Lagniappe's Blazing Star "Blaze"

 Click on the year for that seasons hunts and other adventures







2007 - 2008 Third Hunting Season


This Picture of Blaze was awarded the May 2007 winner of the Academy / Texas Hunting Forum Cover Photo Contest. 

A big  thank you to The Texas Hunting Forum for the contest and Academy Sports & Outdoors as the sponsor!


September 29th Teal Hunting


Did a hunt with Blaze at the end of Teal Season. That morning I woke up long before the alarm went off and could not sleep. Blaze was up wandering around the house too. So we got a real early start. My destination was via kayak into the flooded backwaters of a lake north of Dallas. While setting out decoys, Blaze chugged out and brought me back a gift. She caught a live coot. I did not have my headlight on so when I put it in front of my face to see what it was, it made an attempt on my nose. Yikes!

Small world, when I traveled over to introduce myself to some hunters I saw setting up in the distance it turned out to be my good friend Steve, along with his daughter's boyfriend and boyfriend's Dad. This was not a place Steve or I had ever hunted together, nor had I ever met the guys he had been invited to hunt with. Small world indeed. Talked a while then I went back to
my decoy spread.

The thirty minutes before legal shooting time, I had flock upon flock light around me. Mostly Teal, but some Woodies and more than a couple resident Mallards. Blaze was crazy with anticipation, but holding steady.

A minute after legal I still had groups coming in buzzing just over my head to get to the decoys. So I picked my first bird. Three more shots and 8 minutes later I was done. Had my limit of 4 Bluewing Teal.

I had the hot spot and a way too thought out decoy spread that was working. So I went out to invite the other guys over. And just enjoyed the show. Pictures are not of the quality I normally have, this was an in the water hunt so I was using a cheap backup camera. But I think you can tell we had fun.

When things slowed I left them for some scouting. Found another deep oxbow lake covered in duck weed that I will have my eye on later during regular season. I think Blaze first thought she could walk on it. Not the first time she has done that. :-)

It was good day!




October 10


I just had to take a break from studying so ran up to the lake an hour before sundown with my flyrod and shotgun so I had less than an hour to hunt. Mostly went to flyfish, but it was within a hunting area on Lewisville that I had seen dove in the past so I took my shotgun and some decoys. Stuck the decoys in a tree and set the shotgun near me. Caught about a half dozen small bass from the bank. Fun on a 2 weight flyrod with a hopper. Only got to my gun fast enough for one of three dove that came in to my decoys. I wonder what it must have looked like to distant passerbys. A flyfisherman on the bank enjoying the peace and solitude with his dog at his side, gracefully casting, Flocks of birds of all kinds flying by to roost against the sunset before him, then BAMMM! It was fun as short as it was.  



This Seasons Vizsla Hunting Road Trip


Could not do a two week tri State hunting trip like I did last year, so my road trip with my Vizsla Blaze was a short one this year.

November 11th  I went up to Washita NWR in OK. I had drawn blind #3. I knew from hunting the refuge last year that this was a tough blind to hunt. The blind is backed up under the trees and a tree hanging over it limits the direction of shots. Also the Refuge bird count Friday indicated only 27,000 Geese. But I like doing and learning things on my own and not many public Goose opportunities out there so I loaded up the dog and went for it anyway.

First morning was very foggy. Everyone was late due to navigating the fog. Out of 11 blinds, only 9 paid and maybe 5 blinds hunted. I carted in about 50 Canada shells by myself. Last year a gentleman from Tulsa "Jim" from an internet hunting forum took me under his wing for my first goose hunt, but he could not make it this year. This picture was from last years hunt.

A recomendation given to me was to set my decoys out 50 yards or more due to the high trees behind me. Reason is that the Geese coming off the lake behind me are so high off the trees that they do not see the decoys until past them. So I put them out about 50 yards hoping to pull them down and over me before clearing the trees on the way out to the fields. Actually 
worked, but shots through the thick trees where just knocking down tree limbs instead of Geese. I did manage to get this one.

Probably a good thing I was alone on this hunt, because it gave me the opportunity to work on my goose calling without being embarrassed. Realized late morning I should have had more confidence in myself. Calling my heart out, I was pulling flocks of Geese back with that call and getting flybys over my decoys. Did not take Blaze long to figure out every time I started calling, birds where coming.

No fog this day, windy as all get-out, heard no Geese behind me on the Lake. I think I had two shots through the trees early, but that was all.Last year Blaze who was only two then had a hard time getting out of that pit blind by herself. Much more mature now, she was easily able to clear out of the deep pit blind lickety-split for the retrieve.

After the Goose hunts I was scouting a nearby public hunting area in the afternoons. Plan B was to head on to Kansas for Pheasant, but I felt I had a good hunt lined up for Monday, so I stayed with Plan A in Oklahoma. Monday morning I did a Goose hunt on the water. I had 5 or 6 Giant Canadas land around 200 yards out. I called off and on for maybe an hour before they finally picked up and flew into me. I picked an outside bird that looked to be the biggest. First shot with steel BBs only rocked it, so I stayed on it with the 2nd and 3rd shot. I only turned one other flock of Geese, but they flared, probably because I had turned on a mojo spinning wing duck decoy.

Though it would have been duck hunting heaven, I was Goose hunting. Ducks were just bonus birds this day. Actually passed several opportunities at a Greenhead limit. After landing, Mallards were fascinated with a Bilge Pump decoy I had running. Had to settle for teal once the Geese moved on.

Blaze at the ready waiting in the cattails while I layed out in my Kayak. I use a boat cushion to place command her on hunts such as this.

Bilge pump decoy working. There is a 12 volt bilge pump on the bottom of the decoy making it look like a duck actively feeding. Note all the canvasbacks in the background. I was covered with them and pintails too. Had to be real careful because they were not in season. This was my first hunt with that decoy and poor Blaze broke off her first duck retrieves 
trying to catch it thinking it was a real duck. I let her figure it out on her own, thus training herself.

I thought Blaze was going to have a tough time with that B-52 Goose, but she pushed it in most of the way then picked it up the last few feet. I let her get away without retrieving to hand on this one. :-) Definitely the biggest bird or animal she has ever had to retrieve.

And probably the biggest bird I have ever taken.

The weather changed mid day and made things treacherous for a Kayak, so I gave up plans to hunt the next morning there. I had already given up Kansas Pheasant for that third Goose hunt, but my hunting was not over, so I came back into Texas by way of my Graham area Deer lease to do a Deer hunt Tuesday morning. I left Blaze in my camper that morning and she was not too happy with being left behind. I saw no Deer. Packing to head back to Dallas, I spotted a flock of Turkeys in our field.

Glassing them I saw at least three had beards, but most were hens. I pulled the 10 GA back out, put three shells in my pocket, loaded up Blaze, and headed for a point down the road well beyond the field. I had glassed one Tom separate from the others left of the big tree in the first picture, so with my dog Blaze heeled, we made a stalk that way. She is fun to stalk 
with. Most of the time if I drop to the ground and start crawling, she will pull in close to my side and also crawl. By the time we got there the Turkeys had passed and were crossing 90 degrees across the field towards a creek oxbow.

We backed off and double timed it around and into the oxbow and waited. I was hoping the lead bird would be one of the Toms, but decided it best to take the first bird over the top. I pulled Blaze in close to my side and whispered a "wait" command to be sure she did not break.

The Turkeys started over quite a ways down from us, but I had patterned my gun for Geese and felt comfortable with the shot. 70+- yards with BB Hevi Shot it went down, but much alive still. I sent Blaze on and she shot off like a Rocket. She pounced on it and held it down until I caught up. She was sure proud of that Bird. Only a Hen, but I love that kind of hunting! Definitely makes me want to use Blaze as a catch dog in the Spring season.

By the way, the Goose I took the day before was bigger than my Turkey. Took three shots of BB steel to bring it down. This last picture with the Goose is awesome. Blaze had just brought back that Big Goose, the sun had just cleared the trees, and with all the Fall yellows she was just glowing in the morning sun. I stopped the hunt long enough for this picture moment.

Lots more hunting to come this year, but that was my out of State trip for the year. Had to make it a short one this time, but next year I will be doing a long one again same as last year. Just don't know where it will take me yet.

One more thing I wanted to add. After returning from my hunt someone had asked me, "You went all the way up there to hunt ALL BY YOURSELF?" I could not help but remember the last line in the book "Goodbye to a River" by John 
Graves. "Not exactly." I said. "I had a dog."




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2007 - 2008 Hunting Season




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