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I'm Now Officially A Wildfowler !!!

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Well my first flight of the season couldn't of started any better. This year I started all afresh so to speak. A new local marsh, a new SXP waterfowl pump and a new pup to bring out. This would be her very first flight after just turning 1year old the Sunday before.


The alarm was set for 4am, even though it really wasn't needed, as if any sleep would of been had in all the anticipation of being back out on the mud. Up dressed and dig out for a quick empty before leaving at 4.30am. A quick trip down the road and arrived at the foreshore,out on the marsh hide up and settled into place for the wait all by 5.15am. I was shooting over a small inlet, which tends to hold the interest of the ducks. The marsh was buzzing with the sounds of life awakening, as I was sitting there just taking it all in a pack of 5 mallard come whizzing out of the mist to my left, within range and heading straight for the inlet I was set up on. With this I swung onto a drake and pulled the trigger, the Ely lightning 3" 36g no3's finding there mark and folding the drake beautifully out onto the mud 50yrds away. I continued to swing through the pack and dropped another drake, this 1 landed way out into the ocean. The young dog sat bolt upright and marked both birds like a seasoned old pro.


After making sure the gun was safe I lined the pup up for her first ever wildfowl retrieve from the cold choppy ocean, without hesitation in she ran, SPLASH a text book swim out and retrieve from around 40 yards. I couldn't of had more pride of my young dog... or so I thought.


A fine drake was taken from the dog and with a little praise she was lined up ready for the dead mallard out on marsh, with the back command she powered out over a small creek and into the fall area. She held the ground lovely and hunted well. On 3 occasions I had to stop her and correct her to the right hand side where I seen the bird land, however she kept pulling to the left. It was soon obvious the duck was not as dead as I first thought and was a runner.


With this I gave the young dog the find it command and left her to her own devices, she quickly pulled to the left and disappeared into a gutter. With this she was gone, for 10 minutes she was out of my sight, all manner of things racing through my mind, but I'd learned from experience to always trust the dogs nose. It seemed like a age before I seen any sight of her again, and what a sight it was.


There she was all mud splattered, and proudly carrying a very much alive flapping drake mallard. The best part was that she appeared approximately 300 yards from behind me. That duck must og got in a small creek and paddled it's way up the marsh. The sheer joy and pride I felt toward my young dog at that moment words cannot describe. Finally with two ducks in the hide I mode the decision there and then that our flight for the day was already over. There's no way it could of been topped or equelled even. And all this by 6am.


For the remainder of the flight we just watched the marsh do its thing. I could of had a lot more duck that moment as it was a very good flight, but I've never been into the big numbers and 2 was more than sufficient for me. After all it was all about getting my young dog Teal a retrieve. Which I think we achieved. All in all it was an awesome first flight of the season and not bad for a pup of 12 months of age.



Packed up, breakfast sorted and dog fed and cleaned up by 8.30am all ready for the evening flight..... now that is another story.







Cheers HH

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