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North Alabama Waterfowl Season Opener

I guess it’s a sign that we’re getting old, when even duck season gets here before you know it. I’d done the bare minimum to get ready for the kickoff and ended up spending all day scrambling after filling up of holiday food (remind me to tell you about the kayak ghillie suit). I had the truck locked and loaded by 8:00pm and moved to the SCP (standard couch position) to visualize the unseen nightmares I’d be discovering in the dark on Friday. Before I fell asleep, I got the call to join some old friends hunting a fairly tough to-get-to spot. Although the area isn’t know to hold a ton of early season birds, it seemed a safe bet to be away from the crowds if nothing else.

We were met with heavy fog and surprising amounts of water, but not many ducks. It ended up being a dressed rehearsal, which was just fine with all three of us. Plenty of wood ducks traded all around us for an hour or so. We passed on some easy woodies and of course took some shots at a few more. A single gadwall got popped for spending too much time looking at the decoys, and that was about it.

The really weren’t any surprises. We heard some shooting around the area (always with wood ducks in the area). The weather was mild, every person with a license was out and the big ducks aren’t here yet. We got out sometime after 10:00am and barely made it to the breakfast joint before the lunch serving (which by the way was a highlight).

There’s plenty of reason to have high expectations for this season despite some weaker food crops in our area. We’ve had some weak waterfowl seasons in recent years, so it would be a good shot in the arm for a wet and cold winter to drag a ton of ducks through our area. As usual we start the season thinking that way, and finish it with complex theories as to why we didn’t kill 500 ducks each. Either way, boy it was good to be in the swamps again today!

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