Thursday, December 21, 2017

Woodberry Alumni Hunt

Duck hunting on the Currituck sound is special.  Even more so when you get to hunt with good buddies who you haven't seen in a while. 

There's the waterfowling history of the place.  The ducks, on their way south down the Atlantic flyway, have made the sound a duck hunting destination for over one hundred years.  Generations of Currituck watermen have guided not only North Carolinians here, but also hunters from all over the country.  

Hunting is done largely the same way that it's been done for a while, from a "scissor rig" in open water.  A "U" shaped juniper frame rests on the bow and gunwale on the ride out.  It is pushed off the gunwale and floats around the boat's bow and port and starboard sides.  Pine cuttings are put upright into holes drilled in the floating juniper.  Then, even more pine cuttings are used to bush up the boat.  The rig itself is anchored, and the boat is tied to the rig, allowing for the boat to untie and retrieve birds.  

Even without a strong weather event, the sound still offers prime opportunities for a Carolina mixed bag.  

About six years ago, we hunted with long-time guide, Paul Garrett.  We hunted with him again this year, and again, we had a great time on the sound.  He's got one heck of a dog, Bocephus, who loves making triple bird retrieves.

Give Paul a shout at 252-267-3056 if you want to hunt on the sound.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Salt Marsh Black Duck

I always try to live by the Boy Scout motto, "Be Prepared."  You never know when Murphy's Law will come into play.

However, just like how you never know when something will go wrong, you never know when something will go right.  Sometimes you're given a rare opportunity.  But to take advantage of this opportunity, you've got to be ready.  

For my brother and me, this meant bringing a shotgun along during some Thanksgiving trout fishing.  

Nothing like drifting down a tidal creek, in hopes of jumping a bufflehead, and instead flushing a black duck from the edge of the spartina grass.  A rare thing around here.

A Return to Wyoming

This past summer I returned to Wyoming.  I've finally gotten around to typing a word or two about it.  

Dang I'd missed Wyoming.  An escape from the claustrophobia of the east.  The peace of mind that comes with open landscape.  The absence of traffic and concrete and sprawling strip malls of suburbia.  The sheer amount of public hunting and fishing opportunities that simply don't exist in the east.  The ease of driving down a dusty dirt road, the crunch of the rock and gravel.  Hopping out of the car, waders, rod, reel, and flies all ready to rock and roll.  The trout, oh how I'd missed them, not too far, a short walk through the sagebrush, down in that clear water, ready to subtly eat a sunken nymph.  

Or, better yet, ready to smash a chubby on the surface.  With such ferocity, sometimes it would even scare you.

There's the peace, the freedom of camping.  You're in the here and now.  No cell service.  Just coffee percolating on a cool morning.


And breakfast tacos, of course.

Images of hopper-takes on a southern Wyoming creek will forever be etched in my brain.

It's hard to beat this place, it truly is.  Good times meeting up with great friends.  And trout more than willing to eat a fake bug.  

I don't think I could ever leave my home state behind... but sometimes, sometimes it's tempting...