I went down to the shoot with another member on monday afternoon, As nobody had been down over the weekend We had to top up the feeders etc.
We had finished by 4pm so decided to have a go at the duck as they were coming into the ponds.
Griff has never been used on duck or retrieving on water, so thought it would be good to give him a go and see how he coped.
When we got there some mallard were already on the pond so we got off to a good start and griff took to retreiving them. with no problems.
As it got darker the teal started coming in giving us some excellent shooting, by then the temp had fallen and was just above freezing with a strong wind making it feel a lot colder, Dougy said his feet were freezing and was ready to call it quits, We agreed to one more go then home (big mistake)
Shot 2 more teal griff retrieved the first one no problem turned back an went straight out for the other, 5 minutes later we could here him swimming around (to dark to see him) and guessed the bird was diving every time he tried to pick it, another 5 minutes and still the same, well by then I was getting worried so tried calling him in no joy. finally after over 15mins I went in for him, god was that water cold after going out 15ft it was chest deep and there was about 6inches of mist on the water. (dougy cant swim so told me to keep talking so he would know if I went under, after only a few feet he told me not to bother as he could here my teeth chattering).
went a few more steps and walked off a ledge and went under luckily after a few strokes I managed to grab griffs ear and tried dragging him towards me at first there was resistance as if he was caught up with something then he broke free.
then I saw the decoy he had been hanging onto.
The decoy was an old one that had been left in a long time ago and forgotten about.
When I got him on the bank he just lay there retching water it took ages before he got up, we then had nearly a mile to walk back to the farm before I could get out of my wet clothes, I was that blue I must have looked like a smurf.
Next time I go to the pond Im going to blast the s**t out of that decoy before we start.