2012 Season so Far

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2012 Season so Far

Postby chambo32 » Tue Nov 13, 2012 6:37 pm

How is everyone's season going so far?
Mine has been very good.
The lake level being so low then coming up along with the good numbers of mallards it has been a fun season so far.

This was Sundays hunt. The picture cut off three mallards.

Image
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Re: 2012 Season so Far

Postby hawkman » Wed Nov 14, 2012 8:31 am

Been the best waterfowl year of my life. As of yesterday, I'm at 314 for 2012. Two-thirds of those are snows. The problem is very few of these were taken in Vermont. This has been one of the worse Vermont seasons I've had. Have spent hundreds of hours scouting. The geese are not using their traditional areas and there are almost no ducks in my general area. I scout and hunt within a 50+ mile radius of my home and I am finding very little. There have been some isolated pockets that were really hot for a short period of time. Tried not to burn them out but the areas ice up or water levels change and the birds move on. Last year, I found lots fo geese but few ducks. This year I can't seem to find either.

Glad to see someone is finding them. Gives the rest of us hope.
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Re: 2012 Season so Far

Postby RangerX » Wed Nov 14, 2012 9:12 am

Between the two of us, we've bagged 108 so far... it's been a really good season for us. Alot of mallards and teal this year... Have not even setup for divers yet... hoping to double the # before the end of the season.
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Re: 2012 Season so Far

Postby pete/pmr » Thu Nov 15, 2012 1:22 pm

Have not even hunted the lake this year! Just around my house and along Otter Creek and I have been getting geese and ducks into cut corn and flooded timber!
2013 Season Totals

Canada Geese 105
Mallards 43
Woodies 31
Teal 16
widgeon 8
Blacks 11
Goldeneyes 25 "Take-em"
Buffleheads 4
Bluebills 1
snows 27
Band Count 5
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Re: 2012 Season so Far

Postby centralvthunter » Wed Nov 21, 2012 12:23 pm

Did well on a cornfield this morning, 6 mallards between the two of us. I also got a nice full body storm front mallard decoy, 6 pellets to the head! I never really hunted cornfields until last sunday and boy I now see what I've been missing out on!
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Re: 2012 Season so Far

Postby pete/pmr » Sat Nov 24, 2012 4:21 pm

Got out to the lake today and the ducks are there, group after group of divers were flying out toward the center of the lake! Have no idea why they are staying so far out in the ruff choppy water! The lake was brutal today with the wind out of the west! But on my way home I went up to the dead creek area and OMG were there mallards! Hundreds!! Blacks, teal all sorts of ducks! But I must say they know where they are safe!
2013 Season Totals

Canada Geese 105
Mallards 43
Woodies 31
Teal 16
widgeon 8
Blacks 11
Goldeneyes 25 "Take-em"
Buffleheads 4
Bluebills 1
snows 27
Band Count 5
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Re: 2012 Season so Far

Postby RangerX » Sat Nov 24, 2012 4:24 pm

pete/pmr wrote:Got out to the lake today and the ducks are there, group after group of divers were flying out toward the center of the lake! Have no idea why they are staying so far out in the ruff choppy water! The lake was brutal today with the wind out of the west! But on my way home I went up to the dead creek area and OMG were there mallards! Hundreds!! Blacks, teal all sorts of ducks! But I must say they know where they are safe!


You got that right Pete, smart little bastards. We chased around a flock of 200 or so today, and they just laughed at us all day long as they kept dumping 100yards away.

We will get them... oh yes we will. Carnage will ensue tomorrow.
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Re: 2012 Season so Far

Postby hawkman » Mon Nov 26, 2012 9:52 am

Well, did you get 'em?

Sounded like birds may have been moving on Champlain. Had hoped they would also move in the NEK. Was out Friday ,Sat and Sunday. Tried the cornfileds, river, lakes and marshes. Almost no ducks at all. Did see a few high flying geese. Even had five snows land in the middle of the lake which I had never seen at this location before. They dropped into a pile of seagulls. Must have been lost.
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Re: 2012 Season so Far

Postby RangerX » Mon Nov 26, 2012 11:00 am

hawkman wrote:Well, did you get 'em?

Sounded like birds may have been moving on Champlain. Had hoped they would also move in the NEK. Was out Friday ,Sat and Sunday. Tried the cornfileds, river, lakes and marshes. Almost no ducks at all. Did see a few high flying geese. Even had five snows land in the middle of the lake which I had never seen at this location before. They dropped into a pile of seagulls. Must have been lost.


Nope, the flocked moved out... disappointing... we had feeding location nailed too. Oh well... ducks win that battle.

Bummer to hear you aren't seeing much in the NEK... was planning on heading to Magog soon for divers. Is the Newport, Johns, and Whipple accesses frozen up yet?
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Re: 2012 Season so Far

Postby hawkman » Mon Nov 26, 2012 3:50 pm

Don't know about Whipple or Johns but Newport was completely open Sunday night. My guess is that they were all open at that time. Even most of the marsh had opened up with the strong west wind we had.

The previous Wednesday, the entire marsh had 1" of ice and the bay had a large thin patch of ice that one could motor through (I did). There are a bunch of ringnecks with a few goldeneyes that have been hanging around there. They are very spooky and jump at the first sight of a boat. I set up for divers Wednesday but they stayed just out of range as they rocketed past.

When I left Sunday evening, the wind had died completely, the temp dropped to 24 and the marsh was freezing up fast. Had to chop some of my decoys out. Whether the ramp will be open much longer, ?????.
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Re: 2012 Season so Far

Postby RangerX » Mon Nov 26, 2012 8:25 pm

hawkman wrote:Don't know about Whipple or Johns but Newport was completely open Sunday night. My guess is that they were all open at that time. Even most of the marsh had opened up with the strong west wind we had.

The previous Wednesday, the entire marsh had 1" of ice and the bay had a large thin patch of ice that one could motor through (I did). There are a bunch of ringnecks with a few goldeneyes that have been hanging around there. They are very spooky and jump at the first sight of a boat. I set up for divers Wednesday but they stayed just out of range as they rocketed past.

When I left Sunday evening, the wind had died completely, the temp dropped to 24 and the marsh was freezing up fast. Had to chop some of my decoys out. Whether the ramp will be open much longer, ?????.


We hit the marsh for a couple days in late October and it was a bit slow, birds were definitely spooked. Saw some ringnecks a couple pintails, but only ended up taking a couple bluebills. We ripped around the lake for a bit, headed up to the Islands and jumped a ton of geese but didn't see many divers.

I'm hoping Whipple stays open for a while, I could probably break up the ice to get the boat in the water, and we have a beast of a boat so driving through shouldn't be an issue... just don't want to lose my tail lights... already cracked both of them on 1/2" of ice here.

Bummer you're not seeing more birds... whistlers are starting to show up over here.
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Re: 2012 Season so Far

Postby pete/pmr » Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:41 am

As for small ponds and marshes icing over,I am watching temps here and patterning birds,and it seems they are staying on larger bodies of water until mid day,and flying into corn fields,, and green fields,then hitting the smaller ponds that have opened up from the warm up of the day! But I am also seeing them on the rivers in slow backwaters that are not freezing up overnight! And I am seeing ducks sitting on the edge of the ice out in deeper water,obviously because the deeper water takes longer to freeze,but it provides little to no food! Except for divers! This is the tricky part of the year where the birds are bouncing from fields to rivers to big water,it is hard to get a good grasp on how to set up on them! Good luck for all those out there chasing them,and never give up!
2013 Season Totals

Canada Geese 105
Mallards 43
Woodies 31
Teal 16
widgeon 8
Blacks 11
Goldeneyes 25 "Take-em"
Buffleheads 4
Bluebills 1
snows 27
Band Count 5
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Re: 2012 Season so Far

Postby RangerX » Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:19 am

pete/pmr wrote:As for small ponds and marshes icing over,I am watching temps here and patterning birds,and it seems they are staying on larger bodies of water until mid day,and flying into corn fields,, and green fields,then hitting the smaller ponds that have opened up from the warm up of the day! But I am also seeing them on the rivers in slow backwaters that are not freezing up overnight! And I am seeing ducks sitting on the edge of the ice out in deeper water,obviously because the deeper water takes longer to freeze,but it provides little to no food! Except for divers! This is the tricky part of the year where the birds are bouncing from fields to rivers to big water,it is hard to get a good grasp on how to set up on them! Good luck for all those out there chasing them,and never give up!


I'm still waiting for that first winter storm... need some weather to get them excited to land.

I can't complain though, all season I've had flocks (of 20-40+ birds) work my spreads perfectly and completely finishing. It's really been an exciting year. Took BurlingtonBlaster out last week, though we couldn't hit the broad side of a barn, we had a hell of a hunt... so many big flocks decoying, even on a sunny, calm wind day. Interestingly enough, I've finished quite a few birds this year with a goose call...
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Re: 2012 Season so Far

Postby brokermike » Thu Nov 29, 2012 9:13 am

Season was really slow down here on the VT, NY, MA border. It wasn't until cold weather moved in last week that things heated up. Seeing some big numbers of geese and mallards coming in to the small lakes, and pairs/ six packs of mallards coming into some of the sloughs that I hunt.

I have to be a bit careful as I hunt without a dog (puppy is still learning) and must be able to wade and use my decoy retriever to collect any birds I shoot. This has really limited my opportunities this year, and I look forward to a much better year next year when Annabelle can come out on her first hunts.

This is my first year hunting alone, and I'm addicted. I can get out early before work, set up a few dekes and catch the mallards coming in at FSL. I don't dare call because I have no idea what the heck I'm doing and don't want them to flare (especially since my retreival ability is limited).

I've attached a few pictures and so far I've killed 15 birds with 16 shells so I've been happy with my shooting too.
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