Where oh where...

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

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Where oh where...

Postby R-Factor » Thu Jan 23, 2014 11:24 am

are all the sea-duckers this year on here??? Typically, we get a full report from the fellow from Michigan who travels to Stonington every year...as well as a few sporatic guide reports/pics...down year or just keeping mum about it?
As hardcore as I am about fowling in general, I have next to nothing for sea-duck gear. Since my older goosin' partner sold his sea rig, I haven't been out. Not that I'm missing the flavor of Eiders... :tongue: ...just curious how things have been this year. It seems that the Eider population may be suffering a bit from what I've heard.
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Re: Where oh where...

Postby RedDog » Fri Jan 24, 2014 8:50 am

R-Factor wrote:It seems that the Eider population may be suffering a bit


That's an understatement. We switched to sculling on old squaws and scoters again this year. It's fun but a lot more work. I miss a good ol' fashioned eider hunt where you just sit on the rocks, talk loudly, wave your hat, and watch them pile in. Hopefully those days are not gone forever... Could a closed season on eiders be in our future?

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Re: Where oh where...

Postby papageno » Fri Jan 24, 2014 9:31 am

I certainly haven't been around long enough to know much about them, but there seemed to be a lot of broods along the coast this summer - that has to be a good thing….. maybe their winter concentration is just somewhere else this year. I imagine, by their nature, that it's pretty hard to do population estimates on them.

I sure am looking forward to hunting them next year for the first time.
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Re: Where oh where...

Postby Hutch25 » Fri Jan 24, 2014 12:01 pm

First year in well over 25 years I have not shot even a single Eider. Broods in the Deer Isle area are next to non-existent. I did see a decent number of birds in southern Maine, but even far downeast I felt the numbers were way down. Then again, the brutal cold snap we had during what I had hoped to be an extended period of awesome second coastal season basically killed any hunting plans I had.

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Re: Where oh where...

Postby RedDog » Fri Jan 24, 2014 12:47 pm

Where there was THOUSANDS less than ten years ago, there are now DOZENS.

Prevailing theory with the biologists is it's a food issue. Specifically, the lack of blue mussels. The Maine nesting population primarily heads to Mass/RI for winter. (BTW, hardly any Maine eiders nested/had chicks last year anyway.) Hopefully the Arctic birds that usually winter here just kept going to Mass/RI, also. Either that or their population is hurting.

They already did the coastal bird count here and it's pretty low. They are counting down there right now. Hopefully that's where all the eiders are.
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Re: Where oh where...

Postby 733SubDucker » Fri Jan 24, 2014 6:36 pm

Friend of mine is a bio in RI. He has been talking about the Eider boom in southern MA and RI for a few years now. He has a satellite tracking study going right now. It appears many birds are overflying ME.

Could our ME mussel problem be related to the European green crab infestation?
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Re: Where oh where...

Postby 682x » Fri Jan 24, 2014 7:01 pm

I work alot in southern maine and see 0 all but ounce . Just wishing the weather was better for Saturday .So heading for the crow fields instead. Can't wait for 1-31-14 to put the last ones to rest with RedDog!!
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Re: Where oh where...

Postby JCraig12 » Fri Jan 24, 2014 7:34 pm

We had crap for numbers on pretty much all sea ducks near Eastport from what I've seen/heard this year. :huh:
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Re: Where oh where...

Postby tgs » Sat Jan 25, 2014 4:34 pm

Here are a few pictures from this year, just doing more reading than posting this year. Weather was tough to say the least. These are not in any particular order.

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Re: Where oh where...

Postby tgs » Sat Jan 25, 2014 4:38 pm

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Re: Where oh where...

Postby tgs » Sat Jan 25, 2014 4:41 pm

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Re: Where oh where...

Postby tgs » Sat Jan 25, 2014 4:43 pm

Image

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Re: Where oh where...

Postby labman63 » Sun Jan 26, 2014 7:07 am

I remember a couple of those pics! Had a blast!
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Re: Where oh where...

Postby tgs » Sun Jan 26, 2014 7:22 am

Yes, always good times Dave. Even better that Amy came this trip. And can't forget Pearl, never knew how nice duck hunting would be without having to unhook the boat to get the birds... :grooving:

See you two in a few months, think Rob and I are going to try one more outing between now and Friday.

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Re: Where oh where...

Postby DUKHTR » Sun Jan 26, 2014 8:16 am

oh, MAN......that last deke is sooooooo ___ :no: _____- at least it's the last pic in the series!!!!!!
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Re: Where oh where...

Postby tgs » Sun Jan 26, 2014 9:23 am

DUKHTR wrote:oh, MAN......that last deke is sooooooo ___ :no: _____- at least it's the last pic in the series!!!!!!



That's just proof why you don't sea duck hunt with plastic Dave... :wink:

Your decoys are talked about every trip I'm out, they have held up well, a little silicone and fresh paint and they'll be ready for another season.

The scoters have done well too, although after having shot provided in both, I prefer the burlap to the restle, the burlap also slides in and out of the bag easier, but both are great blocks! :yes:

Do you do old squaws?
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Re: Where oh where...

Postby RedDog » Sun Jan 26, 2014 10:26 am

Beautiful pics, Troy. It looks like you guys had to work to scratch 'em out, too.
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Re: Where oh where...

Postby R-Factor » Sun Jan 26, 2014 1:05 pm

Very nice job Red Dog and TGS. Thanks for sharing...youre making me miss the salt now Troy!
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Re: Where oh where...

Postby R-Factor » Sun Jan 26, 2014 1:40 pm

Those of you who got out the past month or two did well to persevere over the conditions...this winter has reminded me of the ones we had when I was a kid growing up in Lincoln...brrrrr!!
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Re: Where oh where...

Postby REN12 » Mon Jan 27, 2014 8:16 pm

Absolutely beautiful pictures! May I ask what type of camera you are using, especially around water?
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Re: Where oh where...

Postby tgs » Tue Jan 28, 2014 5:34 am

Thanks REN12. I use a Nikon D5100 and the lens is a 55-300mm. Easy to use for what I do, my daughter's soccer and hunting. The camera has A LOT more potential than what I use it for.
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Re: Where oh where...

Postby 733SubDucker » Tue Jan 28, 2014 9:00 am

If there are birds around, guys on here like TGS will find them!
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Re: Where oh where...

Postby Fowler » Wed Jan 29, 2014 9:30 am

We never had an issue with any sea ducks this year. Was a super year with great bird numbers for us.
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Re: Where oh where...

Postby tgs » Wed Jan 29, 2014 11:11 am

Thanks Courtney, and I agree Ernie, good numbers this year, weather didn't always cooperate though.
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Re: Where oh where...

Postby labman63 » Thu Jan 30, 2014 5:10 am

Hey Troy, It's 2 deg in NC this morning! I should be sea duckin lol I love Maine for the beauty and the sea duckin but you guys can have the cold to live in. Dealing with a kennel full of dogs in this temp sux. I never thought I'd need heated water buckets but starting to think about it for next yr. I could take all the blocks of ice I've dumped out of the buckets this yr and make an igloo. They are stacking up behind the kennel.
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