Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Weekend Update #37: And....cue the ducks!

This weekend snuck up on me pretty quickly. One second it was Monday, I was sitting at work trying to get caught up from being gone the week before....then the next second it was Friday. While I would normally LOVE for a week of work to pass so quickly, this weekend was testing my Capricorn sense of order and structure.

You see, we have hockey season tickets...and this was going to be the first weekend I'd get to go to a game. But, at the same time, the litter of black labs (from which our new puppy will be selected) was born on Tuesday night, and we had an opportunity to travel to North Platte, NE to see them.

Puppies, hockey....puppies, hockey.....

And, to add even more temptation, the ducks should be flying. Thanksgiving dinner, here we come.

So, this was the plan...come home Friday and pack, go to the game Friday night, then drive west on Saturday morning.

This is what actually happened....Thursday night, Mot bats his long eyelashes at me, and hockey is but a breeze.

I rushed home after work Friday, packed my bag (Mot had packed the Jeep with all of our hunting gear earlier that day)...and we left town.

We were geared for (as Mot put it) a small gang war. We were loaded for bear. Every caliber of handgun, shotgun, and rifle.....ammo....and camo as far as the eye could see.

Why all the gear? Well...because it was gorgeous weather here in Omaha...raining, but still nice.

In North Platte, it looked like this......

18 inches of snow had fallen Thursday night.

We arrived about 10 pm Friday. Mot's brother and sister-in-law (who I will call his sister from now on, because typing sister-in-law out each time is annoying) were hosting a small get together with a group of friends.

We were met with hugs, hellos, and booze.

After revisiting (in my head) my Halloween party antics the weekend before, I politely declined the tequila.

For about ten minutes.

(shaking my head)

Not sure what time we all got to bed.....midnight, maybe a little before. Not too bad.

Until we had to get up at 5 am the next morning to go duck hunting.

Since we'd spent Friday night hanging out and talking with friends, we didn't spend Friday night getting our gear set out and ready for the morning....so Saturday am started a bit rough.

(I was literally pulling the tags off my new waders as we were loading into the truck to head out.)

The drive across their hunting land was....well.....interesting. Not only did they get 18 inches of snow....it was quite possibly the wettest snow I've ever experienced.

We made it through the mud and muck better than any of us expected.

The temps were in the upper 30's, lower 40's.....we were all toasty warm in our gear....and drinking black coffee.

Yep, Nej drank black coffee. I just normally can't stomach it....but it was pretty good that morning!!!

Once we got the decoys laid, guns loaded and dog kenneled, we sat back to listen to the land wake up.

Turkeys and coyotes EVERYWHERE!!!!

When the sun started peaking over the horizon, the ducks started coming in.

It was a good morning!!

In between flights of ducks, the three of us sat in the blind and talked. I haven't ever really had much chance to sit and talk to Mot's oldest brother. It was nice finally getting to.

Hunting ducks this early in the season is usually a pretty quick thing. So we packed up about 10 am or so and headed home.

We took some time that afternoon to drive out to see the puppies!!!! Dottie (the female) is such an awesome dog. I've wanted one of her pups since I first laid eyes on her, and then got to spend some time with her and see her personality.

I've never seen such a driven hunting lab, that is so darned mellow when she's not hunting. It's like someone flips a switch when she takes to the field. And I LOVE THAT! It's very suited to our personalities.

When we pulled up to the house, I was expecting to get to peak into a room and see the pups. Little did I know I was going to be able to hold them all, and practically climb into the whelping box so mom could have some attention too.

There's nothing like the smell of a new little puppy. Holding them in your hands and having them try to pry milk from your fingers....then eventually getting warm in your palms and falling back to sleep.

I have puppy fever.

When we got back, the two brothers finished cleaning our birds, while the girls found the NE football game on TV.

I (not being a huge Cornhusker fan - but being outnumbered by a house full of alumni) found a big comfy chair and took a nap. :-)

That evening, a group of people (those that were there the night before) started showing up one by one. It was Halloween, so Erin (Mot's niece) took to the streets with her friends.

Bob and Deb (Mot sister and brother) made some food, Mot made some margaritas...and we all sat down to talk and hang out.

Mot and I snuck away to go to bed fairly early...while the rest of the group sat up talking about their large motorcycle trip they took last summer.

Plus.....Sunday morning, bright and early - more duck hunting.

Cup of coffee, check.
Sweetie (yellow lab), check.
30 degree temps, check.
Waders (quite the fashion statement), check.

The sun starting to come up behind Bob.

It was a bluebird day. Warm temps, no wind, and no ducks. We'd been lucky and caught some flights of ducks the day before, still being pushed by the 18 inches of snow...but by Sunday, allot of it had melted, and the ducks were nowhere to be seen.

So, we packed up the decoys and gear at about 9:30 am, and headed over to the west side of the property. Bob wanted to hike through and check out his deer stands.

It was quite the walk....with snow earlier had completely swamped it in. Good thing we were all wearing waders.

When we got back to the house, Mot and I packed up the Jeep and headed home. The rest of the group (from the night before) were loading up their ATV's and heading into their canyonland property to get muddy.

Neither of us had an ATV, and we didn't want to take someone else's and leave people sitting and waiting to take turns, so we politely declined to go along. Maybe next time we'll take Mot's folk's ATVs with us when we go out.


the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

You...hunt ducks with your husband.

My wife...has never seen a real gun.

I've never hunted ducks, but my dad did a lot when I was a kid. It was how I got to really know what a bird looked like and how I could start to identify them easily, either on the wing or in the water.

And how I became to be a fan of the American Coot. Mostly because it's a funny name.

Nej said...

Coot, coot, coot....

I like wigeon, for the same reason. :-)

Wigeon, wigeon, wigeon.....

I'm not very good at identifying them, never have been. I'm good if I can say "Hey, that's a duck" and it actually is. (hehehe)