I didn’t like what I saw and decided to hit the area Don and I hunted the prior day. I broke out Rose and she gave it all she had on her run producing 2 coveys of huns and a covey of chukar for me on a beautiful find in the cheat grass and rocky ground near the top. I added a double on one of the coveys and another on a long distance shot and a chukar (should have doubled) on those finds and then picked up my last hun for a limit on a small covey of 7 huns near the truck on the way back. As soon as I put the last hun in my vest we ran into a covey of 20+ huns that I would have rather taken a bird out of then the small covey. By this time, I was down to about an hour or so of shooting time left and remembered the ag field that I thought would hold some chukar from the day before. What a lucky guess that would turn out to be. I needed 5 chukar in less than an hour to complete a partridge double limit in 2 consecutive days – a serious long shot. I wouldn’t have even placed a bet on those odds but Vegas was calling and I wasn’t putting the gun down until I had to legally. I broke Jock out for his turn on the day and he immediately starting getting birdy in the ag field. He had done this earlier in the day and I doubted his sincerity and pretty much stayed on the edge of the hill top. Well, never doubt your dog cause a single chukar flushed ahead of him and if I would have kept up with him and paid attention, it could have been in the bag. Well, he had my attention now and he immediately got birdy again. This time he nailed a couple chukar in the field and I killed one but missed the other. As soon as he retrieved the chukar to hand, he was off finding more. For the next 20 minutes or so, I was amazed at how many chukar were in this field and followed Jock around and shot 4 more pointed chukars on flat ground that resembled a rooster hunt. I even managed to shoot a double with the O/U. As I turned back to return to the truck with the light fading, I felt dumbfounded at my luck as Jock and I had just lived out a chukar hunting dream! We ran into even more shoot able chuk’s as we left the field. I’ve never seen it before and may never again but it was a memory maker for me for sure. The feeling only slightly faded as the realization set in that I still had a 3 hour drive in the dark in serious deer country to get home with dogs to feed and gear to unpack when I got there. Oh well, it was worth it. I didn’t get any pictures of the chukar with the lack of light and urgency to get on the road but did get the huns captured on camera. I had planned to hunt quail the next day but slept in instead and cut up the birds and took the wife out for lunch. Man, I am getting soft! Or smarter….. nah!

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Sean Partridge 2012 Oct 06
Oct 6, 2012

Since I didn’t make the return trip to MT, I decided to do a partridge hunt for the WA upland opener ...more

in Asotin. My friend, Don Benson, joined me with his 2 trusty labs – Brodi & Tana. I booked a room in Lewiston, ID and decided to make a weekend out of it since it was a pretty long drive. We headed up Friday night and was up bright and early Saturday to pursue chukar and Hungarian partridge. I had managed to get permission on about 2,000 acres of private land close to the numerous State access areas in Asotin and hoped between all of it that we could find some birds. Man, did we manage to find some birds! The hunt got off to a slow start and we went an hour or so before the dogs made their first find and Don scored on a chukar on a covey raise when Tana flushed them up for him. We were on a typical steep hillside next to a wheat stubble field on the top flat and hit a mess of chukar that were spread out in the area. They did the typical chukar thing and flew down hill. They were very spooky for birds that hadn’t been hunted, yet and were flushing wild well ahead of the dogs. Later on, I would figure out there were a large number of adult birds that might have accounted for the spookiness but I’m still learning about these birds so that’s only a guess on my part. Anyway, I dropped down in the rocky, treacherous areas that chukars go to avoid idiots like me. After going over 2 consecutive rocky rises and watching chukars flush wild ahead, I began to get extremely frustrated with the little flying devils. Finally, on my 3rd rise, I got close enough for some shots and was reminded that shooting huns on the flat ground in MT is nothing like shooting chukar on their home turf. I missed, well actually worse, dropped legs on the first few chukar I shot at and really became agitated at that point. I really bore down at this point and when the next chukar got up in range, I planted my left foot firmly on a rock that gave way and I went down hard in order to avoid breaking my ankle and managed to just sprain it but drove my gun barrel into the soft dirt. I picked myself up and checked the stability of my ankle and figured out I was lucky but there was a fair amount of pain when I walked. I checked my gun and had to knock dirt out of the barrel and confirmed that it was clear. Now, the chukar were going to die for sure! Or so I thought. Rose continued to lead me into chukars and I finally killed one but when I tried to double, my Beretta auto didn’t cycle all the way shut and therefore didn’t fire when I pulled the trigger. That’s the problem with auto’s! I checked the gun more thoroughly but there wasn’t anything I could do with the residual dust that was in the receiver and figured I was down to a single shot for the rest of the hunt until I could get to the truck and switch to my Beretta O/u which I was now wishing I would have picked. Fortunately, Don was further up the hill and couldn’t see my ineptness in action. At this point, we had chukar spread out all over and Rose went to work on pinning them down. She went on point just below a rock cliff and when I approached, the damn bird flushed on the rocks above her! I was able to track it and kill it, thankfully. This played out once or twice more and I picked up another chukar but wounded another. I made the walk of shame up the hill to catch up with Don to tell him that war he heard going on down below was deer hunters sighting in their rifles and that I went 3 for 3 but managed to sprain my ankle in the process. He didn’t buy it, though there really was deer hunters down below shooting pretty continuously. I think I lost a little bit of respect from Don on my shooting skills with that display since I had him fooled on prior hunts together. Fricking chukars were kicking my ass at that point! I vowed revenge, though and I would get it eventually. After we paired back up, we eventually hit a different patch of ag ground on top and 4 chukar flushed wild out of the field and immediately dropped down on the upper hillside. Rose ended up going below the crest and immediately went on point. I walked over to cover the point and waited for Don to show but the nice covey of chukar didn’t hold and I added another one to the bag. This particular ag field where the birds were obviously headed had a crop that I had a feeling was going to attract birds so I kept this in the back of my mind for the rest of the weekend. Don and I followed the chukar down the hill where they flew as we were almost to the truck. The chuk’s didn’t play nice and flushed before we could get a good shot so we had given up ground for no reason at that point. We took the easy route side hilling back up and Rose went on point but when I moved in, no bird flushed. Then Tana moved ahead and reached down and picked up a dead chukar which I assumed was one of my leg droppers from earlier. Don had not shot for quite some time so it went in my vest. We headed back up and Rose went on point again and this time a chukar flushed with a leg hanging and went my direction and I proceeded to not kill it again but I knew the point was true and watched the chukar climb the stairway to hell where all chukars that die go and he came crashing down and landed in a lone sage bush that was easily identifiable for a long retrieve, downhill. Neither Rose nor Tana saw the bird drop and why would they when it doesn’t drop in the first 100 yards? I decided to descend down a pick up my limit bird and then head back up the hill to the truck. I had this great idea to park my truck at a convenient drop off location and we drove Don’s truck to our starting destination. Well, I didn’t realize that I had made the intelligent decision to park the trucks 4 miles apart in chukar country! We had hunted for almost 5 straight hours at that point and the best was yet to come. I had left the keys to my truck in Don’t truck – what an idiot! So we ate some lunch, filled water bottles and jugs back up and swapped out to my youngest shorthair, Jock and vowed to only cover the top and make the trek back. Nothing like re-hunting the same area, I thought but it actually worked out well as Jock nailed some coveys of huns and chukar and Don added a couple of chukar to get him to 4 and we were on our way to a good hun hunt as well. 4 hours later, we made it back and Jock worked well through the heat of the day. We loaded up and headed to the farmer’s house to deliver salmon and thank him for letting us go. When I drove in by his barn, a nice covey of huns flushed and flew out to the CRP and I marked their location. After talking with the farmer, we headed after the covey of huns. As we crossed the road to the CRP, the farmer’s son mentioned that his dog had just flushed some huns into the CRP right where we were headed and gave us the general location where they landed. That guy has a good nose as we find them right where he said and the poor covey never knew what hit them. On my first shot, I saw 2 huns fall and then I started to find another when I noticed a hun climbing the stairway to heaven (I like huns) and brought the gun down to track its fall. Well, after a quick consultation with Don we arrived at the conclusion that we had both scotch doubled on our first shots and then he killed another one with his second shot which was the climber. So 5 dead huns on 3 shots. Thank goodness it was a healthy covey of a dozen birds. So we ended our day on a high note and I had completed the partridge double limit for the 1st time ever in WA. The farmer stopped by as we were getting ready to leave and told us about a good eatery in Lewiston called the Main St. Grill which was within a mile or so of our hotel. By the time we got to the restaurant, my ankle was throbbing in pain so I tried to my best to numb it with a couple Black Butte Porters and an delicious plate of Angus chicken fried steak and mashed garlic potatoes with white country gravy. Man, did that put the topper on a great day. Wow, did I just write all of that? Sorry, but I that was a day that I’ll remember for a long time and I couldn’t help sharing the details. Believe it or not, but I actually held back some. Pictures attached from our 1st day. I was using my son, Cody’s camera and the sizing is smaller than I like but you’ll get the idea.

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Sean Montana Upland 2012 Sept 24
Sep 24, 2012

Darin and I hit MT for upland to hunt Hungarian partridge and Sharptail grouse Sept. 24th – Sept. 29 ...more

th. It has become an annual trip and one of my favorite hunts of the year. We have the use of a farm house with all the amenities one could need with access to thousands of acres of private ground to hunt within a 10 mile radius. We had another good trip and shot lots of birds but the bird populations were just average and the temperatures were on the warm side with as little wind as I’ve ever seen in that part of MT. I think we overcame the conditions through perseverance and having enough ground to cover to find birds. This was the 3rd year in a row of average to below average numbers of birds as I now know we were spoiled the first couple of years we hunted this area of NC MT. The housing situation was a little different this year as well. We are used to having the house to ourselves with the freedom to come and go as we please without having to worry about anybody else but this year the landowner came over unexpectedly and we shared his house together. Mind you, I’m not complaining as it’s a rare landowner that will allow guests that he doesn’t know and never has met to still stay at his house while he’s there enjoying his time as well. The landowner was very accommodating and friendly but the unspoken “pressure” to meet his criteria as a good guest was in the air for sure. When he spoke and he spoke often, I felt the need to listen and listen for long periods of time even until 2:00 a.m. one morning which inhibits a good night’s rest when you get up to hunt at 5:30 the next morning. That being said, I think Darin and I passed the test and have been assured we can return again. However, he paid close attention to our hunting habits and success and let us know he would not want us hunting his pheasants for the upcoming opener which we had originally planned to go back and partake. I was fine with that as the bird numbers didn’t warrant a return visit as we had educated most of the huns and sharpies we could hunt and the pheasant numbers didn’t scream had to go back though they were up from the prior 2 years. The landowner was no dummy as most guys that have acquired enough money to pay $1.3 million in cash for a farm and has a son that paid $4.2 million in income taxes last year are usually pretty sharp. I tried to hide our success at killing birds and down play our time in the field but he had us figured out. I was still happy I got to meet him and get to know him even though we couldn’t come back to hunt “his roosters”. That was a synopsis on how things were different this year but the hunting was similar to prior years and we got to spend time in a great state once again. The Big Sky was not as evident this year due to smoky conditions that hung around from the numerous wildfires and lack of wind and moisture. Overall, it was another good trip. I’ll just add pic’s at this point, however, I wasn’t able to take near as many this year since 3 days into it, my battery died on my camera and for some reason the charging port stopped working. It appears a new camera is now on the shopping list. I’ll start with the standard dog pictures and move on from there. I didn’t take a lot of dead bird pic’s though Darin used his camera to get some the last 3 days but I haven’t got them from him, yet. The landowner’s farm manager, Richie, accompanied us a couple times on hunts and is great about getting us on other land. We only encountered one rattler on this trip which really surprised me with the warm conditions and we found this one in the middle of a wheat stubble field of all places. Richie dispatched him with a head shot from his 12 gauge. He also shot a coyote that we spotted at dusk with his rifle. I always try to capture the beauty and ruggedness of MT with the camera. My efforts are attached. Darin noticed an owl in a tree as we got close to the truck on a hunt so I cleaned birds and he went and took the picture of the owl. I guess the owl would open its eyes really wide when Darin got close and then go right back to sleeping. A truly unique photo opportunity! The last photo was at a farm house where we got permission to hunt. I was amazed at the number of cats he had around the house! That’s a wrap on MT for this year. WA state chukars and huns are calling me this weekend for the opening weekend and I’m headed out this evening for an in-state trip to see what I can find.

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Sean Youth Waterfowl 2012 Sep 22
Sep 22, 2012

Finally getting around to getting this report out on the boys youth duck hunt on Sept. 22nd. Not sur ...more

e if you remember the hunt from last year but I was able to secure permission for the same property this year and the pond was even bigger this year. That’s good and bad. More water to potentially hold more ducks but also more area for the ducks to go out of gun range and early season ducks typically have a mind of their own and will land where they want rather than with the decoys. The boys ended up having a very good hunt but the bar was set so high last year that it didn’t seem quite as good this year. Nonetheless, 18 ducks for 3 youth is a pretty good day especially when there were enough opportunities for all to get their birds. My 2 sons, Cody and Kyle along with Kyle Riche were the youth shooters on this hunt. Kyle’s dad, Craig and my friend, Don Benson along with his 2 pointing lab’s, Brody & Tanna were all in on the hunt as well. We are extremely fortunate to get to hunt an area like this and my preseason scouting indicated a good number of ducks but less than last year. I don’t think the local hatch was as strong this year but still a decent number of ducks were around and they showed up right off the bat on this hunt. The boys enjoyed a hour or so of constant shooting and working birds. There was a mixture of ducks, mostly GW teal with a few mallards and some shovelers. Kyle Riche was getting it done with the SxS 20 ga. double barrel but Cody was not hitting at his normal percentage while Kyle Carr was doing ok but struggling to see and get open shots from inside the blind. We moved Kyle Carr to the outside of the blind and then he did much better. Cody finally got on track but a little too late as we experienced a stop in the duck flight after about and hour and a half. Don’s labs were doing a fantastic job of retrieving the ducks which was no easy task with the thick weeds and flooded corn. They made several blind retrieves in the flooded corn and it was a great opportunity to get some early season work for them especially for Tanna who is only in her 2nd season. Cody had to leave to make his bowling league and based on the lack of ducks flying it made sense. But before, he had to go he got to shoot a duck that few get to shoot in this state. We had a group of teal dive bomb the pond and Cody came up and shot one directly overhead that came down hard and crashed into the netting on the blind. I reached down to pick it up and didn’t pay much attention to it but Craig noticed instantly that it was a Blue Wing Teal. We had talked about the possibility of taking one on the youth hunt and Cody pulled it off. That helped him feel better I think after struggling with his shooting earlier. I was pumped for him and looked it over for mount worthiness. He had broke both wings pretty bad, it appeared to be a hen and the plumage was not prime so I decided against mounting it despite Cody’s urging. It was another successful youth hunt with lots of fun for all. Pic’s attached - side note, Cody left for bowling so he is not in the hero shots and in fact if not for Craig, I wouldn’t have even had a picture of him on this hunt.

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Sean Smoked Salmon 2012 Sep 20
Sep 20, 2012

My buddy, JWil has been tearing the salmon up recently but didn’t have a smoker to cook them up. I g ...more

ave my retired father-in-law a call to see if he would smoke some salmon up for us and he obliged. Here are some pictures of a couple slabs from a King salmon and a Silver that he smoked up for us the other day. Good stuff! The salmon fishing has been incredible from all the reports I’m getting this year. JWil brought me several more Kings to smoke up and they are going in my FIL’s Traeger again today. Great eating and perfect gifts for farmers who allow access to hunting on their property. There are about 3 weeks left in the salmon season so get out and get them. I doubt I will get out since all the bird seasons open up in the next 3 weeks – partridge and quail this weekend, waterfowl the next weekend and then pheasant the weekend after that. I brought a bunch of huns and sharptail grouse home from my recent Montana trip so the freezer is starting to fill. Good luck to all in whatever you’re after this month! Just had the best September ever, hoping October can keep the same pace.

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Sean Doves Geese 2012 Sept 16
Sep 16, 2012


It’s official, best dove season ever since I started keeping a log in 2006. We’re up to 439 do ...more

ve so far on the season with possibly one or two more hunts to go. We killed 101 doves over the weekend and had some fun shoots. We took out 4 kids and did just a kid shoot one afternoon and they had a blast. The early goose season worked out well as hoped. I teamed up with Craig Riche, Don Moody and his brother-in-law Neal last Friday and set up in a disked corn field on the edge and we had 2 go’s on big honks taking 7 out of the 1st group of 10 as they back-winged over the decoys and then another 5 on a group of about a dozen as they picked up over the top of the decoys to finish up by 7:00 a.m. We pulled it off on public land and didn’t see or hear anyone nearby though I do know there was another group in the area that did well. Youth hunt coming up this weekend. Plan is for ducks on Saturday and geese on Sunday and then I head out to MT for a week of upland. Love this time of year. Not hearing many reports from you guys. What’s the word?

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Sean Doves 2012 Sep 08
Sep 8, 2012

Dove season 2012 is going to go down as the best ever at this point. I’ve seen 338 dove die so far ...more

on hunts that I’ve been on. My boys have done extremely well this season and we’ve all had a blast. I have to thank my good buddy, JWill for coming through with some tremendous properties to hunt. The guy has a knack for not only finding those speedy little gray birds but for shooting them. The plan is to take advantage of the 2 day early goose season in the mornings this weekend and then go after the doves in the afternoon. There are still plenty of dove around but they have concentrated into smaller pockets of areas. JWill keeps finding them, though! Anybody else still shooting dove? I haven’t been taking a lot of pictures of our hunts lately but I’ve attached one of last Saturday morning’s shoot where 4 of us put the hurt on them in about an hour. Kyle got in on that one and posed with the tailgate shot. Good luck to those still hunting dove and to those heading out for the early goose in E. WA.

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Sean 2012July21 Walleye
Jul 21, 2012

Eric Jones and I hit the greater Boardman area yesterday since the weather looked windy for Friday ( ...more

my normal day off). We were fishing at 7:30 a.m. on the dot and our first troll with worm harnesses netted 2 walleye and within 15 minutes we had 3. We got off to a fast start and then had to grind it out the rest of the day. There were slack times and hot periods throughout the day but when we called it a day at 4:30 p.m., we had put 15 nice walleye in the live-well. We caught bass and a couple of perch as well. We tried various spinner colors throughout the day and all worked from time to time but I had my best success on a gold #3 Colorado while Eric had good success on a blue and pink spinner. Peak periods of action were the first hour and from 1:00 – 3:00. We landed all of the fish we hooked expect 1 and that was because I was busy getting a bass of my hooks when Eric brought a walleye to the boat that got off just as I was heading to get the net. It was one of the best days I’ve had fishing for these finicky fish and I’m hoping for more good days ahead before hunting season kicks in. As we got off the river, we could see some storms forming to the south but they didn’t look too serious. Well, that changed as we headed to Umatilla to clean the fish at the Fish Cleaning Station. We saw lots of lightning bolts to the south and east and when we arrived at Umatilla, it was lightly raining but looked like we were in a safe area between the storms. We grabbed the fishing cleaning gear and we about to get in the boat to pull the fish out of the live-well when lightning flashed right above our heads and we could feel the electricity as the wire above us popped and an immediate eruption of thunder crackled right over us. Holy Chit! We grabbed our gear and jumped in the truck and said screw this and got the heck out of there. It’s been a long time since I’ve had that close of call with lightning – since my days in Missouri for sure. We headed back to Tri-Cities a drove through a torrential downpour at one point. We have been getting thunderstorms almost every evening for the past week – incredibly unusual for our arid desert climate. I’ve been living in WA for over 20 years now and have never seen anything like the weather we’ve had for the past week. Anyway, we made it home and I proceeded to fillet fish until 9:15 since Eric didn’t want any of the fish. Needless to say, I’ve got a pretty good stockpile of walleye fillets in the freezer now. As much work as it was, it will have been worth it every time I cook up a batch of those tasty fillets. I’m hoping to get out soon again cause just like you can never have too much money or fun, you can never have too many walleyes to eat!

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Sean Perch Walleye 2012 May20
May 20, 2012

Got out a couple of weeks ago with Darrin & Cody and we caught 30 perch and kept 24 that were betwee ...more

n 9 & 12”. We also caught a catfish & a smallmouth bass. Cody snapped some photos while Darrin and I were filleting them out. Darrin and I got out on this past Sunday and picked up 15 walleye and 3 keeper perch. The walleye were between 15 & 21”. We also caught another catfish, a smallmouth bass and a pumpkinseed sunfish. Best day of walleye fishing I’ve ever had and as you will see from the pictures, a lot of good meat to eat!



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Seam Turkey Opening 2012 April 16
Apr 16, 2012

The regular season for turkeys opened last weekend on Sunday. After a successful youth hunt, I wonde ...more

red how the birds would be acting when I returned to the same area where Cody had filled his 2 tags the prior Sunday. After scouting on Saturday afternoon, I found the turkeys in a big group still and hanging in the same general area. I watched at least 50 turkeys fly up to roost on the adjoining property and set my blind in the low light at dusk. I wasn’t on the X where they were spending the majority of their time, but I hoped to be able to call a tom or two over to check me out close enough for a good shot opportunity. I arrived early on Sunday morning for opening day and was greeted to the sounds of gobbling and hen chatter from the roost area. I put out “Kutter” and 2 hen decoys and climbed into the Double Bull Blind to wait for the birds to fly down from their evening perches so I could begin enticing them my way. About the time I figured the birds had flown down from the roost, the gobbling ceased for the most part but turkeys began to filter out from the woods into the adjoining field. I called aggressively to the large group of turkeys and before long, they began to move my way. I was shielded by thick trees in the creek bottom 20 yards to my back and could only get fleeting glances of turkeys walking near the creek. All of a sudden a nice tom appeared to my left and he strutted with aggressive intentions toward my decoys. I noticed he was sporting a pretty long beard as he strutted directly to the face of Kutter while ignoring the hen decoys. I wish I had the video camera rolling during the sequence as he sized up Kutter and pushed up against him while making “fighting purr” sounds. I was experiencing a little anxiety as he did this because I didn’t want my decoy to get all beat up but the tom was too close to Kutter to shoot him without shooting both of them. The tom worked behind Kutter and finally when he cleared him to the back, left side the angle and timing was perfect to end the showdown with my Beretta Xtrema. At 12 yards, it was instant death and the show was certainly over for the time being. At the shot, several toms gobbled back ferociously and numerous hens spoke their discontent and I had so many turkeys around me, I chose to leave the dead gobbler laying next to Kutter. As I was waiting for things to settle down in the minutes after the shot, I called periodically and noticed a group of hens coming off the hillside in front of me with a nice tom in tow. They proceeded by me to my left at about 100 yards and never made any attempt to come my direction, however, the tom seemed very interested in my calls and decoys and made a turn my direction. Once he crested the hill and come in direct view, he went into full strut and slowly worked my way. He would strut then stop and look and move my way very methodically. He finally made it to the open pasture where I was setup and was about 50 yards out but seemed very nervous about coming any closer. I knew I could make the shot but held off as I felt confident he would come another 5 or 10 yards to make it a higher probability shot. I was wrong - he ended up continuing to strut and look while moving parallel and then moved down into creek bottom and joined the other turkeys. I’m guessing he was probably a little confused by the dead tom laying next to Kutter but who knows with turkeys what was going on in that pea brain of his? I spend the rest of the day pretty much striking out while cruising other areas trying to get a tom fired up. I returned to my original hunting area from the morning and glassed the whole group feeding in the same field there were in when I left. I watched them fly up to the same spot and then talked to the landowner on the way to my truck. He told me I should go ask the landowner for permission that owned the woods that butted up to the field the turkeys spent the day in so I that’s what I did. I was able to secure permission and immediately felt more confident that I could kill another tom having more area to work these birds the next day. So Monday morning I headed to the blind and a similar sequence played out with the birds coming to the adjoining field but this time I couldn’t pull a gobbler over to me. After working them for close to an hour, they slowly moved off in the direction they did the prior day so I headed for my truck and drove over to the other spot. I cruised through the woods and as I got closer to the field, I could see a tom strutting away with 13 hens loafing and feeding. I got as close as I could to the field edge (about 35 yards) and sat next to a tree. In the meantime, a hen began calling from the direction I had just walked in the woods. I’m not sure how I avoided spooking her or them, but I liked the situation of being between two groups of birds. As I watched the turkeys in the field, they began moving toward my location and I watched the tom breed a hen (I know, I felt like a perv). Within a few minutes, the hens started to get pretty close and the tom was hanging back about 10 yards. Then one of the hens through her head up and started clucking and moving towards me – uhoh, I’m going to get busted. Then all the hens were on guard and started clucking and the tom gobbled and strutted closer to the field edge. My gun was up but I had to move it a few degrees to get it in position. That was enough to really raise the alertness level of the turkeys and the tom came out of strut and put his head up nice and high. I knew it was going to be a bit of a poke at this point and it was now or never. With the pull of the trigger his feet dropped from under him and my season was over. Another very nice tom down and I was able to head back to Tri-Cities in time to get to coach my baseball team to a big victory that evening. Hard to beat that day! It’s been a great turkey season for my boys and me to say the least. Good luck to those chasing the long beards and I wish you the same success.

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Sean Turkey Youth Hunt Cody 2012 Apr 08
Apr 8, 2012

Sunday morning, we awoke to a heavy frost on the truck windshield and a crisp 28 degrees but clear a ...more

nd a slight breeze. I thought it would be a good day for gobbling but I was wrong. We headed to a new place but couldn’t get any gobblers fired up within ear shot on the property. We both decided to head to another spot where we had located birds while scouting. It was a good decision. When we made it to the new spot, we were too late for fly down but found some turkeys crossing the road and heading up the hill to an area we could hunt. I was conflicted on setting up in the creek bottom that I knew the turkeys liked to hang in and strut and ultimately decided to get out in front of the turkeys that we had seen already. We quickly set up the Double Bull and placed Kutter and the DSD hen and I began calling. It wasn’t long and I had hens responding and heading our direction. It ended up being a large group of hens with 2 jakes. As they were headed to us, I could see 2 mature toms strutting in the woods about 80 yards down the hill where I had initially considered setting the blind. As the hens and jakes worked to within 5 yards of the blind I asked Cody if he wanted to shoot the jakes or try to get the toms to come over. He made a gutsy decision to go for the toms! It become a test of patience as the toms ended up going back down in the creek bottom and working away from us. In the meantime, I realized I had left my cell phone and camera at the trailer we stayed the prior evening and Kyle had no way to get a hold of me. So, I decided to leave Cody in the blind and drive back to get the phone and camera since it was only about a mile down the road. As I was driving out, I saw all the turkeys that I thought were going to come up the hill to us hanging in the creek bottom where I originally considered setting up. I also noticed a tom by himself getting closer to the road and thought he looked like a candidate to being called in as he might have possibly got his butt kicked by the other 2 strutters hanging with all the hens. So I put the truck in reverse and parked and ran back to the blind and got on the calls. Sure enough, after a couple of series of calls, I got a thundering response and pretty soon every time I made a call, the tom cut me off with a booming gobble which is always a good sign they are pretty interested in what you have to say. This bird didn’t waste any time getting to us and Cody spotted him before I did. He was in full strut when I saw him and he made short work of getting to us. It was a sight to behold as the tom strutted up the hill to us with the sun backlighting his perfect fan. I let Cody decide when to take him and he made a great decision when I cut really loudly on the call and couldn’t get the tom to come out of strut, he took him just as he turned sideways at 12 yards and the gobbler’s legs dropped out from under him as Cody made a perfect head shot on him. The only disappointment I felt was not having the camera to video that kill. It was really that kind of hunt that you dream about. So one down now for Cody and still one more tag to fill. We opted to keep calling from our same position and wait out the turkeys to move up the hill to us. I really thought they eventually would come our way, but the clock was ticking. We had Easter dinner planned an hour south of us and needed to leave within the hour. After no responses, I cruised down the hill to check on the birds to see if they had made any progress our way. No such luck, they were still just loafing in the pasture near the creek. I decided this called for desperate measures and went back and grabbed the DSD hen and told Cody we were going to put the pressure on these birds and make something happen. So off we went to the turkeys. I noticed they were hanging out below a rolling hill side so we crawled to the edge of the lip and laid down prone and I stuck the hen decoy in front of us and broke out my mouth call and got after it with some aggressive calling. I was pretty excited with my rendition of the sluttiest hen I could reproduce but it had no effect on the 2 strutting tom’s who would not leave their 20+ lady friends. We were within 60 yards of the flock of turkeys and I was only asking the toms to break away 25 yards to check us out, but no luck. Then all of a sudden, a hen showed up at about 35 yards and I told Cody to get ready. The next thing that happened will go down as one of the craziest moments of turkey hunting I’ve ever experienced. All the turkeys were suddenly running single file towards us on our right side. I told Cody to get ready and pick out a red head and then there he was at 30 yards. I told Cody to shoot the tom right there and then boom, I watch the turkey continue to run with no evidence of being shot so I said shoot again and another boom and I watch the turkey fly off unscathed. I was blown away that he could miss that bird when out of the corner of my eye I saw a tom go down at the back end of the trail of turkeys. I was immediately relieved until I heard a voice yell out, “hey, do you have permission to hunt here?” WT??? I responded to the lady and gentlemen standing just below the hill that yes we certainly did and the feeling of holy crap that was a close call through no fault of ours took over. Apparently, the landowner had company show up for Easter and they decided it would be a good idea to walk out and check out the turkeys. WT??? Were they going to pet them or what? Talk about a ping pong of emotions! In retrospect, they kind of helped speed up the process of killing a turkey but it wasn’t the way we wanted it to go down. But, Cody wasn’t going to look a gift horse in the mouth and it was a very nice tom sporting a 9” beard and 1” spurs. So they pulled it off. 4 tags filled with very nice tom’s for my 2 boys. It will be tough to top this youth season and we had a great time hunting and spending the weekend together. And we even made Easter dinner on time. What a weekend!

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Sean Turkey Youth Hunt Kyle 2012 Apr 07
Apr 7, 2012

The birds roosted in a different place than normal (seems to happen every year on the evening before ...more

) but my scouting indicated that the turkeys would still show up where I set the blinds the evening before in a driving snow storm. We awoke to 25 degree temp’s (2 degrees warmer than prior morning) and clear skies until we got to our hunting spot and the fog was thick and the ground covered in snow. So much for ideal conditions on the opening morning! The tom’s were very quiet as compared to the morning before with the weather conditions, but we stuck to the game plan. Once I was pretty certain the turkeys had left the roost, I got on the calls and it wasn’t long before the turkeys came running…literally to our setup. The hens skirted the blinds behind us along with a nice tom that I tried to get Cody to drop the back window and shoot, but I couldn’t convince him to do so and shortly thereafter a couple of gobblers were strutting to us. The pair of gobblers locked in on Kutter (Kyle’s strutting tom decoy) and came in front of the blind at 5 yards! Kyle raised his gun but not slowly as advised and one tom spooked and went back to his left but the other one walked slower and Kyle put the hammer on him at 12 yards! It was utter chaos after that with me trying to get Cody to shoot at another tom but it skirted just out of his comfort range and then all was quiet. Kyle had shot a dandy tom, probably the boss. It had 1 ¼” spurs and a 9 ½” beard and was around the 20# mark on weight but we didn’t weigh it to verify. The turkeys headed off to the woods and Kyle got cold so we left Cody to watch over the decoys and cover anything gobblers coming back to the area while Kyle and I went to find the flock. We managed to find the turkeys in the woods and set up and called in a jake that Kyle proceeded to spook with his constant moving and fidgeting. We worked around the birds and got in front of the flock and spotted a tom cresting a hill. We headed up the hill and I told Kyle to be ready to shoot and as we came over the top of the hill there were 5 toms within 25 yards. I told Kyle to pick out one and shoot which he did and it appeared he had connected but as we hurriedly approached the last place we saw the tom, it became evident that he had missed cleanly. He was bummed to say the least.

We headed back to catch up with Cody to find the farmer working in the pasture so we decided to pack up the blinds and decide our next move. After a call to another farmer to verify the turkeys were still around his place, we headed further north to hunt a different spot. We arrived at our new northern destination and quickly set up with Cody electing a spot by himself in the Double Bull blind and Kyle and I heading to a long-used permanent turkey blind structure. After an hour of no action, some hens started responding to my calls and some distant gobbles were heard and before long Kyle spotted 3 gobblers headed our way in the woods. They came in very fast and though Kyle and I had discussed how to mount his gun slowly and quietly, all bets were off when 2 of the toms charged in to face off with Kutter. The quick movement of Kyle’s gun with the gobblers at less than 10 yards spooked the back one but the front one locked in on Kutter and began a bob and weave square off with him. Kyle had stayed focused on the tom that was leaving but I got his attention to turn back to the one still in front of the blind which invoked another sudden movement from Kyle and he managed to spook that tom but not before he got off a shot at 10 yards that completely whiffed! Kyle calmly and coolly picked up his gun and chose a different window in the blind to shoot out of and with his 2nd shot drilled the fleeing tom in the back of the head and dropped him face first in the logging road. Kyle had managed to overcome multiple mistakes on this day to tag two nice toms. This tom sported an 8” beard with close to 1” spurs – an accommodating 2 year old bird to go along with his boss tom from earlier in the day. I called Cody on the radio who was more than a little frustrated that I had called away his gobblers that were hanging around behind his blind. Woops! So I snapped some pictures of Kyle with his gobbler and headed over to join Cody. It didn’t take long for the action to heat up and we had a jake come in from our right and though I tried to get Cody to take the shot at what I thought was the appropriate time, he did it on his own accord and proceeded to miss cleanly at 14 yards! Oh well, not long after that we had some hens and another jake stroll into our setup and once again Cody didn’t elect to shoot at my call since he was convinced the hens were too close and in the line of fire at about 20 yards. So he pulled the trigger on the jake at 37 yards and another clean miss! Frustration had set in big time for him and we ran out of time to work anymore birds. Kyle did add to Cody’s frustration by letting us know that a big tom was working his way to us when Cody shot and missed at the last jake. Great day for Kyle, not so great for Cody but he still had another day to hunt and the opportunity to redeem himself was still in the making. But not before Kyle rubbed it in later that evening that he was getting to sleep in the next morning. Gotta love little brothers!

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Sean Turkey Youth Scouting 2012 Apr 06
Apr 6, 2012

Headed up north this past weekend for the annual youth turkey hunt. I got out and did some scouting ...more

the prior morning to figure out the game plan for the opener on Saturday. Managed to find some birds and attached some of the scouting pictures I took. The lighting was poor as the birds hit the cattle pasture very early and put on a good show! We headed further north and caught some tom’s showing off in the sunlight. It’s photo opportunities like this that make me want to upgrade on the camera significantly but it will be awhile before I do so. With gas at close to $4 a gallon and putting on 1,300 miles on the truck in the last 2 weekends, it’s about all a guy can do just to afford to hunt! But the scouting paid off big for the boys as you will see in the subsequent albums.

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Sean Turkey Scouting 2012 April 01
Apr 1, 2012

Got out this past weekend and did some turkey scouting up north. Found one spot that had 150-200 tur ...more

keys with at least 20 mature tom’s. I lined up some decent back up spots, but I think they boys and I will be at the one with the most turkey’s for the youth hunt this Saturday. I hope all goes well and we can get some strutters in close for them to shoot. If the weather cooperates, we’ll be putting out Kutter (Kyle’s mounted tom from last season) along with a couple girlfriend’s of his and see what happens. Anybody else heading out for the youth hunt? I attached some crappy pictures of my scouting efforts. The camera battery was low and the weather wasn’t conducive to picture-taking, but you’ll get the idea. Notice the 2 bearded-hens in PIC 011! I saw at least 6 bearded hens over the weekend with one sporting a 9 incher. Pretty weird!

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Sean Salmon 2012 July 10

I went salmon fishing for the 1st time in about 10 years last week on an invite from a friend, Thor ...more

Ostrom and his fiancé, Stacy. We are having the best run of sockeye salmon since 1931 in the Columbian River system. We fished below Wanapum Dam in an eddy off the side of the dam spillway. It’s quite a deal to work with anywhere from 35 to 60 other boats (depending on the day) working about a one acre area together. You have to run the boat in a counter clock-wise fashion trolling as slow as possible and all the boats have to stay in the circle in order for it to work. Occasionally, you will run into someone that thinks they can do their own thing. We only had one run-in with another boat that got the hackles up. An old guy decided he could go the opposite direction and was headed towards Thor’s boat so we had to push him away to keep from running into us. Thor let him know about his poor judgment and I was inclined to stay out of the confrontation since it wasn’t my boat but then the old geezer decided to pop off and cuss at Thor in front of his fiancé so I let him know he needed to pipe down or I would be joining him on his boat. He replied back that he had protection (I assumed that meant he had a gun) and I let him know that if he didn’t tone it down that he was going to need it. Thankfully, he decided he had enough of our conversation and shut up. Seems like I always find the one a-hole in the group! We referred to him as Trojan man the rest of the day and actually captured him doing the same thing to another boat when Stacy took a picture of one of my fish later on. I guess having a gun gives you the right to do what you want – love people like that! Besides that little incident, we had a great day on the water and ended up catching 14 sockeye by 11:30 while losing 2. We got off to a fast start with 4 fish hooked and 4 fish landed in the first 15 minutes. That initial success spurred a little competition between Stacy and I to see if we could land 100% of the fish we hooked since Thor said he had only been averaging about 50% on his prior trips. We were 10 for 10 at one point before Stacy finally lost one and were 14 for 15 before she lost the last one. Thor was the ultimate guide, letting Stacy and I take turns on catching the fish. He did hook and land one fish just to show us he could do it. Thor has been keeping track of fish caught on his trips and with our 14 on this outing, that made 50 fish caught out of his boat in his last 3 trips! That is world class fishing for salmon right here in our backyard. We were running 3 rod’s with flashers and a pink hoochie with 2 hooks with the top hook baited with a cut shrimp piece that Thor had dyed in some pink secret formula. He knew what he was doing as we seemed to be catching fish and a better clip than any of the other boats. The spot we were fishing seemed to be an ideal situation as these fish are swimming up to 35 miles a day once they enter the Columbia river from the Pacific Ocean and the salmon are able to get out of the current in this eddy to rest up a little before continuing their trek towards Canada to spawn and die. You could tell some of their were tired as a few of them didn’t put up much of a fight when hooked but some really put on a show, jumping out of the water multiple times before going into the net. We had hoped to catch our limit of 18 (6 per person) sockeye in time to fish for King’s but our catch rate slowed down after 10:00. The King’s prefer a different set up (Super Bait’s) and deeper water although there have been some incidentally caught while fishing for sockeye. Thor had caught a few King’s in his prior 2 trips but the run must have been pretty lean the day we fished. I actually took the day off from work which I never do for fishing but this was a rare opportunity to cash in on some great eating fish and Thor provided everything so all I had to do was show up and fish – too good of a deal to pass up! These were the first sockeye salmon I had ever caught to add to my bucket list that includes King (Chinook) and Silver salmon (Coho). These sockeye were in great shape and are one of, if not the best, eating salmon of all. Their meat is bright orange and I’m looking forward to cooking one of them up very soon. That’s’ the report for now. Thor and Stacy headed west after our day on the water to go crabbing on the WA coast and Angela and I are looking forward to trading him some pheasant for Dungeness crab on his return. I’ll be turning my attention back to the walleye this weekend if these daily thunderstorms get out of our weather pattern so the fish can get on a consistent pattern. Anybody else been fishing? Give me a report if you have one. Pictures attached. I had to doctor one of them up to hide my out of shape self. 5 months of coaching baseball will kill a guy’s ability to stay in shape and I didn’t want to detract from the beauty of the fish. I’m on the mend now and Kyle has joined me in the weight room the last 3 weeks. We’ll see if we can stay after it consistently now that coaching is over for the time being. He’s going to be playing fall baseball this year instead of football so maybe I’ll just get to kick back and be a dad and watch him play for once.

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