After what was a very good duck season for us that just passed I got an invite to make a deer hunt. Not ready to call and end to the hunting season I was ready to go. We hunted Friday evening, Saturday morning and the last hunt was to be Saturday evening.
I set up in a box stand and saw nothing Friday evening. Changed stands for Saturday morning and a spike stood in the food plot in what would have been an easy shot but I let him go and saw nothing else the rest of the hunt. After the hunt we checked out the food plot and there were a lot of deer tracks, some were big hoof prints. That made it a easy decision where to hunt Saturday evening.
Saturday evening comes and I saw nothing until 4:30 when a 12 point comes out at the end of the food plot and walks on the right edge toward my stand. Then at about 100 yards out he decides to peak out to eat in the food plot which allowed for a good shot at him and the rest is history. One shot and he fell on the ground right where he stood. That was a very hectic two minutes. That was like 100 grey ducks coming from a mile high right over the decoys many times. What luck I had and what a thrill as it could not have worked out any better for an avid full time duck hunter trying to be a part time deer hunter.
January 2017 Aerial Waterfowl Survey
Date Hunted 1/14/2017:
Three of us went out Saturday in the foggy conditions and a little breeze from the SE. The fog stayed with us until we could not take it anymore at 10:00am when we decided to leave. We did no fire our gun the for the hunt. Zero ducks for the day. I have hunted that blind for 10 years and that has never happened before.
Date Hunted 1/15/2017:
We expected another fog morning to repeat from Saturday. Woke up at the camp and it was clear, good to go. Hunted solo. Same breeze as the day before and there were a few big ducks on the move. Shot 6 greys for the limit. Good hunt to end the weekend.
If anyone would like to see my outdoor action videos from the past go to YouTube and search for Delta Duckman - my videos are there.
Date Hunted 1/2/2017:
We started out the new year right this morning. There was a little fog this morning and the tide was up but the good stiff wind had the ducks on the move. Three of us shot 18 ducks for the day. I shot a grey, spoony, GW teal, BW teal, widgeon and pintail. The duck cycle I guess. The other guys shot a drake canvasback, redheads and greys. A very good late season hunt. .
Date Hunted 12/30/2016:
What a difference the weather makes. 15mph wind with a few gusts created the circumstance for the ducks to fly compared to the last few fog day hunts.
The grey ducks and pintail came around the decoys today but as most hunters know the later in the season it gets the harder it is to get them to come real close to the blind. Shots were a little farther than normal today. Couple that with the windy conditions that allow the grey ducks to bug out quickly thus created the 6 boxes of shells shot. Oh, we had some bad shooting too. Anyhow, we came out with 12 greys and 2 pintail and some sore shoulders. Although our shooting mojo suffered it sure was a lot of fun with a lot of action.
After the last few hunts I was worried if the ducks had left us? Those worries are unfounded based on the action we had today. Another blind we have shot a 18 greys so it is back to game on.
Dates Hunted December 23, 24, 26 & 27 2016:
After three days of horrible conditions of fog in the morning with no wind at all, circumstances for duck hunting could not have been worse. Despite those conditions we had a good time and were able to shoot some ducks, pouledeau and gallinule. Only a couple of limits were done for the four days compared to the first split when we all were shooting limits, but then again conditions dictated the outcome. We will be hunting Friday after the front passes. It will be interesting to see how much things change.
The shots on the water in the video are the rookies shooting at still targets.
Date Hunted 12/24/16:
Four boats left the dock from the camp Saturday morning. The fog and no winds made if very difficult hunting early on. The boat I was in came out with 3 teal, another boat had 5 ducks, and the other boat only had 3 pouledeau. Patience paid off for the last boat to get to the camp as the 3 hunters had 17 grey ducks and 1 widgeon. The action started for them at 10:00. Greys were dive bombing them until the limit was done. It is getting to the time of the season where things have to be done differently to have success as the picture shows.
Merry Christmas to all.
Date Hunted 12/22/16:
One of our club members nickname is Rooster. The Rooster took his daughters out for a duck hunt this morning. They came out with 4 grey ducks. Rooster tells me he wanted the ducks to get close to the blind for easy shots and missed a few opportunities that would have been normal shots. The had a decent amount of greys in the area, not many teal today.
Always good to see others enjoying the sport as the girls are all smiles with their dad.
See attached waterfowl survey
We were hoping we could keep the momentum going into the second split but not to be. We didn't have as many ducks in our area as the first split. It seems the rain over the last couple of weeks up the line has allowed some of the ducks to move on. We are still doing well but a definite drop off. My blind did not limit out over the weekend.
For the duck hunters out in the marsh today that was an amazing turn of events. 70 degrees and no wind turned into a twilight zone moment as the big grey cloud approached from the northwest and then all hell broke lose (see picture), 30 to 35 mph steady winds and dropping temperatures. Ducks started flying but that did not assure success as they fly differently in those extreme conditions.
We did manage to shoot 2 Greenheads today, first ones for the camp this year. We ended up with 5 ducks today and not much good video for the weekend.
I took four separate videos of each weekend of the first split of the duck season and converted them into one video.
Dates Hunted December 3 - 4:
Saturday was a good day for hunting. Tide on the high side but the ducks were on the move. Had a first time duck hunter with me who shot very well. The grey ducks worked us well and the coots made the mistake of coming to close.
Sunday the rain got us as the video shows and we struggled today. Despite storm conditions it was dead calm. Slowest hunt of the spilt but we still managed 9 ducks in our blind. I shot a nice Hollywood mallard as the picture shows.
Overall it was a very good first split with the most amount of grey ducks taken sine 2011. Teal have come and gone and we have had a nice variety of ducks. Had some pintail early in the split but it seems Venice is where they want to be.
We will be back at it for the second split...
Dates Hunted - November 25 - 26 - 27:
Three days of duck hunting condensed into 3:35 of video.
The action slowed down a bit for us compared to the first two weekends but I will surely take what we had this past weekend. Most of the teal moved on for now which is not uncommon. They fade in and out as the season goes on and can come back next week, who knows? The surprise this tear is the steady action of grey ducks. The greys are leading the way followed by teal and the rest are a few here and there. Variety of ducks this year has been very good. We saw two green heads yesterday and one today. Could not get them down though, far shots.
Fingers are crossed we can get another weekend of good duck hunting in before the split.
Slow motion in the video is four grey ducks we worked to come close came in and four stayed.
Dates Hunted November 18 / 19 / 20:
The pace set opening weekend continues. The wind started blowing Friday night and the ducks were on the move Saturday. Teal were in good numbers and made for some fun shooting. Mix in the greys that were flying low to the water to avoid the wind and a good hunt is in making.
Sunday the wind let up some but still had a good breeze. The teal checked out for the most part but the greys made up for it. They came down to look at the spread and we would get 1 or 2 sometimes 3 out of a bunch. This is shaping up like 2011 which was an outstanding year. All of this could change in a week if conditions change north of us so we will enjoy while we have it.
I forgot the GoPro's at the camp Sunday morning and missed out on some good action as the picture shows..
Date Hunted 11/18/16:
Water height conditions are good right now but the weather was like a summer morning, still and warm. However, we were able to get our limits this morning mostly made up of grey ducks. The greys worked really well flying over the decoys as there were very few hunters out today shooting to scare them. If it is quiet they come close by for a shot. Had some redheads, ring necks and teal. A very good hunt under the circumstances.
Aerial Waterfowl Survey - November 2016
What a weekend to hunt ducks! Water levels a little on the high side but we had cool temperatures with a decent breeze blowing each day. We also had a good amount of ducks in the area with everyone limiting out on Saturday and some limits on Sunday. Overall a really nice weekend.
The video shows some of the action we could get with the GoPro's. The still pictures show the total take for the camp each day.
We shot all types of duck this weekend. I was surprised at the variety we had. We have plenty vegetation in the ponds so feed will not be a problem this year. Hopefully the ducks will stay in our area for us to have a good year. We are off to a fantastic start.
Dates Hunted November 5 & 6:
It started Friday night as we were sitting around the fire at the camp. The somewhat cool front with some north winds began to blow. I knew we would be in business with that development.
We hunted Saturday and teal were on the move. Dane did well shooting the ducks and it didn't take long to get the limit of 6 teal. We had three of us in the boat (1youth) and we could have very easily gotten 18 teal for the day.
Sunday was different with less winds and a few less teal on the move but the bonus was whistling tree ducks. A line of about 15 listened to the duck call and came right over, Dane got one. They spread out and I hit them with the call and 10 or so came back! Dane got one more. They spread again out then believe or not 5 more came back a third time! So if the whistlers come at you be ready for another fly by. The aren't real smart. 4 teal and 2 whistlers was the limit for today.
Two really nice days in the marsh. The video starts on Saturday with the picture after the hunt, then it picks up with todays action.
I suppose we will see the same type of action for opening day this Saturday. Teal time!!!
In the early days of my duck hunting we used to use outboards to travel to a duck pond then paddle a pirogue to the duck blind; how things have changed. Surface drives have changed the duck hunting game as there is very little fear of the effects of a marsh draining hard N/W wind cold front. No more sweating while paddling the pirogue getting stuck in the mud wondering if you were going to get out of the marsh, or how hard it was going be?
This video was shot by me in 2012 but it is all still the same now. The motor is a 36HP Pro Drive on a Go Devil boat. The surface drives just 'Git Er Done'. I am glad we have them.
I made four hunts for the 2016 teal season. The first weekend and the last weekend. I shot 9 teal total for the season. That is the fewest teal in a very long time. All four hunts had the worst conditions for a duck hunt as the video shows, no wind at all and no cool fronts passed through the entire season.
It is difficult to have a lot of video footage when the ducks don't cooperate but it is what it is.
Looking forward to the big duck season. We have the vegetation in the ponds at this time. It will be interesting to see how the season unfolds.