2020-2021 Duck Season

Re: 2020-2021 Duck Season

Postby Ricky Spanish » Mon Jan 11, 2021 9:36 am

I think that the most fun my dad ever had was hunting quail with me just south of Cobden, IL.
I was the boy and he was the old man.
Later I read the book and realized just how incredibly lucky I was. We hunted on this old retired army colonels land and I will never forget the entire experience.
Thanks for sharing and stirring up an old memory.
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Re: 2020-2021 Duck Season

Postby Rick » Mon Jan 11, 2021 1:40 pm

Duck Engr wrote:I also saddled my own horse. No hired hands.


How can one possibly hunt Southeastern quail without a squadron of retainers? Have been blessed with the opportunity to hunt a few days on a private Georgia place and never did figure out why some of our posse where along. Maybe "justin"(case?)

Local banker tells a funny story about his first Mississippi pay hunt:

Was a warm day, yet the wagon driver seemed to be wearing every sweater he owned and some he'd borrowed. As the morning wore on and got even warmer, Brandy finally asked if all those sweaters weren't hot? To which the driver responded, "No, Su. They's arma."
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Re: 2020-2021 Duck Season

Postby Duck Engr » Mon Jan 11, 2021 3:51 pm

Haha that’s an experienced hand!

Have a friend that guides quail hunts in South Georgia. He said the most dangerous clients are the ones that start betting between groups before the hunt on who’ll have more birds at the end of the day. He hits the deck on the coveyrise with those groups.
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Re: 2020-2021 Duck Season

Postby Duck Engr » Sat Jan 16, 2021 11:43 am

Date: 1/16/21

Time: morning. Got to the farm around 45 minutes before shooting time.

Location: little 1 acre wood duck hole planted in rice.

Cloud Cover: clear as can be.

Wind Direction and Velocity: 8-10 wnw

Temperature: 30 but chillier in the wind.

Moon phase: not much of any. It was dark.

Special Notes: first hunt on the farm this year. Leaving the new bigger impoundment alone for the first few years to hopefully imprint a few.

Waterfowl Activity: better than expected. Probably saw 30 wood ducks or so, with most set on coming to the pond. 7 mergansers came in later on in the morning. Passed on those fishy things.

Waterfowl Responsiveness: n/a. Either coming to the hole or they weren’t.

Hunters: just me shooting. Dad observing because he didn’t get his federal stamp.

Guns: m2 20

Malfunctions: despite my assertion last night that we needed to be in place 45 prior to sunrise since it was so clear, I didn’t factor in dad’s coffee and biscuit time that he requires prior to leaving the cabin. We were walking up to the pond a little after legal shooting time. Ended up watching most of the ducks land before we even got there. Handful came back.

Dog(s): legh. Would have gone home empty handed without her. She chased a lively cripple that fell outside of the pond into a brush pile and rooted her out. Then after the hunt found a long sail-off that Dad and I both thought we’d never find by cutting back and forth through the sage brush like a polished upland dog, of which she is not.

Special Equipment:

Curses: not factoring in Dad’s coffee and breakfast time. Oh and I shot like absolute garbage.

Kudos: beautiful morning. Legh got a couple retrieves in and got to spend another sunrise with my Dad, even if he was wearing me out for how bad my shooting was.

Birds By Species: 2 wood ducks.

Photo Ops:

Lagniappe: will probably give it another go sometime during the last week of January.
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Re: 2020-2021 Duck Season

Postby Duck Engr » Tue Jan 19, 2021 10:55 pm

DComeaux wrote:That is awesome! I haven't seen a quail around here in many years. They were part of my youth in the field, and the flush is something I miss. I had been startled more than once back then while walking hedgerows to find a spot to stand while dove hunting. It's been many, many years since I've heard the calls of bobwhite regrouping in the evenings. The many acres of dirty harvested fields with hedgerows are also gone.

Next weekend my son and I will try to walk up a few woodcock now that the gun season for deer is closed in a certain area. I wish I had my old setter from years ago with me today.
Sound up for a covey rise Dave. Dad moved 4(!) coveys today. Sent a couple videos to make me jealous while I was at work.

https://youtu.be/3HO-neHXU5E
Please forgive Tad’s happy tail. He’s a work in progress.

https://youtu.be/7CTsYYsiRpU
Kacee on a single from an earlier covey.
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Re: 2020-2021 Duck Season

Postby Rick » Wed Jan 20, 2021 4:32 am

Shades of yesteryear.
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Re: 2020-2021 Duck Season

Postby Duck Engr » Wed Jan 20, 2021 8:04 am

Was telling Dad I don’t recall a 4 wild covey day since I was in my early teens, might have even been before that.
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2020-2021 Duck Season

Postby Duck Engr » Sat Feb 06, 2021 12:20 pm

Date: 1/29/21

Time: morning

Location: second trip out west of the season. Just off the river.

Cloud Cover: supposed to be clear, ended up cloudy till 10.

Wind Direction and Velocity: light out of the north switching to light out of the south then to moderate.

Temperature: 28

Moon phase: big

Special Notes: scouted 1/28 after our long drive and didn’t see much of anything where we’d hoped there would be something. Picked an old spot we’d been to years before in similar conditions

Waterfowl Activity: bad. Might’ve seen 50 ducks and nothing after 8 am.

Waterfowl Responsiveness: good early. Had a group of 3 mallards work and fall straight down in the hole like I’ve never seen before, problem was the sudden descent caught us off guard and they were on the other side of the buck brush before we could pull the trigger. Had another group of 10 on what we figured was final approach before being banged out by other shooting, of which there was very little.

Hunters: 2

Guns:M2 and versamax

Malfunctions: none

Dog(s): Legh and Scout, who was much improved from his opening day shenanigans

Special Equipment: none

Curses: no ducks

Kudos: sat and reminisced on good hunts we’d had in years past in that area.

Birds By Species: 1 wood duck who acted like a mallard, so we treated him like one.

Photo Ops:

Lagniappe: scouted a different area that afternoon after stopping by a friend’s camp and shooting the breeze for a couple hours. (Friends had not pulled the trigger in 3 days on their private lease). Stumbled onto a slough full of duck weed with a few mallards and quite a few gadwall. Decided that was going to be our destination the next morning.
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Re: 2020-2021 Duck Season

Postby Duck Engr » Sat Feb 06, 2021 12:29 pm

Date: 1/30/21

Time: morning till 11

Location: slough we’d scouted previous afternoon.

Cloud Cover: heavy. Spitting rain late.

Wind Direction and Velocity: strong out of the SSE

Temperature: 45 at daylight

Moon phase: bright

Special Notes: we were the first group in the block of public but were soon joined by 2 others. They were respectful and kept their distance. They didn’t shoot much.

Waterfowl Activity: better than expected but still sub par for the area

Waterfowl Responsiveness: great before 730, we just couldn’t get out of our own way. Tailed off some after 730 but still worked ducks till 11. They’d circle 15-20 times but most were afraid of their own shadow. We passed on marginal shots that probably would’ve resulted in a couple more birds.

Hunters: 2

Guns: same

Malfunctions: rust from not hunting much this season I guess. Didn’t make a move when we should have, cost us at least 3 birds and poor shooting cost us another 3.

Dog(s): Legh and scout. Scout cost us an opp by not returning to his stand (or his owners repeated “here” commands). Flared a group of 4 gadwall as they started back pedaling into the hole.

Special Equipment:

Curses: didn’t take advantage of precious few opportunities.

Kudos: nice to work some ducks consistently for the first time in a while.

Birds By Species: 2 mallards. 1 gadwall. Sailed a greater Canada goose where we found feathers and blood, but no goose.

Photo Ops:

Lagniappe: saw enough activity that morning to forego scouting that afternoon, relax, and return to the same slough for the last hunt of the year.
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2020-2021 Duck Season

Postby Duck Engr » Sat Feb 06, 2021 12:42 pm

Date: 1/31/21. Last day of season.

Time: morning. Packed up at 9 as clouds settled in.

Location: same slough as day before.

Cloud Cover: clear

Wind Direction and Velocity: moderate to strong out of the west switching to northwest.

Temperature: 45 and steady all day as front passed.

Moon phase: big. No need for head lamp.

Special Notes: knew we were cooked when I put my gear down an hour before shooting light and could hear ducks airborne already.

Waterfowl Activity: didn’t see a tenth of the ducks we saw the previous day. Maybe less than that.

Waterfowl Responsiveness: great 30 minutes before shooting light as we worked group after group by moonlight. It was pretty cool. Funny to hear them breaking branches as they came through the trees. Responsiveness ended 10 minutes after shooting light. Didn’t help that my late season short barrel locked up on me. They’d eaten it up the day before. Haven’t yet taken it apart to diagnose the issue.

Hunters: 2

Guns: same

Malfunctions: none. No woulda coulda shouldas today.

Dog(s): Legh and scout each got a retrieve to finish off the season.

Special Equipment:

Curses: lack of ducks.

Kudos: another year being able bodied enough to chase ducks.

Birds By Species: 1 gadwall. 1 teal.

Photo Ops:

Lagniappe: saw some interesting data from Osborne lab a few days after season showing 3 transmittered mallards they’d banded in southeast Arkansas in November 2019. Interesting part was that they didn’t even make it to arkansas this year until early January. Reason we didn’t go back to hunt any during the season after opener was due to zero good reports despite some decent water levels in early January. As one of my mallard-chasing buddies put it, “tough year to be a wood duck”.
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Re: 2020-2021 Duck Season

Postby Rick » Sat Feb 06, 2021 3:31 pm

Duck Engr wrote:...Had another group of 10 on what we figured was final approach before being banged out by other shooting, of which there was very little...


I've long since surmised that there are bastages out there watching us through binoculars for opportunities to screw us over by shooting when birds are on final.
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Re: 2020-2021 Duck Season

Postby Duck Engr » Sat Feb 06, 2021 4:50 pm

Rick wrote:
Duck Engr wrote:...Had another group of 10 on what we figured was final approach before being banged out by other shooting, of which there was very little...


I've long since surmised that there are bastages out there watching us through binoculars for opportunities to screw us over by shooting when birds are on final.
I’ve accused others of the same from time to time and I wasn’t immediately aggravated at this one, as I assumed “there will be other opportunities.” Aggravation grew as those other opps never materialized.
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