Where are the birds?

Waterfowl topics at their best, post here and read others views on Vermont duck hunting

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Postby ronvt » Sat Nov 29, 2008 5:55 am

Went out at sandbar yesterday. Was planning on doing a boat hunt and my 3 month old battery would not crank my 90 horse. I am bringing it in today to check the cells. The volmeter read 11.6 volts. Does any one plug their boat into a trickle charger during cold months? I have not had a problem in years past. Anyway, getting back to sandbar. One bluebill came into the goldeneye spread but was too close to the decoys to shoot and then it flew away. Other than that there was a group of 5 mallards that were high fliers. No shots taken, no birds. There were very little shots taken around sandbar. It is obvious that the birds are not there. After yesterday, I decided to sleep in. I will try again tomorrow.
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Postby wingset » Sat Nov 29, 2008 4:58 pm

I hunt Missisquoi NWR pretty much exclusively. This year has been the worse in 27 years. I am a 30 - 40 day per year guy up there, so not much happens in terms of duck movement on the refuge, that I can't figure out....except for this year.
This year I have 11 days where I did not fire a shell! I do only shoot mallards/blacks (that is just me) and widgeon and pintail if I get the chance.
I concur with all of you about the lack of birds using the refuge.

Here is my theory:
We are still rebounding from a couple of very high water years. The wild rice in the public hunting areas is beginning to recover slowly. This puts these areas as a "last choice" for ducks using the refuge. I was told that the impoundments Big Marsh, Cranberry, and even Goose bay pool can maintain near ideal water levels due to the water control structures, so food on the refuge is limited to the pools.
The big picture of why we refuge hunters are seeing fewer ducks is the the agricultural practices in Quebec have changed. 10 years ago a hunter (me) could show up at 9:00AM and have a limit by 2:00PM. The ducks would leave the refuge before light and fly to the corn fields in Canada. The birds would fly back with crops full of corn, eager to find the closest place to get a drink.
Nowdays, every field in Quebec is tilled under. The ducks don't have enough to sustain themselves because any rice is all but gone. I am afraid that what we are seeing this year could be the norm in the future.


Man, I hope I am wrong............................................

Ken
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Postby duckin-A » Sun Nov 30, 2008 7:33 am

Saturday.....2 gunners= 6 mallards
" I spent all my money on Liquor & Women,
and the rest I just wasted"!!!
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Postby ronvt » Mon Dec 01, 2008 5:49 am

Good job. I have seen plenty of mallards, they are just in areas where I am not. Took 5 divers Saturday but now that I think my boat is running I will try to go back to areas where the puddle ducks are. Next outting..Thursday.
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Postby yellodog1 » Fri Dec 05, 2008 8:31 pm

My worst year as well. I didn't get out as much as I normally would, but then again after going out a number of times and not firing a shot, it gets frustrating. Hopefully it was just an off year, maybe next year will be better. We shouldn't have to wait until December to have good shooting.
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Postby ronvt » Sat Dec 06, 2008 3:46 pm

2 goldeneseys Thursday and 2 hoodies today. May go out two more times before the season close.
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Postby vt dukhntr » Thu Dec 11, 2008 12:20 am

yellodog1 wrote:My worst year as well. I didn't get out as much as I normally would, but then again after going out a number of times and not firing a shot, it gets frustrating. Hopefully it was just an off year, maybe next year will be better. We shouldn't have to wait until December to have good shooting.


C'mon Trevor all you have to do is call and Shawn and I will point you in the wrong direction.
I've actually had a pretty decent year given that there have been so few birds. Couple real good mix bag days, etc... Not done yet, heading out for the last weekend. I already put my own boat away, going out with a friend in his 17ft TDB. He and I have hammered ducks together this year. His boat total is pushing the mid to upper 100's for total duck count this season. I've been there for a fair share of those.
Have you punched a PETA member today? Why not?
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