Two companions and I went waterfowl hunting last Sunday morning.
The person who invited me to hunt had his blind around 200 yards out in a picked cornfield sitting on a high spot. It took about an hour to get all of the decoys set up, and we finally slipped into the blind and fired up a heater. While that helped, it was still cold enough to freeze one's hands.
We sat there from around 5:30 a.m. until almost 10 a.m. We never saw any birds the whole time and finally ventured out to pick up the decoys. I drove out in the field with my truck and let the engine run until we finished picking up the decoys. Getting in that vehicle was a welcome comfort with the heater on high as we thawed out our hands.
What possesses a man to go through that much suffering for a bird or two? Anyone could clearly see that none of us were starving. It must be the fact that we were going back to our caveman roots. Just like fishing: I have always been an avid fisherman, it’s the catching part that I sometimes need a lesson at.
Well it was nice to get out and hunt even though we didn’t do any good. The company with good friends and watching the horizon come alive just added an additional joy to it. One never knows how the outdoors will be; will it be kind or will it be very uncomfortable? I can’t answer the magnetic pull of the wild for me, all I know it is been bred in me over the years.
I certainly take my hat off to the deer hunters that braved the elements over the weekend. Most of them were perched high up in a tree with no protection from the elements at all. Deer were moving in the woods from about 6:30 until well after 7 a.m. I never heard of any of them that did any good either.
Most of the river backwaters are frozen up now, so it would be difficult to waterfowl hunt there. The main Illinois River is ice-free, as the tow boats are keeping the ice off for now.
Groenwald Fur and Wool from Forreston will be making fur stops in Ottawa. They will be at Angel’s Pub on Saturdays, Dec. 29 and March 2, starting at 2:30 p.m. Skinned and scraped hides bring the best prices.
Sauger and walleye are hitting in very deep holes; 25 -30 feet. A very slow presentation is needed. Most fish are hitting on 3/8 ounce headed jigs. It is very important to keep your line as vertical as you can.
Waterfowl hunting has been very slow all week. Hunting the Illinois River is best, as the birds come in for water after feeding. Dress very warm, as you may be in for a long wait.