My Son’s First Redhead

Griff’s Saturday Redhead…and Our Sunday Bounty

We arrived at Wister around noon on Saturday Oct 27, deciding that a leisurely drive and a nice breakfast at IHOP made more sense than getting there the night before just to sweatline. We didn’t know what blinds would be left on the board, but Griff and I figured it was a chance to try some place new, some place we wouldn’t ordinarily choose.

Quite a few brass blind tags still dangled from their hooks on the check station’s big wood map of Wister’s ponds. Going north seemed like a good idea, so we picked a blind on the corner of a pond nestled up next to two closed zones. 513B1.

It was after 4pm when we finally made it out there, after setting up camp and taking a “long-cut” to our spot. It’s amazing how relaxed a duck hunt can be when your only expectation was to see some place different. With not a bird in the sky and a slow, warm breeze barely moving the tules, we tossed out six decoys and moved our chairs in among the dry reeds to wait out the hour and a half to closing.

A flock came in far behind us and we learned later from the hunter that took out the entire flight that they were Ringnecks. So something was in the air, which gave a glimmer of hope. More time passed, seeing singles and couples off in the distance, hearing an occasional shot. Then out of nowhere a flock rushed by on Griff’s side. He fired and one fell, I shot at the escaping birds as they passed by him but nothing came of it. The tules blocked our view of where his bird fell, so Griff went off in the general direction. “I don’t think it went that far” I shouted to him when I saw him walking into the next pond. I turned back to kick at a stand of tules. Suddenly I heard a rustle, and yelled back to Griff something’s in here!

Sure enough, as I plowed in, a duck busted out the other side. Griff had made it over by then and finished it off. He held it up high and I enjoyed his happy exclamation: Dad, my first redhead!

The next morning, we were second in the rezzie line so we got a top blind. And it did produce a wonderful morning’s worth of ducks (and another beautiful Redhead). But sometimes there’s a better hunting memory awaiting you in the final half-hour at a spot no one wants, over a half dozen decoys, than in the most popular blind on the refuge.

~ by SpeakingZenaphorically on November 5, 2007.

One Response to “My Son’s First Redhead”

  1. That’s a nice bird Griff,
    And the picture next to it shows a job well done, good job and happy hunting.

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