Monday, March 12, 2012

March and April Goals

The off season is no fun for the North Carolina Duck Hunting inductee. There's no legal way to pursue summer ducks, and there's no way to hunt any ducks for that matter. Still, one can prepare for the upcoming onslaught of roughly 100 days of waterfowl pursuit, beginning in early September. And I'm not just talking about cleaning and storing the decoys, even though I've done an awful lot of that in the past 45 days.

Goal 1:
I need to find a new place to hunt. Sure, I have about 10 places that are pretty fool proof, but the crowds almost guarantee that I'm going to lose my place, eventually. Scouting requires a lot of time, effort, and money, but it's an investment that one must make if they hope to receive good dividends. The last couple of years has seen me forsake the Scuppernong Squealer, AKA, the wood duck. I'm going to look for places that require a little more, ummmmmm, leg work or boat riding. Most folks just don't seem to want to make the effort for good sport, and generally, I agree. But Aix Sponsa can make or break a slow hunting season.

Goal 2:
I want to build some blinds, by golly. Yes, I'm the guy that takes over a "crippled" blind and hunts from it. However, blinds left for dead are left for dead for one reason. They just don't produce. Sure, I've had luck at them, and while this year was no great example of what COULD happen, I want my very own blinds. The only way to build a blind that others will leave alone is to either hide it, or make it uncomfortable. And some people will still want to destroy it. For those jacklegs who are brazen and disrespectful enough to destroy another person's investment in a blind, please take a moment to copulate yourself. Nevertheless, I'm going to erect a couple of curtain blinds, but only after getting the idea approved by the friendly neighborhood game warden. I've got an effective and cheap way to do such a project, I just need the time. I'll use the coming month to test prototypes. I'd also like to make a few sod blinds, but those, too, might need approval from a game warden, or worse yet, the DOT. Sod blinds are blocks of mud, used to create an island through sedimentation of sands in windblow, tidal areas. The blocks of mud are stacked on each other and held erect with the use of a wooden stack or iron t-post. It's a great way to make your own little island, yet the legality of the devices could be dubious at best. But if it's OK, nobody can burn it down, unless they find a way to burn mud underwater.

Goal 3:
I really want to complete my wooden and cork decoy stand in the next 60 days. The odds of such an occurrence are somewhere between slender and nil, but it could happen. I'm using decoys from myself and friends to round out a meager 36 bird spread that will replace my beloved Herters. The Herters, I would prefer, should be stored and not used as they are the only collectible decoys I have in appreciable numbers. But at the rate people are making their own styrofoam decoys, it's my supposition that the heads and inletted iron weights will be the only identifying factors. Herters are collectible now, but only because they aren't being currently produced in a factory. Their long tradition and upper-midwest lines make it a nice and effective decoy, though. Of course, few will ever exist in original paint, but they weren't meant to be, either. All of mine have had improvements to the shell and a better paint scheme applied. I'm currently completing 5 cork canvasbacks that will be gifts to others that I've enjoyed the pleasure of hunting with over the past couple of years. When I give a decoy as a gift, it's always a canvasback.

That's it for the next 60 days. I'll also need to get a boat tune-up, but that's on the mechanic. No way am I doing that!

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