Magee Marsh Advice

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Magee Marsh Advice

Postby Craxty » Tue Oct 09, 2012 4:56 pm

All,

I got pulled for MM on the first week of season. HNTFSH mentioned that it is best to take a dog because of the thick cover. I don't have one and the buddy that has one had to pull out with a conflict. So that leads me to the question: how important is a dog for the hunt at MM? I have 2 options, 1) find a willing party that was a dog who may not be my first pick or 2) take my boy and make the best of it.

Please let me know your opinion.

Thx
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Re: Magee Marsh Advice

Postby DuckAndDogBoy » Tue Oct 09, 2012 5:45 pm

Take your son. This is my first season with a dog. I've been my own retriever (and my father's) for every season leading up to this one. The reality of it is that I'm sure you'd enjoy hunting with your son and neither of you are going to complain about picking up a duck you've successfully called in and taken. Just bring along waders. Good luck to you!
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Re: Magee Marsh Advice

Postby Craxty » Tue Oct 09, 2012 5:54 pm

Thx. I'm definitely not scared of chasing downed birds. :) I was more worried about unretrievables, cripples, etc. in the deep brush. I've been in that situation before and it's unfortunate to lose a bird let alone multiple. I've tried to scope it out on Google maps and its hard too tell how thick it is, i.e., not much open water. HNTFSH said it was thick so it's probably heavy. I was looking for some more intell to decide.

Thx
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Re: Magee Marsh Advice

Postby HNTFSH » Tue Oct 09, 2012 6:28 pm

How old is your son?
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Re: Magee Marsh Advice

Postby Craxty » Tue Oct 09, 2012 6:37 pm

8. It's his second season. He got two teal in the Youth hunt last week. :) He did have trouble walking around in the marsh mud. He has a set of boot waders and when they sink his feet come right out so I do all the work. I have sock waders and tight boots. ;)
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Re: Magee Marsh Advice

Postby HNTFSH » Tue Oct 09, 2012 6:57 pm

Am sure all would prefer to take the kid. I would. That said, there's some factors you might consider for his sake:

1. You have to get there at 4:00 am
2. You'll depart abit before 5:00 daisy chained and dropped one boat at a time
3. When dropped - you may find it easier to walk the boat to the blind (that's you)
4. The water you hunt will be a small opening in the landscape
5. The blinds aren't always easy to get into - the bottom AT THE BLIND door is often hollowed down (be careful)
6. You'll need to set your dekes - he'll have a hard time helping
7. It's not always the best shooting FROM THE BLIND - standing outside of it is often better (can he do that?)
8. The bottom, especially around the vegetation has a very thick and heavy root system. It's not a soft bottom you have to deal with - it's a very unstable footing bottom that's the challenge
9. It's easy to get wet - it's unlike what you've sloughed through before
10. You'll need t move the boat away into the thick stuff to hide it.

So it would be VERY easy to bore the little guy cause there's not much he can do at darkthirty in the stuff. He may be OK with that.

He probably won't be much help finding birds - the root system and vegetation is THAT thick. He'll get wet, he'll fall.

The upside is you COULD charge him with swattin crips. You each get 25 shells for the day. But I WOULD swat crips.

Just sayin it's an early morning, lots of exertion before shooting light, and overall can be frustrating.

All that said - it's a good time. Don't know your boy so my only question would be 'is he old enough' for the experience to have fun all the way through it?
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Re: Magee Marsh Advice

Postby Craxty » Tue Oct 09, 2012 7:08 pm

That is exactly what I needed to know. Thanks man.
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Re: Magee Marsh Advice

Postby HNTFSH » Tue Oct 09, 2012 7:22 pm

Better he hates me than you. :lol3:
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Re: Magee Marsh Advice

Postby HNTFSH » Wed Oct 10, 2012 8:11 am

Craxty - I am NOT sure what last years improvements brought. Just a thought. Doesn't negate the landscape but blinds might be more negotiable?
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Re: Magee Marsh Advice

Postby Craxty » Fri Oct 12, 2012 5:23 pm

Thanks for the info. My son is pretty tough but I am wary of only taking him on tough hunts. I hate for him to think its all incredibly laborious. Once or twice a year we will go on my buddy's boat. He just drops it into the water, motors outs, puts up the blind, pours the coffee, waits for birds, if they show up his dog will chase him down. I have a boat but its a one man lay down and no dog. I like hunting in the marsh anyway. The amount of work is exponentially harder though and I'm sure my son would prefer to be in a boat sipping hot chocolate. We went out in during the youth hunt. I pulled him through the marsh while he road in the boat. Of course I did 99% of the work but he got to blast through a box of shells. He was one happy little guy despite getting up at 3 AM for the road trip. By the time we were back in the car I bet he lasted all of 5 minutes before he was passed out.

How tight are the holes in MM generally? How many dekes would you take without going over board? It's early so I was thinking 6 to 12 is probably good. 4 GH, 4 Teal, 4 Woodies maybe? Would you lug any geese out?
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Re: Magee Marsh Advice

Postby HNTFSH » Fri Oct 12, 2012 8:11 pm

I'd put one in the center and work others sprinkled against the vegetation. It's early in the year but make your dekes different than traditional and every one else's. Geese make a nice confidence decoy but two would do it.

I was just gifted Oct 27th so am anxious to hear what you think and how it went. :thumbsup:
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Re: Magee Marsh Advice

Postby HNTFSH » Sun Oct 14, 2012 7:30 am

REPORTS!!??
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Re: Magee Marsh Advice

Postby DuckAndDogBoy » Sun Oct 14, 2012 12:36 pm

I feel ya on the hard time finding downed birds now. I was hunting a public marsh with really thick vegetation I don't think I would've gotten half of my birds this weekend without my dog. We ended up with a handful of woodies, a mallard, and a teal. All drakes. How'd you do?
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Re: Magee Marsh Advice

Postby Craxty » Mon Oct 22, 2012 8:25 pm

Hey HNTFSH,

I hunted on Saturday the 20th. Overall, the experience was good. It's a nice facility. Well run. Friendly and helpful staff. I pulled section 22. That is on the far eastern side, right next to the lake. I asked the officer that had me draw if it was good or bad, he said, it's good. He told me that it was only hunted 2 times in the last five years and that he was mowing grass the other day there and the smartweed was very plentiful and food abounded.

We were pulled out to our hole in a very timely manner. We were lucky as our blind was right off the canal. The hole was pretty good size. The did a good job keep it open. The water depth was good. The blind was well constructed and well hidden. We set out about 20 dekes, a mix group, and a few geese.

We decided the night before that we wouldn't fire unless we had duck cupped wings and commitment. So when it came to shooting time a set buzzed us, coming straight on from over the lake. The didn't commit and taking the high road we help off. Big mistake. We spent the last 4 hours watching birds avoid us like the plague. Honestly, we took a couple of iffy shots and some that buzzed buy just to get some shots off. With an hour left to go we had one greenhead buzz us from behind and off to the right. We were able to bring him down right off our spread.

Overall, as I understand it. There are 2 sections. The main one and the 2nd one, which I was in. It appears that each section had 6 boats and 2 men per boat. In our section, the greenhead was the only bird taken, period. Over in the main section there was a lot moer shooting. The officer told us it was a group of skybusters. He told us that it was the worst day they had and that honestly hunting Saturday was rough because they hunt it on Friday too. There is no break like the other days.

He said opening day Magee averaged 2 birds per hunt. The next hunts it was down to 1 bird per man. Clearly our day brought down the average even more.

Other notes, honestly, the weather wasn't terrible. That Friday we got a lot of rain and we had some drizze Saturday morning. It was overcast and in the mid to lower 40's. So for early season it was about as good as we could ask for.

I can't say enough about the facility. It was awesome. Despite the low bird count I would do it again. It's nice. It must be how those fancy, expensive private clubs operate. :)

I wish you better luck. BTW, I stayed at the Lake Erie Lodge, just up the road on 2 past Metzger. It was only $52/night. It was clean and nice.

Craxty
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Re: Magee Marsh Advice

Postby Craxty » Mon Oct 22, 2012 8:29 pm

One last note: we had a no show at hole 21. And indeed some birds went there. The officier said that really hurts. He hates no-shows. He also mentioned that no-shows were up this year. He said it was baffling. So as the day moved on we took more and more dekes out of the spread. The last hour we didn't have any. Because it was Saturday, fresh from a Friday hunt, the birds new what was up. We didn't have any new ones so my best guess is the spreads were a dead give away.
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Re: Magee Marsh Advice

Postby HNTFSH » Tue Oct 23, 2012 5:43 am

Craxty - thanks for the update, sorry the birds weren't cooperating more for you. It's Magee and skybusting abounds which is a shame. Think early is tough until migration. Glad to hear you enjoyed it though, it is a great experience.

Am headed up for a Saturday hunt taking a guy that's never been. Have considered putting out 3 geese and a pair of Coot only. Hard to convince someone that's never hunted it that it might be the best spread, or none at all might work best :lol3:

Did you use a mojo at first shooting light?
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Re: Magee Marsh Advice

Postby Craxty » Tue Oct 23, 2012 5:58 am

You know, I took a mojo but I must have dropped one of the pole segments somewhere so I couldn't use it. But I bought a Rig'Em'Right jerk cord and had 4 or 5 on that. Honestly, I think that was more realistic than the mojo. The elastic cord pulls real easy. Have a good time! I'm heading out on a weeklong waterfowl/pheasant/clay shoot. 8 days of constant shooting.
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Re: Magee Marsh Advice

Postby HNTFSH » Tue Oct 23, 2012 9:51 am

Craxty wrote:You know, I took a mojo but I must have dropped one of the pole segments somewhere so I couldn't use it. But I bought a Rig'Em'Right jerk cord and had 4 or 5 on that. Honestly, I think that was more realistic than the mojo. The elastic cord pulls real easy. Have a good time! I'm heading out on a weeklong waterfowl/pheasant/clay shoot. 8 days of constant shooting.



Thanks! Think we'll stack a pole and floating mojo over 4 mallards for the 1st 30 minutes (depending on cloud cover) and then pull everything but a pair of coot, 2 geese and a single hen mallard by herself in the middle. Cold front pushing through Friday night can only help me thinks. Might go deek-less by 10:00 depending on bird body language. :thumbsup:

Have fun on your week-long shoot. Start dog shopping!!! :hammer: :lol3:
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Re: Magee Marsh Advice

Postby Chance » Sat Oct 27, 2012 4:57 pm

HNTFSH, how did Magee treat you?
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Re: Magee Marsh Advice

Postby HNTFSH » Sun Oct 28, 2012 6:28 am

We had a good time at Magee. Took my Plond owner buddy who doesn't get much chance to get out.

The cold front helped move some Gadwall in although we saw a lot of Greenwings, Buffies, and decent amount of Mallards.

Shooting could have been better - his pump was hanging shells and most of my shots were kneeling in water behind the boat making swing shots tough in the 18 mph wind. Lost one crip without a dog which sucked.

Lake Erie is on the other side of that tree line behind Sam.


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Re: Magee Marsh Advice

Postby Chance » Sun Oct 28, 2012 1:29 pm

Nice work! Check your PM's need to ask you a question.
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