SEA DUCK- hunting questions

Plenty of Washington duck hunting information to learn and share from the Pugent sound to the open plains of eastern WA. Discuss all of the Washington duck hunting topics here.

Moderators: Token, brokerbyduck, washingtonmuley, h2ofowlr

SEA DUCK- hunting questions

Postby riesx040 » Thu Jan 02, 2014 11:46 am

I'm thinking about making the drive from spokane over to the coast to try and cross off killing a Harlequin off of my bucket list sometime in the middle of January. I've got a 1655 Lowe roughneck so i can handle some waves. Does anyone have any advice on areas to go? I've got layout blinds, and a marsh grass blind for my boat, mallard, ringbill,redhead,golden eye,bufflehead, goose,wigeon decoys. Thanks for any advice your willing to share i'm a seassoned duck hunter but have never went out after these sea ducks.
riesx040
hunter
 
Posts: 31
Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2012 12:17 pm


Re: SEA DUCK- hunting questions

Postby riesx040 » Thu Jan 02, 2014 4:38 pm

I want one for the wall!
riesx040
hunter
 
Posts: 31
Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2012 12:17 pm

Re: SEA DUCK- hunting questions

Postby ScaupHunter » Thu Jan 02, 2014 10:38 pm

If you drive out to the NW end you can see Harlequin ducks and Scoter right at the ferry ramp in Port Angeles. You can't hunt them there though. There are tons of places to hunt sea ducks. It is all big water and can be very rough at times. Seas ducks live all over the north Puget Sound and in the San Juan Islands all winter. I would do a good search for state parks with boat ramps and other public ramps for access. Have a variety of options for various weather conditions and wind directions. Bring longlines and be ready with fairly long anchor lines for them and the boat.

The nice thing with parks and ramps is you can glass at the ramp or walk the beach to check the area for birds, then launch the boat and hunt if you see plenty of them. Google Earth likely areas and do some research on the birds online. Feeding areas and preffered water depths. There is plenty of information if you spend the time to find it. You can find out enough info to have a successful trip. Be very careful and stay safe.
Bella's
Decoy Setting Pro Staff
Boat Operator Pro Staff
Duck Shooting Pro Staff
Warm Towel Pro Staff
Snack Supply Pro Staff

He works for free! Who's the B now?
User avatar
ScaupHunter
hunter
 
Posts: 6702
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2012 5:57 am

Re: SEA DUCK- hunting questions

Postby washingtonmuley » Thu Jan 02, 2014 10:47 pm

Pay attention to no hunting zones and private property.
User avatar
washingtonmuley
State Moderator
 
Posts: 714
Joined: Wed Sep 12, 2007 6:30 pm
Location: On the Salt

Re: SEA DUCK- hunting questions

Postby BigBlondeBirdDog » Thu Jan 02, 2014 10:58 pm

: I did that trip with CBL and we both bagged Harli's .. Probably one of the MOST memorable hunts of my life. Now, keeping that in mind, NO WAY IN HELL I'd go on a "wing-it" trip ... First off, I'm a diver guy, I know about long lines, divers, spacing ... But what I saw there in a "weak/soft tide" was out of this world! Nope ... Not me, ... I'll stick to the river, no tides!

I'm already planning / saving for next years hunt ... but if I'm putting my life, time, and family/friends on the salt .... I'm banging on someone's door, or calling a guide.

Good luck either way brother, ... just my two cents.
: Waterfowl Junkie & Host of "Pacific Flyway Radio"

Ragged Outdoors Pro Staff Drinking Team
Killians Irish Red Pro Staff Drinking Team
Famous Dave's BBQ Rib Tip Platter Phat Boy Team
User avatar
BigBlondeBirdDog
hunter
 
Posts: 1247
Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2007 1:11 pm
Location: SE WA State / Lake Wallula / KPR

Re: SEA DUCK- hunting questions

Postby h2ofowlr » Thu Jan 02, 2014 11:29 pm

We went out on Friday and ended up getting blown off the big water. We stayed as long as we could as the birds were really coming into the decoys, but after a few waves starting to break over the front, it was time to go. A fun shoot! Bad ride back in.
User avatar
h2ofowlr
State Moderator
 
Posts: 1946
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 11:25 pm
Location: In the traffic zone!

Re: SEA DUCK- hunting questions

Postby Blacktail135 » Fri Jan 03, 2014 1:40 am

Good workable tides starting from the 12th on. Do you have a reliable kicker motor with seperate fuel tank? Are you planning on hunting weekend only? Are you coming alone? Are you bringing a dog?
Blacktail135
hunter
 
Posts: 77
Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2010 1:47 pm
Location: Clearlake,Wa.

Re: SEA DUCK- hunting questions

Postby riesx040 » Fri Jan 03, 2014 10:00 am

ScaupHunter- Thank you for the advice and the previous emails they are appreciated.

BigBlondBirdDog- Thanks for the advice is CBL the name of another forum member or a guide? I’m a diver guy myself I’m use to hunting bigger water like the Columbia or POR- I know that both of these are puddles compared to the Puget Sound.

Blacktail135- I’m off the 16-21s I’ve got a great hunting lab but I’m not sure how he’d handle the salt and given the fact that there is likely going to be a considerable amount of window time I may actually leave him behind for the first time since hes been 6 months- Also I’ve got two friends from Wisconsin (I moved out west from there 5 years ago) who fly out every year and hunt divers with me on the eastside. This year the river froze up a few weeks ago (thawed out now) but the hunting has been subpar so they mentioned the idea of Sea Duck hunting which has always been something I wanted to try. To be honest I know the odds may not be the best but even if one of us gets one wall hanger it will be one hell of a conversation piece on one of our walls.
riesx040
hunter
 
Posts: 31
Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2012 12:17 pm

Re: SEA DUCK- hunting questions

Postby ScaupHunter » Fri Jan 03, 2014 12:55 pm

If you make the run to Port Angeles Sekiu area it is an open straight. In calm weather it is a mill pond. Wind of any kind can churn it up something fierce. Hunted in the right areas you can hunt close to the ramp and in calm weather with no winds or very low winds predicted you can travel to find the birds and then set up. If you get around the San Juans, Everret, or any of the inland parts of Puget Sound you need to pay close attention to private property and no hunting areas.

If your hunting is slow, and you guys are going to make a run of it you should have a great time. Relax and enjoy the trip. Enjoy the drive, the scenery, etc.... You don't have to be up pre-dawn. Then launching and running in the dark. It is not recommended! Sleep in until daylight, go get some breakfast, then head out and hunt. There will be plenty of daylight to safely hunt and get birds into your decoys.

If you take a week or so and persist in your looking around and hunting, I bet you get a lot more than one trophy duck. Bring a bunch of shells and expect to have to chase some down if you don't get an instant kill. I bring a bunch of 3 inch #4 shells for water swatting cripples. Tearing up a trophy duck you want to mount doesn't make a lot of sense once you put it on the water.
Bella's
Decoy Setting Pro Staff
Boat Operator Pro Staff
Duck Shooting Pro Staff
Warm Towel Pro Staff
Snack Supply Pro Staff

He works for free! Who's the B now?
User avatar
ScaupHunter
hunter
 
Posts: 6702
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2012 5:57 am

Re: SEA DUCK- hunting questions

Postby riesx040 » Mon Jan 06, 2014 9:16 pm

Thanks everyone for the advice. I've still got another week and half of online research and pre scouting before the trip. Does anyone know any names of guides in that area? i'm not against getting a little help if its not to $$$ but i bet its to late of notice anyway.
Dan
riesx040
hunter
 
Posts: 31
Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2012 12:17 pm

Re: SEA DUCK- hunting questions

Postby washingtonmuley » Mon Jan 06, 2014 9:47 pm

riesx040 wrote:Thanks everyone for the advice. I've still got another week and half of online research and pre scouting before the trip. Does anyone know any names of guides in that area? i'm not against getting a little help if its not to $$$ but i bet its to late of notice anyway.
Dan

Where you headed?
User avatar
washingtonmuley
State Moderator
 
Posts: 714
Joined: Wed Sep 12, 2007 6:30 pm
Location: On the Salt

Re: SEA DUCK- hunting questions

Postby WetlandWarrior » Tue Jan 07, 2014 7:48 pm

I didn't read all the posts but make sure you get your sea duck card. There will also be a Brant season if you are interested in shooting at a pretty screwy goose which also requires a card. You need to go online and register for it then it will take about 10 days for them to get it in the system then you can pick it up at a local dealer think it's $13.00. You need the sea duck card to shoot Scooters, Long Tails (Oldsquaw), and Harlequin.
WetlandWarrior
hunter
 
Posts: 119
Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2008 11:49 pm
Location: Arlington, WA

Re: SEA DUCK- hunting questions

Postby riesx040 » Thu Jan 09, 2014 3:20 pm

washingtonmuley- I haven’t ruled any locations out yet- just going to head over to the any area that I hear rumors of birds. I’m driving over from the Spokane area so no area is really any closer than the other.

WetlandWarrior- thanks for the tip about the Brant season and the licenses.
riesx040
hunter
 
Posts: 31
Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2012 12:17 pm

Re: SEA DUCK- hunting questions

Postby riesx040 » Mon Jan 13, 2014 9:48 pm

Any tips on places to stay near Padilla bay?
riesx040
hunter
 
Posts: 31
Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2012 12:17 pm

Re: SEA DUCK- hunting questions

Postby h2ofowlr » Mon Jan 13, 2014 10:03 pm

riesx040 wrote:Any tips on places to stay near Padilla bay?


There are several options. The one right on the bay is the Swinomish Casino and Lodge. Otherwise you would want to look in Anacortes, Mount Vernon or Burlington. You have several options.
Only problem with Padilla right now is brant season opened, so it will be a zoo on Sat. Sun & Wed's until the end of the season. Lots of hunting pressure will shift the birds and make it more of a challenge. Only three types of sea ducks that you will probably shoot in the bay depending on where you set up. Surf Scoters, Old Squaw which may be a challenge and buffleheads.

You will see puddle ducks along the east and south side of Padilla. South side has a large reserve along with private hunt clubs. It's a matter of knowing where your at as the leo's will be out checking boats, gear and licenses. You may also get a brant depending on where you set up.
You may do better going further south away from all the traffic around Camano Is., Whidbey area or further north. Research the spots where and where you can't hunt. Even seasoned local hunters can be challenged with all the regs and changing hunting / shooting zones. Once you get it dialed in, you can have a lot of fun. Just remember the salt will throw rust on a gun in about 2 hours. It is rough on all your equipment. Best of luck to you.
User avatar
h2ofowlr
State Moderator
 
Posts: 1946
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 11:25 pm
Location: In the traffic zone!

Re: SEA DUCK- hunting questions

Postby bknilvr00 » Tue Jan 14, 2014 6:06 pm

h2ofowlr wrote:
riesx040 wrote:Any tips on places to stay near Padilla bay?


There are several options. The one right on the bay is the Swinomish Casino and Lodge. Otherwise you would want to look in Anacortes, Mount Vernon or Burlington. You have several options.
Only problem with Padilla right now is brant season opened, so it will be a zoo on Sat. Sun & Wed's until the end of the season. Lots of hunting pressure will shift the birds and make it more of a challenge. Only three types of sea ducks that you will probably shoot in the bay depending on where you set up. Surf Scoters, Old Squaw which may be a challenge and buffleheads.

You will see puddle ducks along the east and south side of Padilla. South side has a large reserve along with private hunt clubs. It's a matter of knowing where your at as the leo's will be out checking boats, gear and licenses. You may also get a brant depending on where you set up.
You may do better going further south away from all the traffic around Camano Is., Whidbey area or further north. Research the spots where and where you can't hunt. Even seasoned local hunters can be challenged with all the regs and changing hunting / shooting zones. Once you get it dialed in, you can have a lot of fun. Just remember the salt will throw rust on a gun in about 2 hours. It is rough on all your equipment. Best of luck to you.


Another big thing H20 didn't mention is the weather. Keep a close eye on it and check for updates regularly. After I tried to sink my boat earlier this year, I'm borderline neurotic about weather conditions. When in doubt, err on the side of caution. If the fecal matter hits the cooling apparatus on the river or lake odds of getting to the bank are pretty good. If it happens in the bay or out in the open water, your in for an unpleasant time.
User avatar
bknilvr00
hunter
 
Posts: 492
Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2011 10:38 pm
Location: Lake Stevens

Re: SEA DUCK- hunting questions

Postby riesx040 » Wed Jan 15, 2014 2:44 pm

Thanks guys,
I'm hoping to we get lucky and get a crack at a Harly- It's been a life long goal to put one of those on my wall! Picking the buds up at the airport at 8 tonight then burning the midnight oil and driving all the way accross the state tonight to scout in the morning. So far it looks like it wont be too windy!
Dan
riesx040
hunter
 
Posts: 31
Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2012 12:17 pm

Re: SEA DUCK- hunting questions

Postby washingtonmuley » Wed Jan 15, 2014 5:09 pm

Good luck.
User avatar
washingtonmuley
State Moderator
 
Posts: 714
Joined: Wed Sep 12, 2007 6:30 pm
Location: On the Salt

Re: SEA DUCK- hunting questions

Postby riesx040 » Thu Jan 16, 2014 10:06 pm

No "sea ducks" today but we killed 3 wigeon 3 bills 1 bufflehead. Hopefully tomorrow morning those odd ball birds coporate!
riesx040
hunter
 
Posts: 31
Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2012 12:17 pm

Re: SEA DUCK- hunting questions

Postby washingtonmuley » Thu Jan 16, 2014 11:32 pm

riesx040 wrote:No "sea ducks" today but we killed 3 wigeon 3 bills 1 bufflehead. Hopefully tomorrow morning those odd ball birds coporate!

Are you seeing any sea ducks?
User avatar
washingtonmuley
State Moderator
 
Posts: 714
Joined: Wed Sep 12, 2007 6:30 pm
Location: On the Salt

Re: SEA DUCK- hunting questions

Postby Cougar125 » Fri Jan 17, 2014 7:19 pm

washingtonmuley wrote:Are you seeing any sea ducks?

WW Scoters, Surf Scoters, Common GE, Buffies, Harlis, Old Squaw...mostly through my spotting scope.
There are no ducks in the desert!
User avatar
Cougar125
hunter
 
Posts: 1235
Joined: Thu Dec 08, 2011 11:18 pm
Location: Deployment again!

Re: SEA DUCK- hunting questions

Postby riesx040 » Fri Jan 17, 2014 7:31 pm

We saw a lot more sea ducks today, scooters, oldsquaw. Shot 2 couldn't get very many to decoy they kept flaring out of range.
Attachments
image.jpg
riesx040
hunter
 
Posts: 31
Joined: Sun Dec 02, 2012 12:17 pm

Re: SEA DUCK- hunting questions

Postby washingtonmuley » Fri Jan 17, 2014 7:56 pm

Nice ww scoter.
User avatar
washingtonmuley
State Moderator
 
Posts: 714
Joined: Wed Sep 12, 2007 6:30 pm
Location: On the Salt

Re: SEA DUCK- hunting questions

Postby Tealer » Fri Jan 17, 2014 9:02 pm

BigChunter wrote:
riesx040 wrote:We saw a lot more sea ducks today, scooters, oldsquaw. Shot 2 couldn't get very many to decoy they kept flaring out of range.

Face paint or mask. Hand paint or gloves.


Have never needed either for sea ducks. I watch them all the way in too.
Widmer Bros Prostaff
Former Hostess Prostaff
WizzBang Prostaff
Tealer
village idiot
 
Posts: 6058
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2008 4:41 am
Location: Along the Columbia

Re: SEA DUCK- hunting questions

Postby Cougar125 » Fri Jan 17, 2014 9:41 pm

Tealer wrote:
BigChunter wrote:
riesx040 wrote:We saw a lot more sea ducks today, scooters, oldsquaw. Shot 2 couldn't get very many to decoy they kept flaring out of range.

Face paint or mask. Hand paint or gloves.


Have never needed either for sea ducks. I watch them all the way in too.

I sat about 10 yards off the dekes today when the Scoters came in. They're dumb...
There are no ducks in the desert!
User avatar
Cougar125
hunter
 
Posts: 1235
Joined: Thu Dec 08, 2011 11:18 pm
Location: Deployment again!

Next

Return to Washington Duck Hunting

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: brokerbyduck and 7 guests