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The TOO Duck Report

Matt

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Norton, OH
#1
Hey Joe/Jesse, make this a sticky! For anyone wants to share how their sits went.

I got out this morning by myself for a little bit and managed 2 drake mallards and one goose. I am hearing rumblings that they are expecting warm temps up north, so the migration will be late. Local birds right now.
 

jagermeister

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#5
Last night I got to "enjoy" one of the most terrible duck hunts of my career... LOL. My brother, a buddy, and me came up with a pretty good plan and hit the road. Most of the Sandusky Bay marshes are locked up with ice, so we went to one of the few spots of open water... the mouth of Raccoon Creek where it dumps into Sandusky Bay. Since this spot is surrounded by controlled hunt wetlands and private clubs, and the fact that south side of the bay was frozen, the only way to get there was to walk approximately 5000 ft of icy shoreline, breaking ice with almost every step of the way. In hindsight, this was an aweful idea... it turned out to be the march from hell.

Once we arrived at our spot, we busted ice on the calm side of the breakwall and created a small shooting hole. Set up about a dozen dekes, consisting mostly of fullbodies scattered around the ice. The spread looked amazing as usual. And the whole time we were setting up, ducks were flying overhead like crazy. We really thought this was going to be "The Day."

Well the hours passed by and we never killed a single bird... never even had one come within 60 yds of our spread. This is not to say we didn't see ducks, though. In fact, I saw more ducks yesterday than I've ever seen in my entire life. Literally thousands... it's not an exaggeration... fuggin thousands. From 1:30 pm to the time we got back to the truck, the sky was full of ducks flying to and from Muddy Creek Bay... it was pretty amazing, actually.

The walk back to the truck was terrible, just like the walk out there. Last night I felt like someone tied me up and beat the shit out of me... physically and mentally exhausted... bruised and broken. Seeing that many ducks was pretty cool, but the fact that not a single one paid us any attention just tears me apart. I'm really starting to get frustrated with duck hunting in Ohio. Goose hunting in the fields is always awesome, but the ducks are very hard to stack up.

If anyone is planning on hunting the Sandusky Bay area, the birds are definitely there... but killing them is going to be pretty tough. If I were to do it again, I would try to set up a layout hunt out on the bay or lake I think.
 

Curran

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#6
Hopefully those ducks decide to make their way towards central Ohio next Saturday morning. I haven't scouted for crap just yet, but I'll be putting some miles on the vehicle this week, and hopefully finding a good field.
 

Kaiser878

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#7
Hopefully those ducks decide to make their way towards central Ohio next Saturday morning. I haven't scouted for crap just yet, but I'll be putting some miles on the vehicle this week, and hopefully finding a good field.
Did a little scouting over hte weekend! Here where I live, Dover/New Philadelphia area, we have a ton of geese and I found some good spots that are holding quite a few Mallards and even a few divers. I have to work this weeeknd unfortunately, but I am trying to get saturday morning off so I can go out and hit the first group of birds! so we will see!
 

Matt

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Norton, OH
#8
Got a few creek holes that should be open, gonna try to hit those this weekend. Jbrown, you ever try those breakwalls I pm'd you about? Might be miserable though, if the lake is rough.
 

jagermeister

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#9
Got a few creek holes that should be open, gonna try to hit those this weekend. Jbrown, you ever try those breakwalls I pm'd you about? Might be miserable though, if the lake is rough.
Nope, never hunted around any of those. I guess it would just depend on what kind of wind you're hunting if it's miserable or not. I've heard that the layout guys are pounding the divers pretty hard out on the lake right now.
 

Curran

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Central Ohio
#11
Checked one of my favorite fields this evening and liked what I saw. Probably 150+ geese out there. Some active feeding, others hunkered down in the snow and resting. They all looked very comfortable out there. :smiley_bril: The water nearby is still open so they should continue to roost there this week. Hopefully we can get some ducks in the mix as well.

More scouting the rest of the week to see what other option are out there

Can't wait till Saturday!!!
 

Carpn

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Wooster
#12
I saw two coots and a grebe at one of my spots....lol....Good numbers of ducks on the available open water round here...Seems like the big numbers of geese ain't showed up yet though which is fine by me.I think its mainly resident birds although I have seen a few shortbeak lessers in the mix..I'll take ducks anyday tho...but if geese happen by they will get wacked too.
 

jagermeister

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#13
I saw two coots and a grebe at one of my spots....lol....Good numbers of ducks on the available open water round here...Seems like the big numbers of geese ain't showed up yet though which is fine by me.I think its mainly resident birds although I have seen a few shortbeak lessers in the mix..I'll take ducks anyday tho...but if geese happen by they will get wacked too.
Lots of geese up this way, Jake. These recent snow storms up here are making the grain tough to get to now. I've got a feeling you're going to start seeing a lot more geese down there in the next couple weeks.
 

Matt

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Norton, OH
#14
Guy I work with shot an old squaw on Wednesday.


(Gonna make this long so yall can get the FULL effect of my experience today ;) )
As for my hunt today, we (JMMyers and myself) had a great plan. Most, if not all of the small water is locked up right now with ice. And the larger lakes have all but a few open spots. Unfortunately I do not have time durign the week to scout my spots as they are far away. But, I scoped this place out last year, and hunted it earlier this year and managed a few woodies. It's a large creek and the spot where we set up this morning is a little back water. We had to haul all our gear about a mile through the snow to get there this morning, which sucked. Once we got there, the hole was iced over with about 2+ inches of ice, so we set to breaking it away. We got there early planning to break some, so it ALMOST worked out perfect. We broke the ice up and sent it down the stream, and had our dekes out just as shooting light came about. As we were sitting there brushing in our spots and distributing ammo, Jimmy looks at me and says I heard a bird just land in our set. I never heard it, but I tossed him a shell and said go kill it. So, he put a stalk on, and the drake mallard jumps up, but Jimmy never gets a shot because he had a bush/shrub/tree in front of him. Regardless, a very promising start to the morning.... saw 2 birds flying away from us off in the distance about 2 minutes later.... then that was it.... nothing... nadda, zilch, zip.... Anyways, the dekes kept locking up in ice, so we took turns loosening em up. (Why not, right? Not like we were seeing any birds!!!) So, about 8:30/9:00 rolls around, and it's my turn to wrestle up some ice. And I tell you what, I was kickin' that ice's butt!!!! Freakin kickin it, and pushin it, and just goin' to TOWN son! I get to the edge of the hole where it starts to turn into swamp (read mud, THICK mud!) , and there are still a few larger chunks of ice in the mix as well. I step with my left foot, and sink into muck about 3/4 of the way to my knee. It throws me off balance so I go to steady myself with my right foot, but there is a big a$$ chunk of ice that has different plans. I catch my ankle on the floe, just as my balance is reaching tipping point, and I am done. With my right hand firmly grasped around the receiver of my shotgun, I proceed to thrust it a foot under a nasty mix of mud, water and ice, mimicking the same motion with my gloved and empty left hand. I emit a string of colorful language as I am forced to drive my gun deeper into the mire as my only option outside of just laying my entire body into the muck and take what seems like an eternity to resurrect myself from the suck of the goo. I eventually got up, with both gloves soaked. The minute that gun hit the air, every bit of water and mud instantly turned to ice, including all that was lodged in the barrel. I couldn't even work the pump to unchamber the rounds, nor could I eject the rounds from the tube magazine. Needless to say, our hunt (oh, our miserable hunt!) was ended abruptly, as I had already gotten my back-up gloves wet, and there was no way for me to even THINK about firing my weapon. Had it not been for the fact that I was wet and without gloves, I probably would have toughed it out for Jimmy, but that, combined with absolutely no waterfowl movement (we saw nothing in the distance, and there was not even a goose fart to be heard!) we made the decision to pack up and make the return mile-long trek out of the snow.

I really did think this would come together this morning. The creek is just off one of those large lakes with a few open spots. In fact, we even drove past and there were tons of ducks in them. They just weren't flying over our spot. I think that if this had been my first duck hunt, it would have probably also been my last. But, it wasn't, so it's not. I won't be going out tomorrow (I need the rest) and I will be deer hunting next weekend, so I will be ending my duck season (at least in the north zone) with a cold, muddy, icy and wet fizzle as opposed to a big bang (or any freakin' bang for that matter, sheesh!!!!)
 

Curran

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#15
That sucks Matt.... but I guess it coulda been worse.

We hunted a field today and had a series of bad timing. You know, standing outside of the blinds when a flock of mallards busts over the tree tops from the wrong direction, getting up to take a leak only to have another group of birds decide that's the same time they're gonna drop out of the heavens and into your spread, etc, etc.

Finally things worked when we were just about to pick up. Had a group of geese work in. Had a few with their feet on the ground feeding in the spread, waited for the remaining few birds to circle in, and then called the shot. Somehow only 3 birds stayed? Oh, and we jumped a ruddy duck from the pond on the field!!

All in all it was a good time, with good friends, and a few laughs in between.
 

jagermeister

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#16
Ahhh yes... the joys of winter waterfowling in Ohio. I feel your pain, Matt. I've been in that same position several times and boy does it suck! Nothing like adding insult to injury! The only good thing about these kinds of events is you end up with some funny ass stories to tell later on down the road. :)
 

Jackalope

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#17
I saw two coots and a grebe at one of my spots....lol....Good numbers of ducks on the available open water round here...Seems like the big numbers of geese ain't showed up yet though which is fine by me.I think its mainly resident birds although I have seen a few shortbeak lessers in the mix..I'll take ducks anyday tho...but if geese happen by they will get wacked too.
I haven't waterfowl hunted in Over 10 years since i left the Ms Delta. But there should be some NR geese heading your way or even there by now. Friday on my way to work along 70 between Dayton And Columbus I saw about 10 cup up heading into a cut corn field. Right in the Mix was 4 Snows. So they have to be on their way bud.
 

Thunderflight

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Shermans Dale, PA
#18
This place is ate up with ducks. There are literally thousands in the water a long the sea wall. I had hoped to get to do some duck hunting this year, but the guy who ran the bird program got suspended from it because he was killing birds when he should have been working.
 

Kaiser878

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#19
We had a decent opening morning. I took off 6 hours from work so I could go, so I had to be back at work by 1pm. We shot 3 widgeons, 3 mallards, 3 ruddy ducks and a black duck!