Wednesday, November 24, 2010

"Grey Duck"

Better than a mile off the nearest road or four-wheeler trail, seperated by two sloughs of epic proportion and what once was a feeder creek to an old river, lies a place of special significance to me. It's one of those places you dream of in your sleep. It's a place that most any man could spend time, thinking and working out "life". A place whose only noise is ducks overhead, deer running through the flooded timber, and the occational squirrel angrily chattering and warning others of the hawk flying overhead.

It's name is derived from an answer I commonly give folks that ask where I've been hunting, "oh, just an ole grey duck hole." Over the years, I've shortened it to simply "grey duck." No real facts to base this off of, but I'm quite certain that the grey duck wackage to other ducks killed is probably 2:1. And, I don't go often. Just when I need some exercise, to think a bit, or I really need to kill something. It is rare that it has failed to deliver on any of the three.

In physical stature, one would call "grey duck" a fortress. An extremely hard to get to fortress. As mentioned, the distance of the walk is significant and quite a stretch with gear in tow. Sloughs ridden with beaver runs and cypress knees cause even the most experience to second guess their footing. Then there's the buck brush. As difficult to penetrate as has ever grown. I know of one "easy" way into this hole - under the guard of two sister cypress trees. They silently keep watch over a duck hole that really shouldn't be there. Just ask my friends.

Friends? Honestly, in regard to this hole, I have very few. It's that special of a place. Sometime, several years ago, I was on a squirrel hunting/looking for duck holes expedition with a few college buddies that liked to hunt. We had walked quite a few miles to be sure, all in the hopes of finding a hole I thought I saw ducks falling into the year before. Due to the high water that year, I just couldn't get to it but made a mental note. As far as Reggie knows, I never found that hole that day. We were tired and thirsty for the cold beer at the truck and quite frankly, I had worn out my "just a bit further's". As I finally gave in, deciding I had my bearings wrong, I turned to follow Reggie out. And, I saw it. Not a hundred yards through the timber, I noticed the unmistakeable opening in the canopy. That opening is something everyone that scouts for duck holes is looking for.

I asked Reggie to stop and go a bit further, but he was uninterested. Really, in his defense, he wasn't much into hunting, but he did like his brew. This was the last time anyone has been asked to go to "grey duck".

I, however, did go check it out. What I found just felt like a duck hole. Gigantic cypress trees towering over an old river bed. Actually, this had to be a old bend in the river as it forms an "L". And it's fairly big and deep. Many a cold, blustery morning has this hole stayed open enough to keep shooting, making the walk in worthwhile.

Over the last several years, many a migrating fowl have been worked into that hole. Many shot at, and less have died. Today was no different. Most big ducks were interested, some wouldn't finish, others wouldn't die. Maybe one of these days I'm gonna work on my lack-luster shooting, I know I need it.

It's been said so many times before, by so many people that have a far greater grasp of the English language than myself; but, I'm quite certain that when God created "grey duck", He had His game face on.

1 comment:

Adrian said...

We all have a hole like that. It is a rare and special treat to find one. I once found one in DNF. Near a greentree. Looked great. Had ducks in it when I "found" it in late august. Unfortunately I've never killed a duck out of it. My hole is lacking!