Sculling water help, please

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Sculling water help, please

Postby darcher » Wed Nov 02, 2011 6:07 pm

I went out today on the East Bay of Flathead Lake with my mud-motor boat. I have made real progress being able to lift my shotgun due to shoulder problems. No excuses now for missing. I missed the same shots that I have always missed. I took all hens today. (Sorry fellows, it has been a tough season for me.) Lots of big flights, and I was surprised at the number of pintails. I shot a pin, a mallard and a spoonie. Missed two birds that landed in my spread while I was farting around. The lake level has really dropped! I don't remember it so low so early. I won't be able to drag my scull boat out from Ducharm Lane. Kicking Horse is also shallow and the birds will escape me when they are on the shore.

So, does anyone have a suggestion for a lake or reservoir in Western Montana that I can scull out on open water? Keep in mind that I am way off shore and will do all the shore hunters a favor when I am out on the open water pushing birds.

Ennis Lake is too far. What about Georgetown Lake?

My guess is that Canyon Ferry is too dangerous for my 68 year-old arms and shoulders when the wind comes up. I need an easy launch, and I would prefer not having to go more than a 1/4 mile to a half mile, as I have no motor.

Dave Archer
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Re: Sculling water help, please

Postby GThomp » Wed Nov 02, 2011 8:34 pm

If you ever do it at Ennis, let me know so i can go out there and hunt the shore that day.
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Re: Sculling water help, please

Postby Deadpair » Wed Nov 02, 2011 9:30 pm

PM Sent
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Re: Sculling water help, please

Postby darcher » Thu Nov 03, 2011 10:48 am

I have good and bad memories of sculling on Ennis Lake. Thirty years ago I taught for a year in Whitehall. The first time I sculled on Ennis Lake I took a limit of mixed ducks. When I headed for shore I saw two trucks racing across the dam and head my way. Both were game wardens. They waited for me on shore. I had once been a cop and I noticed that one of the officers had his hand on his revolver. What the hell? They were aggressive and rude and I got scared. After looking over my boat they realized that I had no hidden electric motor. They had never heard or seen a scull boat. I had to assure them it was legal. They ticketed me for not having a life jacket, which I later found had been pushed up in the nose of the boat when I pushed my lead ingot forward.

Another time I went to Ennis to meet an out door writer who was doing an article on duck boats. I ended up with a picture of me and my boat in Stream and Field magazine.

I really liked sculling on Ennis Lake that year. I do remember, however, a floating weed bed out from shore. The birds would drop right in the middle of this mess. If I shot a bird on the edge and it fell out in the middle, I would have a hard time getting to it, even with a canoe paddle. Good memories.

Anybody know how late in the season you can launch without breaking ice. I just can't remember that far back. In fact, I remember sculling on the Jefferson during the late season. I was more frustrated on the river because I would be slipping up on shore geese and hit a big rock when I should have stayed out in the middle. It was fun.
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Re: Sculling water help, please

Postby GThomp » Fri Nov 04, 2011 5:19 pm

It usually freezes in late november on ennis. Some of the best hunts of the year there are when it starts to freeze.
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Re: Sculling water help, please

Postby Deer Lodge Josh » Tue Nov 08, 2011 8:53 pm

Dave - Warm Springs ponds might be good. There were plenty of birds on them last weekend. Pond #2 is open for hunting (#3 is closed) easy boat ramp on the east shore. Have never seen a boat on pond 2. I watched a few hundred ducks trade back and forth in the middle of it last saturday. No hope from shore but possible sculling. Geese come in also. Swans were already down saturday too. with the cold the lake might already start to ice though. It can stay open around the launch as it is the deep spot against the north dike. Let me know if you go as I will a) help if I can and b) be prepared for the hundreds of ducks you will spook and get into the air. The only thing that gets the birds to move otherwsie are the eagles. Thankfully spotted three new ones that migrated in last weekend. Fun watching them nail ducks in flight. Will gladly let you know if it is open when I am out at my property downstream.
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Re: Sculling water help, please

Postby GThomp » Wed Nov 09, 2011 5:55 pm

Is it legal to run a motor in those ponds by deerlodge?
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Re: Sculling water help, please

Postby Deer Lodge Josh » Wed Nov 09, 2011 9:30 pm

no motors allowed at the warm springs ponds. This includes the big main ponds (settling ponds) and the ponds along the interstate. Thankfully they are not huge so rowing a john boat isn't that bad. Now if we could get some one to motor around the prison ponds the geese might actually leave that sanctuary and get back into the valley where we can shoot them. Though they should be icing up good. I see the lost creek gage reads ice so that pretty much means the ponds on my place are iced. Time to strart hunting the springs and rivers.
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Re: Sculling water help, please

Postby darcher » Sat Nov 12, 2011 9:31 pm

I finally got my scull boat trailer licensed, the bearings packed and the lights repaired. But now comes winter. I have been hunting with my son, a UM student. This may be the last season we have together for some time so I have not sculled since opening weekend. I checked out Brown's Lake today, but it is already icing. Next year I will be hunting by myself so I will use the scull boat more. The fuel situation is killing me. YEARS AGO I could get on the East Bay of Flathead Lake at the campground. When I asked for permission a few weeks ago, I got a firm but not rude "no." Pond #2 sounds perfect. I had all these plans for retirement of hunting mid week. Guess I'll check out Lee Metcalf. YEARS AGO I never did that well there, but it is close, and my lab likes any and all adventures. He's got a good attitude.
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