As much as I love Rusty boy, and as much as he's amazed us as a duck dawg with over 200 retrieves for the season ... he can't hold a candle to our Remi when it comes to remote handling on blind retrieves and an unbeatable nose for tracking down and recovering all crips.
It was dead calm and equally slow until 7:45 when a pair of Pintails made a pass over us. With the ice eater and jerk cord moving the dekes on otherwise glassy water, a few whistles and they turned 4 more times until I couldn't stand it any more and tried for the drake. He took shot and sailed with wingtips 150+ yards into 12" deep water that has 15" of cover above the surface.
Even though he didn't see it go down, Rusty handled well back to the fall area and did a reasonably credible job taking casts from there. But he just couldn't find it. He doesn't have Remi's prey drive or nose ... and tends to give up unless he SEES the bird or catches a good hot scent. I finally launched the Jon boat and went to the area that I had marked the bird down. We spent 30 minutes walking increasing circles trying to find the bitd but to no avail. I just hate that.
Disgusted, I decided to pack up early and head home. Walking to the Jeep from the blind with all the gear and not really paying attention I realized Rusty wasn't around. I looked up at the Jeep and ... WTH!?
I had forgotten about the Shoveler that we killed right after opening light. Guess Rusty was afraid I was going to leave it behind.