Chicago Sun-Times
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First blind: Buck, duck, goose

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BOURBONNAIS, Ill.--It has been an adventure, surprising in many unexpected ways, putting up my first waterfowl blind.

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Can you say watching a 4-point buck wade into our decoy spread, then watching him scare the hell out of himself when he sniffed a decoy?

That's what happened opening day of Illinois' central zone on Oct. 30.

Since then, we have figured out that young boy is something of the resident pet on the islands.

It's been something.

Far more of an adventure than I expected when I lucked into a draw (about 1 chance in 5 or 6) in July. There was only one wadeable blind spot remaining at Kankakee River State Park, and I took it.

As partner, I selected Steve Palmisano, who constructed blind sides from plans of the old-timer he learned under. In early October, we wet waded (yes, it was still that warm then) out and put it up.

We'll have to make some adjustments if we ever get flooding rains. Right now, the Kankakee River is extremely low and we adjusted for that.

So far, nothing is marked on our kill sheet, but there has been missed mallards and wood ducks. Other shootable ducks flew over before we could swing on them. We are still learning which way to watch, how to set the decoy spread and make the hole.

And we need to figure out how to pull the Canada geese in. There's a bunch of them around and more to come late in the season.

Click here to read Sunday's column in the Sun-Times about the first week.

More to come on that. It is addicting.

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Alas, I have no photo, so it can't be buck of the week, but among the more exciting wildlife moments I've ever had are the couple times I've seen a deer leaps into the water and swims - most recently this weekend on the Kankakee near Kouts. The poor thing was frightened by the kayakers upstream coming towards it (I was well downstream), and lost its footing when it scrambled out. But it quickly righted itself and leaped up the bank.

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This page contains a single entry by Dale Bowman published on November 7, 2010 5:32 AM.

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