Any waterfowler knows the unproven law of waterfowl hunting, if you think the hunt is over, it still isn't over. You know when it's getting late in the morning, haven't had a flock in a while so everyone agrees it's time to pick up. Or you may have simply thought that you had enough of an opening to pick up the birds from the previous flock, and you thought wrong.
I'd like to say I have a solution... I think.
One of the ways I like to think that I can fix this, is by when we're 'thinking' about picking up, I like to just announce to the birds of the area. Simply saying, "hey birds, we're picking up now." This let's the birds know that they could maybe come in a little sooner before we're all standing out in the field with our arms loaded with decoys wondering what we did wrong. This seems to work, sometimes. Though the other day, it was a slightly slower morning, and I announced that we were already picking up. Waited a few minutes, no last minute action occurred. Just as I was waist-high in a pasture pond with my hands full of decoys, a loner Canadian Goose drops out of the nowhere trying to land in our pond. Ya'll probably can already guess how that ended.
In the photo above, we were pulling in 8 to 12 packs all morning long and it was safe to say out of the 9 hunters we had in blinds, everyone was having an absolute blast. After a good size flock cupped up, and dove into our spread like a group of angry dive bombers, we had one straggler go down 100 yards away into the field we were hunting. Obviously nose goes to go get that 'ol boy, and the winner just happened to not be the fast defensive lineman on the football field in high school. (We left the dogs at home on this hunt, assuming we had enough man power to fetch our birds) He started his jaunt down the field and just as expected anytime someone leaves their safe and hidden blind, a silent pack breaks the tree tops and start tipping like one of those tall blow up guys at the end of a used car lot. At this very moment, we found out exactly how fast he was.
Moral of this story? There really isn't a ton of moral behind this story. Though I would recommend playing it safe and tell you that even when you think the hunt is over, it really isn't over until it's over. Also, if you have a bird that needs to be picked up in the middle of a field, maybe keep a list of your hunting buddies' 100 yard dash track times and choose the lucky winner based on that.