Not so brilliant season opening
Aug 20 is typically my official opening and since 2015, my opening takes place near the Russian border. There is no feeding station for the mallards, so we are really at the mercy of nature, and this year she was not in a giving mood at all. The weather was too nice, sunny, hardly any wind - and then I was a crappy shot, and I was not too pleased with my dogs, either. Here´s the full story!
We had new hunting grounds - and it looked promising, reed, some water, woods and field - all to ourselves. But then on Aug 20 at noon, when it starts, it was sunny and hardly any wind, so all the birds we saw were high up - and even if we did see something at a fair distance, we blew it by crappy shooting. The evening was not much better - but at least each time we went out, there was at least one decent chance of getting some meat on the table.
The best chances were on a very rainy evening, it was literally pouring down, but thanks to my Sitkagear - the coat is excellent, the trousers are not 100 % watertight, but very pleasant to wear - and my new seat - a stick with leather strap - kept me in a position I did not get my feet all wet. So I was comfy enough, and downed a teal (anas grecca), but it got lost and my dogs did not find it. My GSP was being silly, he really does not like to be in the rain - so he basically hid in the bushes and would not leave. The labrador - true to his heritage - on the other hand did not mind getting wet, and he did go after the teal, but the bird propably dove - it was nowhere to be found. Sad :(
Well, Simon did find it eventually, but two days in the water is too much - so waste of meat that one. But I should mention this - I had a semiautomatic Breda with me, and as you know they spit out the empty cartridge shell and in the grass reef it´s super difficult to find it, especially when it starts to get dark. I really hate the idea of leaving any rubbish behind, so I was super happy to get help from Simon - he collected all of my empty shotgun shells and brought them back to me!
Then I also shot a mallard, but that too got lost and was never found. People in a FB-group were chatting about birds/game which is shot but never found - and yes ofcourse it is always a pity when that happens - but luckily it´s not often. And the birds naturally do have a strong sense of survival and will dive to avoid being caught - so not always an easy task for the retriever. It happened to me this time, I shot, but lost the game.
So not one decent meal frm the game that was shot - cannot be happy with that, but it just goes to show, it´s not always that simple. I did get plenty of fresh air, early wakeup calls and great time outdoors - always an investment to myself and my dogs!
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