Argentina 2013: A Wonderful Hunt and Fantastic Vacation: Day 3 Part 1, Ducks Over Decoys

by david on August 6, 2013

Sunday morning started at 4:30am, so we could be in the duck blind by dawn.  The morning started with a snafu, a miscommunication between Claus and the staff.  He thought he told them we were leaving at 5:30 but they heard we would be starting at 5:30.  A quick breakfast with instant coffee was not what I wanted to have just before an hour drive to the duck blinds.  The drive was not supposed to have been that long, but a dam way up river had changed things considerably.  The Argentine government had wanted a new water source and this river had been chosen.  The dam had been completed only a few months ago.  The flood gates were only letting about 30% of the normal amount of water to flow down river.  Once the reservoir was full, the normal water flow would be restored.  In the meantime, we had to travel an hour over bumpy roads to find enough water to hold the ducks.

Even though we were off to a late start, the deserted condition of the back roads and some speedy driving allowed us to make up the lost time, and we arrived at the staging area on time.  After a short ride in a UTV through the marsh, Jose and I were dropped off at a fence row in about 18” of water.  I was carrying only the shotgun, but Jose was loaded down with dekes, shells, blind material, and a few bottles of water.  As soon as I crossed the fence, I know I was in trouble.  The water was not deep, but there was a 6-inch layer of extremely slick mud at the bottom.  The mud in itself was not a problem; the problem was under the mud.  Evidently, cattle had been walking through the area.  The surface under the mud, while firm, was very uneven and always sloping in one direction or the other.  I never knew if my foot was going to slide forward, backward, to the right, to the left or somewhere in-between.  It was extremely slow going, as I did not want to do a face plant in in the muddy water.  Jose seemed to have no problem and kept looking back at me, wondering why I was going so slowly.  The distance to the blind was only about 150 yards, but it took me every bit of 15 minutes to get there.


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