Pounce's Island Adventure II
It's September which means
Illinois teal. Fall brings on the fascinating transformation of
“Fish Camp” into “Duck Camp” and the normal issue of where to “tuck”all the
hunting gear in a small trailer.
We arrived at about 1 am in the morning and unloaded in the dark with a
heavy cloud of “night flyers” swarming around my LED. All four dogs were
tucked in and my mud rig was placed in the water at Big Slough boat launch.
It is located about a half a mile down the road from camp. After motoring
back to camp, I then hiked down to the launch so as to retrieve my van and
After hooking up the electricity and water, the ice cooler was unloaded and
a quick, late nap was attempted before the 5:30 am alarm went off. Scouted
up river in several spots all the way to the “Pot Hole” and then hit the
main channel down to an area which includes Cormorant and Toad Islands
(previous Pounce story) and a vast scattering of unnamed islands.
Didn't see a single teal. The immediate conclusion was we are going home.
After finishing off the camp transformation the only thing left to do was
the reverse van, boat and landing routine. However, it was a great morning
in terms of weather – cool, sunny with a slight breeze. Why not give Pounce
“another go” in the water.
Therefore, on the way from camp we took a detour to a nearby island with no
name. Four years ago, it was nothing but a vast sand bar lurking just below
the surface to trap unknowing hunters in the dark. Now it is a low, huge
sandy island with scrub willows taking over. In addition there is a vast
shallow water area on the north side with a bit of current. The surrounding
bottom is firm sand. What could be more perfect for a three month old pup to
Earlier this morning, there was a substantial spread of goose decoys about
300 yards away to the north, but the hunters had vacated the area. High sky
and wise geese were the norm. We hit the shore within about five minutes and
this island now has a name.
Teal Island was a blast with
Pounce. Lunging water and puppies is a perfect match. At my age, watching a
very young pup "awaken" is almost magical. Even though I've been
around "only" 74 years , the thought of being old disappeared in the face of
Pounce's pure joy.
It wasn't long before Pounce began to run out of gas (or maybe it was me).
After loading the boat at Big Slough launch, there was one very tired and
happy puppy asleep (and probably dreaming "good things") during the two hour
ride back to "base camp" (home).
note: The evening before our trip to Duck Camp and the
"romp", Pounce helped me cut a large number of willows. Doing
"stuff" together without any expectations except bonding is "cool".
will be used to construct temporary shore blinds for
duck season. There are no permanent blinds
allowed in pool 13
of the Mississippi River