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Thread: 1/12 & 1/15 - Saltwater Action & Frostbite

  1. #1
    14 pointer WoodsmanA's Avatar
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    1/12 & 1/15 - Saltwater Action & Frostbite

    Last Friday (1/12/18) DU CT and I hit the shore with a friend of a friend who we'd never met. He fit right in and brought some solid shooting skills to the crew on what ended up being a somewhat slow couple hours of hunting due to the lack of wind and the higher temps. We got set up at about 7:30 am. First action was a small group of blue bills that swung in close enough over our spread to give us a passing shot. After that we dropped a wigeon from a pair that came in hot to the left of the decoys. Shortly after the wigeon pair a pair of blue bill swung close at about mach 1 and we dropped another. It got pretty quiet after that. After an hour or so of waiting behind a quiet spread the blue bills started pouring in way off to our north in groups 25 to 50 strong. We managed to limit out on them when smaller groups down lower over the water came close enough for passing shots. After the blue bill limit a pair of buffies came screaming by and I made what I'd call the worst shot of my life with the shot pattern hitting the water about 10 feet behind the birds. Not but 10 seconds later the hen turned and came back and I got my redemption shot and dropped her with a lead double the length of what felt appropriate. The highlight of the day was a pair of ruddy ducks that came by. Mike was able to drop the drake. We all thought it was a hen but after some research later on we found out that drake ruddy ducks plume out during the summer. Time was about up and we had to head out but the hunt ended with a hot spread as a trio of gadwall and a pair of mallards came in, wings cupped and feet down. Unfortunately the other guys were out retrieving birds when the decoys finally came alive. I was able to drop two, a gad and greenhead. A nice end to a fairly slow hunt.



    Yesterday, MLK day, we went back to our spot and set up despite an unfavorable wind. BishopReid and myself got in early and set up only to have 10 wigeon come paddling into our geese dekes before legal light. They were whistling away, none the wiser to our presence. DU CT paddled in about 10 minutes before legal light came on. We waited patiently, barely able to see the hundreds of ducks, brant and geese sitting out on the open water. First action was a pair of black ducks that came straight into the spread. Dropped both. The skies lit up immediately after the first shots. After five minutes of insanity we paddled out to pick up the results and came back with three black ducks, a mallard hen and an incidental drake merg that really looked like a mallard in the low light. The morning continued with a dropped pair of blue bills and decoying mallards of which we took two. We had a single goose bomb in as well, floating in the strong wind. After that Bishop took a shot on a pair of mergs screaming by in the wind. The hen folded hard. Two more geese came in and we dropped one. It gave us one hell of a time during the retrieve as it was still alive and swimming away hard in the current. After three hours we had to call it. The waves were picking up. Our decoys had skirts of ice building up rapidly. Numb to the core and frostbitten from the relentless wind we felt beat and battered. We're all sick, too. Smart group of guys.... The morning ended with three mallards, two blue bills, four black ducks (three of them were true blacks, not hybrids) a pair of mergs and two geese.

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    Licensed Nuisance Wildlife Control Operator
    www.PAWServicesCT.com

  2. #2
    WOW! Nice shooting boys!!!!!!

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Deadeye Logun S16 Champion, Backyard Shootout Champion TooManyHobbies's Avatar
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    Real nice shooting. So, what do you do with the blue bills and mergs? Are they edible? Sausage?
    NOBODY EVER SHOT BAMBI....they shot his momma.

  4. #4
    14 pointer WoodsmanA's Avatar
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    Just pan seared some blue bill breast and had it with eggs the other morning for breakfast. Soaked the breast meat in salt water overnight. Mild ocean flavor but barely noticeable with a little salt and garlic powder. Mergs for me are incidental when it happens. Twice this season I shot a merg coming in to decoys right after legal light. Low light and bad split second ID. Waste of a slot in the bag. They become coyote bait.
    Licensed Nuisance Wildlife Control Operator
    www.PAWServicesCT.com

  5. #5
    My fingers are still numb. They basically feel like I burned the tip of each one. Well worth it! WoodsmanA was on fire yesterday’s! He couldn’t miss if he tried.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  6. #6
    12 Point
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    Very nice job!!! I took the dog for a walk in RI on Sat and put up a flock of 10 woodies in an open water area......can' believe they are still around after this cold we had

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