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Thread: Sometime waiting pays off....even in duck hunting.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
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    Sometime waiting pays off....even in duck hunting.

    The Marine forecast wasnít looking good for the beginning of the day so I decide to sleep in and pack up in the morning with the hopes of starting hunting by 11 was high tide this morning. The tide was so high today that when I stepped off the grass that used to be the shoreline on a normal tide it was now up to my waist in my waders so the decoys were max 10-15 yards from where I was hiding this afternoon.
    I was surprised with the lack of birds this morning usually Iím pushing birds out of where I normally setup and though maybe they are hanging out at a different section of the cove but nope just a lack of birds in the area today. Iím guessing the rain we got overnight has sent them to the flooded fields to feed.

    Iím sitting for about an hour before the first opportunity presented itself. I heard wings and when I looked behind my shoulder, I just got a glimpse of a hen mallard. I hit the call a couple of times and the hen circles and flies out in front of me over my decoys. I shoulder the gun but notice sheís got a drake mallard in toe. I switch targets and pull the trigger; I can tell heís hit but heís still given er. I try and second shot but this guy doesnít know when to stop. Heís flying left to right and now heís heading down the shoreline. I loose sight of him as he gets further and bushes are in the way so I canít tell if heís in the water or on land.
    I put the safety back on the gun and put another 2 shells into the shotgun and bring the dog down the shoreline to see if we can try and possibly sneak up on this drake mallard to finish him off, thatís if we can even locate him I didnít see if he landed or kept on going but I knew I had to go and look and see if I could locate him. The tide was right into the bush line so it was hard walking with a lot of floating debris. We are a good 80 yards or more from my decoy spread when the dog comes across the mallard laying on its back stone dead. The first thing I did was check and see if it was warm and not someone elseís lost bird from the weekend. Nope itís still hot and the neck and head are still limp.

    We walk back to the blind and set up again. That mallard came in after being set up for almost two hours it was now 1:00pm. We sat in the blind for another 2 1/2 hours without seeing another bird in the spread so I make the executive decision. Time to pack it in I can sit at home and do nothing there as easy as doing it here. I unload the shotgun the dog leaves the blind and I stand up. Wait there is a widgeon swimming in the decoys. I sit back down scramble to find my shells load my gun, all the time the dog is at the waters edge not 10 yards from this duck lol. I stand back up and locate the duck again and aim as Iím trying to determine if itís a drake or a hen. I told myself I would only shoot drakes once November was here to the best of my ability. Itís a young drake, a couple tuffs of white on his forehead and a smidge of green around his eye. I take no mercy on this guy after waiting for two 1/2 hours at another opportunity and water swat him in the decoys. The dog is confused as he didnít realize there was a live bird in the decoys on the other end of the spread she was standing by. Ok so now itís 3:30 and I have a couple of ducks in the blind. What the hell Iíll wait it out a bit longer.

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    I start squawking on all my calls hoping something out there might hear me and want to come in and check out the spread. Every once in a while, I heard weird quack. At first, I thought it was some kid of diver or wounded duck as I didnít recognize it and Iím pretty good at recognizing different quacks or whistles they make. This goes on for maybe another 20 minutes and finally I see movement just outside of the decoy spread on the mallard side of my decoy spread. Itís looks like a widgeon but itís quacking instead of whistling. Iím bored, I now have a duck in the decoys and I decide Iím going to add it with the other two I have already.
    I try water swathing it and it jumps up and I crumple it with the follow up shot. I send the dog out for the 20 yards or so retrieve and the first thing I notice as the dog is bringing it back is that it has orange legs! I was like no way; did I finally shoot a drake Gadwall? I shot one as a teenager back on the east coast about 40 years ago. No wonder I didnít recognize the quack!
    The dog brings it to me and Iím in disbelief. What a beautiful looking bird! So beautiful I have put it aside to be mounted for the wall. If I had given up and went home at 3:30pm I would have never had the opportunity to get such a unique and beautiful bird.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
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    Re: Sometime waiting pays off....even in duck hunting.

    Great story Marc. Persistence sometimes pays off.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
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    Re: Sometime waiting pays off....even in duck hunting.

    Beautiful bird Marc! Thanks for sharing your adventure, sounds like you had a great day. That bird will look very cool taxied, can’t wait to see the finished product. Hopefully you can post pics when complete

  5. #4
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    Re: Sometime waiting pays off....even in duck hunting.

    Quote Originally Posted by last light View Post
    Beautiful bird Marc! Thanks for sharing your adventure, sounds like you had a great day. That bird will look very cool taxied, canít wait to see the finished product. Hopefully you can post pics when complete
    I was just on the phone this morning with Craig at Artistic Wildlife creations. The bird is already wrapped in a nylon and frozen in a foodsaver bag but not vacuumed just sealed. Craig does amazing work so I'm looking forward to adding this gaddy to my pintail and Cackler he's already done for me in the past. I'm going to ask him to mount it like the pintail but flying the opposite direction if it's doable.



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  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
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    Re: Sometime waiting pays off....even in duck hunting.

    Nice drake gadwall! I managed to grab one last year. didn't know they were elusive, I should have mounted it.

    You're right, the area seems a little slow this weekend. I went out on Friday and the only ducks (not many to begin with) flying were overhead 2-300 yards in the sky either B-lining to the field. They had no interested in anything I did for them. I also don't know if the new work that has been done to area has made the wetland area harder to hunt.

  7. #6
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    Re: Sometime waiting pays off....even in duck hunting.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pickle View Post
    Nice drake gadwall! I managed to grab one last year. didn't know they were elusive, I should have mounted it.

    You're right, the area seems a little slow this weekend. I went out on Friday and the only ducks (not many to begin with) flying were overhead 2-300 yards in the sky either B-lining to the field. They had no interested in anything I did for them. I also don't know if the new work that has been done to area has made the wetland area harder to hunt.
    I believe the birds are going to flooded fields to feed now and that won't change until we get a freeze or things dry up. It's also possible that the birds migrated out as there where more birds around at the beginning of the season then I'm presently seeing around and we just have to wait for to the newest bunch of birds to migrate through.

    I don't think they are bothered much with machinery and if anything it would move the birds to another section of the bay I don't think it would force them out of the area but who knows. I don't unnecessarily bump or take low percentage shot for that reason, why educated the birds. Half the fun is tricking them into the decoys.
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  8. #7
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    Re: Sometime waiting pays off....even in duck hunting.

    Quote Originally Posted by silveragent View Post
    Great story Marc. Persistence sometimes pays off.
    You're right sometimes you just have to stick it out. It's pretty much the same as any type of hunting that if you want a greater chance at success you need to put the time in on those slow days. I was the only shooter out there that day so the birds weren't being pushed around a lot. But on the other side of the coin the birds that were flying were less cautious.

    So far that's two birds I haven't shot in about 40 years, a bluebill and a gaddy. It definitely rekindles memories of duck hunting with my dad when I was a lot younger.

    What I'd like to see / get next would be a fully plumed out Drake Eurasian Widgeon and a snow goose would be nice as well. I've seen snow geese just haven't been close enough yet for a poke.
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  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
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    Re: Sometime waiting pays off....even in duck hunting.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marc View Post
    I was just on the phone this morning with Craig at Artistic Wildlife creations. The bird is already wrapped in a nylon and frozen in a foodsaver bag but not vacuumed just sealed. Craig does amazing work so I'm looking forward to adding this gaddy to my pintail and Cackler he's already done for me in the past. I'm going to ask him to mount it like the pintail but flying the opposite direction if it's doable.



    Those birds look fantastic, thank you for posting the photos. The gadwall is going to make a great addition!

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