the birds started dropping into the decoys in the dark. a brief whistle and i could almost see the white ribbons of the wake they'd leave behind as they landed with a hiss.
impossible to know what kind of ducks they the are so i went back to killing dozens of mosquitoes at a time. ankle deep in a muddy slough and these bugs rivaled the worst i've known.
beside me a friend was frantically digging in his bag by the light of his headlamp, our desperation increasing each second with the idea that the bug spray was left behind. when he finds it, i close my eyes and whisper a silent thank you to whomever is listening.
with doves and now early teal, the hunting season is upon us. i shoot only females ducks, not intentionally but by chance. the gadwalls mixed in have me spooked. i choose not to shoot most of the time but come home with a meal and a respect for these drab, incredible fliers.
i brined all of the meat for 2 days. cleaning up my plate i decide i'll use less salt next time around.
i tied a few soft hackles with their delicate breast feathers. i've been binge tying every night. we are moving our basecamp once again and this time we'll be surrounded by trout and the beautiful places that come with them. i'm grateful for our time in the high plains and all that it's taught me about life, wild birds and the places we choose to live.