Monday, January 25, 2010
I've read alot of posts about Rush Poker on Full Tilt lately and, after playing 3 or 4 sessions now, I only have one small sentence to direct toward Rush Poker and Full Tilt.
Go Fuck Yourself!
Thus far, after probably 1000 or 1500 hands, I've flopped exactly one set. Oh, I've had a billion small pocket pairs along the way, but to no avail, I fold.
Tonight, I re-raise a light raiser with Big Slick, flop my Ace, but just don't take into account that he played A-7 offsuit, and, you know, go broke when he flops two pair.
If you want a dollar for the bad beat story, read that sentence two paragraphs up, I'll just have to owe you.
Until next time, I'm on mad, flaming tilt, so stay off me.
posted by GaryC @ 5:14 PM, ,
What A Man Will Do For A Duck - Part 2
Monday, January 11, 2010
Three weeks ago, we got one of the biggest snowstorms to hit Oklahoma in a very long time. It dumped 14 inches of snow on the central part of the state in less than 36 hours. Now, we've had that much snow on occasion here, but very seldom does it all come from one storm. Normally, it is a couple of storms lined up in succession, pounding us a day or so apart, before we get that much, but this time, we even had blizzard-like conditions for a while, due to the strong north wind that was incessant during the storm.
Now, most of that snow has vanished, save for a few large piles here and there on the side of the road or in parking lots. Last Wednesday, during the day, our temperature dipped below the freezing mark of 32 degrees (Fahrenheit, for my Canadian friends) and continued to plummet. It did not venture above 32 degrees until some time yesterday afternoon. It hit lows of 1, 2 and 3 degrees during this little cold snap, which, again, for Oklahoma, is fairly unusual.
I preface this story with the weather just to give you a little idea exactly how brutal it can get in this sport and to tell you this, we never once thought of NOT going duck hunting this weekend. NOT going never even entered our mind, especially after traveling around the lake and seeing exactly how many birds are wintering here right now.
Friday, I left work at 2:00 pm and headed west to the International Headquarters, arriving around 3:15. Rather than going straight to the trailer, I decided to drive around and look at a few spots to see if there was any open water and if any ducks were present. I found my bullseye right off the bat at a little place we sometimes use in the summer. If you've followed this blog and seen any of the youtube videos, it is the spot where WeakPlayer, WeakWife and Weakbaby joined us 2 summers ago in a prelude to Okie-Vegas 3. It is very shallow water and has a very hard bottom, which makes it much easier to set decoys, retrieve birds, etc.
It was completely open water on Friday afternoon and there were probably 4 dozen birds loafing there, just hanging out. I determined immediately that this would be the easiest to get to, perfect for a north wind and what we like to call "the easy button." Unfortunately, come Saturday morning, it wasn't nearly as easy as we'd have hoped.
We awoke to a frosty, bone-chilling 5 degrees. We loaded up the gear, dressed for the weather and headed for the lake. My buddy, Tony, had brought his boat down and, as it turns out, that was a very good thing. We got to the boat ramp to find the entire lake frozen over from shore to shore with an inch and a half of ice. In fact, there was another group of hunters there, pulling their boat out of the water because, they said, the ice is too thick to launch.
Pfffftttttt! (This would be the spot where all 3 of us rolled our eyes and said, to ourselves, yeah, right!)
These boys just did not want to hunt ducks as bad as we did. Tony backed his boat down the ramp, into the little spot of water and wham! He found the ice. So, thinking logically, we would probably decide to save his boat and trailer and pull out and wait for the ice to give a little or maybe try to break out a bigger spot, right? Wrong! He pulled forward, threw it in reverse and slammed into the ice even harder, breaking enough of it that we could now get the boat off the trailer. That was half the battle. He also broke several things on his trailer including the back up lights.
Now, he fired up the motor and began blowing water out to make a spot to turn around. In a few minutes, after parking his truck and trailer, we were in the boat and headed to our spot to begin clearing ice, waving to the "duck-hunters" back on the ramp. We got there in short order, although, without the boat, we'd never have been able to hunt on Saturday. (or Sunday, for that matter) We broke open a hole with the boat and jumped out to begin the process of clearing the ice.
An hour and a half later, we had the ice moved, the decoys set out and began preparing to hunt ducks. No less than 5 or 6 ducks hit the water, right in the middle of the decoys, before we could get ready for them. We determined it was going to be a good day right then and there.
By 7:30, after Legal Shooting Time had come and gone, we were in the boat, had the blind up around us and were sipping coffee, awaiting the arrival of more birds......and they did not disappoint.
We got our fair share on that Saturday morning, and we were out of the water and back at the trailer, cleaning birds, by 11:00 am. That's a 3-man limit of 18 birds and, had we been more selective, we could have easily had 15 mallards and three "others" to make the limit, but, we weren't very patient. Of course, as soon as we finished and started picking up decoys, the mallards started flying by the 1000's. That's pretty much the way it always works.
There were dozens of little holes of water in the main body of the lake, kept unfrozen by the sheer numbers of birds, and those little holes were holding 4 and 5 thousand birds apiece, it seemed. It's really difficult to actually assign a number to the birds we saw, but, suffice it to say, we knew we were going to limit out again on Sunday.
We finally debated long enough and decided on a spot. In fact, Tony and I jumped in his boat and headed across the lake, breaking ice the entire way, to see how deep it was and if it was a hard enough bottom to walk around on. It was. While we were there, we noticed a truck sitting at a nearby dock on that side of the lake and it was quite obvious, they were watching us. Not good when you are scouting out a good spot to hunt on public hunting grounds.
When we got back to the trailer, we got some phone calls from friends and soon enough, we had 6 lined up for Sunday morning. Howard, Chris and Nathan could not fight the allure of killing a few ducks, regardless of the weather and the work involved, so we had our plan and our hunting party ready. We hit the sack early in anticipation of that 4:30 wake-up call.
We got the boat in the water again, with a bit more work involved than the previous day, and 3 of them started across the lake to the new spot. Unfortunately, the temperature was 2 degrees on Sunday and the ice was twice as thick as it had been the previous day. They had a helluva time breaking ice and getting across there and by the time they got close, they could see the bad news that awaited them. The bastards that had watched us test the spot the previous evening were already there and already set up. That's one of the real pissers to hunting public land, but there was no give-up in our bunch. Plan B was now in full effect.
They headed back across the lake to our side and headed just east of the spot we had hunted the day before. It wasn't perfect for the wind direction, but it was going to have to do. We drove back around and met them and began the process of moving the ice and setting the decoys. Let me just say now that the work associated with duck hunting is much easier and goes much faster with 6 guys that know what they're doing than it does with only 3 guys that know what they're doing.
The ducks didn't start flying as early as they had the previous morning and at one point, we even thought of packing it in.....that is until.......they really started flying. They had slept in because of the cold weather, but when they began to start making passes down the lake, it was on!
Yes, we got our 36 birds for a 6-man limit on Sunday. We had to hunt until around 2:00 pm to get there, but that is almost always the case with that many hunters. Again, as soon as we finished and started picking up the decoys and chasing down the cripples, the mallards started flying out by the 1000's again. It's almost as if they have a scout set up and as soon as we unload the guns and hit the water to pick up the decoys, he goes back and tells them all that the coast is clear.
So, there's you two different days in the life of a duck hunter in extreme conditions. Like I said before, it is a disease, and once you are afflicted, there is almost nothing a man won't do for a duck.
If you've never experienced it, I feel a little sorry for you. I know most of you that read this blog have your own vices, as do I, but the exhileration and the thrill of getting a 6-man limit is pretty incredible for this old country boy. By the way, those ducks are all in mine and Bill's freezer down at the lake. Can you spell S-H-I-S-H-K-A-B-O-B, I know that you can.
Thanks to my buddies Bill, Tony, Howard, Chris and Nathan for the memories, because those memories are something that you can't put a price on. The stories of Sunday's hunt will get bigger and badder every time they're told. I just hope I'm in the blind to hear them.
Until next time, I fold.
posted by GaryC @ 5:51 PM, ,