Joice Island Mud

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Joice Island Mud

Postby eastbaybirdkiller » Mon Nov 18, 2013 10:14 am

My dad got drawn for the 1st so were going. I've heard the mud is bad out there, is there anything to compare it to? were trying to mentally prepare ourselves.
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Re: Joice Island Mud

Postby Mallards Only » Mon Nov 18, 2013 1:48 pm

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Re: Joice Island Mud

Postby Sgtstadanko707 » Mon Nov 18, 2013 2:19 pm

I would be more worried about physically preparing. I would bring a old ski pole or something to poke around with.
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Re: Joice Island Mud

Postby eastbaybirdkiller » Mon Nov 18, 2013 2:22 pm

We always take a pole
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Re: Joice Island Mud

Postby Winemaker » Mon Nov 18, 2013 2:50 pm

It's been a while, but the bay tidelands mud at Joice was unbelievable to me. They make a product called "mudders" or something that strap on top your feet like miniature snowshoes and those would be very useful, but when you only draw Joice once every ten years it is hard to justify the effort to acquire them. There are also members of this forum that believe hunting Joice requires no special effort to deal with the mud, etc.

Good luck!
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Re: Joice Island Mud

Postby Portuguese Duck Slayer » Mon Nov 18, 2013 3:50 pm

Never had the chance to get out there but always heard the "mallard killing" stories! :thumbsup:
Pole is a good idea..... I shoot a club out in Suisun that has a few "dropoffs". I have them marked in the pond.... wouldn't walk anywhere out in that marsh without one.
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Re: Joice Island Mud

Postby speczilla » Mon Nov 18, 2013 4:08 pm

Ask the refuge staff if it drained in the off-season. Last year it was and the mud was no problem at all - like walking on hard pan - couldn't believe it. Most years prior it was never drained and the mud was as bad as everyone describes it - I mean you will sink in mud up to your crotch on every step.

They drained and dried it out the summer of 2012 and totally nuked ALL of the vegetation - I mean everything. So while the walking was/is easy now, the hunting is terrible. Zero mallards now and it is almost all divers. Hunted it twice last year and was skunked both times - I don't shoot divers, spoonies, or gadwall though and could have shot a couple of them.
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Re: Joice Island Mud

Postby Winemaker » Mon Nov 18, 2013 4:27 pm

Speckzilla, really? It is incredible that they nuked it. I would not recognize the place not being choked with tules to the extent that finding a place to hunt in the dark, on your first time there, was very difficult. I burrowed down numerous "paths" through the wall of tules before I found an exceptionally marginal hunting location. Each time I was thinking about the wild pigs that are said to have inhabited the island... It sounds like it is very different now so good luck eastbay.
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Re: Joice Island Mud

Postby eastbaybirdkiller » Mon Nov 18, 2013 4:30 pm

Thanks guys, I saw it shot really good on the opener last year so hopefully it is good again. Does anyone know where I can find a map?
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Re: Joice Island Mud

Postby slowshooter » Mon Nov 18, 2013 5:54 pm

Don't get a ski pole or some thick dowel. You need a frigging pole.

If you get stuck up to your happy sack in the mud, you can lay the pole down on vegetation and then it will give you leverage to work your way out. If it sinks too... It's just an extra bad day.

Good luck, keep an eye on your Pop.
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Re: Joice Island Mud

Postby friedcoot » Mon Nov 18, 2013 7:41 pm

Set up your gear so you can float it out. The extra weight on your back only adds to the misery and the bag of decoys can give you leverage in a sticky spot. Also, if you don't have a detachable strap for your gun, you might want to consider it.
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Re: Joice Island Mud

Postby Rem887 » Mon Nov 18, 2013 7:42 pm

I drive by joice every saturday and sunday every year and it doesnt look like they have done anything to the vegetation... looks like it always has
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Re: Joice Island Mud

Postby friedcoot » Mon Nov 18, 2013 7:43 pm

Winemaker wrote:It's been a while, but the bay tidelands mud at Joice was unbelievable to me. They make a product called "mudders" or something that strap on top your feet like miniature snowshoes and those would be very useful, but when you only draw Joice once every ten years it is hard to justify the effort to acquire them. There are also members of this forum that believe hunting Joice requires no special effort to deal with the mud, etc.

Good luck!


Company is out of business...rightfully so, the shoes are junk and a nightmare trying to walk in if there is any vegetation.
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Re: Joice Island Mud

Postby duxnbass » Mon Nov 18, 2013 8:24 pm

I have hunted joice three times in the last 5 years, I haven't found any mud deeper than the knee, but there is some deep water, the canal that runs through the first section is not wadable,you either hunt the north side(right over the bridge and much easier walking)which is essentially a deep canal in itself but wadable or you hunt the south side(left over the bridge)the biggest challenge in the pond is the tule berms that are floating, if you drop a bird and try to walk across that stuff it will test your stamina and will for sure, but.....it is the suisuin marsh and it is peat and there are cracks and holes so safety is always a concern, the second you get in a hurry and try to walk fast you will go down! I have fell in holes there and on grizzly that I have had to lay my gun down in the mud and use to get out and my feet still were not touching the bottom.take your time and don't get to far away from your hunting partner, other than that it is the type of refuge that the first ressi is burnt to the learning curve, I try to stay all day when I get drawn there and explore for the next opportunity and take pics, notes so next time you are lucky enough to draw you have a start.
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Re: Joice Island Mud

Postby eastbaybirdkiller » Mon Nov 18, 2013 9:49 pm

Thanks for the heads up on what to expect in either direction from the bridge.
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Re: Joice Island Mud

Postby slowshooter » Tue Nov 19, 2013 1:45 am

duxnbass wrote:I have hunted joice three times in the last 5 years, I haven't found any mud deeper than the knee (snip)


I've been up to my bag in it. No joke.
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Re: Joice Island Mud

Postby Sprigtail478 » Tue Nov 19, 2013 1:57 pm

Only place I've been where the mud was worse stepping into the tules. Was really unusual and something to look out for. Also as others have mentioned there are quite a few drop offs. I've never fallen more on a hunting trip in my life haha. Good luck, opener there should be a blast. :thumbsup:
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Re: Joice Island Mud

Postby Winemaker » Tue Nov 19, 2013 2:03 pm

Yes, I went south and then walking along that road it seemed like a wall of tules in the dark. I eventually found a treacherous path that led to an open canal and I put out four dekes and a roto, all the time dealing with mud that threatened to drown me. I went to my knees several times that day but only soaked what was in my jacket pocket luckily. I would use a belt around the top of my waders to try to keep water out just in case. Just me, but I would probably go north next time.
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Re: Joice Island Mud

Postby blugoose » Thu Nov 28, 2013 9:59 pm

All true stories!! Good luck
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Re: Joice Island Mud

Postby sharks » Thu Dec 05, 2013 9:04 pm

Well how did it go? How was the mud and stuff? Which way did you head out?

Hope your still not there stuck....lol.
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Re: Joice Island Mud

Postby eastbaybirdkiller » Thu Dec 05, 2013 9:26 pm

Took a left over the bridge, just like everyone else. We were just off the main water with a. Firm bottom, but when I went to the edge of the big pond it was pretty nasty. Ended up with 7 mallards between 2 of us, 1 banded. Packed it up around 10:30 and called it a day.
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Re: Joice Island Mud

Postby Portuguese Duck Slayer » Thu Dec 05, 2013 10:56 pm

Nice hunt! :thumbsup:
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Re: Joice Island Mud

Postby Winemaker » Fri Dec 06, 2013 11:52 am

Congratulations :clapping:
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Re: Joice Island Mud

Postby NurseMan » Fri Dec 06, 2013 12:14 pm

you weren't the guy screaming at your elderly father were you??
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Re: Joice Island Mud

Postby eastbaybirdkiller » Fri Dec 06, 2013 1:29 pm

No, I don't think that was me. My dads only 50 so I wouldn't call him elderly, but there was a point before light where we were a couple hundred yards apart, so if that's when you were thinking of it was just so he could hear me.
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