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I got my #1 Trophy duck....after 12 years of hunting for him

Discussion in 'Bird Taxidermy' started by jeremy, Jan 26, 2013.

  1. jeremy

    jeremy Have you hugged your snake today!

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    I have been after one of these guys for 12 years, I have managed to connect with a nice hen 7 years ago and 2 immature drakes also 7 years ago....but I have never been able to harvest a nice mature Drake Redhead. I did save the hen knowing some day my duck would come in and FINALLY he did.... :meme:
    So now I have a pair that I will have to mount up....may even compete with them. I had a chance at one about 5-6 years back...I had my then 7 y/o girl with me on a late season hunt on the Columbia and it was VERY cold out...she was miserable and I had put my gun down to rub here hands...... I happened to look up and there floating in over the decoys was a nice Redhead, the sun had lit his head up and he was just hanging there..... I ran and got my gun and unloaded 3 shots only to watch him flare and boogie it out of there...ARGGGHHH I have wanted to have a do over ever since, and finally it came yesterday.

    My buddy Derrick and I decided to have one more late season go at it... as our last hunt before it closes and so we got up early and navigated a Frozen I-84 covered with freezing rain. We both were wondering if it was worth it. Infact we almost didn't even go because of the weather.
    We got out there and the hunting was decent but not awesome. It was cold and foggy and about 830 Derrick says 'hey there is a big duck floating out past the rocks" we weren't sure were he came from but I guess he swam in from the middle. He just hung out there for 15 mins way out of range over 100 yards. I had said I think it has red to head but wasn't sure....so we were thinking it was a Canvasback because of how big the sucker was. Like I said it was foggy and suddenly the sun broke through and his head lit up like a Christmas tree....I knew right there what it was and got pretty excited. Than I had to decide what to do....should we see if he will swim in or do I dare try a stalk on him. Usually the divers that are sitting out there will not swim in to us so I made a command decision to stalk him. Here is about where he was ...reference the yellow circle...

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    Anyways I decide that if could keep the dogs back and I stayed low, that I could stay out of his sight by keeping that string of rocks in between him and I. I knew this was a risky move but after 12 years and my utter failure to connect with that one 6 years back...well no guts no glory...right?

    So off I went moving SLOWLY and only moving quick when he would go behind one of those rocks to obscure our line of sight to each other. I had to make 60 yards up and he was already swimming down river.... Im pretty sure he knew something was not right which is why he had started to slowly move out and down river.
    I made up the distance in about 5-6 mins and I was up to my wader tops in deep water ( COLD water that is ) and I was getting into position when he swims into view again from out behind a rock..... I froze and he stuck his head straight up in the ALERT position... Oh crap there was a tense moment there between him and I and than... SPLASH... he started to get up..... he is still over 40 yards out but I got it make it happen now or never... BOOM!! I shot and dropped him....yes!! :pray: He was down and now floating away in deep water...I called to Drake and had to help him locate the bird with some rocks that I carry for moments like these.... but he did his job and brought him in. Man what a joy to have this sucker in my hand. Very little shot damage... Derrick got to see me do a victory dance while still up to my armpits in the Columbia. Now I know some may go" Whats the big deal, just another Redhead" but for me this is as good as it gets duck hunting since it is the product of many things coming together just right and the time It has taken to connect with one. The day was perfect...the dog did good ....the stalk on a bird that was out of range and NOT coming in for nothing... especially one that I have wanted for EVER...man what a day. I've only got 2 other species that I would equate to getting this bird.... that I am trying to harvest...at least ones that I can get here in OR state. Well that's my story hope you liked it. Now on to the other 2 species..... sure glad we went.

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  2. Great story, beautiful bird!!! Thanks for sharing it with us. What are the other 2 species?
     

  3. jevic035

    jevic035 Member

    congrats on the redhead
     
  4. Nice goin Jeremy! I too chased redheads on the Gorge years ago and never connected. Can be a tough place, so I'm very admirable of your success! Sure miss those days!
     
  5. Tanglewood Taxidermy

    Tanglewood Taxidermy Well-Known Member

    Duck hunting stories usually don't do anything for me, but man, that one did. Congrats!
     
  6. bulldawg

    bulldawg Member

    Atta boy Jeremy! Wanna gift him to me??
     
  7. M.T.

    M.T. Active Member

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    A drake Canvasback is on my bucket list! One day I will get one.
     
  8. Jim McNamara

    Jim McNamara Well-Known Member

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    Congratulations Jeremy. That is one fine bull you got. I hunted a couple days last week and watched both partners shoot bull Cans and redheads. What a day they had. Glad you got him and look forward to the pose you choose and seeing him done.
    Jim
     
  9. Matt

    Matt Active Member

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    Congrat Jeremy! They are beautiful birds, I had one come in today from a client that has been trying to take a nice drake and finally did!
     
  10. Congratulations! Nice Redhead.

    Living in South Texas, I know I'm spoiled at having 1000's of Redheads spend their winter here. While I love to hunt and shoot Redheads, my buddies think I'm crazy.


    Posted using Outdoor Hub Campfire
     
  11. jwprentice1

    jwprentice1 New Member

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    Great story! Blow by blow account. Know how you feel! That is a hunt that you will remember the rest of your days. Congrats-another specie taken off the "bucket list".
     
  12. scandler

    scandler New Member

    awesome man on finally getting your redhead. i connected on my first red head ever this year and know how happy it was you to get it
     
  13. B Jones

    B Jones Memeber of - NTA,UTA,AIT.Proud Member of NZTA.

    Nice Jeremy I think they are my favorite diver.
     
  14. jeremy

    jeremy Have you hugged your snake today!

    3,022
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    Let me think about it....UHHHHHH....No....LOL


    Thanks folks, it was a awesome day to say the least. My other 2 would be a Can and a Hooded...these both have eluded me for years....but my day is coming. Ill post up pictures one day when the RH's are mounted
     
  15. txoutdoors

    txoutdoors Active Member

    Congrats! Great story. Ever come to Texas I can help ya with the hoodie.
     
  16. bearrug48

    bearrug48 Active Member

    Thanks for sharing with us. Nice Drake.
     
  17. Cool story and awesome drake, congrats!
     
  18. Jeremy, congrats on the duck. hope all is good there in Oregon, stay safe my brother.
    Dennis
     
  19. Good ending to a great adventure. Congratulations on your sought after trophy!
     
  20. Rick RR GBirds

    Rick RR GBirds Let's go kill some birds...I'm psyched!

    Very cool story...Thanks for sharing Jeremy. Congrats man!