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Finally got a hunting season after two falls spent working 70 hour weeks. Focused on getting my daughter a bird and hitting all seven managed areas.

Daughter got three shots on the youth hunt. She's shooting off a stand on landed birds only. She centered one but it took off unharmed. We switched her to a tighter choke and 6 shot.

Opening day in traverse city our common ground spot changed hands and we hand to scramble to find a new spot, sleeping poorly in the Jeep. She decided to sleep in. I landed four ducks in the first five minutes. Ended up coming up home with two mallards, three wood ducks, and a merganser.

Skipped opening day down here to hit Nyanquing point. Hit all seven units with my buddy and daughter and took 34 birds, not bad as four of them were completely new to us. Buddy got a band out of it. Daughter got one shot as managed area birds don't land very often.

One of my stand by spots was more than kind to me, yielding two wood ducks each time to my 20 gauge. Both times they landed on the opposite side of the spread from my daughter.

She came out on a diver hunt the day after thanksgiving when it was 17 with a biting wind. We left with 4 buffies, a mallard (landed in an all diver spread), a canvas back (a first), and four mergansers, one of which she smoked after I knocked it down. A later hunt there gave us 7 goldeneye and a couple more mergs.

Then came the todd farm. Of the three hunts this year where I didn't shoot, all were there. Yet we had a day where we limited on geese and got some ducks, with geese working after we limited. Had a day we saw 4000 ducks, but only worked three. All were shot feet down. Another day took a newbie out and was working a group out front when he cut loose on a single I didn't see that worked into the pocket. Four geese killed on the unit that day, and we got one of them. And we ended by getting the zone I wanted yesterday and having four birds work perfectly, getting three of them stone dead. The last two were a pair at the edge of range and we shot the same bird, letting the other one escape.

So after a piss poor year of salmon fishing - 75% of my catch was browns and steel this year with 12 mature kings all year and only 4 lakers, it was nice to get back into form after a few years off. And the time spent with my daughter was great, even if she falls asleep 5 minutes into any trip just like her mother.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Came out of year end retirement to hit the Todd farm one more time. Drew poorly no cover wind wrong. Had to set well away from the decoys just to have a place to hide and the few that looked were too far away. Missed a pair at the fringe of range then about noon a flock skirted my side and I punched the last bird in the flock backwards. So with that I'm really done for the year.

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