It’s mid-July and we’re in the dog days of summer down here in Florida. It’s hot, humid, and prime time for the swimming pool, staying cool, and daydreaming about birds. A far cry from where we’ll all be come fall. It’s also a great time (and mental escape) to get ready for the upcoming hunting season.
On the domestic front, I’ve been knocking out those Honey Do’s Lists like crazy, making sure I don’t leave any lingering projects that would otherwise haunt me in the fall. With the family, we’ve taken some awesome mini-vacations in Florida including renting a Tiny House at Legoland for Hunters 3rd birthday, an amazing weekend with the Florida Palmetto NAVHDA chapter at Blackwater Creek Ranch, and in a few weeks we’re headed to Guy Harvey’s Camp Mack for some fishing, frogging, and most importantly gator scouting.
Closer to home, and by that I mean wingshooting, I’ve been knee deep in a few summer hunting projects.
Earlier this summer I had the chance to sit down with Travis Warren, the founder of upchukar.com (@upchucker) to talk Snipe. Read the Athlete Spotlight interview to get your fill of off-season Snipe talk.
I dipped my toe, and then true to form, both darn legs into decoy painting and flocking. This all started after we zeroed in on some sizable flocks of Black Bellied Whistling Ducks on the last day of the 2017-2018 duck season. We get quite a few opportunities for Black Bellies and Fulvous Whistling Ducks, but they tend to be overhead pass shooting. After seeing this flock we agreed that with the right setup we could work them in close. But first we needed some decoys. Needless to say, good luck finding Black Bellied and Fulvous decoys for sale. Enter flocking....
I got my hands on some full bodied Specklebelly Geese decoys and went to work. With some useful articles and great advice from fellow flockers, I soon had magnum Black Bellies. It’s been a really fun endeavor, firing my creative, artistic, and detail oriented cylinders.
As I write this, I’m finishing up a pair of Mottled Ducks, Fulvous, and Black Bellied floaters. Taking bets that I will have a fully flocked decoy spread by November.
My other big project, better known as a can of worms, has been getting Smokin Quack ready for the fall. Last year I had all sorts of electrical headaches from some poor wiring, which I want no part of this year. Along with a full rewiring, the boats is getting red interior LED's to preserve that night vision, an iPad mount for running Google Earth and onX, and some brushing improvements. The hammer has dropped now that my group has three Alligator permits to try and fill in August. Way more on that topic to come!
Lastly, I’ve been locking the fall hunting calendar and planning a few out of state hunts. Teaser alert: October I’m headed to the Upper Peninsula of MI for Grouse and Woodcock, November to NJ for sea ducks, and January to LA for Snipe, Woodcock, and ducks.
Can You Feel It in the Air?
Is it just me, or when the calendar flipped from June to July the fall suddenly didn’t seem too far away. It’s time to go break some clays to sharpen the skills, do some summer scouting, and get your gear organized.
It also has me committed to delivering you a full library of Snipe and wingshooting focused education, tips, and how to’s. You can expect new content coming out twice a month throughout the remainder of the summer and all the way through the fall hunting season. Here’s what I have in store for you:
Finding Snipe cover, habitat and scouting
Equipment and gear guides
Snipe tactics and bird recovery
Field dressing, preparation and cooking
And way more…
If there is something you would be interested in reading about, drop me a line: firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also expect a number of sales on Marshdoodle hats and stickers all throughout the season starting now! Use promo code “DogDays” to get 40% off from now until July 31, 2018. That’s just $15 for an awesome, high-quality hat.
Until next time, enjoy the summer, knock-out those honey do’s, and go break some clays. The birds are upon us!
I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.
— L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables