My trip to Texas to go Duck Hunting with EMS Artifact, Ambulance Driver, and Limey Buddy was all too short, but it was still a great time and my batteries are (more or less) recharged.
Flew out Friday morning, which meant an oh-bloody-hell-it-is-early wake up at 2:30, on the road by 3:00 to get to Indianapolis airport. I no longer have any VIP status with any of the airlines, but that's OK... I don't like having to travel as much as it takes to get and keep that status. For the one flight a year I take, I'll suck it up and fly with the commoners.
Got to the counter, checked my bag with my sidearm (I didn't bring my own shotgun, and borrowed one from AD to save on yet another checked bag), and got my groping by the Thousands Standing Around. After that, it was on to a cup of coffee and the gate. I was fortunate enough to get assigned an exit row, which was pleasant, and the trip down was uneventful.
Landed in DFW, collected my bag, and off to the rental car place. Got the car, got the Limey, went to get EMS Artifact, and then headed west to Weatherford (with a stop along the way for lunch).
Once we checked in to the hotel, we made a quick trip to WalMart for ammo and a few assorted and sundry items, then AD arrived with his lady, and we commenced to eating pizzas and drinking beers.
Saturday, at 0400, we rose, dressed, and stopped for a thermos of coffee before meeting the guide. If you are ever on the western side of Fort Worth and want a duck hunting guide, go talk to Jeff at Silver Creek Guide Service. He's quality people, works his tail off to make your hunt simple and enjoyable, and won't do you wrong.
Jeff put us in a sunken blind (you can see it if you zoom in here) and while we weren't expecting many ducks on Saturday -- 20+ mph winds with gusts to 40 are not conducive to duck hunting -- we were pleasantly surprised. Shooting steel in wind like that made for more than one missed shot, but we still landed 12 ducks on Saturday (mostly gadwalls and widgeon, plus one nice sized Mallard.)
Broke up around 11am, went out for a late brunch, then back to the hotel to filet the breast meat, take a nap, and get some dinner.
Sunday, we went out again, this time a bit more excited... The weather app on the phone was calling for 28 degrees and a 10 mph northern wind... PERFECT conditions for high volumes of ducks.
But, being weather forecasters, they were, of course, wrong. The temp was right on, but absolutely no wind. This, of course, means the ducks have little incentive to get off the big waters of Lake Weatherford and seek shelter in smaller ponds like the one we were hunting. We saw a couple flights early, and landed 6 more ducks, but nothing at all was flying after about 7:30. We called it a day around 10:00 am and packed it in.
Monday took me back to Indy, then a drive home with the duck breast fillets (nobody else could take any duck meat home, so I got it all!) and my bag full of laundry and my mind cleared of troubles and stress.
I'll be headed back to Texas again next year. This is the sort of therapy that I need.