We still have several days open late this week – and I still have Friday the 27th open due to a cancellation.
1/21 – Today it was my turn with the puddlers 😉 The problem lately has not been a lack of birds due to warm weather but the absolute lack of wind and clouds – when we get the right weather…it doesnt matter if it’s 65 degrees and blowing 20 out of the SW…the hunting turns on.
We had another double party today – and I had good client Mike and brothers Bart and Brett onboard (fellow dukies). The front stalled and the morning just stank – with zero wind, absent again were the bluebills and we watched thousands of them fly farther offshore than they have been in the days prior. We did end up with a nice drake lesser early and had several small groups buzz us and some larger groups give us a decent looks.
Well, come about 11am the wind picked up and I knew the birds would start moving hard…and they did. In fact, it was so fast and furious that I could barely cook the boys their steaks!!! All of a sudden, groups of BW Teal, Gadwall, Wigeon and Black Ducks started appearing on the horizon and working our area. It was this way, steady, until 3 in the afternoon.
For those of you who hunt puddlers, it’s an amazing experience to watch a group of birds come in from a mile plus offshore and work your decoys the entire time – cupping up over 300 yds from the decoys and taking probbably a minute until they come into range – the anticipation is killer and the excitement unreal.
We had three groups of three gadwall do this – and we got one bird out of each group. We also had several groups of wigeon do the same thing and lots of teal…the most annoying thing was the blackducks. We had 12+ pairs come within 60 yds before flaring out. Those of you who hunt the big water know what i’m talking aobut – coastal black ducks are some hard birds to decoy. We had 5 small groups of bluewings (I haven’t seen a greenwing all season) come in and we were able to drop three. They all came straight into my GHG BW decoys as if on a string. Beautiful plumage on these guys this time of year.
Scott had a graet day as well and they had tons of puddlers working their dekes. His highlight was when 5 scoters came into his diver dekes and 5 shots rang out….and zero left. That’s some deadeye shootin’!
This is why I love hunting the open water – you never know what;’s going to happen. Somedays it’s diuvers and seaducks, some days it’s all puddlers – other days it’s everything. Great hunt guys – hope to get you back next season.
1/20 – Zero wind, hot as heck. The only thing we had going for us was good cloud cover until approx. 11:30am. We had Roland and crew and broke them up between the two boats – I had Winston and Roland and Scott had John and Josh.
We were able to get to two typically very productive areas and scott drew the straw for what we felt would be the better blind. We were right.
My morning was slow – we flared a group of Gadwall early, had several good passing shots at scoters, a drake buffle and a goldeneye right out of range – also had a pair of GEs land about 60 yds from the boat and wim around for probably 20 mins. I’ve been having them do that just about every single day for the past week. Absent today were the bluebills – I had been getting limits almost everyday for the past two weeks with the BBs. Highlight of the day was when a group of 8 scoters came to the dekes, cupped up like puddlers and the blind erupted with gunfire.
Scott’s blind was another story – they were overrun with puddlers. Wigeon, Gadwall, Bluewing Teal, black ducks and a few pintails……………wish I had pulled the right straw!!!! They came out of hte day with a Scoter, teal, a pair of wigeon, lost a crippled pintail and fired lots of rounds. I’ll let him type of the report later. They had a great day and I had a good day – the weather was a bit too pretty for duckin’ today but it shows that there are still good numbers of birds in the area.
Pics to follow shortly…