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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've made a few posts about some firsts that have happened to me the past few years, including my first ruddy duck and first merganser. However, I don't think I mentioned that both of those hunts were actually in the same place. It's a spot I found that often produces good diving duck action after a hard freeze.

I had another first at that same spot today.

I went there this morning and was disappointed with the duck action. This picture is a concise summary of the morning - ice cold, and nothing to warm the barrels up. There was still too much open water on the big ponds.

Sky Plant Musical instrument Wood Grass family


There are some mud flats nearby that were holding good numbers of snipe. They would flush and fly around whenever a hawk flew too close. Sometimes, within shooting range. I've certainly had my chances, but haven't ever attempted to hunt snipe before. Partially because I didn't want to misidentify one. Also, because I haven't usually felt a need for more meat than what I already get from other waterfowl.

This morning was different. Thanksgiving dinner wasn't scheduled until 4:30 and I was really hoping to bring something home for a fresh lunch. When the ducks didn't produce, and a lone snipe gave me a perfect crossing shot, I decided to take it.

The retrieve was about a 15-minute ordeal (their camouflage is incredible), but eventually I found it in the salt grass. Neat bird.

Plant Twig Terrestrial animal Bird Grass


I took it home and grilled the breasts to about medium. The flavor was mild and not at all off-putting. Something I'd be happy to eat again. There just wasn't much there. Pretty comparable to a dove breast in size. It was a good garnish for my nachos - you can get a feel for the size by comparing it to the standard-sized dinner plate.

Food Tableware Ingredient Recipe Fast food


I'm still trying to decide if I'll go after them again. On the one hand, they provide some fun wingshooting and good meat. On the other, I don't know that I'd be able to successfully retrieve a majority of the ones I would shoot. A dog would really come in handy.

I think my duck ammo was also seriously overpowered. I got lucky and killed it with what looked like a single pellet to the head, but I probably would have destroyed the edible meat if I'd have shot the breast with #2s. I'll bring some steel target loads out next time, if there is a next time.

I didn't see as many ducks as I thought I would. Not sure if that was just my spot or whether they've started to move south in bigger numbers. The big birds put on a show, though - I saw a bald eagle and several red-tailed hawks, and had a pair of trumpeter swans come right over at about 30 yards. On the whole, a nice morning.

I hope you all had a great holiday. I'm back at it tomorrow - see you out there?
 

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I think you might want to take this post down plenty quick...to my knowledge Curlew are a federally protected bird and not a game bird. Killing one is actually a federal crime and poaching. They have been a protected species for over 125 years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I think you might want to take this post down plenty quick...to my knowledge Curlew are a federally protected bird and not a game bird. Killing one is actually a federal crime and poaching. They have been a protected species for over 125 years.
April Fool's is still months away, BP...
 

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Good job!

Snipe can be tough to prepare. They have an "earthy" flavor similar to robin.
 
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