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It all started early when my 12 year old brother in law and I found out we drew swan tags together. We prepared for a few months and we're super stoked for the season. We knew it would be hard to get out as I have two little boys under 2, they take a lot of time. My wife is a champ and said we would be able to get out to hunt the big white birds, length depended on how the boys were doing and if they were having good days or bad days.
Things took a turn as the first trip of the year out my dad and I hit the stupid pothole and totaled the trailer. Lucky for us everything else was fine. My brother in law decided to take the boat out for the first trip by putting the boat in the bed of the truck, and boy was it more work than it was worth. Our first trip we were skunked. Saw lot of birds had a few swans, but nothing special. That takes us to yesterday the 24th our second trip out and starting to get fairly late in the season. Thinking swans should be in I figured yesterday was our chance to fill out tags. We were up at 4 am to head out. We wanted to be in our spot early to make sure we had the spot we wanted. It also takes a bit of time to unstrap everything and get the boat in the water. Once we were in the water we headed out. We were in our spot setting up decoys and everything was looking great. We were getting setup in the boat and just getting guns out and I realized it was shooting time and we had ducks all over us. Once we were setup and ready birds were moving great. They moved from shooting light to about 11:30. Singles and doubles worked the spread perfectly. We had some poor shooting and didnt take some shots that we should have. The most disappointing part was there was little swan movement. Had one big group that was high look at the spread and that was it. Where are the swans? It is crazy! I haven't been out much, but I always see good numbers. This year is way different.
The boys were having a good day and staying busy so the wife said we could stay out as long as we needed. We moved spot to maybe have a better duck shoot and it was now 2:30 pm. Ducks moved for about 45 minutes and then completely dead. All of a sudden clear up against the mountain I asked my brother in law "what are the two big birds flying way out there". Jokingly he said "oh they are definitely swans". At this point I realized he was right, they were swans, and they were heading on a string right to the decoys. We hurried and switched to our 3 1/2 inch loads and sat patiently. They were cupped and coming right into the sweet spot that I was hoping swans would be in for a good shot. I called the shot as they were cupped and almost landing on the water. Two shots, one from me, and one from my brother in law and both swans were on the water.
This is my brother in laws first swan. I have shot a few, but I still get just as excited as my first. Decoying swans is where it's at and always is such a cool sight. Glad we got it done before the season shuts down. Good luck to everyone else still hunting and hope you get one.
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