Caprivi Strip, 2014 Part 24

by david on May 11, 2015

Ducks and Such


Last night at dinner, I decided that waterbuck hunting was over. Today, I was going to do something I had never done before – hunt ducks and geese. Johann and the girls are going back to Chobe to have an easy day of taking pictures. That left Byron and I (along with the rest of the trackers and scouts) free to hunt as many birds as I wanted. After we all had breakfast together, we all head our separate ways. I had a new game scout today. Hombrek had rotated off duty and James had taken his place.

Waterfowl hunting is different than here in the US. Instead of setting up and luring the ducks into range with decoys, we pond hopped. Pond hopping requires more luck than knowledge, as we simply drive from body of water to body of water hoping birds are on it. We stopped at the first water hole and one of the trackers sneaked in for a closer look. We were in luck as two knob-billed ducks were swimming contentedly in the small pond.   Byron un-cased his Beretta semi auto and handed it to me.   As I re-familiarized myself with the weapon, he fished some shells out of the ammo can and handed me a pocketful.

Having never stalked ducks before, I was a little uncomfortable crouching and trying to sneak through the vegetation at the edge of the pond to get into shooting position. For some reason, snakes were more on my mind than ducks. Having a 12 gauge stoked with #6 shot made me feel a little better, but I still had to force myself to concentrate on the ducks. I finally got as close as I was going to get and stood up to flush the ducks. Two ducks flush, two shots go off. There was one clean miss and one bird splashed down at the edge of the pond. One for two, I’ll take 50% any day. I deemed the morning off to a good start. Angel headed around the pond and retrieved the duck, and we were off to the next spot.

This bit of water held five birds, and they were in a perfect spot for an ambush. Byron went with me this time and stopped me in a good location for a shot. He continued on until he was behind the birds and he flushed them in my direction.   Three times I pulled the trigger, three times the 12 gauge barked, and two more birds succumbed to my shooting. Their skyward journey was interrupted by a load of #6’s and then redirected towards the ground by Mr. Newton’s discovery. The birds were dutifully retrieved and deposited in the back of the truck. Yes, sir, it was shaping up to be a great day.

Knob Billed Duck (stock photo) Knob Billed Duck (Bing stock photo)

“Spidey” Sense and Stitches


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