By Brad Wilson - Guest contributor
Finally the wait was over, and the anxiety that had been building up for some time could be alleviated with a 3 hour drive south of my home in Baytown, Texas, to what many hunters have come to know as one of the waterfowl meccas of this country. My crew, along with 60+ other men and boys, would be attending our annual Blast and Cast Men’s Ministries duck hunting weekend down in Rockport, Texas.
We arrived at the beautiful Pelican Bay Resort to be greeted by some of the nicest staff that I have ever had the pleasure of meeting at a resort. Accommodations were inhabited and a few cold beverages were consumed by a small group of us that had made the trip down a day early to do some scouting for the days to come. After spending some time on the back porch and chowing down on some awesome stuffed pork chops, we decided it was time to turn in and get a good nights rest before the early morning wake up that was just a few hours away.
Thursday morning was extremely slow for the area. The weather man was actually right for once with his forecast of absolutely no wind. We knew that this would have all the divers rafted up out in the middle of the bays so we decided to hit some back lakes in the shallow running jet drive in search of some puddlers that have become a little more prevalent in the area in the recent years. A few runs back into some coves on the south side of the bay and we finally hit pay dirt. We found about 500 pintails sitting up in a protected cove so we decided to set up on a point that the cove shared with the bay front in hopes of picking up a few flights of divers as well as some pintail or wigeon. Time passed by, and we finally had a small group of redheads swing around the point and commit to the decoys. Shots rang out from the group and after the smoke cleared 2 ducks laid dead in the decoys. Of course the smooth operating Beretta A400 Xtreme performed flawlessly, once again staking claim to one of the birds. That was the only group that would finish into shooting range. The lack of wind proved to be the culprit of birds that were committed but wouldn’t finish. We decided to call the hunt and head in for some lunch in hopes that the wind would pick up for the afternoon hunt.
That afternoon, I and a great friend of mine, whom I have known since we played Little League Baseball together, decided to make a run to the same shoreline but a little further south. We set up on the bay front on a shallow flat that was holding some divers. 20 minutes and 6 shotgun blasts later 3 redheads and 1 bluebill were on the strap. About that time, the sea fog started to roll in, so we decided it was time to start making the trek back across the bay to the boat ramp.
The birds were definitely not around as much as they normally are, partly due to the drought conditions that we have experienced and the warm winter up north, but throughout the weekend plenty ended up on numerous straps of our hunters. There were many memories made, quite a few first ducks shot, and some men and boys that were introduced to this sport that we love so much. It was obvious that the fruits of our labor prevailed and the event was a success. I can’t wait until the next event!