MAGIC ON THE COAST

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MAGIC ON THE COAST

Postby Paul26 » Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:50 am

I am going to go out on a limb and say that my coastal river had more birds on it this year than any other in a decade.

From the opening of the last split until sunset on Saturday it was incredible.

On the way in from my last hunt there were birds in every direction I looked. On several hunts I am pretty sure I saw several THOUSAND birds in one morning. Clouds of birds. Friends hunting in one of the creeks and set up an absolute ambush kill zone-----I think they had bbill limits almost every time they went out from early December until saturday. My stake blind was productive every time I went out. To add icing on a great cake, Saturday I shot a beautiful drake American Wigeon.......this for a guy who has shot almost nothing but divers for 10 years.

Last year was so bad that I quit hunting in early January. This year was so great that when the alarm went off at 0330 on the last day I jumped up like it was opening day.

I checked the river Sunday. I saw at least 2000 birds lounging......the survivors.

What a year. I will never forget it.
Last edited by Paul26 on Tue Jan 29, 2013 11:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: NEW RIVER MAGIC

Postby ncbufflehead » Mon Jan 28, 2013 2:47 pm

maybe the kids won't kill them all saturday and they will come back next year.


one thing i noticed about the blackheads is that there's not many hens in those big flocks. same with pintails
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Re: NEW RIVER MAGIC

Postby trigger22 » Mon Jan 28, 2013 3:55 pm

I noticed the same with the lack of hens in the big flocks of blackheads.
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Re: NEW RIVER MAGIC

Postby Paul26 » Mon Jan 28, 2013 6:51 pm

Someone last year said DU bird counts, magazine predictions, and other indicators doesn't mean squat. There are only 3 things that matter: weather, weather, and weather.

I think we had the perfect storm for duck hunters in NC-----quite literally-----with Sandy. Just prior to the last split a massive area just north of us is hammered, and we then had decent weather all season.

Our best hope is that those pea brains remember where all that good chow is in the mud and they come back.
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Re: NEW RIVER MAGIC

Postby cupped and commited » Mon Jan 28, 2013 7:08 pm

Yeah i noticed the same thing about the blue bills. didn't shoot a hen all season
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Re: NEW RIVER MAGIC

Postby Dingbatter » Mon Jan 28, 2013 8:47 pm

It will be interesting to see if we get the 4 bb limit next year as it seems everyone everywhere hammered them pretty good this year. I agree Sandy gave us an early push of birds this year, espcially bluebills :thumbsup: On the downside there were a lot more folks diver hunting this year and a lot of them didn't have a clue what they were doing.
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Re: NEW RIVER MAGIC

Postby ncbufflehead » Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:35 pm

Dingbatter wrote: On the downside there were a lot more folks diver hunting this year and a lot of them didn't have a clue what they were doing.

you mean i didn't need to hail call at those blackheads
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Re: MAGIC ON THE COAST

Postby Dingbatter » Tue Jan 29, 2013 6:13 pm

Was that you? I heard a mallard call more times than I could count at flocks & flocks of divers everywhere I went this season. I passed it off as hunters from South Carolina. Same for the ones that kept chasing off the birds, they had to be from SC too. :mad:
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Re: MAGIC ON THE COAST

Postby quackedout » Wed Jan 30, 2013 4:37 am

Seems to be general consensus from what i heard that there were tons of bbs around on the coast this year. How about numbers of other species though? One thing I noticed in some areas that I hunted that are usually covered thick in buffleheads werent this year. They are usually a gimme and instead of seeing lots of flocks of 8 to 10 birds we only saw a single here maybe two or 3 there. Did anyone else notice a decline in buffleheads this year? Also wondering what the puddle duck numbers looked like for some of you this year and some of the other diver species. We saw very few redheads and I saw no cans this year where we were at.
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Re: MAGIC ON THE COAST

Postby ncbufflehead » Wed Jan 30, 2013 7:34 am

quackedout wrote:Seems to be general consensus from what i heard that there were tons of bbs around on the coast this year. How about numbers of other species though? One thing I noticed in some areas that I hunted that are usually covered thick in buffleheads werent this year. They are usually a gimme and instead of seeing lots of flocks of 8 to 10 birds we only saw a single here maybe two or 3 there. Did anyone else notice a decline in buffleheads this year? Also wondering what the puddle duck numbers looked like for some of you this year and some of the other diver species. We saw very few redheads and I saw no cans this year where we were at.

buffleheads were *** deep. a bunch of redheads showed up two days before the season ended
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Re: MAGIC ON THE COAST

Postby KAhunter » Thu Jan 31, 2013 7:48 am

ncbufflehead wrote:
quackedout wrote:Seems to be general consensus from what i heard that there were tons of bbs around on the coast this year. How about numbers of other species though? One thing I noticed in some areas that I hunted that are usually covered thick in buffleheads werent this year. They are usually a gimme and instead of seeing lots of flocks of 8 to 10 birds we only saw a single here maybe two or 3 there. Did anyone else notice a decline in buffleheads this year? Also wondering what the puddle duck numbers looked like for some of you this year and some of the other diver species. We saw very few redheads and I saw no cans this year where we were at.

buffleheads were *** deep. a bunch of redheads showed up two days before the season ended

I heard and saw that the redheads showed up as well. We saw good flights wednesday and friday morning comi9ng off the sounds heading to the lake. Word on the street is boys around oregon inlet down to hatteras and ocracoke were running limits of redheads and pintails in all day on the friday before the season closed.
"If you have to be crazy to be a duck hunter, i dont wish to be sane" Robert Ruark

Its always duck season, there is just a long break from february to september.
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Re: MAGIC ON THE COAST

Postby jerseywaterfowler » Thu Jan 31, 2013 6:46 pm

Gentleman,
I am originally from New York City and happily been living on the jersey shore for 20 plus years now. The wife and I are just starting to think about the possibilities of leaving jersey and we both look at and liked the barrier islands of Oak Beach and Holden Beach. Duck Hunting, particularly diver hunting is important to me so just as a preliminary scouting I ventured onto the N.C. board to check out if diver hunting is possibly along the N.C. shore. I was sure it would be up near Virgina but was not as positive if near South Carolina. After reading this thread, I am confident that hunting is available, even red heads which I have not seen in years in jersey. The last week of this years season did have massive flocks of broadbills and they even reached down to you. Hurricane Sandy did make this year tough as I think so much food in the salt water bays/rivers were uprooted and a lot of birds did not stick around. Anyway Im not moving soon but glad there is duck hunting for me.
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Re: MAGIC ON THE COAST

Postby wahoowilly » Thu Jan 31, 2013 7:50 pm

If you are planning to move to southeastern NC, you can either forget meaningful duck hunts or figure on driving at least 4 hours north from OI or HB to get to normally good hunting.
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Re: MAGIC ON THE COAST

Postby trigger22 » Thu Jan 31, 2013 7:52 pm

That area isn't really known for consistently good hunting. There are more hunters than ducks
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Re: MAGIC ON THE COAST

Postby wahoowilly » Thu Jan 31, 2013 7:59 pm

trigger22 wrote:That area isn't really known for consistently good hunting. There are more hunters than ducks

Yeah, by a factor of about 10.
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Re: MAGIC ON THE COAST

Postby Dingbatter » Thu Jan 31, 2013 9:07 pm

If you think Sandy was a hurricane think again, it was just a tropical storm that was once a hurricane. Move to coastal NC and you'll find out what a real hurricane is, we have been hammered for years by storms stronger than Sandy.
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Re: MAGIC ON THE COAST

Postby jerseywaterfowler » Mon Feb 04, 2013 7:41 pm

More duck hunters then ducks, sounds a lot like Jersey, I will feel right at home.
I never want go through another Hurricane again, seen some real bad Noreasters, but that Sandy just destroyed whole towns. Dont feel like ripping sheetrock,floors, rugs up again for friends. Be two years before things feel normal on the shore again.
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Re: MAGIC ON THE COAST

Postby ncbufflehead » Mon Feb 04, 2013 9:33 pm

jerseywaterfowler wrote:More duck hunters then ducks, sounds a lot like Jersey, I will feel right at home.
I never want go through another Hurricane again, seen some real bad Noreasters, but that Sandy just destroyed whole towns. Dont feel like ripping sheetrock,floors, rugs up again for friends. Be two years before things feel normal on the shore again.

that IS normal here
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Re: MAGIC ON THE COAST

Postby wahoowilly » Tue Feb 05, 2013 7:46 am

jerseywaterfowler wrote:More duck hunters then ducks, sounds a lot like Jersey, I will feel right at home.
I never want go through another Hurricane again, seen some real bad Noreasters, but that Sandy just destroyed whole towns. Dont feel like ripping sheetrock,floors, rugs up again for friends. Be two years before things feel normal on the shore again.

Then you definitely don't want any part of Oak Island or Holden Beach or any of SENC. Not having a direct hit last year was unusual to say the least. When Hurricane Hazel hit Oak Island, there was ONE structure left standing.
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Re: MAGIC ON THE COAST

Postby Dingbatter » Tue Feb 05, 2013 5:12 pm

In 1989 Hurricane Hugo ( Cat 3 storm) hit Charleston SC and cut a path across South Carolina over 200 inland miles into North Carolina and was still a Cat 1 storm when it hit Charlotte. South Carolina looked like a lawn mower had cut a 100 mile wide path across it. 1999 Floyd dumped over 20 inches of rain and flooded all of eastern NC with record rain fall totals. That doesn't include all the other Cat 1 hurricanes and tropical storms in the years since. There has been a lot of development and a lot of people who have moved to this state since then and of course all the real estate sales agents who have baited these people here never mention any of the above. Sandy was nothing coastal residents of the Carolinas haven't experienced time and time again. To make matters worse we are really due another big one any year now. Do a little research, Google Hurricane Hazel, Hurricane Hugo Hurricane Floyd and then see if your really think living here is what your really want.
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Re: MAGIC ON THE COAST

Postby jerseywaterfowler » Wed Feb 06, 2013 7:56 pm

Man, i give you all credit for living with a Sandy every year. I could not deal with losing a home every summer. Sandy destroyed whole towns on the Jersey coast, not to mention large parts of Staten Island/Rockaway Beach. Some places will never come back and some of them should not come back, they were built on swamps.
My wife wondered why almost all the houses were on stilts, and I told her because when the hurricane comes, the ocean washes under the house and not the house. Very similar to Long Beach Island NJ where my mother lives. She is rethinking the whole barrier beach thing and also with her bad knee's wants a ranch, not stairs. I am from NYC and like city living, so may be Wilmington might be a better fit. I can always drive to the coast to hunt/surf/fish. Thank you. I will say a prayer to the keep the Hurricanes away.
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Re: MAGIC ON THE COAST

Postby ibedamn » Fri Feb 08, 2013 3:34 pm

Dingbatter wrote:In 1989 Hurricane Hugo ( Cat 3 storm) hit Charleston SC and cut a path across South Carolina over 200 inland miles into North Carolina and was still a Cat 1 storm when it hit Charlotte. South Carolina looked like a lawn mower had cut a 100 mile wide path across it. 1999 Floyd dumped over 20 inches of rain and flooded all of eastern NC with record rain fall totals. That doesn't include all the other Cat 1 hurricanes and tropical storms in the years since. There has been a lot of development and a lot of people who have moved to this state since then and of course all the real estate sales agents who have baited these people here never mention any of the above. Sandy was nothing coastal residents of the Carolinas haven't experienced time and time again. To make matters worse we are really due another big one any year now. Do a little research, Google Hurricane Hazel, Hurricane Hugo Hurricane Floyd and then see if your really think living here is what your really want.


I live 300 mile inland and Hugo knocked the sh!t out of us. There were people without power in my county for three weeks after it hit. Duke power had to have armed security due to so many threats.

My coastal hunting was also good. Of the blackheads we killed (30 or so) I only remember 2 hens. Also killed several drake Meganzers. It seems like I always shoot hens mergs. Some days we had buffleheads, and some days we didn't. No readheads.
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