Duck Shooting - Opening Weekend
May 4th-6th, 2018
Firstly i'll start with a short explanation of how important Duck Shooting is to the Jensen family. The opening weekend of duck shooting for the Jensen's has been the biggest family gathering (bigger than Christmas) since way before I was born, with each year being as important as the previous. Family members from all around the country from as far as Dunedin and Christchurch has previously flown up for the notorious Opening Weekend. This year marked my 21st year attending the 'Jensen Clan' opening weekend and I wouldn't miss it for the world. The thing is, the weekend is bigger than just the shooting, as a few family members birthdays fall on the same weekend, AMAZING food is provided by special women of the family and great chat and beers are sort ofter by the lads and most importantly the family is all together. Now onto the story of opening weekend 2018...
Friday May 4th,
I packed my kit - swazis, hunting & fishing apparel, oil skin, boots (red bans & John Bulls) and all my film kit (drone, GoPros x3, Canon EOS, Tripods, multiple mounts). This was gonna be a banger of a year (excuse the pun haha) and a hellova an edit to come out of it. So I drove 15min South from my current home to me home farm, unpacked my shit and one by one family members turned up from all around the country with hunting gears, partners in crime and many Labrador dogs. Decoys were deployed, camo nets were positioned, catch ups were had, footage was taken and the amp was on! Considering Friday nights, this years was prity chill and everyone just had the hell time having beers, food and catching up.
Saturday May 5th (Opening Morning),
5am rolled around, alarms went off, the boys and lady (Claire - only female to get out of bed - Legend) were frothing, marmite, peanut butter and honey toast was made and plunger coffees were brewed as per usual. We loaded our shit up - guns, dogs, biscuits and hit the road by 6am, it was on. Curtis and myself jumped out were we needed to be and made our way to the 2018 Spot X where the most action was all weekend - fortunately for the ducks our shooting wasn't as crash shit hot as the spot we were shooting in hahah, any-who we had Spot-X. To be honest I hadn't in my 21 years of shooting seen that much action going on in the sky, there were a lot of birds around. The morning shoot was over by 10am, ducks were shot, alot were missed, water was stalked and alot of good yarns were talked. We then made our way up to the notorious Saturday Lunch where uncle Beef would be cooking an epic slab of steak from a beautiful cube roll on the barbie (as in the pictures below you will be able to see). All the team got together discussed how the morning all went over a few beers and beautiful spread provided by the Jensen women. The avo rolled round and this was when all the lads age 16+ got together and headed to the river for a few beers and good yarns - haha (And this stays with the boys)... anyway 3 hours later darkness was starting to fall, so we got back to our spots and waited for the ducks to fly in on dark. Curtis and myself, with the fine company of Micki and Izzy got a couple, pitch darkness fell so off we went back home to collaborate stories with the lads and lasses, cold beers and constant beautiful spreads of food. The Saturday night is always a wicked time with the family, as this is when everyone that comes to duck shooting is their to have fun for the night, drink, dance, sing, catchup, celebrate and this year we were lucky enough to celebrate Jordy's 21st birthday, in which she came up from Welly's to celebrate with the family - Whata night!
Sunday May 6th,
5am rolled around once again, minimal sleep was had and the routine was back on with toast and coffees made (this time with a couple extra scopes haha). We all loaded up once again and hit the road back to our spots and it was on, slightly more quiet than the morning before, as I think there are a slight decrease in the number of ducks and maybe potentially abit smarter haha. The boys got afew, 9.30am rolled round, Big John came paddling down the river, from dad's and his pozzy up stream. We collected all the decoys, camo nets, shot afew ducks, missed many and back we went up to have more coffee, biscuts and yarns, while we all plan our attack for the notorious stalks up to the dams. All the team (including all the girls) got bombs, guns and dogs sorted and we were off down to the neighbouring farm where the legend 'Trew family' let us stalk and shoot the notorious Trew dam! The stalks teeeend to be where we get most our ducks, so we stalked this dam (comando as hell) and around 30-40 flew off and we went to town on these birds, the thing is when they fly off they have to swing back around as the hills behind the dam are to steep to climb so they fly straight back over us and then its (abit of howsit goin yano ;) haha. SUCCESSFUL STALK. The squadron then made our way down to a new spot on the river, just below our place, this was also a great success and good fun with the team.
Then that wrapped up our shooting for opening weekend 2018, so we made our hungry ways home and once again the HELLL spread was supplied by the legends as per usual, stories were discussed, beers, coffees and a mad amount of food were consumed - the Jensen clan was satisfied. What a weekend and as per usual the end comes around way to quickly.
A special thanks goes to my family for being such legends and always great fun!
Also a massive thank you to the special ladies that provide the amazing food - you know who you are!
And a massive thanks and a whole lot of love goes to a very special man that cant be with us here today, but has been at this amazing gathering for 3 - 4 times as many years as I have - who was one of the Founders/Legends and core men behind this very special weekend and family ~ Phil Jensen ~ We love & miss you! <3
Love yah guys - Until next year!
One Hellovan edit is going to be created from this weekend - So keep your eyes peeled...
- The entire Jensen clan (minus afew that are on world trips or studying way down south)
(You guys know who you are!)