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Christmas Eve Gift

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Christmas eve has pretty much turned into a mad scramble to get all the presents and all of us successfully to my parent’s house. So when I got the call from my old friend and mentor to squeeze in a quick hunt the night before, I squirmed a little at the thought of making a day like that even longer. The flip side is that surely the hunt would see some ducks down on the water, so it was a pretty easy call. Duck hunters like being tired wet, right?
We walked into what we consider one of the toughest areas to get to there is. Of course, the weather patterns had shifted so that it was raining sideways the whole time and the water had come up the better part of a foot, to boot. The heavy weather had the birds driving deeper into the swamps than normal, but we had several takers. Ironically the weather that had this are fired up was working against us a little driving birds hard to the side as they tried to stage to get down on our decoys. We didn’t leave much on the table, as most of the birds that got down over the decoys were dropped, but there were a few more volleys that couldn’t quite relax and get down out of the heavy winds successfully. The larger circling flocks further back in the timber added to that indecisiveness on their part, to be fair. We didn’t get our limits, but slightly less wind and we had it in the bag.
In the end I got home mid-morning soaked completely through every stitch of my gear, with a pile of ducks to clean before heading off to see what Santa had going on in Alabama. I squirmed at the idea of cramming a hunt in where it didn’t belong, but I sure was glad I did!

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