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Frustrated as hell...

jagermeister

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Ohio
#1
Opening Day 2010 turned out to be a complete wash for me. In reality, to say that I am frustrated is one hell of an understatement.

To kick off the day, I went out in the morning with my pops and brother to a private marsh. I didn't even plan on shooting the gun because I had a hunt planned for the afternoon that had a ton of potential. We weren't out very long since my dad had some treestand tweaking to do, but my brother did end up with one nice drake woody.

Ok so now for the good stuff...

A very good friend and waterfowling partner and I, along with 3 other guys, had a trip planned for the afternoon hunt that had all the potential to become the most epic hunt of our careers. The location was perfect, the wind was perfect, everything was perfect... and even though we were rolling on only 2.5 hrs of sleep, we hit the road around noon to head out and set up.

We drug a canoe and a 12' boat across 70 yds of mud, then had 3/4 trip out to our spot. Our vessels were extremely overloaded with all the shit we took, so it had to look pretty comical. We all made it to the spot safely and began setting dekes. Given the location of this spot, our best option was to go big... really BIG. In total, we had between 140 and 150 decoys. We had 12 bigfoot goose fullbodies, 10 mallard fullbodies, 4 black duck full bodies, 12 mallard shells, about two dozen pinnies, buffies, widgeons, and ringers, and the rest were all mallard floaters... oh and two full size mojos equipped with remotes. Now I've hunted waterfowl for a long time, but I can honestly say that this was the best spread I've ever seen, let alone hunted over. It was absolutely amazing when finished. We had the bright sun right at our backs, along with the wind, so we were set for a good time.

I wish I could finish this story with pics of bloody ducks and geese, but after rotting out there for hours we ended with NOTHING... absolutely nothing. There was no lack of ducks out there... in fact, we saw hundreds and hundreds flying... but it was like we weren't even there. Every duck that flew over top completely ignored us. We tried everything... aggressive calling, soft calling, no calling, mojos on, mojos off, you name it... nothing worked. Every flock had an agenda, and that was to fly in to the private marshes to roost. Miraculously, we were able to pick up all of our gear, travel 3/4 of a mile by paddling, and have the boats loaded in the trucks in one hour exactly.

Waterfowling in general has really started to piss me off in the last couple years. I go through a crazy amount of effort to go out there and kill these things... I do everything right, decoys are top-notch, calling is excellent, and still can't shoot a duck. Don't get me wrong, I've killed a lot of ducks in my day but the last few years I just haven't gone out much. It seems like anymore, if you want to consistently shoot ducks, you have to buy them... more specifically, pay big money to get into the private clubs with flooded corn. The average Joe can kill ducks in public water every now and then, but the amount of time and effort required to make it happen just doesn't make any sense.

Sorry if I sound like a whiny little bitch... but I'm at my wits end. Yesterday night, I honestly started considering selling all my duck hunting shit and just sticking to deer hunting. :smiley_confused_sch
 

Curran

Senior Member
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Central Ohio
#3
Misery loves company.

I feel your frustration JBrown. I've been there and done that, but it's those hunts when it all comes together that keep you coming back for more.... despite the abuse you take in between the great hunts. Last season, I took a different approach to things and made myself have zero expectations. Even though I still scouted like crazy, planned like always, and put in the efforts, I still told myself before every hunt that it would probably be a failure.

Most hunts were failures if we're talking in terms of bag limits & piles of dead birds. Most hunts sucked, especially if I hunted public spots. But the hunts were all fun because I had good friends out there to BS with. Good dogs to work even when birds weren't falling from the skies. Then once in a while you're in the right place at the right time, and the birds do what you planned on them doing, and the whole plan comes together.
 

MorganD

Junior Member
10
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0
Southern Ohio
#4
I don't know enough about waterfowl hunting to make a pimple on your ass JBrown!,.... BUT!,... If I'd have let a few kicks in my jimmy, over the past four years of tryin' deter me. I'd have stopped hunting geese and ducks the first week I tried! ??
You know as well as I do that somedays your just not supposed to kill anything. It just happens no matter how much planning and work you've put into the game for that day!! That's the way things work out. Along, long time ago, I was deer hunting with my pappaw and he said, after one of those days, That's why they call it hunting and not Killing...! I think about that on every day I have like the one you mentioned.
Over the past several years of hunting, fishing and trapping. I've sure done my part with the whackin' and stackin' of alot of critters, fish and fowl. I'm both humbled and proud of that fact. Yet that's not why I do it., The killin'. Guys like you and me and a whole lot others on this site do what we do becuase it's who we are. Doing these things are what we are and defines us to a point.
Being frustrated and needing to vent isn't a bad thing at all. Atleast "WE" understand. Hell, we've all been there and done that. "Honestly considering to sell all of your duck hunting shit...." !?!? THAT!,... my friend DOES make you a whiny little bitch! :smiley_bril:
 
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jagermeister

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Ohio
#5
Being frustrated and needing to vent isn't a bad thing at all. Atleast "WE" understand. Hell, we've all been there and done that. "Honestly considering to sell all of your duck hunting shit...." !?!? THAT!,... my friend DOES make you a whiny little bitch! :smiley_bril:
Hahahaha... yea I thought so LOL. What really chaps my ass about waterfowl hunting is that no matter how much work you put in, a duck is a duck. Whereas, putting in a ton of effort into deer hunting can result in better deer... a 160" buck is not the same as a 100" buck, for example. I know I'll never give up on waterfowling, but the tough hunts are starting to add up and I've been on a long dry spell.
 

Carpn

*Supporting Member*
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#6
Thats pretty frustrating when you put that much work in with no reward. It seems like those hunts where you think you are gonna absolutely pile em up have the most chance of not living up to expectations. The last couple yrs I have had a few that are similiar to what you described...One day the birds are piled in a spot...The next day you go and setup after multiple trips carryin stuff 600 yds across a damn muddy field...Fisrt light comes and either they don't show or they just bypass you....It'll get better man...Early season duck usually sucks...Lets get our deer kilt and bring on the 2nd season and cold weather for us south zoners.
 

jagermeister

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Ohio
#7
Just for comparison...

I spoke to a buddy of mine last night, who is currently out in North Dakota hunting ducks and pheasants. He said the ducks out there are so stupid (uneducated) anybody could kill them. Yesterday, he set up in a small pothole with just 6 decoys... sat on the edge of it in 6" tall green grass... with the dog sitting right next to him... and the birds were just piling in on his spread. He said it seems almost impossible to not kill ducks out there. I pretty much threw up in my mouth when he said that.