Thursday, December 30, 2010

More Uncommon Commoners...

I've been simply inundated with common-ness lately: I shot a common goldeneye, got inspired by Steve Bodio to start a commonplace book and then today, this...

A pretty pair of common mergansers that came into the spread this morning, and the fifteenth species of duck the old lady has delivered to hand. My memory is failing so I'm not completely positive, but I believe they're the first common mergansers I've ever shot, and if they aren't they're certainly the first commom mergs I've shot over Tess.

I don't generally shoot mergansers, but certainly not for lack of opportunity. We have tons of hooded mergs on the lake I hunt, and I literally can't keep them out of the decoys. I'm pretty sure they'd decoy in to a bunch of two-liter pop bottles. Not terribly bright, but they're beautiful and fun to watch with their "grrrrt" calls to each other and I figure they add a little motion to the spread as well as give Tess something to stare at while we wait for other ducks to come in.

But common mergansers? For whatever reason I just don't see them whenever I hunt the main lake, which - because my puddles and ponds are mostly dry due to drought - is what I've done a lot of this season.

So when a small group came winging by the decoys not long after LST, I didn't hesitate to shoot a couple. Probably won't do it again, as mergansers don't have the best reputation as table fare, but they are undeniably beautiful birds and I'm toying with the idea of having the drake mounted.

And if you're wondering what's up with the blue speculum, there are also a couple greenheads under there somewhere. All in all not bad for a quickie one-hour hunt, and Tess got another species notch on her collar. Truth be told I've been feeling guilty about that, as I've spent a disproportionate share of time this past month either gone or running Jenny in my ongoing quest to get the pup as many days afield as possible.

But she was happy today, despite having to stand around in chest-deep water again. I haven't, however, informed her that tomorrow she sleeps in while Jenny and I go chase the mythical (at least this year) wild bobwhite quail. I fear she's going to get uncommonly pouty when she sees the truck leave without her...


  1. Have fun on the quail hunt! Nice birds!

  2. Chad

    Good to hear I can still live vicariously through you. Still ya never know '11 might even be the year.

  3. Another bird I never had much success with in the kitchen, although they're all over the NC marshes (along with hoodies)... they do make an interesting mount, and in concert with a handful of other species they make a nice collection.

  4. Norcal, I know it's heresy, but If I don't have the drake mounted I'm going to breast them out, brine them and do the 'ol time-tested bacon-wrap-and-grill...

  5. Bacon,

    The duct tape of culinary affairs!

    Happy New Year to you and all!
    Best Regards,
    Albert A Rasch
    Albert Rasch In Afghanistan™