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Some times you just have to take what you can get

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Some times you just have to take what you can get
Things have been a little tough here in Jersey the past week or 2 with a hard freeze up that locked up nearly all the water in the state. At the begining of the freeze we did well until word got out about open water and quality ducks then the few open spots got crowded. Finally Wednesday of this week I got tired of dealing with the crowds and searched for new open water as things began to finally thaw. Found a small pocket of open water in a small tidal creek that had a decent feed of black ducks and mallards. It wasn't a ton of birds but enough for me to make a pretty respectable solo trip out of it. I dragged my aqua pod, 10 puddle duck decoys and my layout blind across the marsh, an incredibly easy task considering I was sliding across solid ice, and got set up well before shooting time. Having pushed several puddle ducks out of the hole I was feeling confident for a decent hunt. 5 minutes before legal shooting light my confidence grew when black duck lit into my spread but quickly swam to the opposite shore and climbed onto the bank and started sleeping just out of range. I let him be as legal light came around and just a few minutes into shooting time a beautiful drake broadbill sailed into the decoys. A single shot and he was belly up. While I was ecstatic about killing a perfect example of my favorite duck I was also dishartened as my shot only put one duck up and that was the black duck sleeping across the creek from me. I quickly collected my broadbill and laid back down. After sitting for another 45 minutes I hadn't seen a single duck with the exception of a pair of buffleheads that seem very intrigued by my mallard decoys. Then I heard wings over head, a trio of big divers blew over top of me at full speed from behind and quickly made a 180 and dumped into the decoys without a second thought. Three bull canvasbacks!!! I dropped one with my third shot (nearly choked). As I got up to grab my aqua pod to collect my bird another group dropped in from the heavens and I downed another bull this time with my first shot. I collected my birds and after a few moments of admiring them I sat back down to see what else was in store for me. Soon after I settled back in 3 more flights of cans sailed into the decoys. A few even hung around and swam with my decoys for and while. This was my third time killing canvasbacks this season and it was the first time I've ever had more than one group come in during the course of a hunt. Pretty special moment for most guys here in jersey, and it certainly wasn't the day I had expected but you certainly won't hear me complaining about it any. This ice has been a real pain for us but it has certainly made for some memorable hunts!
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Re: Some times you just have to take what you can get In reply to
That would seem to be a nearly perfect hunt... minus the fact that there was not a Chessie retrieving those birds.


Congrats!

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***Phil (Chesapeake Boy) Nowack***

http://www.mapleridgetaxidermy.com
http://www.philnowackphotography.com

Nothing like the north wind pushing snow at your back, a bird in your hand, and chessie with ice on his coat at your side.

Birds brought to you courtesy of Nikon, Benelli, and Kodi
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Re: Some times you just have to take what you can get In reply to
Phil, unfortunately my current work schedule does not allow me to have a dog. Maybe one day.
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Re: Some times you just have to take what you can get In reply to
Congratulations on a great hunt with a handsome bounty.


Good Luck & Safe Hunting
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Re: Some times you just have to take what you can get In reply to
Beautiful birds thanks for sharing


Carl
Mobile, AL
DHBP Member since 1998

"Life is too short to drink bad beer."
Disclaimer: This post and/or report is not a substantiation of or reflection on the true accuracy of the present surveying methods. It is only a report on or comment concerning local observation and/or results. Your results and observation may vary based on your location, local water conditions, food supply, weather conditions and migratory patterns "
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Re: Some times you just have to take what you can get In reply to
Saw the birds on instagram, nice to read the full story. Glad you had a great hunt away from the crowd.




Benjamin Pendleton
Northeast N.C.
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Re: Some times you just have to take what you can get In reply to
Good morning, Will~

Surely a hunt you'll never forget - congratulations!

SJS

Steven Jay Sanford
Pencil Brook Farm
South Cambridge, NY
http://www.stevenjaysanford.com


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Re: Some times you just have to take what you can get In reply to
A morning to remember, Will. Those bull cans are gorgeous. Thanks for sharing.
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Re: Some times you just have to take what you can get In reply to
Thanks guys!
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Re: Some times you just have to take what you can get In reply to
What a great morning. Nice looking birds!
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Re: Some times you just have to take what you can get In reply to
Will, Outstanding hunt. I am happy for you.
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Re: Some times you just have to take what you can get In reply to
Will that's awesome. I've only ever seen one Can in my part of Jersey. A rarity for sure. We have been doing well on the puddlers, and it looks like it should stay good right up until the end of south with the return of the cold.

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I never know which is worse: the sorrow when you hit the bird, or the shame when you miss.
http://www.hillmandecoys.com
Mullica Hill NJ
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Re: Some times you just have to take what you can get In reply to
Jode that's a good shoot. The coast has enough open water now that we can all spread out now and have plenty of birds. Should be a great last couple of weeks!
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Re: Some times you just have to take what you can get In reply to
Pretty work on the stud cans! Seems like there's been a decent amount of them around this season.

Will M wrote:
Jode that's a good shoot. The coast has enough open water now that we can all spread out now and have plenty of birds. Should be a great last couple of weeks!


Amen to this... was starting to get a bit nutty with everyone on top of each other.
________
Coastal NJ
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Re: Some times you just have to take what you can get In reply to
Will,
Great morning and well told. Glad you were safe hunting alone and what a morning to remember!
Larry
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Re: Some times you just have to take what you can get In reply to
nice ducks , hope this weather warms up enough for the last week in New Jersey, can't sit home another weekend without going stir crazy!!
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Re: Some times you just have to take what you can get In reply to
I am incredibly jealous of all you guys still out hunting. We have been closed over a month now, nice birds