I really don’t remember the last time that I took Dakota hunting by herself, but Saturday afternoon was her turn to do some duck hunting. I was hoping that the wind would push the ducks off the river and into the sloughs and ponds, and was a little surprised to find no other hunters at the first location we hunted.
Dakota began the hunt with a lot of energy but it didn’t take long for her to wear down.
There wasn’t much flying, but since the sun would soon be setting, I figured it would pick up. In the meantime, I decided to jump shoot any ducks that might already be there. A small flock of teal swung by at high speed and dropped into a pond, so we went after them.
Judging the wind direction, I approached as close as possible to where it appeared they landed and then sent Dakota into the cattails to flush them. What she flushed was a flock of about 50 ducks but I miscalculated, and it would have been a longer shot than I was willing to take.
It’s not snow but dried mold, which may have triggered Dakota’s allergies that took 2 days of eye wash and antihistamines to cure.
I could have brought several down, but it wouldn’t have been a kill shot and Dakota would never have been able to get a wounded duck in a pond that size; a wounded duck will dive and swim underwater to pop up somewhere else.
Dakota was beginning to slow down so we drove to the next area, saving us about a 2 mile walk. Here were 2 hunters set up in cattails near one large pond, but I never heard any shots from them.
Dakota tracked down and flushed several Pheasants during our duck hunt,
We hunted the sloughs for another hour and Dakota was noticeably slowing down and beginning to limp a little from her arthritis. At 9 ½ years old, her hunting days are coming to an end as with Sophie.
Tongue hanging, Dakota still works the cattails while duck hunting.
Seeing how she was slowing down, I cut the hunt short and we hunted our way back to the truck. The other hunters had given up and were gone by the time we returned, so it didn’t appear that they were any more successful than me. Although I may take Dakota out again for a short duck hunt, this was likely her only hunt for the year.