Another fall and early winter came and went.
It is the best time of the year for many reasons. The nature is getting ready for winter and we get to see many changing colors if you live far enough north. Beautiful, sometime warm days becoming shorter and shorter while cold temperatures strengthening their grip on darkness.
College football is at full swing and so is the bird season throughout the country. Youth hockey is showing its presence felt and early morning practices are great way to start a day.
I have been bird hunting for few years now and fortunate to develop great relationships with other bird hunters around the country. The shotgun shooting community, whether it’s the bird hunters, sporting clay shooters, trap, skeet guys are lot of fun to be around. Even thought sometimes trap and skeet shooters can be little uptight. Relax fellas, only very few of you are actually that good. For the rest it should just be fun day shooting outside.
I went to Louisiana for early blue teal winged duck season in September and brought along the new CZ 1012 not realizing it will be perfect gun for the occasion. Plentiful birds but we had to work for it and that’s where 1012 came through for me. I’ve never hunted with semiautomatic shotgun before. 1012 is inertia driven shotgun. The biggest advantage of this system is less recoil, less weight and less cleaning.
Camo pattern synthetic stock was perfect for the environment of coastal Louisiana.
Each day we got dropped off by boat and had to walk with waders on through knee deep mud to get to the right spot to “welcome” the ducks with our salvos of twelve gauge steel loads.
These birds come in fast and leave even faster. I’m not sure if having the third shell in the gun resulted in any downed birds but it’s great having that option compare to the double guns I have been using up to this point.
Riding on the boat, walking in mud, the Louisiana heat and humidity made the camo covered synthetic stock the right choice.
I enjoy hunting with semi automatic gun very much.
So much I chose to pick up the CZ 920 for grouse in Idaho and Wyoming.
I’ve written about the greatness of the handy, soft shooting 920 before. It’s a perfect gun for recoil sensitive or smaller statute shooters who might not feel comfortable shooting 12s. But it also work for bigger guys, especially as a walking gun. And you do lot of that chasing ruffed grouse in Idaho and Wyoming.
First you have to figure out where the birds could be. Then you have to do lot of uphill. Once in the habitat the shots will be quick and tight. Good friend of mine’s mentor once said: “ hunting ruffed grouse you can not afford not to pull the trigger”.
I still have lot of learning to do shooting at any bird but this advice really applies to grouse hunting. Don’t be too patient waiting for better shot it might not come.
I never thought I’ll be using the third shell in my shotgun this early in the season. But the bird changed my mind. We found ourselves at the top of a ridge in Idaho, breathing heavy and wiping sweat from our eyes. The grouse thought that was that was great time to fly. One got out and flew perfectly in front of me and away, just like rising trap. I never miss going rising trap (just kidding) so I got that one on second shot. As I’m adding shell to my gun another one takes off. Flying left to right I shoot and miss, pulled the trigger second time and miss again. At that point I gave up on the bird but got little lucky. The grouse reverse its flight pattern and flew right back where it came
from. This time I did not miss. The third shell in the gun proved to be exactly what I needed to bring this bird down. Do I think I will get three chances on the same bird again? Probably not but if there is multiple birds the third shell gives you much better chance than reloading your gun.
I got out few more times to hunt grouse and made another trip to Louisiana. Snipe season was on there during my January visit. All I had to do is to wipe some of the Mississippi mud off of my 1012 and load #8 lead shot instead and I was ready. Snipe hunt is a sporty event. What you need is good wind but we either had no wind or borderline hurricane force on our last day. Overall we shot enough birds but we did have to work for it.
I enjoyed getting off the boat and only changing from my waders to my knee high boots yet keeping the same gun.