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Decoy spread

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Re: Decoy spread In reply to
Vince Pagliaroli wrote:

My how times have changed than when this was published.... Could be the less Mallards in the Atlantic Flyway, the better for the Black Duck.


Here's to the Black Duck. All that care deeply for the duck, and those that hunt for it with passion. A boarder line addiction, with many rewards.


It's a shame but the eastern wild mallard is 98% extinct, literally. Something like only 2% of mallards sampled from the eastern flyway have the original wild eastern mallard genetics. The good news though, black ducks, despite what people say only "retro-hybridize." It's a misconception that their is forward-hybridization. Only mallard x black crosses will breed with mallard x black crosses. On the off chance a mallard does cross a black, the offspring only reproduce with other crosses. So that's good news I suppose.
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Re: Decoy spread In reply to
Joe Friday wrote:
Joe Teja wrote:
For sure. I?m not wasting shells on buffleheads. I?m at that point where I want cool ducks. Not just shoot to shoot or kill



Here in NC, I continue to see pictures of guides and hunters with a tailgate full of Buffleheads....



Buffies ... they're the new Canvasback don'tcha know Sly.


MLBob

"Art is like an ill-trained Labrador retriever that drags you out into traffic." (Annie Dillard)

....Here's to Joe Wooster, who made me realize that the useful could and should be beautiful; and who firmly believed that decoy carvers were the last free men in America.

https://www.facebook.com/KOOIdecoy?ref=hl

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Re: Decoy spread In reply to
Joe Friday wrote:

Here in NC, I continue to see pictures of guides and hunters with a tailgate full of Buffleheads....


Some of those guys are paying to go on their first guided diver hunt, and the guides sure need to post pics to continue booking trips so I don't hold it against either of them. One of the reasons I don't like going on guided hunts is the feeling like I have to shoot something because I'm paying for it.

What I do miss most from my old trips to the Eastern shore of MD is stuffing myself with fresh oysters for dinner and the baked goods at the Tilghman Island Country Store!


Quote
- Let the wind dictate how you set but if you can find a way that your back is to the sun, it helps a lot. Being back to the sun as the birds come in they aren't looking at the boat (or might not even be able to see it) but they are looking down at the decoys.


To add to this, the text book would tell you to have the wind at your back, but don't hesitate to hunt with the wind moving across your face. I like a wind moving from left to right, I'm right handed so I swing better from right to left. We used to do this in goose fields if the wind at our backs didn't give us a safe shooting direction and had tremendous success.

.........................................
Recovering Engineer, Standup Philosopher, Aspiring Pirate, Cooking Enthusiast
"Life is a garden.... Dig It!"
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Re: Decoy spread In reply to
Joe,
I think Buffleheads are "cool" ducks. I've been known to target Buffies over my homemade rig of 20 Bufflehead on long lines. Tasty on the grill wrapped in bacon.

However, no tailgate photo's

RVZ
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Re: Decoy spread In reply to
I too think they're cool ducks. I know that there are folk that won't shoot em cuz they're too cute....ruddies too. No hate on that either.

Charles, the guides I have gone with have certainly worked their butts off to make sure that we have a great time and are on birds but there was never the expectation or condemnation if we chose not to shoot. Maybe having the discussion with potential guides would fix that feeling for you.....
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Re: Decoy spread In reply to
If you enjoy eating a particular duck species and are hunting within your limits then go for it. I too give buffleheads a pass. I see no problem with people legally harvesting their limit if they enjoy eating them. Just try to lay off the hens. I mean, it's NOT hard to tell the difference.


Charles H. wrote:

To add to this, the text book would tell you to have the wind at your back, but don't hesitate to hunt with the wind moving across your face. I like a wind moving from left to right, I'm right handed so I swing better from right to left. We used to do this in goose fields if the wind at our backs didn't give us a safe shooting direction and had tremendous success.


I typically accept this as well. I'll take a cross wind any day of the week. The only wind I wont take is head on. I've had the wind switch around on me mid hunt before and that just screws everything up.
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Re: Decoy spread In reply to
I think I was the first person on Mobile Bay to actually use buffie decoys when I bought some Carrylite GEs & repainted them to buffies and then made my y-boards way back in the day (~1999).
I always tried to stick to drakes but sometimes on slow days i'd take a hen or two.
Also, my observation is that about 1/2 the "hens" I've shot turn out to be immature drakes.


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: Decoy spread In reply to
Dani, no doubt, the guides I've gone with have been very hardworking people. I was referring more to an internal feeling I had when I was younger, "I'm paying for this so I better pull the trigger". Of course back then buffleheads and scoters were new and exciting ducks for me.

I never felt pressured by the guides to shoot birds. The last time I was on a guided hunt was 6 years ago in the outer banks of NC. The guide actually thanked us for not shooting. We had big flocks of redheads passing the spread at the extreme edge of shooting range most of the day. All we would have accomplished was making them spread/blind shy and crippling 3 birds for every one we would've got. He said most clients would have pulled the trigger. We eventually knocked down a nice Redhead and Drake Shoveler that chose to decoy and we were completely happy with the trip.





Quote
If you enjoy eating a particular duck species and are hunting within your limits then go for it. I too give buffleheads a pass. I see no problem with people legally harvesting their limit if they enjoy eating them. Just try to lay off the hens. I mean, it's NOT hard to tell the difference.


Exactly!


Quote
I've had the wind switch around on me mid hunt before and that just screws everything up.


It never hurts to put a few decoys on the opposite side of the boat for this very reason. An old field hunting trick was to put our goose decoys in an X so when the wind shifted directions you just turned the blinds. Here's a simplified sketch of how we occasionally set up if we're expecting the wind to shift directions or if there's no wind at all.




.........................................
Recovering Engineer, Standup Philosopher, Aspiring Pirate, Cooking Enthusiast
"Life is a garden.... Dig It!"
Quote Reply
Re: Decoy spread In reply to
Jay K wrote:
Vince Pagliaroli wrote:

My how times have changed than when this was published.... Could be the less Mallards in the Atlantic Flyway, the better for the Black Duck.


Here's to the Black Duck. All that care deeply for the duck, and those that hunt for it with passion. A boarder line addiction, with many rewards.



It's a shame but the eastern wild mallard is 98% extinct, literally. Something like only 2% of mallards sampled from the eastern flyway have the original wild eastern mallard genetics. The good news though, black ducks, despite what people say only "retro-hybridize." It's a misconception that their is forward-hybridization. Only mallard x black crosses will breed with mallard x black crosses. On the off chance a mallard does cross a black, the offspring only reproduce with other crosses. So that's good news I suppose.






"Most forms of domestic ducks owe their origin to the Mallard." Ducks, Geese & Swans of North America by Frank C. Bellrose











"Art does not reproduce what is visible - but makes things visible." ~ Paul Klee, artist, 1920
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Re: Decoy spread In reply to
My favorite blue bird day lunch is Buffelhead breast sandwich. I carried a propane tent heater to cook them, while in the marsh. One buffelhead breast on rye : wrap breast in heavy foil with quarter stick butter, quarter apple, plenty black pepper, cook on tent stove about half hour...... So let those buff's slide buy for me boys......
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Re: Decoy spread In reply to
I don't dispute the fact that buffleheads are cool ducks and make passable table fare..... it's the 'pro staffers' who post cheezy videos complete with Wagnerian sound-tracks and catchy titles like "Bufflehead Beatdown" that give me a chuckle. Steve Sutton and I always got a good laugh about those type of things.


MLBob

"Art is like an ill-trained Labrador retriever that drags you out into traffic." (Annie Dillard)

....Here's to Joe Wooster, who made me realize that the useful could and should be beautiful; and who firmly believed that decoy carvers were the last free men in America.

https://www.facebook.com/KOOIdecoy?ref=hl

Quote Reply
Re: Decoy spread In reply to
Jay K wrote:
Vince Pagliaroli wrote:

My how times have changed than when this was published.... Could be the less Mallards in the Atlantic Flyway, the better for the Black Duck.


Here's to the Black Duck. All that care deeply for the duck, and those that hunt for it with passion. A boarder line addiction, with many rewards.



It's a shame but the eastern wild mallard is 98% extinct, literally. Something like only 2% of mallards sampled from the eastern flyway have the original wild eastern mallard genetics. The good news though, black ducks, despite what people say only "retro-hybridize." It's a misconception that their is forward-hybridization. Only mallard x black crosses will breed with mallard x black crosses. On the off chance a mallard does cross a black, the offspring only reproduce with other crosses. So that's good news I suppose.


Not sure what the eastern wild mallard is, as I learned back in my Wetlands Ecology and Ornithology classes that mallards are not native to the east coast. Although they may have shown up during migration periods, mallards did not breed in the east. It was thought that a combination of the mallard's range expanding eastward and the release of farm reared mallards in the mid-20th century to be the cause of an established breeding mallard population in the east.
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Re: Decoy spread In reply to
 
Matt,

Ya pretty much hit the nail on the head.

After PA shut down their Wild Duck Farm, other east coast states, and private clubs still stocked many thousands of Mallards. There is a entire generation of east coast waterfowlers, that took those Mallards as standard game fowl in the Atlantic Flyway.

As I've posted prior, study the waterfowling history, and the decoys of the Atlantic Flyway and you will learn much. If you like to hunt Mallards and are passionate about it, get thee to any of the other three flyways.


I was very fortunate to live in a area in western PA that boarded the Mississippi Flyway, and is a major flight corridor for Black Ducks. All Mallards in the area were from mostly stocked strain. The waterfowlers that hunted the area were aware of that.

In 1968 I shot my first Black Duck. The first gunning rig I made to hunt over (and still have) are crude cork Black Ducks. Have hunted them up and down the East coast in Canada, and the USA. The furthest west I have shot a Black Duck is Sask. I was pretty much addicted to hunting and watching them. Now I do more watching than shooting. Mallards are not the gold standard for me, but for many they are.

The Atlantic Flyway holds a special place in my heart for it's rich history, birds, and decoys.











"Art does not reproduce what is visible - but makes things visible." ~ Paul Klee, artist, 1920
Quote Reply
Re: Decoy spread In reply to
Matt C wrote:
Jay K wrote:
Vince Pagliaroli wrote:

My how times have changed than when this was published.... Could be the less Mallards in the Atlantic Flyway, the better for the Black Duck.


Here's to the Black Duck. All that care deeply for the duck, and those that hunt for it with passion. A boarder line addiction, with many rewards.



It's a shame but the eastern wild mallard is 98% extinct, literally. Something like only 2% of mallards sampled from the eastern flyway have the original wild eastern mallard genetics. The good news though, black ducks, despite what people say only "retro-hybridize." It's a misconception that their is forward-hybridization. Only mallard x black crosses will breed with mallard x black crosses. On the off chance a mallard does cross a black, the offspring only reproduce with other crosses. So that's good news I suppose.



Not sure what the eastern wild mallard is, as I learned back in my Wetlands Ecology and Ornithology classes that mallards are not native to the east coast. Although they may have shown up during migration periods, mallards did not breed in the east. It was thought that a combination of the mallard's range expanding eastward and the release of farm reared mallards in the mid-20th century to be the cause of an established breeding mallard population in the east.


Well, you very well could be right. Going on what I have heard/read:

There was a wild eastern flyway mallard that pre-dates the 1920's. The game farm birds, as Vince said, corrupted the population. It was hunting clubs stretching from Maine to NC. They pre-dated records in the 1920's.

The study I read was done using DNA sampling from birds mounted way back pre-1960 and even farther. They actually went into museums and sampled specimens with harvest records. The genetic difference is huge. The study said that only 2% of the eastern flyway "mallards" they sampled from present day had largely similar genetics from the ones sampled long ago. They went as far as to compare characteristics as well. The game farm hybrids possessed narrower bills more so for picking feed vs. wider bills on the true wild samples used for actual dabbling.

I think it begs a couple other questions like: Was the "eastern wild mallard" just mallards from other flyways pushing naturally east? Is the genetic dissimilarity between current birds and samples from the past just a dissimilarity between game farm genetics of old vs. new? Is the "native" term subjective?

Tough to really tell. That same scientist did go on to state they did the same sampling for black ducks. They said, in contrast, 98% of the present day birds they sampled had the same genetics as the specimens they used as reference back from the 1920's. Very reassuring, and cool stuff.

I too love the birds of the Atlantic Flyway. We have some unique species here in NJ. Greater snows, Atlantic Brant, etc. However, as a new hunter 10 years ago, it was a little disappointing to learn there really is no such thing as a eastern flyway mallard.
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Re: Decoy spread In reply to
Much appreciated response and will study it closer later today. I?ve been waterfowling for a few years now and still trying to figure out what i?m doing. Over pressured birds are my first thought when i come home empty handed.
Quote Reply
Re: Decoy spread In reply to
Joe Teja wrote:
Much appreciated response and will study it closer later today. I?ve been waterfowling for a few years now and still trying to figure out what i?m doing. Over pressured birds are my first thought when i come home empty handed.



Joe,

It is good that you are questioning, and asking how to improve, cuz we have all been there. I tip my hat to you.

As long as all of us have been waterfowling, we are "still trying to figure it out..." Waterfowling is very challenging, and there have been a ton of books written about personal experiences, etc. and what is thought to be the best ways. In today's world info of all kinds abounds.

It takes very little hunting pressure to educate most waterfowl. Does not matter where yer hunting.

Coming home empty handed is all part of the deal. What ya observed and learned that day, ya either put to good use, or ignore. Ya, waterfowlers can be Hard Heads. Wink


Welcome to the lifestyle, cuz a hobby it is not.


Best regards
Vince











"Art does not reproduce what is visible - but makes things visible." ~ Paul Klee, artist, 1920
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Re: Decoy spread In reply to
Joe, a little piece of advice that has worked for me on high pressure birds, go when the blasting stops.
Get set up at 2 in the afternoon when most, if not all ,call it a day, you now have almost 3 hours of a mostly peaceful meadow to yourself, overcast days are better cause it gets dark sooner, birds still got to eat and may start trickling in giving you working birds.
Not a guarantee, but after the first few days of an opening, or a weekend, I've had better success on afternoon hunts.
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Re: Decoy spread In reply to
Grew up deer hunting. Still trying to figure out those buggers. Last deer i had taken was 4 years ago. Like I said I just enjoy being out
Quote Reply
Re: Decoy spread In reply to
Joe Teja wrote:
Much appreciated response and will study it closer later today. I?ve been waterfowling for a few years now and still trying to figure out what i?m doing. Over pressured birds are my first thought when i come home empty handed.


Waterfowling in the Atlantic flyway, especially for puddle ducks, is probably one of the hardest outdoor endeavors. I have been a fisherman, and mostly offshore fisherman, since I was 13-14. Figured that out on my own, with my father. I've done lots. Nothing compares to trying to harvest puddle ducks here.

I will tell you, all other things in line, the most important thing is hunting the conditions with the tide that's right for the spot. Figure that out and things will come together for you.