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Respect Your Elders #3935849 01/10/13 01:56 AM
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Lane Palmer Offline OP
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Respect Your Elders



“Man, you got to get here tomorrow morning, I’m covered up in mallards.” Thinking how it’s already nine o’clock at night, and I’m still in Gun Barrel City, I ask Jeff if we could wait for our originally scheduled morning. “It’s supposed to rain on Wednesday, and I want to put you on a good hunt while I still can.” Without anymore hesitation, I tell Mr Elder I’ll see him in the a.m. When a guide tells the you to be there, you better get there. I shouldn’t have argued. I get on the ball with Benny, and let him know I’ll be there at 4:30. “Do you want me to call you at 2:30a.m. and make sure you’re awake?” I respond with absolute truth: “Naw, I’m not going to be able to sleep anyway, we’ve got ducks to kill tomorrow.”

Why is Zepplin playing in my kitchen, and how are they... There is no way the alarm can already be going off. I take a red eyed glance at the clock. Yep, it’s 2:30a.m., and Stairway to Heaven is on the radio. That explains a lot. I roll out of bed, eat a few bites, tell my wife I’m out, and I’m west bound and down; making my way to what is sure to be one heck of a morning.

I-20 is all mine at this hour. That fact, along with the local DJs playing good tunes, is making for a surprisingly nice drive. I pass the time by playing out different shooting scenarios in my head. Down and to the left, straight in and dropping, fleeing upwards, left to right, you name it, I’ve got ‘em pegged. I crest the hill by Joe Pool Lake, as all of Tarrant County is still sleeping beneath me. “All those poor folks have to go to work today, man what a crying shame.”

I roll up to Benny’s house around 4:20, as he is making his way out to his truck. “Hey BROTHER!” He acts like he’s ripping his shirt apart in true Hulkamania fashion. Laughing, I help him grab a couple items, and were off to Silver Creek, where Jeff and his Chesapeake, Spade, will be waiting for us.

By the time we make it out to Jeff’s, I am ten shades of wired, as I have just gulped down a Red Bull. Something that I very rarely do. “Hey man. Hey man. You ready? I’m ready!” Geepers, I could’ve ran down the interstate holding two flashlights, and been pretty close to street legal. Mr Elder meets us with a handshake, we introduce ourselves to the other half of the hunting party, and we’re off to heaven on earth.

We’re in layout blinds, and I’m smoking a cigarette with ten minutes to go until LST. I glance over at Jeff who is enjoying a warm cup of coffee, on a 19 degree morning. I can hear the men working their actions, as they make final preparations in this still low-lit, frost laden morning. “Two minutes ‘til showtime guys.” C’mon with it.

LST arrives, and within seconds we’ve got birds. There are two already making ripples, that all but appeared out of thin air. Two more are at my one o’clock, probably seventy-five yards out. The birds close the gap quickly, and there are now four gaddies sitting on the pond, not fifteen yards in front of me. We’re in a small bowl of trees, and the little pool that we’re hunting on can’t be more than twenty yards in diameter. From my position on the far left side of the line, I can see perfectly down a long corridor, lined on both sides by mesquites and oaks. The sun, and what little bit of wind there is, will both be at our backs. Life is about to get real salty.

There are a dozen birds on the water now, and they all have white elbows. I’m not near proud enough to say I won’t shoot gaddies, but St Patrick’s Day came early this year, and we’re looking for green. Amongst the muffled half-quacks of the gadwalls, I hear some hold raspy hens in the air. They have arrived. I can feel my pulse climb as they buzz by us, and bank at my three o’clock. “Hard right, Jeff.” I’m exhaling more and more steam as the adrenaline raises my core temperature. They’ve committed, and it’s all I can stand not to release every bit of pent up energy in my body. I tell myself to pick a bird, just one bird. There’s a greenie on the bottom left, and he’s coming in right at me. They drop their feet, and Jeff gives the command: “TAKE ‘EM BOYS!”

Green heads are completely halted and peeled back, as swaths of steel shot are displaced amongst the flock. There’s blood in the water, and whistling in the sky. Shells are loaded and chambered, as we do our best to blend back in with mother nature. It’s not fifteen-seconds before the second wave hits us. They knew they were coming here way before we did, as they drop to the water immediately, without so much as a fly by. That was the last time those two ducks in particular will ever do such a thing.

Ducks come in, and ducks fall. Jeff is laying down feed calls like an assault rifle, and that’s really all it takes to turn these birds into cupped and committed half moons. With a hole this small, and the 101st layout division guarding these waters, the singles and doubles just don’t stand a chance. We let two land, as we notice a big string breaking their necks to look down and see what all the commotion is about. In this whole string of probably twelve to fifteen mallards, only one of them is a drake. How does one go about getting this kind of lifestyle? Lucky duck I suppose. His luck runs out as they drop in from right on top of us. I look over at Mr Wallace, who is three foot to my right, and quickly acquiring a nice pile of my empties around him. “I’d say it’s a bad day to be wearing green.” He looks over, sporting a half cocked smile, jutting steam coming out both nostrils. “Yeah, it’s not really good for the whole longevity thing.”

The lax wind is making for quite the show. Ducks are pivoting themselves down, almost like they’re snow skiing on the wind. A few look like they’re going to sit down on top of us, before doing a quick roll to the side. God’s talent is so vibrantly shown in ducks, and I never fail to be awestruck by the agility of such an animal.

The morning sun is now showing itself, which is not good for our feathered friends. They are all but blind as they make their way to our hole. The vibrancy of those iridescent green feathers amongst such a frosty background will not soon be forgotten. We take turns telling stories and picking a tree, as the main rush is now winding down.

Every once in awhile, some stragglers come in, looking for any worms that the early birds might have missed. We put a hand full of birds on the lanyard, as the next hour or so ticks by. For the grand finally, Mr Thompson’s son shoots a trophy mallard, with more curls than a DQ ice cream cone. What a great way to end a hunt. Jeff, sensing the hunt is over, and that his clients are happy, calls the hunt. “Guys, let’s go get some pictures.”








Guide Lane Palmer

TCU Alumni, class of 2009

Owner/Operator of Ft. Worth Fishing and Constant Pursuit Outfitters
Re: Respect Your Elders [Re: Lane Palmer] #3935872 01/10/13 02:02 AM
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Cool story!


Aio, quantitas magna frumentorum est
Re: Respect Your Elders [Re: Lane Palmer] #3935886 01/10/13 02:06 AM
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excellent writeup! congrats on the green




My success in life is measured by the number of hunting
and fishing stories that my kids can share with others...


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Re: Respect Your Elders [Re: TreeBass] #3935915 01/10/13 02:14 AM
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sptaylor Offline
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NIce shoot..

Re: Respect Your Elders [Re: sptaylor] #3935951 01/10/13 02:25 AM
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texas wetlands Offline
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way to go worth the drive

Re: Respect Your Elders [Re: sptaylor] #3935955 01/10/13 02:27 AM
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fisher6688 Offline
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great read, and great hunt


Re: Respect Your Elders [Re: fisher6688] #3935981 01/10/13 02:32 AM
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Carter Tinsley Offline
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Nice write up Laner. Let's go get some in the near future. The mohawks are getting pretty thick...

Re: Respect Your Elders [Re: sptaylor] #3935995 01/10/13 02:34 AM
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JoSkeeter Offline
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Shoot Lane if you like to duck hunt I could put you on a few a little closer home!

Re: Respect Your Elders [Re: JoSkeeter] #3936064 01/10/13 02:54 AM
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hookemall Offline
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That's awesome. I emailed that same outfitter and had no response I'm glad he's busy!

Re: Respect Your Elders [Re: hookemall] #3936145 01/10/13 03:10 AM
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Jeff Elder Offline
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Originally Posted By: hookemall
That's awesome. I emailed that same outfitter and had no response I'm glad he's busy!


Sorry I'm booked and just don't even look at my web email after that. Give me a call and I bet we can work something out. 817 597 0781


North central TX duck and dove hunts
www.silvercreekguideservice.com

Cell 817-597-0781
Re: Respect Your Elders [Re: Jeff Elder] #3936166 01/10/13 03:15 AM
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hookemall Offline
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No apologies, I didn't mean it negative I knew you were and I am glad that it's that way for you guys. I appreciate the number and I'll give you a call.

Re: Respect Your Elders [Re: hookemall] #3936675 01/10/13 07:15 AM
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firefightnjoey Offline
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Good read!

Re: Respect Your Elders [Re: firefightnjoey] #3936788 01/10/13 12:42 PM
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Sweet read and awesome shoot too

Re: Respect Your Elders [Re: Trout-killer] #3936861 01/10/13 01:36 PM
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agsellers04 Offline
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Reads like a magazine article. Very journalistic. Congrats on the successful hunt.

Re: Respect Your Elders [Re: Trout-killer] #3936863 01/10/13 01:37 PM
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Excellent write up, you catch the essence of why we do what we do!!


"Duck hunter's minds are like concrete. All mixed up and permanently set."
Re: Respect Your Elders [Re: Ol_Yeller] #3938104 01/10/13 07:24 PM
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Huntin & Fishin
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Lane.....You Hen Killer! Ha!

Wished I knew you duck hunted. I got more ducks than I can shoot at the deer lease and kind of retired from duck hunting due to it’s not a challenge, so I took up crappie fishing!

It was good talking with you the other night. Let’s GO!

Re: Respect Your Elders [Re: ] #3938234 01/10/13 08:08 PM
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Lane Palmer Offline OP
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I appreciate it ya'll! It's easy to get inspired when the birds won't quit flying. I'm hoping to bust a few more birds on my local waters to finish up the season. Next week's front ought to grant that wish.

Huntin and Fishin, it was good to finally meet you the other night. Let me know if you need help controlling that duck population on you deer lease...


Guide Lane Palmer

TCU Alumni, class of 2009

Owner/Operator of Ft. Worth Fishing and Constant Pursuit Outfitters
Re: Respect Your Elders [Re: Lane Palmer] #3939185 01/11/13 12:48 AM
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TLTR.... jk.. great write up..


Re: Respect Your Elders [Re: QuackStacker] #3939250 01/11/13 01:07 AM
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nice..

Re: Respect Your Elders [Re: Nathan Nelson] #3939349 01/11/13 01:28 AM
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Houston Wildcat Offline
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Awesome. Was jealous the entire time I was reading.


"I have a very strict gun control policy: if there's a gun around, I want to be in control of it."
- Clint Eastwood

Re: Respect Your Elders [Re: Houston Wildcat] #3939599 01/11/13 02:19 AM
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Respect the ELDER! Heck ya!!

-Matt

Re: Respect Your Elders [Re: mnsherick] #3939642 01/11/13 02:31 AM
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Moe #2 Offline
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50 shades of Green.

Re: Respect Your Elders [Re: Lane Palmer] #7685685 12/10/19 11:32 PM
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ttt


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Re: Respect Your Elders [Re: Lane Palmer] #7685765 12/11/19 12:56 AM
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Nice job on both the hunt and the write up.


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