Central Maine Update - Saturday

A place to discuss Maine hunting. Topics include Maine's reknowned sea duck hunting.

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Central Maine Update - Saturday

Postby duckmann » Mon Nov 29, 2004 9:05 am

Made plans for Saturday to take my next door neighbor out so that he dust off his old 12 guage and maybe get a chance to harvest a duck. See, he used to hunt ducks but has been temporarily retired from the sport for the past 20 years so I really wanted him to get a chance to shoot at least one BUT with the way the past few days had been going I wasn't incredibly hopeful. First thing in the morning were were buzzed by three mallards at about 30 yards and BLAM, BLAM, BLAM he let fly! Clean misses on all three shots and both of us couldn't stop laughing. . . I told him that his gun wasn't the only thing that needed dusting off. After his "warm-up" rounds I heard in the distance several Canadian geese and I pulled out my goose call and suddenly saw three geese clear the horizon and swing right into our spread (for the FIRST time all season!!!) and cross on his side of the blind at about 30 yeard. . . BLAM. . . goes his gun and I watch the water behind the goose explode. This time he wasn't laughing. . . I tried to console him by poorly attempting to explain how the beat rate of a goose wings is slower than a duck and how this makes them "appear" to be moving slower but they really aren't BUT he was to busy cursing to hear me. :)

Two hours, a cigar, 1/2 a bag of RedMan and an entire thermos of coffee later we watched as several other hunters headed to the landing. . .we decided to stick it out a little while longer and see if we could maybe get lucky. Suddenly at 9:30 were were buzzed by 3 black ducks and I let them have it with the call. They swung in low to the decoys and one buzzed the blind at about 10 yards and my neighbor let him have it. . . feather exploded and the hit looked like someone hitting a feather pillow with a baseball bat. . . the duck landed about 2 feet in front of the blind. Man, he was smiling from ear to ear. . . thought his head would explode!

Unexpectedly, our blast startled another group of Blacks and Mallards and we were again buzzed by a group of 8-10 ducks. This time we both jumped up and shot (several times) and were successful in taking a duck apeice. They landed on the ice surrounding the lake and proceeded to RUN toward the opposite shore so by the time I got the boat going I had to "ice break" across about 200 feet of 1/4 inch ice to retreive both ducks. We ended the day with a Hen Mallard and an additional Black.

All in all a great day hunting and I "hooked" another duck hunter into the sport. He is already talking about getting some decoys and shooting skeet over the Summer. :)
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Postby Wood-E » Mon Nov 29, 2004 8:45 pm

Hey DuckMann,
I just joined the forum looking for others that know more about this wonderful sport of duck hunting than I do. ( No great feat there...)
Anyway, this year I made a blind for the boat, got into the deeks and calling hard and had a great puddle duck beginning of the year. I'm up in the Bangor area, and trouble is, I have no idea where to go nor really what to do and watch for Sea Duck Hunting.
Any help AT ALL would be wonderful as I would love to try this out this coming weekend and actually see some ducks.
Thanks in advance I hope,
Just the drakes everyone... Take Um...
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Sea Ducks

Postby duckmann » Tue Nov 30, 2004 8:25 am

Wood-E,

Welcome to the forum! Let me try and give you a Sea Duck Hunting overview and hopefully some of the other forum participants will add their expertise to the mix.

1. Disclaimer - :) - Sea Duck hunting is dangerous and should never be attempted alone. Always bring a buddy and have a cell phone double wrapped in ziplock bags.

2. Location - I have hunted using ledges primarily because it is a stable shooting platform and I think ultimately safer PLUS I don’t have to worry about the boat rock spilling my coffee!! However, with that said you can be much more successful if you have a boat that is outfitted for the ocean. It will allow you to access many more areas. I would think a minimum 16 footer with 50 hp primary w/ 25 hp back-up motor. . . but I am probably being a little over cautious.

If you are interested in my (ledge/island) approach I would try Gazetteer Map #15 - Bagaduce River (West Brookville or S. Penobscot boat landings), Naskeag boat launch, Map #16 - Sorrento, Map #17 - Bunkers Harbor. There is some GREAT hunting in all of these areas but several require some scouting. What do you have for a boat and I can get more specific?

3. Decoys - Sea ducks aren’t the most gifted in the brains department so Clorox bottles with black ovals painted on the sides will have the Eiders flying in all day. BUT if you have some nice Buffle decoys or Eiders by all means throw them in and run them parallel to the shore. I have also used Black and Mallard decoys and had good luck.

Also, if you can put them all on long lines remember you are going to be in the tidal zone and moving 24 + decoys every hour is a huge pain. Much easier if they are on two long lines.

4. Calling - You just need to get them to look your way so a Brrrrr into you Mallard call or a loud WHOOP will sometimes make them notice the decoys and head your way. Also, as DUKHTR mentioned in a previous post, if hunting from a boat FLAG, FLAG, FLAG using a 2x2 ft. flag on a long pole.

5. Camo - My first time sea duck hunting I wore my “standard” advantage wetlands jacket and stuck out like a sore thumb. I now wear a black jacket and bibs and feel much better able to blend with the seaweed and rocks.

Well I hope this gets you pointed in the right direction, drop a post that describes your boat and I can get more specific on the locations.

Also, I am curious where you hunt in the Bangor area? I have heard rumors from other duck hunters that Pushaw Lake and the Penobscot river are favorites but I have never scouted that area and was interested.

Duck Mann
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Postby Dogman » Tue Nov 30, 2004 9:11 am

Welcome aboard Wood-e :welcome: ,hope you enjoy the site.Can't add anything to the previous post about seaduck,just be careful around salt water in the fall/winter,not a forgiving place!Good luck,keep us posted on how you do!
My lab is still the best hunting partner there is.
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Postby Wood-E » Tue Nov 30, 2004 8:17 pm

Thanks for all the information! I appreciate it a lot.

I've been doing all my duck hunting in the Bangor area and October sure is one short month! Every other year I take a trip to some friends in Stuggart Ark to duck hunt. There is no comparison, but it sure is cheaper hunting close to home. I have been enjoying this year so much due to my blind.
I just have a 20 foot square stern old town with a 5 HP on the back. Easy for a man to handle, and extremely sturdy to work with. Instead of buying a "Universal" duck blind for about $600, I made my own exactly as I wanted for popping out that cost me a whopping $95 instead. It's actually allowed me to limit out every day I went in the first 3 weeks of October. If I add the legs on it, I can use it on dry land perfectly too for goose. (Not tested yet however....)
Not a good boat for the ocean however. Maybe on a perfectly calm day, and close in to shore, but not many of those in the winter either.

As for my areas in this area I have so many I love:
1. I hit the north end of Pushaw. Unfortunately, launching areas tend to suck. Everyone's posted their land as private... There is a boath launch on the east side near the middle. You MUST have a boat and you MUST have decoys. And you must be able to put up with less than considerate hunters too....
2. The stream that comes out of the Sebastacook Lake. Lots of wood ducks there.
3. Carlton Pond/Bog - Real good, but only early on. Lots of hunters there unfortunately too. Birds come out at first light and head to feeding grounds and fly right overhead!
4. Fields pond has a lot of Teal and Woody's. Blacks came in around end of October. Didn't see a single green head this year though.
5. Last year I got quite a few on the Penobscot at Frankfurt in Marsh Bay during high tide.

If there is a way to post a picture, I'll send out a pic of the blind if anyone is interested in making one of them.

I'm heading out friday morning, I'll let you know how it goes!
Thanks again.
Just the drakes everyone... Take Um...
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Postby redleg hunter » Tue Nov 30, 2004 8:22 pm

does anyone know if the eiders are in heavy yet???
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Boat Blind

Postby duckmann » Wed Dec 01, 2004 11:59 am

Wood-E,

Yes, I have to agree that with Oct. and now Nov. behind us this years duck hunting is quickly slipping away. If you are still interested in hitting the sea ducks I would suggest you try Naskeag point as the canoe would be perfectly suited. . . as long as the wind isn’t bad! Drop a note if you are interested and I will post the specifics.

I personnally have used a 12 foot canoe w/ paddles AND simply waders to hunt at Naskeag in the past and always had luck. Mostly Buffles and a few Eiders. I now own a 12 foot Portaboat (yes, you heard me correctly a folding boat!) in OD green and a 3.5 Nissan and have been very happy with it. Its light weight and portability allow me to access areas that a traditional 12 ft. alum. V stern could never reach.

I would be interested to hear more about you blind system as I have been thinking about designing one on my boat for next season and have been looking for a good design.

Thanks for the Bangor update. . . I scout a lot in the Summer but had not yet had a chance to check out Pushaw and the Penobscot. Interesting to see where the HOT SPOTS are in that area.

Will be interested to see how you Friday goes.
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Eiders

Postby duckmann » Wed Dec 01, 2004 12:01 pm

My guess is that the Eiders will be ok this weekend and heavy by next. Weather is starting to turn and they will begin to appear in the coves in large numbers. I have been monitoring the list and several other participants have started to have luck BUT mostly still on the outer islands.
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