Wednesday, March 2, 2011

"Magellan Hunts with the Infamous Don Miller"

***My only hunt with Magellan occurred between Quinn and Mark's hunts, and is documented here:  My Morning with Magellan - the Day the Canvasback Search Ended***

When the idea for having Magellan and the Traveling rig landed in my lap, there were a few people and places I knew I wanted him to hunt with. Mark Blake, known on MsDucks as "Don Miller" was one of those people. I remember the first time I met Mark. It was between Christmas and New Years.  I had traveled over to hunt with a friend, that was a member of Mark's camp in Turkey Scratch. For whatever reason, I got over there later than expected. When I finally pulled up, I jumped out of my Cherokee, and let Gauge air. Somehow he slipped up behind me without me knowing and kindly introduced himself. I had my back turned and when I looked over my shoulder, the dude's appearance scared me to death. Mark played football at Mississippi State and still carried much the same build. Couple that with a bushy beard and bald head...well, those that know him, know what I'm talking about. I've sinced talked to him both online and off about everything from dog training to duck calling. In that time, one thing has become apparent - he's a killer. I knew Magellan would see alot of action. Later, when I announced my plans for Magellan and the rig, I made a promise to myself to not ask anyone to take him. I wanted everyone to do so under their own volition. This did nothing but cause anxiety.  I found myself watching my email constantly, hoping folks like Mark, Ty Willaims, and Pat Pitt (to name but a few) would want to hunt with him. As you can see, Mark and his bunch (who just so happened to be accompanied by Ty) did Magellan right. Here's Mark's stories

DAY 1, 12/03/2010

LOCATION: in and around Sidon, MS
TEMPERATURE: 37-50 degrees
WEATHER: Sunny, West/Southwest wind at 3-5 MPH
KILLS: 15 greenheads, 2 mallard hens (by mistake), 21 Gadwall
FRIENDS: Mark Blake, Ty Williams, Jeff Reeves, Jack Heath, Drake Thornberg, Jason Singh, Trey Wright with Chief SH to retrieve birds.

We got set up with decoys out an hour and a half before shooting time. Several times before legal shooting time the hole filled up with ducks. We knew it was going to be a good hunt. Early on it was fast and furious, with mostly gadwalls, but at the sun got up over the tree line, the mallards started working. We hunted until 12 p.m. but lacked 4 ducks for having a full 7 man limit. Regardless it was a great hunt, and at one time I think I saw a smile cross the lips of Magellan. The days total bag was 38 ducks - 17 mallards and 21 gadwall.

Sunrise over the hole - photo courtesy of Ty Williams

Day 1 post hunt photo - courtesy of Ty Williams

Day 2, 12/05/2010

LOCATION: in and around Money, MS on Leflore County Hunting and Fishing Association
TEMPERATURE: 35-40 degrees
WEATHER: sunny, with a hard North wind at 15-20 MPH
KILLS: 2 greenheads and 1 gadwall
FRIENDS: hunted by myself with Chief SH

With unusually low water, I've been reluctant to hunt the LCHFA.  Even with a mud motor, there are mud flats and stumps that will hang you up.  The morning started with my "unnamed hunting partner" no-showing on me.  I basically ended up dragging my 1542 War Eagle some 400 yds to my duck hole.  Not a fun experience!  Most of the ducks wanted the open water on the local WMA.  I did manage to get a group of mallards in the timber hole where I doubled on greenheads.  Later, a single gadwall made a fatal mistake.  All in all, it was a miserable experience.  After picking up the decoys, I drug the boat back to the landing.  I won't be back until we get another foot of water!

THANKS to Mark and the fellas for taking Magellan you can see from the second day, it's duck hunting and not meant to be easy.

I hope everyone enjoys, check back often, Justin


1 comment:

Unknown said...

Another good read about the adventures of Magellan! Glad 'ol Mark Blake took up the task of showing Magellan around a few duck holes of our fine state!
Joe Mitchell