Hah! beat you both... but I was up since 2 am! Its just past ten...
Boy was it a dissapointing day! If anyone was at Manahawkin WMA, please chime in, I'm curious about your personal experience from today...
There were lots of skybusters! One guy set up a blind before the opener and then showed up (within 75 feet of where I was - i measured it out later) 10 mins before shooting to begin setting out decoys! :pissed: he and his partner had fun, since i let the ones which were obviously cupped for his spread go to him instead of taking a 50 yrd passing shot. (they got 5 that I could see - only took one, a black duck). Did I mention he kept calling using what sounded to me to be a mallard distress call...?
And on the levee!!! There must've been at least 6 guys, every single son of a mother skybusted... :pissed: overall, there were at least 12, but I figure close to 15 guys hunting that large pond. Did I mention that all those guys on the levee were in plain view, walking casually up and down, no decoys or anything that I could see, talking, exclaiming, etc oh yeah, and they too showed just at sunrise making lots of noise... you guys know just how great voices carry over water.
The first 4 guys showed up right after I did and were nice enough, I think I took their planned spot, but they were nice enough to move around the bend and out of the way. Them I liked.
I missed a whole bunch I should've taken, i lost my focus. I've never hunted with 14 other pairs of eyes (strangers on top of that) watching me shoot in an actual hunting situation in such close quarters before. Ever happen to anyone else? More trap shooting for me - till my trigger finger bleeds! Until it becomes 2nd nature.
Ah well. hind sight is 20-20 :)
I feel the need to buy a decent duck boat and appropriate rig for big water duck hunting... maybe in a year or two due to a lack of $$$
there was lots of shooting coming from the bay.
Good luck for the rest of the season to all :salude: . I hope your coastal opener experience was better than mine. (nice black duck though - my first).