Sounds like a sordid rendezvous really, doesn't it? That's probably what SWMBO was thinking... by now she's at the end of her tether and praying for some season or other to end.... I didn't have the heart to break the news about the upcoming quail hunt to her. Ooops. (In deference to her, I actually opted out of getting up super early this morning to chase geese, I knew that would be a bridge too far and wouldn't be viewed as obsessive hunting; rather it would be considered a major piss-take. Although, I did actually try to get permission; that just led to a meltdown of reasonable proportions).
But Saturday afternoon was reserved for a final quick hunt in Northland on the Green Pond. I'd arranged to get there early to help Matt weigh and sort bier sticks; we'd had approx. 80kg of duck/goose/pork/turkey etc processed into bier sticks, which are far more easily utilised than salamis. I got to Matt's at 2.15 to find him mowing grass for our blinds, so we grassed up and got the blinds and decoys ready.
Soon Chewy and Tony rolled in and we got our preps more or less completed. At this point I have to say that we were hoping to shoot perhaps half a dozen ducks; since the rains had come the birds had simply spread out all over the district, overnighting on refreshed ponds and feeding out in paddocks on an ample supply of worms. So as we sat around chewing the fat and relaxing the talk turned to items other than hunting.. and probably included the usual amount of smack.
The lads were pretty amped about the goose hunt in the morning; our Kaipara efforts this year have had pretty lean results at best...
The first ducks caught us sitting out of our blinds, they just zoomed in and set into the stiff breeze; we upped at fired and the birds tumbled.
Well mine didn't, I got a shot away and the gun appeared to jam. I cleared the empty that was half ejected and thought nothing of it, even though I'd never had a hang like that before. The next pair in were spotted a ways off, Matt took the hen and I blotted out the drake. He fell belly up and I could see a bright band on one of his orange legs. I had to clear the empty again, and right then I knew I had a problem. I tried manually ejecting the live shell from the breach, and while the shell would pick up the ejector wouldn't throw it. Damn. but I suppose after 10 + years and tens of thousands of rounds of faultless service something had to give.
We weren't getting inundated with birds but the hunt was cool and a fitting end to our collective Northland seasons, especially as right on dark a heap of birds were up. They'd be safe for another 10 months.
After picking up we lit a fire, sat around and got the goose gear ready and packed. As I drove off I wished I could be there in the morning; but to me, the broken gun seemed a sign that it just wasn't meant to be.