Pre-season Scouting

If you are a migratory bird hunter, share your New Hampshire duck hunting tactics here.

Moderators: JustinNH, Ross R

Pre-season Scouting

Postby Cigarz » Fri Sep 07, 2012 5:25 pm

Hi folks!

Long time hunter, new board member, and I'm glad to say, I'm happy to be here.

After an enjoyable summer chasing panfish with my kids, some striped bass off the shoals, and a few other worthy activities, I visited my honey-hole for a long-overdue scout-about. And what did I find? The water level was down about 2 feet, making my 4 acre, deep-woods silent pond an 1/8 acre 6" wading pool. Not sure what to expect this season, I suppose. I'm thinking of dropping a trail cam on the remaining water (I presume I'll get some more volume with the rains we're expecting) to see what might pop- has anyone tried this before on small bodies of water with any success?

Anyhow, I'm looking forward to hanging out here- it's getting tougher these days to find folks who know what the hell I'm talking about half the time.
It's better on the water.
User avatar
Cigarz
hunter
 
Posts: 32
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2012 5:14 pm


Re: Pre-season Scouting

Postby JustinNH » Fri Sep 07, 2012 5:56 pm

:welcome: to the forum!

Yeah, the water levels are low in my spots as well, but the ducks still seem to be there, so hopefully the same for your spot :thumbsup:

I have never used my game cam for waterfowl (have wanted to though) but someone on one of the main forums (puddle duck hunting I think??) has and has posted up pics. Some are pretty good, so it certainly can work.

Good luck!
User avatar
JustinNH
State Moderator
 
Posts: 2044
Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2008 8:23 pm

Re: Pre-season Scouting

Postby Cigarz » Fri Sep 07, 2012 6:26 pm

Hi Justin-

Thanks for the reception! I went over to puddle ducks and saw the pics- and yes, it seems to work well - some might even pass for DU cover shots:). Might just have to head back out in a day or two and drop a cam in place. I'll post if I get something-

Cigz
It's better on the water.
User avatar
Cigarz
hunter
 
Posts: 32
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2012 5:14 pm

Re: Pre-season Scouting

Postby NHDuckHunter » Sat Sep 08, 2012 10:57 am

My favorite spot to hunt ever was about the same size as the place you are talking about, it was a tad deeper, but not much. I used to have giant flocks of mallards, and teal early season in there. One morning my brother and I estimated we jumped 150+ woodies off of it. So, yes, I would certainly say its worth a look in the morning. If there's food available, the ducks will find it.
User avatar
NHDuckHunter
hunter
 
Posts: 1281
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2007 11:28 am
Location: New Hampshire

Re: Pre-season Scouting

Postby Benny8 » Sat Sep 08, 2012 2:51 pm

Welcome to the forum :welcome: We saw tons of teal, woodies and Mallards this morning. Definitely put out a cam and see what you get. Good Luck!
Benny8
hunter
 
Posts: 649
Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2008 3:10 pm

Re: Pre-season Scouting

Postby JustinNH » Sat Sep 08, 2012 5:28 pm

Like everyone else, I have seen so many ducks the two times I have been out for early goose... it is crazy. Hope I see the same #s in October. I could throw pebbles and take a few they were so close :beer:
User avatar
JustinNH
State Moderator
 
Posts: 2044
Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2008 8:23 pm

Re: Pre-season Scouting

Postby Cigarz » Sat Sep 08, 2012 6:35 pm

I'm dropping the cam on the hole tomorrow, once this rainpour slows down.... what? Torrential rain?!? I'm liking this. All signs are pointing to a solid season:)
It's better on the water.
User avatar
Cigarz
hunter
 
Posts: 32
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2012 5:14 pm

Re: Pre-season Scouting

Postby JustinNH » Sat Sep 08, 2012 6:52 pm

Yes and yes!

We both shot a goose this morning (same one though) and all we can talk about is the ducks we were seeing.

Clearly, an addiction.


Looking forward to the cam pics :thumbsup:
User avatar
JustinNH
State Moderator
 
Posts: 2044
Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2008 8:23 pm

Re: Pre-season Scouting

Postby Cigarz » Sun Sep 09, 2012 12:10 pm

Well, we placed the cam this morning- and I was happy to see some volume from last night's rain. The best part is I took my 5-year-old daughter along for the hike, and when we checked in on a slow stream about 1/2 mile from our puddle, we jumped four drakes. Those suckers took to the air faster than the devil with his rear on fire- I'll tell you, I've missed that adrealine rush. Glad to be reminded what we have to look forward to in about a month:)
It's better on the water.
User avatar
Cigarz
hunter
 
Posts: 32
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2012 5:14 pm

Re: Pre-season Scouting

Postby rickbr » Tue Sep 11, 2012 10:40 am

Glad to see you guys are seeing birds. I've been out the last few mornings all through Epping,Nottingham and eastward towards Exeter,Newfields,Lee and Durham. Haven't seen a damn thing. I must be looking in the wrong places.
User avatar
rickbr
hunter
 
Posts: 45
Joined: Thu Aug 09, 2012 11:58 am

Re: Pre-season Scouting

Postby Cigarz » Tue Sep 11, 2012 1:19 pm

Must be timing- those towns hold some good water, especially for the birds coming off Great Bay. Keep it up, it's worth it.
It's better on the water.
User avatar
Cigarz
hunter
 
Posts: 32
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2012 5:14 pm

Re: Pre-season Scouting

Postby NHDuckHunter » Wed Sep 12, 2012 8:19 am

I went out last Sunday to brush in the blind a bit and was so excited to see some fellow hunter, sportsman, and obvious gentleman built a brand new blind about 40 feet from mine. :no: I couldn't decide if I should burn it to the ground, or if I should just take it apart and pack all the materials out with me. I took a few deep breaths and let it be. Hopefully come opening morning I realize I am a better caller with better decoys then him, otherwise, its coming down. :lol3:
User avatar
NHDuckHunter
hunter
 
Posts: 1281
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2007 11:28 am
Location: New Hampshire

Re: Pre-season Scouting

Postby Cigarz » Wed Sep 12, 2012 8:25 am

You're a better man than most by leaving it alone. I'd like to think I'd make the same decision- have fun opening day!
It's better on the water.
User avatar
Cigarz
hunter
 
Posts: 32
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2012 5:14 pm

Re: Pre-season Scouting

Postby JustinNH » Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:31 am

NHDuckHunter wrote:I went out last Sunday to brush in the blind a bit and was so excited to see some fellow hunter, sportsman, and obvious gentleman built a brand new blind about 40 feet from mine. :no: I couldn't decide if I should burn it to the ground, or if I should just take it apart and pack all the materials out with me. I took a few deep breaths and let it be. Hopefully come opening morning I realize I am a better caller with better decoys then him, otherwise, its coming down. :lol3:


Wow :no:

Last year went to a good spot that is hunted WAY to much (last time I will ever go there). 2nd people there, agreed with the first person on where both of our groups would hunt safely.

6 more groups showed up for this small area. we had headlamps and a lantern to let them all know where we set up. We see a canoe with no light go in front of us and then keep going, so we thought it was fine. Turns out when the sun was up, they dropped someone off to a makeshift blind and kept going to a second spot.

50 yards right in front of our pocket. Never been so mad before at fellow hunters. Even people skyblasting the first flock of geese I ever called towards us didn't make me that upset.

We left 30 minutes in since all we could do was scare the ducks into flaring and then trying to pass shoot... which was not what I felt like doing because someone else decided they would like to get shot at. All camoed up, they were lucky we even saw him there with his 3 decoys. :mad: :mad:

Sorry, that reply ended up longer than I originally thought.
User avatar
JustinNH
State Moderator
 
Posts: 2044
Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2008 8:23 pm

Re: Pre-season Scouting

Postby NHDuckHunter » Wed Sep 12, 2012 10:56 am

JustinNH wrote:(last time I will ever go there)

Don't write it off too soon. These things are very cyclical. One year its good, then it gets pounded for 3 years, next thing you know, you are alone in the swamp. This place I hunt, when I started hunting it, there were a bunch of abondanded blinds. I never wanted to use them or fix them up because I didn't know what the proper etiquette for hunting an abandoned blind was. So I went there, and hunted next to old blinds, or down the bank from them. The next year, one of them totally caved in over the off season. I waited until the day before the season opened, and went there and cleaned it all up figuring no body had checked it out, nobody was going to use it. I hunted it for a few years, next thing I know, every old blind is full, the place is a cluster F ever weekend. I start hunting just weekdays, then all of a sudden they get crappy too. Then I see a guy hunting in my blind one day. Then another guy another day. :no: And this is after I fixed it all up and brushed it in for the season, it obviously wasn't empty. Two years ago there were far fewer ducks, last year, fewer ducks still , and fewer people. I'm sticking it out for another crappy year or two of hunting, then I figure everyone else will have moved on. :lol3:
User avatar
NHDuckHunter
hunter
 
Posts: 1281
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2007 11:28 am
Location: New Hampshire

Re: Pre-season Scouting

Postby JustinNH » Wed Sep 12, 2012 11:01 am

Your spot sounds kinda like a part of the spot I was talking about, would be funny if it is the same... :huh:

Hopefully you are correct. It will always be a backup spot and maybe some day I'll give it a chance.

Last year was tough some days, I agree. Obviously I'd stick it out if this year was bad too,. but I hope that doesn't happen :hammer:
User avatar
JustinNH
State Moderator
 
Posts: 2044
Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2008 8:23 pm

Re: Pre-season Scouting

Postby mojo » Thu Sep 13, 2012 8:53 am

All reasons I think I'll be spending more time in the grouse/woodcock woods than the marsh this season. I have a few spots that still remain vacant (and hold some birds) but honestly the pain of dealing with other yahoos just ruins the hunt for me, and I don't have enough time to really do proper scouting and find those really out of the way spots.

The pup has been doing fantastic on steadiness this summer and after seeing that point come alive in him I'm more pumped for upland than waterfowl this season. We'll hunt the first few weeks of duck, and then probably wait for late season before chasing ducks/geese hard again. Usually the crowds dissipate the colder it gets, although I had my closing weekend hunt ruined last year but some trigger happy "gentlemen" a mere 40 years away from us.
mojo
hunter
 
Posts: 244
Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2007 12:15 pm
Location: New Hampshire

Re: Pre-season Scouting

Postby Cigarz » Sat Sep 15, 2012 5:16 pm

Went out to check the cam today, and decided to move it. Not that I'm giving up on my spot, but the area isn't that condusive to a trail cam. I have to /secure/hide it back against the bank, which is 60' from the water. However, I did move it down the road where I've been jumping ducks for the past week- a better cam location and just 2' from the water. I'll post those when they come through-
It's better on the water.
User avatar
Cigarz
hunter
 
Posts: 32
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2012 5:14 pm

Re: Pre-season Scouting

Postby Cigarz » Fri Sep 21, 2012 5:18 pm

For the trail cam - nada, zip, zilch. However, I've been jumping plenty of birds. Scouting has also opened a nice fishing hole as well- so, for a pre-season, I'd say things are good.
It's better on the water.
User avatar
Cigarz
hunter
 
Posts: 32
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2012 5:14 pm

Re: Pre-season Scouting

Postby JustinNH » Fri Sep 21, 2012 7:51 pm

Ah, too bad no pics.
Good that you are seeing birds though!
User avatar
JustinNH
State Moderator
 
Posts: 2044
Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2008 8:23 pm

Re: Pre-season Scouting

Postby Rise and Shine Retrievers » Mon Sep 24, 2012 12:21 pm

Seeing lots of ducks but very few geese. Like everyone else, avoiding the yahoo's seems to be a full time job. Last year one of my "secret" spots was discovered by other hunters. Just keep pluggin' away...

I'm going to be hunting more in Maine this year also.
A Lab you train, a Chessie you negotiate with.
User avatar
Rise and Shine Retrievers
hunter
 
Posts: 285
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 1:55 pm
Location: NH


Return to New Hampshire Duck Hunting

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest