river ducks

early morning in zion grove sipping on coffee gathering our steel shot and decoys in the dark loading our gear into the boston whaler


marty “i got the good java!”


we each had a thomas thermos to take with us for the road and on the river


dad “yeah good coffee”


we ran through our checklist of #4 #1 shot and packed our backpacks 
extra gloves, a dry change of clothes, flashlights, spotlight, smoked venison, and duck calls

our duck dog ‘ginger’ always got excited at decoys and guns


we launched the whaler at the bloomsburg ramp and made our way up river a few islands to set up our blind 



neoprene waders are key for setting out decoys


the island spit was a backwater adjacent to a downstream island


marty set up the goose decoys on the point


marty “yo jim, make sure to leave somewhere for them to land, make sure you set them in a J-pattern”


jim “ok”


dad stashed the whaler further up on the island and began to set up base camp


the best time to hunt is first light


dad “there goes ducks, get those decoys out fast”


marty “i head them buzz by too”


as it got light we heard chatter and our first flybys were overhead, wood ducks, we made them dip and turn to our calls 


next were mallards and we had a better chance of calling them in


we succeeded and dad knocked one down


marty “nice shot!”


jim “awesome!”


‘ginger’ our duck dog made a nice retrieve 


it was a drake


we got back in the blind and let things quiet down


we saw more overhead flybys and did a little calling then pow pintails 


jim “look pintails”


marty got one


dad “nice shot! way to go”


this one was a hen, a hen pintail 


now we’ve made some racket 


once things settled down we saw more flybys and mallards and had to call


we had some flybys turn on the decoys and keep going at first


and were able to call a set of birds in and i got one


dad “way to go man”


marty “great shot!”


a hen mallard


a great day on the susquehanna river!

blog dedicated to marty hayes hepburn

going to write part 2 about catawissa island

and part 3 about smallmouth bass and walleye fishing at the warm water discharge in sunbury

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