Friday, December 12, 2014
I don't hunt myself. That doesn't mean I'm anti-hunting. I'm not. As long as the sport is not abused, I'm not against it. From my experience with fishing, however, I know that a sport like hunting can get very expensive. My wife and I were fishing fools for years and we were good at it. Saltwater, fresh water, lake, pond or river - we were there. You cannot put a price on enjoyment of a sport, but if you were simply weighing the money spent on equipment versus fish, pound for pound - even if you were highly successful - it would be expensive. Boats and trailers and rods and reels and licenses and registration and safety equipment and tackle and on and on. That is why I never got into hunting. Been there; done that.
If hunting is your thing, however, I say, "Go for it." I have seen a few methods of waterfowl hunting from time to time while I am out filming birds. Some of them have been interesting and motivated me to do a little research to find out about the methods they were employing. These guys were returning from hunting in a blind along the river.
The most interesting method I've seen is called "sneak boat" hunting. The method can be employed with or without the use of decoys. In this image, the hunter is has quite a raft of decoys. The group over on the left are probably live birds. The sneak boat normally has a very shallow draft and a very low silhouette. The hunter lies flat in the boat and only sits up to shoot when the birds fly over. The boat is suppose to be mistaken for a tree trunk or log floating around in the water. But, IMHO, birds are not stupid.
This method actually involves two boats. The other boat is used to tow the sneak boat into position and is there as support for the sneak boat. Those decoys take up a lot of space and have to be transported on the larger boat. That is probably what those containers are near the stern.
Here is another group of hunters on a different day using the same method. Looks like fun, doesn't it? I was out there in the same wind and cold that day, but while I was cold, they were probably cold and wet. The ducks in the foreground are probably thinking, as long as we don't fly, they can't shoot at us.
Here are the same guys calling it quits. Notice the sneak boat is now upside down on the bow of the boat. I imagine that is pretty tricky to do in a chop like what was going on that day. Were they successful? I don't know. I would hear their guns going off every once in a while, but I couldn't tell if they actually got any ducks.