I keep thinking the season is about over but I keep giving it one more try. I headed out for an afternoon only shoot due to a prior commitment tonight. I went to my normal spot and put the sneak on a few mallards.....got one. However, all the little potholes in the area erupted with at least 10 more birds...mostly mallards. All of them out of range and heading as far away from me as possible. But, one goldeneye made the mistake of swinging back towards me just a little too close. The dog got her second long deep water retrieve of the day. After those few shots there was nothing flying. I always prefer to shoot over decoys but without any birds flying what can you do?

Well...I figured it was as good a time as any to scout out a neighboring area. The walking was tough (knee deep boggy muck). But the habitat was great. However, most of the ponds lacked any cover close enough to hide and still be in range. The dog and I continued to scout and put two more goldenyes on the strap after 2 more long deep water retrieves. We were back in the truck and heading home by 4:45 pm with 4 birds.

Here's a pic from the web. All three common goldeneyes were still lacking full color. This is a pretty good representation of what mine looked like:

A fully mature drake goldeneye:

Another nice late fall day in the marsh. No ice or snow in the area I hunted even though Potter Marsh is pretty well iced over.