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Close calls
Over the years many of us have come very close to dying while duck hunting. For what ever reason the good Lord didn't want us at that time. I would like to know some of your close calls. I will share mine.

Years ago I was hunting on the Hudson River. Tide was going down very fast. I was a few miles from where I launched my boat. My buddy and I had a great morning hunting . We should of left a hour or so earlier then we did. As we got back to the site there was know way we could of pulled my boat out. Mud everywhere and a good fifty feet or so from the launch. I drop my friend off and he walked through the mud to get my truck. The State Launch was about a mile up river and we should be able to get out there. I took off wide open with my motor and headed for the site. As i got to the site I came in hot. I hit a tree under the water and it flew me and the boat about ten feet or so "I would say " ! I landed in front of the boat . At this point I was okay . But ! the tide was so low, I was up on a mud bank a good ten feet from the water .With the river below me. I thought I could get out of my boat and just pull it down to the water. Know big deal I THOUGHT. Was I wrong! When I stepped out I went down in the mud all the way to the top of my chest. At this time the tide started coming up. I couldn't move . My friend finally got to the site and tried getting to me. But couldn't because the mud . Thank God! I had a pair of wader pants on that was slick. Some how I pulled my self out of my wader. And was lying in the mud like a big old pig. And I knew I better not move around or I'm going to sink again. I few other guys pulled into the boat launch with a van. Thank God again ! they had a heavy duty rope in there van. They threw it to me and I tied it around my waste and they pulled me and my boat over to the ramp. My wader are still in the same spot over twenty years later and many have tried to pull them out. But that mud is like quick sand. There are many other close calls I have had. But this is a good start. Duck hunting is very dangerous even when your safe. You never know.
anthony sr

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anthony m coons sr: Jun 4, 2022, 7:00 AM
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Re: Close calls In reply to
I was hunting a small creek for the late January goose season in NY. The creek was extremely swollen and flowing at a very quick rate. I was planning to launch at a bridge and paddle to my spot. I get my kayak in the water, load it with gun, decoys, and all the other things that go into a waterfowl hunt. I go to grab one last thing and see that the kayak has come free of the bank that I had pulled it up on. It's out of reach and disappearing fast. I have no way of reaching it.

In waders, I run up the bank, across the bridge, down the road to where there's a larger pool. I'm fast enough and see the kayak coming. It had gotten briefly slowed down by a log. It gets to the pool and I see that there is nothing that is going to stop it. It's now or never. I jump out of my waders and dive in. The temperature this afternoon is below 10 degrees, it's windy, and there is ice on the sides of the creek. The water is as cold as it could be. I make it to the kayak, grab it, and start swimming with it back to the bank. I also manage to get a bag of decoys that had broken free of the kayak. Back at the bank I'm certainly somewhat hypothermic. I strip down entirely and take stock of the situation. Thankfully nothing terrible happened but looking back on this some years later I see how lucky and stupid I was. I could not afford to lose the several thousand dollars of gear in the kayak. But it wasn't worth risking my life. Since then I've always attached a bow line to any boat and tie it up, regardless of how solid the boat seems.
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Re: Close calls In reply to
J Overland

My friend can't say I wouldn't of the same thing. But as a man in his sixties now. you big dummy lol. No ! y ou did what every water fowler would of done. Safe the ship at all cost. Great story thank you for sharing.
anthony sr
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Re: Close calls In reply to
 Was out hunting a small creek on Long Island by myself. The winds were going to the northeast, perfect for a spot I knew. Parked my truck out of sight, tide was up already. Ten minute ride in the sneak boat to my spot, when I got there the marsh was flooded and had to tie off to the tree line. I was so far back in the marsh and trees I could not hear the winds howling or see the rest of the marsh. After shooting my limit, I motored out to the main marsh and was greeted with nothing but white water.
I turned around and tried to figure out a game plan. Pulled out all the safety gear, extra preserver, flares etc. Decided to run the shoreline back to the truck, one leg in the boat and one leg out, took me about a hour and a half to reach the truck. Ran the boat right on the trailer, water was up to the floor boards of the truck. Found out later that my wife and brother where out looking for me [ before cell phones ]. Got my a__ handed to me at home. After that day I always told them my location and never hid the truck. Duck hunters here mostly use large floating blinds, not many sneak boats. Learned my lesson the hard way.
Be safe out there...
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Re: Close calls In reply to
Capt

Good story ! glad you came out on top, That could of turn out really bad for you. Just like it had for many of our duck hunting brothers. Thank you for sharing.
anthony sr
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Re: Close calls In reply to
Another story that turned out for the best. But could of went really wrong for me. Years ago I was motoring down the Hudson River with my oldest brother and my good friend. We were headed out before dawn to get to a spot that I scouted the day before. We were in my Outlaw Pro 18 footer. A boat I use even today 22 years later. At the time there was a factory roof on the boat . The roof would swing out when it was time to shoot. We were going down river wide open with a 90 hp motor. I was driving, my friend was sitting down, and my large brother was standing in the front of the boat. You had to put a pin in a hole to hold the roof down. My brother was so tall and large that he couldn't stand under the roof if it was pinned. So as we were flying down river to get to the hunting spot before day light. The wind caught the unpinned roof ! And it took off like a buzz saw. Just missing my friend head in the middle of the boat. Hitting me square in the head. Knocking me out cold. Thank God my friend acted fast and grab the wheel, Or all three of us might of been dead. A rock wall was only feet away. The front of my roof was gone forever. But I am here telling you this story. Check everything yourself , Bad things can happen is a second. Hope to here more of your stories.
anthony sr
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Re: Close calls, on Frenchmans Bay, Maine. In reply to
A few years ago when you could still take seven Eiders a day. My partner and I shot what we wanted and because the north wind came up so strong, we headed back to the beach where the truck was. Must have been 35 - 40mph wind from the north and that was the direction we had to go. Scared the ?rap out of us and it was a good thing we were in a Grumman 4.5 model boat. I have had other boats that would not have made that trip. Ordinarily the trip took a half hour but this time it took over an hour and a half. We and our gear got a thorough salt bath for our troubles that time. But wait, a couple years later we hunted the same area and darned if the same north wind came up even stronger that that first time. Well in that same boat we could not make any headway north to our launching site. So I turned the boat and headed to the downtown boat ramp in Bar Harbor. Once there I hired a cab $20. to take me to the Trenton boat ramp so I could retrieve my truck and trailer. Sometimes you can't out guess the weather. Stay safe.
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Re: Close calls In reply to
Closest call for me was when as a teenager I took advantage of the Christmas-New Years break to go hunting with a friend of mine. We launched out of Faunce Landing in Absecon New Jersey in my 12 ft. tin can with a 6hp johnson early in the morning. Tide was high, temperature was about 25 degrees, the wind was west at 35 knots and Absecon Creek was iced over. We quickly realized that going out on the bay was not a good idea so we found a spot along the bank to set up. Not long after legal my buddy shot a duck and I rowed out to get it. In picking it up I must have leaned over just enough that the wind caught the edge of the boat and flipped it over on top of me and everything else in the boat, in what turned out to be chest high water. Fortunately the bottom was firm enough that I was able to flip the boat over and off of me. I drug the boat up the bank on the opposite side from where I was hunting and did what I could to empty the water and ice out. My buddy seeing that I wasn't in good shape made his way back to the landing. I was pretty hypothermic by that point and was contemplating swimming back across when a clammer came up the creek in his garvey, picked up my decoys, got me in the boat and towed me back. Live and learn I suppose.

Back at home I told my Dad about the morning and asked if he could identify the duck which I still had. Without looking at it he very drily told me that whatever it was wasn't worth it. Turned out to be a hen broadbill.

Three days later my Dad took me to the approximate location to see if we could find my Mossberg 500 pump. After a little searching I found it in about 12 inches of water and unloaded it. I still have the gun and hunt it occasionally.
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My life has two seasons, duck season and carving season
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Re: Close calls, on Frenchmans Bay, Maine. In reply to
Bob

My friend that was a very smart move and maybe the best twenty bucks you ever spent. Glad you made it home safe. Good Story thank you, Anthony
anthony sr