Saturday morning arrived in the marsh with a bang.. literally. It was the 1st day of Teal hunting.

I left camp earlier than usual, figuring the chicks would come off roost earlier than normal. I wanted to get the door to the pen open so they would have a safe haven from all the commotion.

Joe was opening the gate as I got there. He was going out to start the generator and sweet talk the Beast. As we put our costumes on in the parking lot he said to me “It sounds like WW3 out here”! at the same time I said to him “It sounds like Armageddon out there”!

We walked down to the runway and my heart sunk – five birds. Crane’s 2-17 and 3-17 were AWOL. The others were happy to see me, they visibly jumped with each blast and were happy to wander into the pen. Joe went to work on the generator and I did chores.

As I was finishing, he pointed, and there was #3-17 (my favorite!) Yay!

We left six birds nervously wandering and went back to the van to listen for #2. No beeps. Oh dear. Not time to panic yet but, oh dear, this is not usual behavior.

He had to go back to kick the Beast one more time so I took a pumpkin down to put in the wet pen to distract while the hunters were out in full force. As he stood waiting for me to come out of the pen I saw him wave to get my attention. There stood our little flouter! She had just flown in. A later GSM hit showed 2-17 had ventured across the street about a mile to the west.

Our guess is the birds were probably startled off roost by a hunter. Number’s 1, 4, 6, 7 & 8 flew to the runway and 2 and 3 went the other direction. 3-17 headed for home about 20 minutes before wussy 2-17 did!

So much for the tough guy act buddy! We have your number!

Here is a picture taken Saturday morning, the sun coming up through the fog is as dramatic as the noise from the gunfire!

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  1. Nancy Freeman October 4, 2017 10:33 am

    God Bless your efforts to keep these precious colts safe….

  2. Jean P. aka CrabtowneMd October 2, 2017 12:11 pm

    Love the photo of the low, early morning light streaming through the pen gate. So glad all 7 colts showed up and are still staying together.

  3. Agneta Sand October 2, 2017 12:11 pm

    Thank you for taking such good care of the birds !

  4. Richard P. Chase October 2, 2017 10:24 am

    How close are the hunters allowed – or are there no boundaries?

    • Heather Ray October 2, 2017 4:01 pm

      There are indeed boundaries. The pen/surrounding area are closed to hunting until mid-October. That said, the sound of gunshots carry in the still morning air.

  5. Mollie Cook October 2, 2017 10:22 am

    So thankful all is well!!

  6. Sally Swanson October 2, 2017 10:07 am

    Whew! Take a deep breath and exhale slowly!


  7. Patricia October 2, 2017 8:33 am

    Glad they are all safe.