Late duck season runs until the middle of December. The reality here at the lake is that it end earlier, for practical reasons.
Porter and I went out this morning. These 3:30 AM wake ups are getting to me. We were able to get out to our favorite pond by the usual route– I had checked last night, and someone had cut a truck width path through the blowdown from last week’s windstorm.
I left Porter in the truck and hauled the gear down to my usual spot. The pond seemed still– probably because of the layer of ice on top. I broke through the ice in my waders, and set the decoys up in the open water.
It was cold, and started to snow. I had on my warmest clothes, and thickest waders. Could not get my feet warm. Porter had on his neoprene floatation vest– more for warmth, than anything. He promptly curled up in his blind and went to sleep. I know, because he snores.
I had about 6-8 beautiful Hooded Mergansers come into the decoys. I left them alone– not the best tasting duck. That was the extent of the activity.
I had to go out and clear snow off the decoys several times– each time, breaking through ice. This led me to conclude that our duck hunting this year is probably over. I don’t mind snow, or cold, or breaking through the ice, but I don’t want to put Porter at risk of getting hurt.
We got back to camp, late morning. I did not stow the duck hunting gear away– just piled it in the garage. Maybe we will get one more chance….