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Rhode Island

Sea Ducks

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To help keep the thread going I have a story.

About 18 years ago I went on my first real "duck hunt". I had a Labrador pup that I had been training and had shot some woodies and puddle ducks from a local swamp, but this was a "big water" hunt. A college buddy had an uncle that was a real salty-dog waterfowler, and he took us out to a big lake a few hours away. We climbed into his rickety 12 foot boat (three guys, two Labs, and about 100 dozen decoys) and headed out across the blackness. It was about 10 degrees and ice was forming all over the boat. We had about an inch of sidewall above water. It was pitch black and I couldn't see a thing. I could only hear the drone of the little outboard, and the waves lapping at the bow. I was pretty sure I was going to die. We finally made it out to a little island and spent the next four hours (sure seemed like it) setting dekes.

The "birds" were flying great, and we spent the morning filling our "limits" of ......yep.....mergansers. I was having a blast, and to me, the mergansers were a cool oddity to my usual woodie/greenhead bag. I can't remember what the limit was back then, but between the three of us, it was quite a few birds.

So imagine my amazement when we arrived back at the boat ramp to find that my gracious guides wanted to give ME all their birds! LUCKY ME! I spent half that night cleaning birds (including quite a few that I freakin' plucked).  

The next day the house was filled with the wonderful aroma of fresh-baked rotten fish. I roasted them, pan fried them, barbecued them on the grill, and even smoked a couple. I don't think I ate more than a bite from any of them. The dog sure did appreciate the effort though.

The next time I saw these jokers, they couldn't stop laughing, and I was ready to drowned them both.

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