I was jump shooting along the Snake River over the weekend and surprised by the number of ducks for this early in the season.
I saw nice flights of mallards, some wigeons and even some teal.
I usually throw on the chest waders and hunt the banks of the river trying to jump shoot everything from quail to pheasants to mallards. You can hunt near prime corn fields but be on the public land below the high water mark.
What's surprising this year in my old hunting haunts is the lack of quail. I mean, it had to be a great spring for nesting. At least the quail in the city reproduced like crazy if that's any indication.
But in the wilds, it may be a different story. I'm not seeing the huge coveys of quail I saw last year. Don't know. Could have been the days I was out hunting but in previous seasons the brush along the Snake River would be crawling with quail.
I'm also seeing a few more wild pheasants out there and that's good to see. Got one the other day and can't wait to cook it up. Wading and jump shooting the Snake River can be pretty difficult for pheasants. I had two ringnecks who had planned their escape routes pretty well by putting a whole lot of brush between me and them.
Anyway, good hunting.
Photo of Phoebe resting after a tiring hunt along the Snake River. Photo by Pete Zimowsky/Idaho Statesman