Duck Season… At Last!
November 13, 2016
Last year, duck season kind of rolled around and caught me unprepared. I was also, to be honest, less than motivated. We had plenty of rainy, grey days, but it was way too warm to get very excited about duck hunting. Worse, it stayed warm all season.
On top of that, I still didn’t really know any good places to go. It was my first season being back in NC, and over the 20 years since I moved away, development pretty much swallowed up most of my old hunting areas. The places on the bigger water, along the Cape Fear pretty much require a motor boat, which I did not have. The old, freighter canoe and the kayaks are OK for some things, but beating against a 5 to 7 knot current gets a little tiring. I’m not the young man I once was, and I’m in nowhere near the physical condition I was in 20 years ago.
I’ve remedied some of that with the addition of a motor for the canoe. This has given me mobility in a very shallow-draft boat, and I’ve been able to get out and do some exploring in the local waters, both the Neuse and the Northeast Cape Fear. It’s also been a little chillier the past week, and despite the bright, blue skies, I was pretty fired up to get out on the opener.
It’s still early in the season, and up until this weekend, the temps have mostly stayed pretty warm. I didn’t have really high hopes yesterday morning, but figured some of the local wood ducks would give me some action. They did, but unfortunately, the action was to buzz by in the first shooting light, and then go on down and light around the river bend. I never even pulled the trigger.
I have also been really looking forward to getting in a full season with my new(ish), CZ Bobwhite. I’d been wanting a 20ga SxS for quite some time, and Kat hooked me up for my birthday last year. I didn’t really get a lot of use out of it last season, though. I had been a bit concerned because the gun tended to be very difficult to break open after a shot. At first, I wrote it off to just being stiff and new, but it didn’t really feel that way. During dove season this year, I killed a few birds, but had to pretty much break the action over my knee every time.
When I finally broke down and took a closer look, I could see a drag mark across the primer. That’s a pretty good indication that the firing pin is either sticking, or over-protruding. I considered trying to fix it myself, but decided against the risk of damage, and contacted CZ-USA about getting it repaired under warranty. They told me to fill out the form (a quick process), then they sent me a repair authorization and a shipping label. The standard turn-around time for warranty work is four to six weeks, but the rep I spoke to said it’s usually much quicker. We’ll see. FedEx picked it up on Friday, and I’m hoping to have it back by the time the duck season gets rolling in earnest.
Iggy, by the way, was pretty excited about the season opener as well. He’s not a big fan of doves, and usually spits them out when he gets close to me. Ducks, though… well, he hasn’t had a ton of opportunity, but when he has retrieved ducks, I can see that he’s in his element. I’m hoping the birds will come on down this season, so he’ll have plenty of chances to do his thing.