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A Very Lucky Day

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A Very Lucky Day
There's luck and then there's my Saturday morning... hunted a favorite area of mine for puddle ducks Saturday morning as the tide was how I liked it. First few groups didn't work me the way I wanted so I readjusted my spread and hide and re-set. Next bird in worked in perfect feet down at 15 yards, a prime drake black duck. Go to pick him up and he's sporting some jewelry. Wow what a way to start the day! 25 minutes later here comes another single black, works in perfect again 15 yards and I fold that one up. Go out to pick him up and what are the odds, another band! Just incredible luck. Proceeded to watch additional blacks work the rest of the morning and picked out a mallard as a bonus.

Both birds banded in the last year, one in South Jersey last winter and the other near Prince Edward Island, Canada this summer.

Even more interesting is when I went through my log book I have killed five banded birds on November 26th. Two double-banded brant in 2010, a banded mallard last year and now the two black ducks this year. Might be a good day to play the lottery next year...




________
Coastal NJ
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Re: A Very Lucky Day In reply to
Definitely buy the ticket! What a fun day. I went some 35 years before I ever shot a banded duck, then in the next few years I got 2 or 3 more. It's a game of chance, and you have the hot hand.
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Re: A Very Lucky Day In reply to
Craig,

A Banner Day, put it in da Book.

Two Thumbs Way Up!


Best regards
Vince











"Art does not reproduce what is visible - but makes things visible." ~ Paul Klee, artist, 1920
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Re: A Very Lucky Day In reply to
Congratulations Craig! That's a good day for sure. Sounds like you were well hidden.





Oxford, CT
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Re: A Very Lucky Day In reply to
wow!
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Re: A Very Lucky Day In reply to
Way to go, Craig. I also like that closeup of the gorgeous drake black duck.
Al
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Re: A Very Lucky Day In reply to
Thats pretty freakin cool.
How many bands do you have total? Are most from Black ducks?


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: A Very Lucky Day In reply to
Very cool! Be interesting to learn where they were banded and how long ago...
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Re: A Very Lucky Day In reply to
Carl wrote:
Thats pretty freakin cool.
How many bands do you have total? Are most from Black ducks?


My first season gunning, as we call it in NJ, was 1994. I now have 27 bands on my lanyard, quite a few more than my dad who had decades of gunning waterfowl under his belt before I started. I can only assume that they are banding more birds these days or that I got all the luck between the two of us. I usually average one band per season, this makes three so far this year so I am well ahead of my average.

I'd have to go through and look but most of mine are black ducks and mallards, a few brant, one canada goose shot over my puddle duck rig (I don't do much dedicated goose hunting) and my most unique are a green wing teal and most recently a wigeon I shot on opening day this season. The teal was from Ontario up above the UP of Michigan, shot on the NJ coast and the wigeon from opening day was banded in Nova Scotia.

These two were split, one banded on the wintering grounds this past season in NJ and the other banded this August in Prince Edward Island.
________
Coastal NJ
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Re: A Very Lucky Day In reply to
Great info, thanks!
My only band in 25 years of active waterfowling was a 10+ year old drake leaser scaup shot in my first season in Mobile. It was so worn I had to send it in to be processed by the band lab.
The only other band taken in my boat was a drake redhead shot by a buddy.


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: A Very Lucky Day In reply to
What a truly perfect hunt! Beautiful birds as well.
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Re: A Very Lucky Day In reply to
The run of luck continued with my next hunt this past Friday, second bird of the morning was another prime drake black duck and he was sporting jewelry. Four + year old bird banded in 2020 in South Jersey.

First band retrieve for my dad's pup Archie.


________
Coastal NJ
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Re: A Very Lucky Day In reply to
Need a hunting buddy 11/26/2023? Have gun and can travel.

One banded bird for me and I have been hunting longer than you. And I consider myself fortunate.

Great story. Thanks for sharing.

Mark
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Re: A Very Lucky Day In reply to
definitely buy the lottery ticket!
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Re: A Very Lucky Day In reply to
Craig F wrote:
Four + year old bird banded in 2020 in South Jersey.


Craig

That is remarkable band recovery rate for an individual hunter. If I didn't know you, I'd think someone was telling stories or counting everyone in their group, but I have zero doubt in your case. It is still early in the season so you could even pick up more. This brings up a question in my mind. What is the record for most recovered bands in a season by a hunter? I'm sure there has been someone to gather a bunch due to hunting right next to a banding area, but under normal circumstances, how many has someone been lucky enough to get in just one season? Also, what are band recovery hotspots? Certainly, band recovery locations are not uniformly distributed, i.e., some locations produce more than others.

Good stuff!

Eric
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Re: A Very Lucky Day In reply to
Funny how that works, I had been hunting the same wildlife management area for 20 + years with no bands . then one year a banded drake wood duck drake and the next day another banded drake woodie. One banded somewhat local and another banded in Vermont. Killed a lot of banded resident geese in one spot I hunted, so I don't think that would be very special but the stories from other birds tells an interesting story.
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Re: A Very Lucky Day In reply to
It's definitely an interesting thing to consider. Obviously I'm not targeting banded birds, nor am I hunting near banding stations as far as I know. But I have shot five banded birds in the same general area over the years where I shot these, all black ducks.

I seem to average about one band per season. I did have a season recently where I was in the 200 bird range and not a single band, then this year I have four by December 2nd... As anyone who follows me on social media knows I generally hunt by myself or with one other person. Big groups for puddle ducks in our low salt hay marshes can be tough just in terms of hiding multiple boats, or a larger boat. So less is more. The most I've personally shot in a season was 2015-16, which matches this year with four, though that year it was all mallards.
________
Coastal NJ
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Re: A Very Lucky Day In reply to
That is awesome Craig! I had a similar experience 2 seasons ago at a frequent spot you just never know.. my buddy shot a banded black at the season start and it was from 2014! Amazing what these birds must see Hope the good luck continues!

Long Island, NY
http://www.Island-Outdoors.com

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Re: A Very Lucky Day In reply to
Very cool...Congrats!
And way to go Archie...Love the fox red!!












http://www.46north-nbcalls.com
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Re: A Very Lucky Day In reply to
First bird of the morning the other day was a drake black duck at 15 yards. Shocked isn't strong enough of a word, #6 on the season and my 30th band overall. This one was a March 2022 band, does anyone know if after the covid years they put that budget forward with more banding in the last year?



________
Coastal NJ
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Re: A Very Lucky Day In reply to
I would say yes...Cool
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Re: A Very Lucky Day In reply to
Lucky but your time and effort shows here. Hard work definitely pays dividends for sure. Save some for the rest of us though! lol
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Re: A Very Lucky Day In reply to
you should buy some lottery tickets before this run of good luck dries up!


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 "