Mergansers

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Mergansers

Postby beretta24 » Wed Feb 26, 2014 9:57 pm

This might seem like a joke to some but this is a serious question.

I have seen common mergansers in MN, but have yet to shoot one. I'd like to in order to cross them off the list. I plan to hit the rivers more late season next year to cross them off. However, I don't recall seeing red breasted mergansers in MN. Most of the migration maps suggest the pass through, but I haven't positively identified one in season. So to my question, has anyone else seen them? Are there huntable populations in MN on the rivers or other areas?
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Re: Mergansers

Postby MinnesotaDan » Wed Feb 26, 2014 10:57 pm

I have seen red-breasted mergansers in the spring, but never in the fall.

I've seen common mergansers in the fall and it pretty big numbers on bigger lakes later in the season. I've never had a chance to shoot one, as rarely hunt bigger water. When I lived on North-Long Lake they were thick up there right at the end of the season.
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Re: Mergansers

Postby goldfish » Thu Feb 27, 2014 3:24 am

I've seen common and hooded mergansers, and could tell you where to find them, but can't say I've seen red breasted. I usually try to not pay merges any attention.

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Re: Mergansers

Postby iFAIL » Thu Feb 27, 2014 7:03 am

My buddy shot a hooded mergenser this past season to cross it off his list also. I just looked at them as the decoyed right in and had to plans to shoot them. As for the red, I haven't seen any.
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Re: Mergansers

Postby beretta24 » Thu Feb 27, 2014 8:06 am

Already got the hoodies...
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Re: Mergansers

Postby xrated » Thu Feb 27, 2014 8:49 am

I've seen hooded and common. Can't recall on red but might have seen a few.

Can't say as that I've shot any drakes...I am a hen killer of the mergansers though. :sad:
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Re: Mergansers

Postby Labs » Thu Feb 27, 2014 8:54 am

Image

This is only a common...shot off a river. I have seen some good drakes late in the year, but they are few and far between...see lots of the "hens" or none plumed out drakes. I have yet to even see a red breasted one in the fall...
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Re: Mergansers

Postby SECOND SHOT » Thu Feb 27, 2014 9:11 am

WHEN THE OLD MAN WAS A MUCH YOUNGER, I HUNTED ONE OF RESERVIORS IN WESTERN MN. WITH A FRIEND AT FREEZE UP. AS THE LAKE WAS LOCKED UP UP SOLID, WE WOUND UP HUNTING CLOSE TO THE MOUTH OF A RIVER. WE DID SHOOT A REDBREATED GANZER. IT LANDED OUT ON THE ICE. I REMEMBER THE GANZER RUNNING ACROSS THE ICE. IT LOOKED LIKE A PENGUIN RUNNING, ALMOST COMICAL. YEARS LATER AT FREEZE UP, STU AND MYSELF, AND A NEIGHBOR HUNTED A NEAR BY LAKE AT FREEZE UP. AN OLD ACQUAINTANCE FROM MY CHILDHOOD, AND HIS FRIEND, WERE STAYING WITH US. MY CHILDHOOD FRIEND HAPPENS TO BE ONE OF THE BEST SPORTING CLAYS SHOOTERS IN THE STATE. BEING THE SMART ASS I AM, WHEN A FLOCK OF GANZERS BUZZED OUR DECOYS AND ONE OF THE GROUP LET LOOSE, I INQURIED AS SINCERLY AS I COULD, “ARE YOU PLANNING A FISH FRY?” OUR GUEST THAT DAY IS THE BEST SHOT I HAVE EVER HUNTED WITH. EVEN WITH LIGHT 1 1/8 OUNCE STEEL SHOT, ERA, 1995, HE WAS A MUCH BETTER SHOT THAN ANY ONE I HAVE EVER WATCHED. SADLY ENOUGH HE LOST A LEG TO DIABETES. HE CAN NOT WORK. HE STILL SHOOTS SPORTING CLAYS, IS ALMOST AS GOOD AS HE HAS EVER BEEN. HE HAS A SON WHO IS A VERY GOOD SHOT. THEY HUNT TOGETHER. THE OTHER GUEST FROM THAT WEEKEND DIED A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO. ONE OF MY LAST POST INCLUDED A STORY ABOUT ANOTHER DUCK HUNTER WHO DIED TOO EARLY. I AM NOT SURE WHAT THAT MEANS. PERHAPS IT IS PART OF AGING. WHEN THE “DEAR ONE” AND I ARE RELOCATED UP TO OTTERTAIL COUNTY, I HOPE TO RECONNECT WITH SOME OLD FRIENDS, PERHAPS SHARE A SUNRISE WITH YOU AND YOUR FRIENDS. STU HAS A FEW GANZER STORIES, AS I AM ASSUMING YOU DO TOO. WILL THE STORY LINE INCLUDE THE PHRASE, “NICE SHOT ?????” AND IT WAS, AND IS. THE OLD MAN
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Re: Mergansers

Postby mauserfan » Thu Feb 27, 2014 9:40 am

How do these birds taste? We let them fly....mauser
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Re: Mergansers

Postby beretta24 » Thu Feb 27, 2014 9:43 am

Hoodies taste fine with a lot of cooking methods, but I wouldn't put it in a pan with oil and pepper if I had a wood duck laying around. Obviously I can't speak to the others.
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Re: Mergansers

Postby mauserfan » Thu Feb 27, 2014 10:48 am

We'll still watch them fly....mauser
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Re: Mergansers

Postby xrated » Thu Feb 27, 2014 11:04 am

Funny you should say so SecondShot. Of the handful of mergansers I have shot in my time, they have all be spectacular shots. Wish I could connect on a teal in the same manner.

In fact the most recent from November of this season I dropped a hen common at about 25 yards crossing shot and it stone dead skipped and landed within 5' of shore.
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Re: Mergansers

Postby goldfish » Thu Feb 27, 2014 11:34 am

mauserfan wrote:How do these birds taste? We let them fly....mauser

Kind of like a gamey mud, and you usually heat it up to eat so add in a little hot garbage to the mix. Not so pleasant to the taste buds without working with it, a lot.

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Re: Mergansers

Postby StuStiltman » Thu Feb 27, 2014 7:01 pm

Nice story 2nd shot. If I remember right Tommy's response was "kitty food". You have that hunt on film right?
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Re: Mergansers

Postby StuStiltman » Thu Feb 27, 2014 7:17 pm

As second shot said I have some "ganser" stories. Here's a good one. Maybe 10 or 15 years ago back when our crew.was.still together we were all hunting together on our favorite spot. Right at legal shooting time we got buzzed. I shot and so did another member of our crew. The duck fell. As it fell I got a good look and noticed the saw bill. Dangit. The other guy who shot went back behind the island with his dog to find the bird. We could here them splashing around, then after a.while we here "good boy" as our friends lab found the duck. We heard the dog splash back to his master then stop. I looked at second shot and mouthed out the words I knew were coming, awww its a Fing merganser!!! Call me a liar if you must but my mime was.in perfect unison to our buddy. Second shot and me choked back our laughter. I never owned up to shooting that merganser to our friend, what can I say, it was a nice shot and it would've been rude to take the (temporary) glory away from our friend.
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Re: Mergansers

Postby TomKat » Thu Feb 27, 2014 7:31 pm

We all make mistakes.

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Re: Mergansers

Postby StuStiltman » Thu Feb 27, 2014 7:42 pm

Image

Yup, mistakes will happen.
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Re: Mergansers

Postby doubletheshovel » Thu Feb 27, 2014 8:00 pm

Shot a few hooded mergansers this year. Beretta24 I had a nice flock of commons this year that i let pass. I usually see a decent amount near the end of the season around here. Never positively saw a red breasted merganser. Suicidal_Scaup gets a lot of commons up by him as well
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Re: Mergansers

Postby MinnesotaDan » Thu Feb 27, 2014 9:00 pm

I have a buddy with a pond on his parents property. He calls me up one time and says his parents pond is "loaded" with ducks and we should go jump it. I get out there and look at the pond from a distance and right away knew they were all mergansers.

Ended shooting a couple anyways. I wasn't about to drive that far not to shoot anything.
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Re: Mergansers

Postby Woodrow03 » Fri Feb 28, 2014 4:56 am

I have a red yard dart from back in the day in the freezer if you get desperate for a mount. :lol:
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Re: Mergansers

Postby Woodrow03 » Fri Feb 28, 2014 6:48 am

Image

All you need is a piece of drift wood.
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Re: Mergansers

Postby Super X 3 » Fri Feb 28, 2014 8:48 am

I'll bet the lawn dart would taste better. Just a stinky ol' fish eater. We let them fly here too...but we've been accused of being Mallard snobs.
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Re: Mergansers

Postby beretta24 » Fri Feb 28, 2014 9:58 am

Hey, mergansers need some lovin' too. And you can get all the huntable waterfowl in NA without them. :)
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Re: Mergansers

Postby hillbilly.. » Fri Feb 28, 2014 11:40 am

they have a separate limit so if they give me a chance your damn right ill be slinging steel at them and spoonies also so if your against it and i hunt with you outa your boat better let me know right away.

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Re: Mergansers

Postby Swamp Gas » Fri Feb 28, 2014 11:46 am

Used to see lots late season in the Little Falls area. I haven't hunted the area for a long time so i'm not sure if they still use the area. I did see three full colored drake commons this morning on the Mississippi upstream from Elk River.
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