Looking ahead...

Looking ahead...

Postby Rick » Sun Feb 21, 2016 1:08 pm

I've not even managed to finish the summary of this past season in my log, and already I'm finding myself looking ahead to the next with great anticipation. Perhaps in part because I've been training young Marsh in this place:



But also just because I have been training him and early worries about the pup's potential are starting to slip away. Having let myself get so far behind with his education, it tickles me just to have the basics of handling down well enough that we can now train most anywhere without having to bring big brother Peake along for backup without risking a soaking, lost bumper or both.

One of the things Marsh practiced this morning was working across a deep, steep sided little flood canal to retrieve from the well scented field the ducks above just vacated, and it yielded what I thought a fun set of photos:
Image

Image

Image

Image
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Re: Looking ahead...

Postby Rick » Sun Feb 21, 2016 1:12 pm

Anyone else find something conspicuously scarce in that video?
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Re: Looking ahead...

Postby Ericdc » Sun Feb 21, 2016 1:20 pm

Rick wrote:Anyone else find something conspicuously scarce in that video?


No geese
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Re: Looking ahead...

Postby DComeaux » Sun Feb 21, 2016 1:26 pm

Ericdc wrote:
Rick wrote:Anyone else find something conspicuously scarce in that video?


No geese


That's what I was going to say as well, and you beat me to it.
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Re: Looking ahead...

Postby simplepeddler » Sun Feb 21, 2016 3:38 pm

Boy he is going to hide well against some of that grass and cover!
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Re: Looking ahead...

Postby Rick » Sun Feb 21, 2016 4:31 pm

DComeaux wrote:
Ericdc wrote:
Rick wrote:Anyone else find something conspicuously scarce in that video?


No geese


That's what I was going to say as well, and you beat me to it.


What struck me was the very low percentage of teal. Mostly mallards, grays and, of course, spoons. Geese that opened the cut they got up from were absent, too, but I've come to expect that most places.


simplepeddler wrote:Boy he is going to hide well against some of that grass and cover!


Color he's registered as is "dead grass," and he should be readily concealed once the green starts to turn. Big thing is that he's been calm at the blind. (Knocking wood, because he's also been getting goofier and goofier when we feed the pigeons.)
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Re: Looking ahead...

Postby Ericdc » Mon Feb 22, 2016 6:00 pm

Rick we didn't get a lot of teal in northeast LA till January. My friends around Mcgehee Arkansas had huge numbers of teal late in the year. I just don't think the mass of them every got to you and a lot of them never made it to LA.
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Re: Looking ahead...

Postby Rick » Mon Feb 22, 2016 8:50 pm

Think you may well be right. The mudhole had it's best to date regular season on them, but I'm not seeing much in the way of the swarms that are generally so common this time of year.
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Re: Looking ahead...

Postby Rick » Tue Feb 23, 2016 10:11 am

We've a couple blinds in Thornwell where the pintails showed in big numbers - some days. I only hunted there a very few afternoons, and the trick to getting them to show in force was to take a party that had either shot all of their ducks, or nearly so, in the morning.
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Re: Looking ahead...

Postby Rick » Tue Feb 23, 2016 11:06 am

In other "forward looking" news:

Having been disappointed by not being able to run my favorite quiet speck call enough so to meet amphitheater-like conditions, I've further tweaked its toneboard to run appreciably quieter and with more easily achievable tonal range. Also tuned it to be something of a "mini-me" of the deeper tuned call that's been more effective for general use than where I previously had it on the pitch scale. Am anxious to see what the birds think - if what's left of them don't blow out with the coming strong southerly winds. Might not be any more impressed with it than the previous "latest and greatest" version that drew so-so reviews from the judges that count...

And I bought a third MVP. It's long been my practice to test fire a new call or two each season, and while I've most enjoyed running some of quieter among them, I think I'm done fooling with those. None have been able to bump my first year Microhen, in large part because I can crank it up louder than the others when need be. And this past season's scarcity of big duck ops saw me giving the seldom used Microhen's loop to a MVP Butch had over-bored and tweaked the toneboard on to make an extra loud hunting call with a bit more volume than the standard MVP that's remained my mainstay for the past dozen or so seasons. By the same token, the other popular loud calls I've tried have fallen well short of the MVP in the versatility and run-ability departments, as well as general effectiveness on difficult game. So when I saw "or make offer" in an add for an essentially new MVP, I took a low-ball shot that paid off with the arrival of a pristine, great sounding back-up in yesterday's mail. Looking forward to tuning it for fit later today.
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Re: Looking ahead...

Postby Rick » Wed Feb 24, 2016 7:25 am

johnc wrote:So,no matter how fouled up I get trying to guess what "people" want,and I will get out of whack, I have something to refer back to for game time in November.


Sounds like a good idea to me. Know I won the only calling contest I ever entered (turkey up in the Mid Ohio Valley) - and apologized to the fellow who should have immediately after. He was incredibly life-like, but I was apparently what the judges wanted to hear that day. Then I moved down here, found everybody and his three cousins imitating Mervis' endless lou-lou-lou-lou-lou riffs in the field, and decided my best bet was to differ from what was apt to shoot at the birds by sticking about as close to what the specks, themselves, do as I could.

Of course, that's not the only way to trip them up, but it's worked well enough that, until I discovered online sources of live speck recordings, I never ran a speck call at all unless the birds were down here to keep me honest and from falling into human/hunter tones and cadences.

None of which is intended as a knock on you guys with the gumption and dedication to succeed on stage, or even that I don't believe I might have better luck breaking contrary birds by stepping farther outside my box than I'm currently capable of, just my simple, meat and potatoes way.

(All that from the same guy who'll be quick to tell you "just like a duck" is wildly overrated and has broken countless tall duck flights with every-duck-on-the-pond "come-backs" prefaced by ringing contest "hails".)
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Re: Looking ahead...

Postby aunt betty » Wed Feb 24, 2016 10:37 am

We slammed on specks using 6 Canada goose decoys in the duck spread and honker calls.
They make speck calls? @
I've heard that it's incredibly stupid to fuck around with a crazy man's head.
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Re: Looking ahead...

Postby Rick » Wed Feb 24, 2016 11:10 am

aunt betty wrote:We slammed on specks using 6 Canada goose decoys in the duck spread and honker calls.
They make speck calls? @


Seems to me I recall you posting a youtube video of some sort of Arkansas caterawauling you thought great speck calling, so I gather you've seen one, if not heard it run well.

(Which isn't to say we haven't shot them over "Canada" calls here, too.)
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Re: Looking ahead...

Postby Rick » Wed Feb 24, 2016 11:32 am

johnc wrote:...example---I fear clucking may eventually loose effectiveness---why---it seems a LOT of hunters use a lot of cluck now---without regard for the timing of when to cluck and when to be quiet


I like to cried the first time I heard another man cluck. Perhaps like who knows how many others, I thought I had it all to myself and never intentionally did it withing earshot of anyone from speck country, just when by myself or carrying out of state hunters, and it was "the bomb". Then one morning I heard clucking from across a protection levee on a piece where Scott Turner had a blind that he and Cleve Vincent hunted. My first thought was, "Good, they're not hunting today, and birds are in a good place..." Then came the man-yodel that told me the cat was out of the bag. Next thing I knew, I was in Shop-A-Lot drinking coffee and Clark was telling me, "Man, you gotta hear what Cleve showed me."

Got so popular so fast that it seemed like a "Run away, we have guns!" call, and I quit doing it altogether for a while.
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Re: Looking ahead...

Postby Rick » Wed Feb 24, 2016 11:38 am

gone
Last edited by Rick on Wed Feb 24, 2016 11:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Looking ahead...

Postby aunt betty » Wed Feb 24, 2016 11:40 am

Yeah. It sounded awful but the dang specks kept falling out of the sky and landing in the blind.
I've heard that it's incredibly stupid to fuck around with a crazy man's head.
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Re: Looking ahead...

Postby Rick » Wed Feb 24, 2016 11:49 am

Must have edited the part about anything falling for it:
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Re: Looking ahead...

Postby aunt betty » Wed Feb 24, 2016 12:09 pm

You just won the "mo betta than Aunt Betty" hunting award. For a small fee I'll send you a framed copy with a gold star and everything.
I've heard that it's incredibly stupid to fuck around with a crazy man's head.
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Re: Looking ahead...

Postby Rick » Wed Feb 24, 2016 1:45 pm

Hot damn! Check's in the mail.
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Re: Looking ahead...

Postby aunt betty » Wed Feb 24, 2016 3:18 pm

It's rough being cooped up in this dang blizzard.
It was fun. Only stung a little. :duck:
I've heard that it's incredibly stupid to fuck around with a crazy man's head.
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Re: Looking ahead...

Postby Rick » Wed Feb 24, 2016 3:32 pm

aunt betty wrote:Only stung a little.


Put some toothpaste on it.
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Re: Looking ahead...

Postby SpinnerMan » Thu Feb 25, 2016 11:33 am

aunt betty wrote:It's rough being cooped up in this dang blizzard.

I had to get home from DC in that crap yesterday. High winds and snow at my destination airport and thunderstorms and possible tornadoes at my departure airport and the first time we tried to board the plane the on board computer crapped out :thumbsup:

What a day. Only spent a little under 9 hours in airports or airplanes yesterday :o

However, given all the cancelled flights, I do have to look on the bright side, I did actually get home.
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Re: Looking ahead...

Postby aunt betty » Thu Feb 25, 2016 11:34 am

I'm near Keokuk Iowa and omg the Canada geese. Whooo
I've heard that it's incredibly stupid to fuck around with a crazy man's head.
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Re: Looking ahead...

Postby Rick » Sun Feb 28, 2016 7:41 pm

Rick wrote:Having been disappointed by not being able to run my favorite quiet speck call enough so to meet amphitheater-like conditions, I've further tweaked its toneboard to run appreciably quieter and with more easily achievable tonal range. Also tuned it to be something of a "mini-me" of the deeper tuned call that's been more effective for general use than where I previously had it on the pitch scale. Am anxious to see what the birds think - if what's left of them don't blow out with the coming strong southerly winds..


Sat morning was pretty near dead calm, so the hounds and I took the above call to DComeaux's, where its former self was too loud under such conditions. Sounded better suited to it to my ear, but the ones that count were all but absent, with but three sky-high specks passing during our time on the farm. The locked, but did not break.

Wasn't surprised to find them in short supply, as most of the area is now barren of geese. Perhaps ironically, the biggest group of specks we found was in Jarren's pond, where I abandoned hope on the last day. We watched a couple dozen roll from the pond to the indigos just south, and backed out the way we'd approached (south protection levee) without disturbing them. But they, too, were gone this morning.

"Biggest" bunch of geese encountered anywhere this morning were a little wad of blues at PJ's:
Image

PJ, if you see this, I'm curious if the new blind popped or was buried that shallow? Looked like decoys and a spinner were still out, too.
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Re: Looking ahead...

Postby Rick » Tue Mar 01, 2016 3:03 pm

Still getting to work the dogs around some ducks, but it's become Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring" for geese. Heard a speck but couldn't find it early this morning, which put me in mind of what a treat it is just to hear the first few in October. Then late in the morning, two buzzed by very low from behind acting more like teal than geese. Maybe courting. Maybe just messing with me...
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