Hunting Deal Island

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Hunting Deal Island

Postby NJTFM » Wed Dec 19, 2012 5:22 pm

Hi, we are planning on hunting Deal Island from the 4-6 of January. We are from NJ and taking advantage of the 3 day license. We are curious if we will be well received by the local hunters, it is our first time. Additionally, any tips about how the hunting has been there, and what we can expect will be greatly appreciated. Thank you and happy hunting from all of us.
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Re: Hunting Deal Island

Postby mdfowlman » Wed Dec 19, 2012 10:07 pm

the local hunters will be as good to you as you are to them. for example use common sense. dont set up in someones back pocket and show up early enough to get to the spot you have chosen to hunt. dont try and find a spot on a map in the dark.Maryland has some good guys and bad guys just like every other state. dont let the bad ones give the good ones a bad name,

good luck good hunting
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Re: Hunting Deal Island

Postby MdMallard » Thu Dec 20, 2012 6:00 am

What part of Deal Island are you hunting? The ducks are primarily on the impoundment, but you need to have a permit that is by lottery only to hunt the large impoundment. They drastically reduced the number of hunting days on the impoundment this year. They are hoping to bring back the duck numbers that were there in the 70's and 80's.

http://dnr.maryland.gov/wildlife/Hunt_Trap/pdfs/Impoundment_Notice_Permit.pdf
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Re: Hunting Deal Island

Postby NJTFM » Thu Dec 20, 2012 1:41 pm

Well what split will it be by then. Looks like you can hunt fridays and saturdays 3rd split without the permit
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Re: Hunting Deal Island

Postby bayres » Fri Dec 21, 2012 4:43 am

Hunted Deal Island last Friday, saw very few birds and heard few shots. Unless we get a cold front don't expect much!
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Re: Hunting Deal Island

Postby VaTailfeathers » Fri Dec 21, 2012 6:05 am

cold fronts a commin.
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Re: Hunting Deal Island

Postby NJTFM » Fri Dec 21, 2012 3:39 pm

This is crazy, NJ doesnt have much of a reputation but last year and this it seems weve had a better year than MD, which is legendary.
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Re: Hunting Deal Island

Postby Salisbury » Tue Dec 25, 2012 4:15 pm

Folks,

Deal island by the way the crow flies is relatively close to Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge. They do weekly waterfowl counts and post them online. The trends of the counts at Blackwater, will be similar to Deal Island, or anywhere on the lower eastern shore - for the most part. Although sometimes it is about a week late (more so right now becuase of Christmas) it is pretty good information. Just an FYI early November was the best duck count of the season thus far...

http://www.fws.gov/blackwater/waterfowl-survey.html

Hope this helps.

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Re: Hunting Deal Island

Postby Alan Rausch » Tue Jan 08, 2013 7:52 am

I have been hunting Deal Island on and off since the late 70ʻs. On Saturday December 29, 2012 I pushed my sneak boat into the impoundment at the end of Riley Roberts Rd. I saw 3 mergansers and did not see or hear any other ducks or geese. When I was leaving a group of 3 said they shot a couple mergansers because that was all that came into them all day. It is a beautiful marsh, but the numbers have dropped drastically. What birds do stay there seem to stay within the refuge most of the time.
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Re: Hunting Deal Island

Postby Salisbury » Tue Jan 08, 2013 7:59 am

I would definitely agree with duck counts at deal island, as well as the entire lower eastern shore. It has dropped off tremendously from even a few years ago. I went to Salisbury from 2004 - 2008 and hunted 45 mornings per year in public marshes on the lower shore, and now I do not even have any reason to go back. I think it all keeps coming back to the overall quality of the bay.

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Re: Hunting Deal Island

Postby MdMallard » Tue Jan 08, 2013 8:18 am

Salisbury,

I was at Salisbury U. from 2002-2004 and then transferred to UMD. When I was at Salisbury, I hunted Deal Island 10-15 times per year. I have only hunted it a few times each season since 2004, but I can tell you that I did a lot better 02-04 than I have recently. I remember going there in the late 90's and early 2000's and seeing 10's of thousands of birds each time. Didn't matter if it was October or January, the birds were always there... mainly wigeon. The past few years we've only seen hundreds of ducks each time we go. The numbers have completely fallen off. My Dad told me of times when Maryland used the "point system" in the 70's (I think) and not a 6 bird limit like we have now, where he would go out with a friend in his canoe and they would limit out in 15 minutes . They could even pick which birds they would want to shoot. If they wanted to wait for a drake mallard they would get one, if they wanted a drake pintail, they'd shoot a drake pintail etc. etc. I can only hope the numbers come back like they once were.
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Re: Hunting Deal Island

Postby Salisbury » Tue Jan 08, 2013 11:34 am

Thanks for posting that, yea, I seriously hopes it gets better. Honestly, in the last few years, I have completely given up on ducks and only focus on geese. It is just not worth the time any longer, at least on the public marshes on the lower eastern shore. It is only unfortunate that I spent so much time in them, and know literally every one of them, that i dont even want to go back.
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Re: Hunting Deal Island

Postby Alan Rausch » Tue Jan 08, 2013 11:59 am

I too went to Salisbury, 79-84. It took me 5 years after 2 other colleges because I spent so much time hunting, mostly on state lands including Deal Island. We too picked and chose what we want to shoot that day. I just talked to a friend who was in his boat right now somewhere, and we agreed the grass is gone and so are the ducks.
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