Absolutely my favorite time of year has begun. Husker football on the tv/radio and cool mornings afield. This is what I dream about all year. Granted, I will say the same thing about winter but just let me digress for a moment.
The Dove opener lived up to the hype for some while a bit spotty for others. This year, resources are good and the birds are spread out in many areas. Regardless, we have had a few good hunts and just the feel of the little 20 gauge coming to my cheek as a bird swoops into the decoy has been worth the price of admission. Mojo still works!
We like to locate fields of sunflower, weeds and open areas next to a pond. The pond should have good mud edges around it for doves to land on for a drink and feel safe. Doves will need food and water morning and evening. Find these two things and you will find doves. Also key is a grain field that has been cut early for silage, hailed out, etc. These can be magnets holding doves well into the season.
The teal opener was also a lot of fun. About 8am Saturday morning my brother-in-law Dave Flannagan looked at me across the blind and said “man is it good to be back on the pond!” Man was he right. I sure missed the blind. But alas, we are back!
Teal hunting is about the least complicate of all waterfowl hunts. Throw out a handful of teal decoys and a Mojo (dove, teal or mallard really makes little difference) and get ready. Teal are very susceptible to the flutter of the Mojo wings. Teal like shallow water with lots of visible food which is indicative of many Nebraska farm ponds and marsh areas.
The basins are looking real good this year and were loaded with teal over the weekend. This should prove well for those of us on farm ponds. We had a flock dive into the decoys late Saturday morning with around 16 birds. Love the sound of those wings as we heard them well before we saw them. Also saw shovelers and mallards so make sure your identifying the birds before you pull the trigger!
With breeding success and great water conditions having been good this year, the 2014 migration should be another banner event in the Great Plains. Aaahh! I really like this time of year!