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JohnP

Sunrise to sunset hunt to end the duckin' season.

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Tough season for me and definately the lowest # of birds harvested I can ever remember.  Shot 6 birds all season in approximately a dozen hunts.  Usually hunt close to double that but didnt hunt middle zone this year and focused more on deer hunting mainly because I wasnt seeing the ducks around to convince me otherwise ;). Still made the most of it yesterday and sat from sunrise to sunset with a good buddy and his son.  Scouted the day before and found a bunch of birds of birds and had high Hope's.  Get to the ramp to have another boat already put in, asked where they were planning on going and wouldn't ya know it right where I was planning on :(.  Well went to plan B and probably should of hit Plan C and went fishing ;).  Seen a bunch of birds, 200 to 300 plus throughout the day but couldn't get but a few to commit.  Birds would work good and then just fly off acting like stale park birds.  Threw every tactic I could think of and they weren't having it.  At one point had 40 to 50 mallards work is for what seemed like several minutes just have a hawk chasing a crow over the dekes to spook em and fly off.   If we would of past shot probably could of shot close to our limits if not our limits but were not into that and much rather have birds committed feet down tickling the water.  Still a fun hunt non the less.  Ended it with 3 mallards and a sawbill. The other party did some shooting but didnt hear a whole lot for 3 guys hunting.  Couple other buddies were hunting up the creek from us and they said about the same thing as I and managed to shoot one limit between them. 

IMG_20190127_074728_058.jpgIMG_20190127_183113_815.jpg

 

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          Good report and pictures as always John. We did not even attempt it this last couple of days. Lots of ice on local ponds and just not going to fight it. we ended up pretty good number wise but not less than last season.  May still get out for more geese but again water will be solid so hoping for a quick thaw just once more! 

  BilletHead

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2 minutes ago, BilletHead said:

          Good report and pictures as always John. We did not even attempt it this last couple of days. Lots of ice on local ponds and just not going to fight it. we ended up pretty good number wise but not less than last season.  May still get out for more geese but again water will be solid so hoping for a quick thaw just once more! 

  BilletHead

I'll be honest and didnt hunt as hard as I normally do for ducks but as I said just wasnt seeing the numbers.  Usually can base #s looking a ponds and every pond that normally has ducks on them never really did down here other than a couple here and there.  One pond that we've always shot ducks and geese off of produce 3 ducks this year in 4 hunts and no geese.  What's weird is usually the majority of what we see is gadwall and this year I dont think we've shot a single one and usually shoot alot of GWT this time of year and havent seen a single one either.  Havent seen the rafts of divers.  Now that seasons over tho they'll be everywhere  ;).

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27 minutes ago, JohnP said:

I'll be honest and didnt hunt as hard as I normally do for ducks but as I said just wasnt seeing the numbers.  Usually can base #s looking a ponds and every pond that normally has ducks on them never really did down here other than a couple here and there.  One pond that we've always shot ducks and geese off of produce 3 ducks this year in 4 hunts and no geese.  What's weird is usually the majority of what we see is gadwall and this year I dont think we've shot a single one and usually shoot alot of GWT this time of year and havent seen a single one either.  Havent seen the rafts of divers.  Now that seasons over tho they'll be everywhere  ;).

              You got that right John there will ducks coming out our ears in the next few weeks as they head back north. The last ones through will be bluewings in their best dressed plumage. Pat and I fish some ponds that they frequent on that trip north. Those drakes buzz us with that crescent moon shape on the head. Honesty I drool a bit when it happens. Speaking of fishing I am so ready. Got a text from one of my friends and forum member Curtise. Picture of a peacock bass and a snook. Dang!

 BilletHead

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20 minutes ago, BilletHead said:

              You got that right John there will ducks coming out our ears in the next few weeks as they head back north. The last ones through will be bluewings in their best dressed plumage. Pat and I fish some ponds that they frequent on that trip north. Those drakes buzz us with that crescent moon shape on the head. Honesty I drool a bit when it happens. Speaking of fishing I am so ready. Got a text from one of my friends and forum member Curtise. Picture of a peacock bass and a snook. Dang!

 BilletHead

Theres usually a few breeding pairs that show up on Taneycomo and Bull Shoals especially when its flooded and we bust them out of the brush bowfishing, pretty cool to see them around but like the woodies they take off south as soon as it gets cool.  One of my bucket list ducks is a plumed out BWT.

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We bagged almost exactly half as many ducks this year as last year and hunted more often and harder. No complaints here. If you never had slow years you would not know what great years were! Been through thick and thin seasons and never makes me want to hunt less the next year. 

Nice end of season hunt,  John!

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23 minutes ago, Hunter91 said:

We bagged almost exactly half as many ducks this year as last year and hunted more often and harder. No complaints here. If you never had slow years you would not know what great years were! Been through thick and thin seasons and never makes me want to hunt less the next year. 

Nice end of season hunt,  John!

True that.  In over the 20 plus years of duck hunting I stopped saying it cant get much worse years ago because history has proven it can and will ;).  As stated before, I'm thankful and blessed for the opportunity and ability to still get out as much as I do and although I'm glad this seasons over I'm looking forward to next season but ready for a break ;).

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John - Congrats on the birds that you did harvest! Also I know from other posts that you have a freezer full of venison. So your decision in that regards paid off quite well IMO!

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The lake above the tail-water that I fished yesterday here in Maryland had a good number of common mergansers diving for fish. Would not be my first choice of eating waterfowl.

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