I had so much fun on my first duck hunt with our friends from Flatpit (read about it here) I jumped at the chance to go again when our buddy Charlie “danger” invited me. He had drawn a good number for Wister and we were headed out for a Sunday hunt. Now at this point it’s January and we are in California’s second super lock down for the COVID-19 so we were going to have to adjust our plans a little since campong at Wister was closed.
Lucky for us we had a solid group of buddies from Triple B adventures a great organization that gets veterans out hunting hiking and fishing. So, there was a brain trust at work, and they found a local desert campground/mobile home type park to camp at about 15 minutes down the road from Wister. In true fashion I threw everything in my truck and launched out Saturday for a nice drive from Ramona over Julian and into the desert and around the southern end of the Salton Sea to meet up. I got there early in the afternoon and out buddy Brady from the Gray Man Project was already there, and it was nice to hang out and catch up. A little later Justin showed up and later Charlie made it is and we had a good chance to catch up around the fire grab some dinner (thanks again for the sandwich Charlie) and an early night because 0200 in the morning comes early.
We rolled out of bed at an unnatural time to wake up, haha and broke camp as we convoyed to Wister for the blind assignments. It was definitely a smaller group than opening day and everyone was masked up and socially distanced as Charlie grabbed out blind and we filled out our paperwork. It was a lot chillier in January nothing compared to other places in the country but after sweating in November the cool temperatures were very welcome. We drove out to our assigned area and off loaded the gear.
Charlie made quick work of setting up the decoys and we explored around the area for good blinds and hunkered down and waited for our shoot time. I was excited based on my last experience I was a seasoned duck hunter now and ready to shoot my limit, haha. Well let’s just say my expectations and what I got where two different things. We had ponds on either side with large open areas and they were not that deep, so we had a great spot, thanks again Charlie. But I was learning first-hand about the late season on a Sunday at Wister.
I think for the whole day we only got off a hand full of shots and for me I only had one bird I could get a couple shots off to no avail. Brady was able to score a bird, the only one for the day and we could here other areas getting shots off it was a slow day all around. That being said it really gave me an appreciation for my first hunt. While it wasn’t a successful day for birds, or should I say it was a successful day for the ducks I had a great time. That’s what I think is the really important take away I got to hang out with good friends’ camp and catch an amazing sun rise. I guess sometimes not having a successful hunt can still put a lot of things in perspective and it’s about enjoying the experience and the company. We still had a great time and there were plenty of smiles.
We broke everything down around noon and headed back. I took the northern route so I could hit Del Taco in Mecca and enjoy my drive home through Anza Borrego. I am appreciative of the opportunity to hunt with friends and want to thank Charlie for putting it together!