|Cottonmouth from Nov. 20, 2015|
The calendar shows December, but woodsmen must pay heed to the temperature when stomping into the swamp in search of waterfowl. Some call it an Indian Summer, but the weather felt more like summer over the weekend with ample sunshine and calm conditions. Warm weather and duck season don’t go well together at all, kind of like taking a banana on board during a saltwater fishing trip, the two simply don’t go together.
|Opening Day wood ducks from Nov. 21, 2015|
Duck season opened on Saturday November 21 and the day before I had a close encounter with a cottonmouth snake. Slipping into some back woods to scout some likely water where wood ducks might congregate, I knew that the weather conditions had been warm enough for snakes to be out. I wore my snake boots that morning, and I carried my waders in a bag to put on once at the water’s edge.
My solution for opening day was to hunt ducks in a much more open setting, since I would be wearing waders and needed maximum visibility to spot Mr. No Neck. The hunt went fine and the first wood ducks of the season came into view just after shooting time. While my aim was rusty from the long off season, the waders kept me dry and my Drake camo kept me well concealed. While wood ducks are mainly local birds, it will take much colder weather to bring migratory ducks down to the Lowcountry.
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