SpinnerMan 2017-18 Log

Re: SpinnerMan 2017-18 Log

Postby Darren » Sat Dec 09, 2017 8:33 am

Very sorry to hear of your losses, glad you're finding some peace in getting out after the birds. Thoughts and & prayers sent up that way
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Re: SpinnerMan 2017-18 Log

Postby SpinnerMan » Sat Dec 09, 2017 6:23 pm

December 9th.

I hunted the same spot as yesterday evening. I was fairly optimistic after last night. And there were a pile of geese on the ponds to the north. Unfortunately they pretty much stayed there. I could even hear ducks with them. However, I saw even less of them.

I had a small flock of 6-8 ducks cupped and looking like they were coming in before I saw them. I could have taken a shot when they passed over, but I thought for sure they were coming all the way. But nope, didn't stop, didn't turn, just lost a lot of altitude and then resumed on their course. And that was about the only real excitement all morning.

By the time I went to pick up the wind was blasting. Always a lot of fun to pick up decoys in a row boat in a strong wind. I certainly got my exercise rowing :lol:
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Re: SpinnerMan 2017-18 Log

Postby SpinnerMan » Sat Dec 16, 2017 7:25 pm

December 16th at Braidwood. Pit 1 in the morning and Pitt 11 in the afternoon.

Despite knowing the odds were very long I decided to go. I had a bunch of reading to do for work and decided it was better to read in a pit blind than my living room.

I did not see a duck or goose within 2 miles and even then I didn't see many, except for a huge swarm of ducks over the refuge area when driving back well after LST.

It was a beautiful day, which has been the problem. We need arctic weather.

We had a 1.5 year old buck run across the field, looked like a decent 8 for such a young deer.

We had a speck sound off on a pond about 500 yards behind the blind. That would have made my day and then some. There were also some ducks back there, but they never got up.
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Re: SpinnerMan 2017-18 Log

Postby aunt betty » Sat Dec 16, 2017 7:29 pm

Ever see or meet Brian Malone?
If you're hunting at Braidwood Hunt Club you probably know Cody Fink too.
Tell them Acorn said Hi.
I've heard that it's incredibly stupid to fuck around with a crazy man's head.
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Re: SpinnerMan 2017-18 Log

Postby SpinnerMan » Sat Dec 16, 2017 9:52 pm

aunt betty wrote:Ever see or meet Brian Malone?
If you're hunting at Braidwood Hunt Club you probably know Cody Fink too.
Tell them Acorn said Hi.

Nope. Migrators Unlimited. It's a do-it-yourself club that has 11 pits and 6 or 7 fields to layout hunt spread around the lake.
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Re: SpinnerMan 2017-18 Log

Postby SpinnerMan » Mon Dec 18, 2017 5:22 pm

December 17th - unplanned hunt

Things have been very stale for awhile, we need a weather change. However, Sunday I had not planned to go and was taking care of things that needed taken care of around the house. That was until I hear multiple flocks of geese flying fairly low over my house and some shooting in nearby fields. Since all my stuff is packed and ready to go, I jumped in my truck and within 30 minutes was set up and hunting. Then for the next hour, nothing but high flying flocks heading north. The typical pattern of birds that roosted in the area heading to the fields to the north. This is usually completely hopeless for me.

Then it died for the next hour pretty much. OK, starting to think it was a mistake to head out.

Then I started to see a few birds moving south and not nearly as high. This is usually a very good sign. Anytime the birds are not all moving the same direction, I have a real good shot where I hunt.

For the next hour, it was not a lot of bird movement, but enough to keep me interested. However, these birds were just not going to play. I had one group swing around and give me a look, but they stayed about 80 yards away and never looked like they were going to do any more than they did. About another half hour of no action and I packed up and headed back to house work.

It was nice to get out and see some birds, but they have been here too long. This morning I noticed why I was hearing so many at my house. All the geese in the area seemed to have stacked up on the huge golf course lake about a half mile from my house. That was probably the same geese I was watching head out very high.
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Re: SpinnerMan 2017-18 Log

Postby aunt betty » Mon Dec 18, 2017 6:10 pm

The geese have not showed up here yet. Can tell that when the park and water treatment plant gets stacked is when they're here. Google around Parkland College and you'll see the park is huge and there is a pond too. Them two ponds by the interstate get stacked too. One has a large fountain that keeps it ice free.

Used to walk around that one pond in college because it's on public land.
If I ever go back I'll be poaching it from the RR tracks.
I mean...when shtf and they quit selling licenses cuz there ain't no power to print one. :lol:
I've heard that it's incredibly stupid to fuck around with a crazy man's head.
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Re: SpinnerMan 2017-18 Log

Postby SpinnerMan » Mon Dec 18, 2017 6:55 pm

We have thousands of geese maybe even 10 thousand around were I live right now. There are plenty of geese to hunt, but there are two problems.

First, I don't have access to any big cornfields in the area, so I'm trying to pull them into a one acre patch of grass that has an obstructed view and approach from the south. It just looks like a place a goose would get killed. The geese from the south, the primary way they are coming cannot see your decoys until they are almost on top of you. And when they circle they have to go around trees or come in over them to land when the wind is wrong.

Second, these birds are mostly residents and they have been here awhile. That may sound odd to most, but the resident geese leave (molt migration) and move around. They have been educated because they have been in the same general area and pattern for a long time now.

The numbers of geese are sufficient. It's just hard to overcome the first problem when you have the second problem. Even a big shift in weather that doesn't bring new birds, but throws them off their pattern would probably help.

Even if we just had safe ice, I could set up differently so that when the geese show interest by skirting the decoys they would pass right over my head. That's how I used to kill most of my late winter geese before I got access to better places to hunt and better at goose hunting, especially calling.
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Re: SpinnerMan 2017-18 Log

Postby aunt betty » Mon Dec 18, 2017 8:12 pm

Malone said something like, "all you gotta do is knock on 1000 doors and you'll get one or two fields to hunt maybe".
near Ottawa.

This coming weekend is your weather shift. Get ready.
I've heard that it's incredibly stupid to fuck around with a crazy man's head.
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Re: SpinnerMan 2017-18 Log

Postby SpinnerMan » Mon Dec 18, 2017 9:36 pm

aunt betty wrote:Malone said something like, "all you gotta do is knock on 1000 doors and you'll get one or two fields to hunt maybe".
near Ottawa.

:lol:


aunt betty wrote:This coming weekend is your weather shift. Get ready.

I'd like to see some snow with the cold, but that cold mid week should freeze up a whole lot of water so it should help.
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Re: SpinnerMan 2017-18 Log

Postby SpinnerMan » Fri Jan 05, 2018 10:00 pm

Date: 1/4 Fri

Time: all day

Location: MU Pit 4

Cloud Cover: clear

Wind Direction and Velocity: light NW in the morning to probably 10+ WNW by the end of the day

Temperature: -10 in the morning with a high of maybe 5. :shock: Just a tad bit cold today.

Waterfowl Activity: The geese slept in with the cold clear and relatively light wind. They started moving a little before lunch and had a brief period of decent activity around 2, but generally better but slow in the afternoon.

Waterfowl Responsiveness: Good for what we saw. We had several flocks of about 4 dozen total or so geese converge on us. A few would fly through the kill zone as the rest worked, this repeated for quite awhile. We enjoyed the show and I really thought we were going to get a big wad right where we wanted. It never happened. One landed and the rest eventually moved on. I broke a single off a passing flock and it was going to land about 15 yards from the opposite end of the blind. I told Jake to shoot him and the rest of us stood up. The goose is hovering about 15 feet of the ground trying to pick its spot to set down, but Jake has no idea where the goose is ( :oops: on my part) This goose is just hovering as three of us are waiting for Jake to shoot it. It finally drifts far enough behind the blind that I have a safe shot and decide enough is enough and shot just as Jake finally got on it and shot as well. Later we had another flock of about a dozen give us a good look and then started heading off and I turned them around with very aggressive calling. Two were out in front of the rest and I let them pass so we could shoot the big group which skirted us out of range and all moved on. We had a lot of fun, but could have had a few more geese if I had been quicker to call the shot and not get greedy. Although, I don't think I'd do it differently next time. Sometimes, it just doesn't work out.

Hunters: Just me for the morning, joined by Jose, Jake, and ??? (can't remember his name)

Birds By Species: 2 Canada Geese
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Re: SpinnerMan 2017-18 Log

Postby Rick » Sat Jan 06, 2018 4:36 am

Was going to say you were some serious dedicated to hunt all day in those temps, but decided "nuts" better suited.
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Re: SpinnerMan 2017-18 Log

Postby SpinnerMan » Sat Jan 06, 2018 6:15 am

:lol:

That thought went through my mind.

We do have heaters in the pits, so once you go below ground its not too bad. A little warmer today. Its -4 right now. Hopefully the geese are a little more active today.
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Re: SpinnerMan 2017-18 Log

Postby aunt betty » Sat Jan 06, 2018 8:17 am

The best goose hunts for me were always on them times when everyone in town was at the grocery store stocking up for the storm or recovering from it. Had so many limits on those sort of times that I started calling them 'grocery hunts' because I was limiting on geese then calling the wife at the grocery store. "Bring more charcoal for the smoker" or something like that.

The trick was positioning myself between the goose groceries and the golf course. The golf course on Chanute AFB holds thousands and thousands. They love the water hazards.
I've heard that it's incredibly stupid to fuck around with a crazy man's head.
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Re: SpinnerMan 2017-18 Log

Postby SpinnerMan » Sun Jan 07, 2018 2:38 pm

Date: 1/5 Sat

Time: all day

Location: MU Pit 11

Cloud Cover: clear

Wind Direction and Velocity: light NW to W

Temperature: -10 in the morning with a high of maybe 10. It got colder as I drove south 30 minutes from my house :?:

Waterfowl Activity: Very little and what we did see was almost all very far from us. I think we lost a lot of geese to the south. I picked up the call twice. Once out of desperation.

Waterfowl Responsiveness: The one pair that came close enough to get a response did not respond.

Hunters: Me, Scott, Jose, Jeremy

Birds By Species: The big freezing goose egg

Lagniappe:I caught the flu :shock: As the day went on I got colder and colder and felt crapper and crapper. Last night I was in really bad shape. I'm a little better this morning. Fever is down. Hopefully I'll be fit for next weekend.
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Re: SpinnerMan 2017-18 Log

Postby SpinnerMan » Fri Jan 19, 2018 8:36 pm

Date: 1/19 Fri

Time: all day

Location: Started in MU Pit 3, but moved to Pit 1 when the 3 guys in there shot out by 10AM

Cloud Cover: mostly clear with some clouds moving through

Wind Direction and Velocity: SW about 10+

Temperature: Around 27 when I set up with a high in the upper 30's

Waterfowl Activity: Nothing heading toward 3, but when I jumped over to 1, there were 30 geese about to land when I was walking back from parking the truck. Unfortunately, that was the only group that really committed :( But man did I get the show today. Large numbers of small geese flying out in big flocks - 50 to 100. Most flocks would swing by and give me a good look at about 100 to 150 yards up, making a whole bunch of noise, and then head off to the black hole about a mile away where there were thousands of geese in a field. Had a flock of about 400-500 do that. It was quite the show.

Waterfowl Responsiveness: Most would swing by on their way to the black hole. I tried everything. I tried nothing. I could hardly bust any off of the flocks. I had one single early looking beautiful and then it just landed in the field at 100 yards. I pulled 3 off and they skirted the decoys, but a little too close and I took one of them. Later in the day I had some smaller flocks including a single that did the same thing. Although the single dropped in range or so I thought. Hammered him pretty good and watched him keep losing altitude, I think he came down. I went looking for him, but he crossed a stream I couldn't get across.

Hunters: Me

Birds By Species: One very small Canada goose. Not the cackler I've been wanting, but one of the smallest geese I have shot.

Lagniappe:This was my last Canada hunt for the season. It was quite the show. While I thought it was going to be a short hunt, but part of me is happy I didn't limit right away and got to enjoy quite the goose show. Saw a few thousand ducks as well.
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Re: SpinnerMan 2017-18 Log

Postby Rick » Sat Jan 20, 2018 4:40 am

SpinnerMan wrote:Date:
Lagniappe:This was my last Canada hunt for the season. It was quite the show.


Chamber of Commerce geese, "Y'all come back." And they've given you the gift of something birdy to do with your off season: figuring a way to trip more of them.
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Re: SpinnerMan 2017-18 Log

Postby SpinnerMan » Sat Jan 20, 2018 11:08 am

Rick wrote:
SpinnerMan wrote:Date:
Lagniappe:This was my last Canada hunt for the season. It was quite the show.


Chamber of Commerce geese, "Y'all come back." And they've given you the gift of something birdy to do with your off season: figuring a way to trip more of them.

Yep, I will be thinking a whole lot about what I could have done different.
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Re: SpinnerMan 2017-18 Log

Postby SpinnerMan » Sun Feb 11, 2018 6:08 pm

Date: 2/09 Fri

Time: all day

Location: North of the east end of Carlyle Lake, Illinois

Cloud Cover: mostly clear

Wind Direction and Velocity: S light to moderate

Temperature: Around freezing in the morning up to mid 50's.

Waterfowl Activity: OMG did we see snow geese.

Waterfowl Responsiveness: OMG did we watch snow geese. Very little response from an incredible number of geese.

Hunters: Way too many. 9 and 2 guides. 2 hunters and a guide left early. My group, Jose, Jeff, Jesse, Jeff, Nick, Brian and myself with Kevin as guide.

Birds By Species: 19 - 18 immature snows/blues and one blue phase Ross.

Lagniappe: Opinion vary, but one very high goose came over the blind and we took a crack at it. There was a short volley and then a second later I shot and the goose started coming down. Jeff who didn't shoot said I'm pretty sure you got that and I'm fairly sure, but who knows for sure regardless it was one lucky shot and one rare bird.

BlueRoss.jpg


Sunrise.jpg
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Re: SpinnerMan 2017-18 Log

Postby SpinnerMan » Sun Feb 11, 2018 6:14 pm

Date: 2/210 Sat

Time: all day

Location: North of the east end of Carlyle Lake, Illinois

Cloud Cover: cloudy

Wind Direction and Velocity: N light to pretty strong

Temperature: Chilly in the morning and got colder as the day went on.

Waterfowl Activity: Relatively few geese came out our way.

Waterfowl Responsiveness: Very little response from a lot less geese.

Hunters: Way too many. Jose, Jeff, Jesse, Jeff, Nick, Brian and myself with Kevin as guide.

Birds By Species: 1 Ross.

Lagniappe: We planned on hunting Sunday, but an ice storm rolled in. Got up to head out Sunday morning. Fish tailed all over the road turning out of the drive way. Straightened out started to go and was all over the road. Pulled over about 100 feet down the road. Talked to the other car and we returned to the club house we were staying until about 10:30 waiting on the roads to get a bit safer. No way we were driving the 12 miles of back roads to the outfitters and then possibly 10 more to the field in roads you could ice skate on. Drove for about 4 miles with 2 wheels in the gravel on the side of the road until we finally got to roads that were salted and sanded and safe.
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Re: SpinnerMan 2017-18 Log

Postby Rick » Sun Feb 11, 2018 6:37 pm

You hit the Powerball of waterfowling.
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Re: SpinnerMan 2017-18 Log

Postby SpinnerMan » Sun Feb 11, 2018 7:52 pm

Rick wrote:You hit the Powerball of waterfowling.

I've never mounted anything. It's not my thing. I always said if I got something truly once in a lifetime, I would probably get it mounted. If I knew for sure that I was the one that brought it down, I would probably get it mounted. The guide is going to have it mounted, so it's not ending up in the sausage.

" Look at this is a once in a lifetime bird that I might have shot." It wasn't enough for me to mount it, but I am glad it will be mounted. They are too rare of a trophy.
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Re: SpinnerMan 2017-18 Log

Postby DComeaux » Sun Feb 11, 2018 8:34 pm

I've never mounted anything waterfowl, but that is one that would more than likely go on the wall.
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Re: SpinnerMan 2017-18 Log

Postby SpinnerMan » Sun Feb 11, 2018 9:53 pm

Season Totals (Me / Group Total)

Canadas 9 / 10 (Typically I get about half the group, but I did well alone and terrible with others :?: )
Snows/Blues - 18 total (All juveniles - big group shooting mostly singles and small groups so who knows what I got)
Ross - Maybe 1 or 2 out of 2 (including a blue phase Ross :thumbsup: )
Bufflehead - 0 / 8 (These continue to thwart me)
Goldeneye - 1 / 1
Common Merganser - 0 / 6
Hooded Merganser - 1 / 1
Bluebill - 1 / 2
Mallard - 1 /1 (OUCH! :o )
Old Squaw - 12 / 38 (My first ever hen and drake of species :thumbsup: )
Redhead - 1 /2 (My first redhead and it was a nice drake :thumbsup: )
White-winged scoter - 0 / 3
Woodduck - 3 /3 (One banded :thumbsup: )

I hunted a total of 24 days and got around 32 ducks and geese with my buddies harvesting another 63 birds. That's a little below normal number of days hunting, but the very successful diver/sea duck trip to Michigan put the average birds per day well above normal.

Archery deer hunting was a complete bust.

Overall an incredibly memorable year and that is what it is all about. :thumbsup:
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Re: SpinnerMan 2017-18 Log

Postby Rick » Mon Feb 12, 2018 5:11 am

SpinnerMan wrote:...so it's not ending up in the sausage.


I've father and son friends who've shot three (two young and one mature), but it wasn't too many years ago that the Smithsonian was advertising their desire for one on the waterfowl boards.
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Re: SpinnerMan 2017-18 Log

Postby aunt betty » Mon Feb 12, 2018 7:28 pm

SpinnerMan wrote:
Rick wrote:

I've never mounted anything.

:clap:
I've heard that it's incredibly stupid to fuck around with a crazy man's head.
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Re: SpinnerMan 2017-18 Log

Postby SpinnerMan » Tue Feb 13, 2018 12:29 am

Duck Engr wrote:
aunt betty wrote:
SpinnerMan wrote:
Rick wrote:

I've never mounted anything.

:clap:


Grooved a fastball with that one.

It seems so :lol:
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Re: SpinnerMan 2017-18 Log

Postby aunt betty » Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:16 am

Reminds me of the story of the hunter who took his son to a hunter safety course. The group got chatting and junior blurted out "dad did you ever hunt, trap, and eat beavers when you were younger?".
I've heard that it's incredibly stupid to fuck around with a crazy man's head.
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Re: SpinnerMan 2017-18 Log

Postby Rick » Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:36 am

Which in turn reminds me of a high school teacher Mr. "Stubby" Wells, whose classroom quotes were compiled by his students in an annual edition called "Bromides," two of which were: "You don't shoot a beaver, you trap it." and "The beaver is both durable and valuable."

Why those are the two out of scores of such that I recall, I could not say. Perhaps that's the source of the term "sophomoric humor"...
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