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Sorry, no pics. Well,---------, I don't post every hunt/fish but this was the best of the season for many reasons. :D Because of this, I'm going to be verbose and brag, I guess. The only thing that would have made it better was to have RiverRat and buddy with me. :wink: Also jumping a goose, I guess. Anyways, we unlocked the gate, went to the river and looked - nothing. Ok, now I've got to decide whether to tromp thru 12+ in. of snow above the river. Decided to be "tough" and give it a try. The first 1/2 mi. had a reasonable cow path along the river so it was ok. Still nothing but a few deer that I had to scold Sparky not to chase. After a while, the trail changed to a deer trail, well traveled, so I decided to keep going. Anywho, after about 1/4 mi. I started seeing deer. Probably saw more than 50 deer during my tromp. Cut into the trees at my first likely spot and again nothing. Mostly frozen but some open water. Anyways headed up river again and was approaching the N. most boundary and new there would be a "hole" of open water and my last chance. As I was approaching "my spot" a bunch of duckies came in and appeared to land in "in my spot". Oh boy, now I knew!!!!!! :shock: Sparky and I tromped to the area and eased up to the bank. Yep, there they were. Took the first drake as he was rising, pulled on another and dropped him along with a hen that was in the line of fire and then pulled on the last drake disappearing over the tree line on the other side and resulted in a bunch of feathers and going down out of site.
Now, the good part. none on the river were dead. Yeah, I know, there goes my record. Anyways, I dispatched the hen after reloading so she wouldn't get away. Sparky got her and then grabbed a wounded drake and brought him back but it swam across river and disappeared. Well another drake was swimming down river, diving,etc. and I thought I'd best go after him before he got away around the bend, etc. Had to hurry, fell on my face coming off the bank in deep snow and ran the best I could down river (I'm in my 70's) and tried to catch up. Thru another shot at him , too far. Last shell, only took 6 with me. Well I chugged along the best I could and thru my last shot at him down river and hit him a little bit again. Well, Sparky, bless his heart, ran him down and brought him back wherein I dispatched him for good. Now I'm a little bushed. Went back and put him and the hen in my day pack and started looking for the remaining 2. If you remember, I had left a wounded one in the river and another disappearing over the trees. Sent the Sparkinator looking for the one I had left at the river. Nothing!!!!! Up and down the river we looked. Still nothing. Sparky finally headed up the bank searching and on his way back allerted in an overhanging tree with brush and drug him out. Whoopie!!! Man I love that dog. I am really, really bothered if I can't find em. Well, now I've got to try to find the one I hit across the river and headed away over trees and stuff. Stached the last drake and headed into the trees and gullies. Remember, deep snow. Anyways, we struggled around heading away from the river and couldn't find Jack Sh--t. ****! Well, Sparky disappeared up a little draw and came back with the last drake dead as a door nail. :D Man, was I proud and loved him up accordingly. He may not bring him back to hand but he finds em and brings em back close enough!!!! He may be obnoxious with his demands for attention but all is attributted to his exuberance and love for life and affection.
Anyways, that ain't the end. After seeing more than 50 deer and about 10-12 Golden eagle what do we run across, a big ol bull moose. Wow, good thing the Sparkinator didn't see him and I didn't have the confrontation and charge that I experienced 4 years ago. Sparky got back to the truck with me looking like a blond with all the frozen water and snow and stuff but all was good. :lol: I actually think that the frozen water and snow helps insulate him. Man, I just feel very, very fortunate that I can experience this stuff and keep on going. :D :D :D
Leaky
 

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Hey Leaky,
Congrats. on the great hunt. It's good to see your still getting out after them. Give Sparky another scratch behind the ears...he earned it.. 8) :D
 

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Way to go Leaky.... glad you got out again. The club right? Sure wish I could have gotten up there with you this year. Sparky is a **** good dog... puts a lot of "duck dogs" to shame out in the marsh... I'd take your dog pretty much any day over most of the random dogs folks are packing around with them out there. At least he didn't have to make any 1000 yard retrieves this year. Wish you'd gotten pictures of the bull and some of the deer... that would be cool to see. Speaking of which... how is the river? Was thinking of perhaps picking up some flies and possibly meeting up for some whitefishing if its fishable... you know, access ladders where we met last time out there? What do you think?? Is it worth it?? or should I go elsewhere (like down in SF canyon) to go fishing? I think Wendy is going to give me a kitchen pass for this weekend so I'm going to try and wet a line somewhere... running water preferred.
 
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