1st Hunt at Umatilla

Discussion in 'Oregon Flyway Forum' started by Led37Zep, Nov 29, 2018.

  1. Led37Zep

    Led37Zep New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2018
    Location:
    Oregon
    Hey All here's a quick summary of my my trip out to Umatilla.

    I ended up getting to the check station parking lot around 4:45am and was the 4th car in the lot (which had me feeling pretty optimist that my #20 draw might get me well into the top 10). By the time the station opened and the line up occurred the parking lot had plenty more vehicles and hunters. I was the last reservation draw and best I could tell I was probably 12-13th. Looking at what was left I saw both C3 and I1 had a two bird average on Saturday (given I have ZERO experience hunting a river bank nor the means to retrieve a bird if it went deep, I decided to only hunt the slough). I ended up selecting I1 due to its position next to a smaller side slough and across from B4 and B3. I also think I wasn't clear that C3 was in the water which may have been better.

    I set up 32 decoys, a wind duck and a couple geese to the left of the blind assuming the bird would up the slough toward the river (I was wrong). 99% of the birds came from behind at least 100 yards up, splitting B4 and B5 in a straight line. My calls were about as useful as a slide whistle or whoopee cushion in getting birds to react. Birds DID circle B4 and they dropped a few, the others dove into the smaller slough to my left always out of range. Anyone interested in wasting steel at 75-80 yard would have had a busy day. When I walked back in around 3pm I saw at least 30 birds sitting there, most likely mocking me and my decoys ;)

    I had two birds come within range. One I missed and the other I snuck up on me and was gone before I could draw on him.

    I learned a ton and will absolutely put in for next year. A couple things I would do different.
    1) Hunt a Saturday or with a better draw on Sunday.
    2) Realize there's no coffee at 4am in Boardman...plan accordingly.
    3) Try the river to increase my chances. If I had the weekend free I would have tried that on Saturday afternoon.
    3) Bring another hunter with me.
    4) Get a new gun before next year (the front sight on my gun popped off and was lost in the bushes...I would love to blame that for zero birds).
     
  2. The_Duck_Master

    The_Duck_Master Elite Refuge Member

    Messages:
    6,763
    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2004
    Location:
    Salem, Oregon
    Sounds about right given your draw.
     
  3. Led37Zep

    Led37Zep New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2018
    Location:
    Oregon
    Good to know I wasn't an anomaly. I'm really looking forward to my next hunt.
     

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