Lake Champlain

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Lake Champlain

Postby LBeinhaur » Mon Dec 05, 2011 4:56 am

Anyone seeing many ducks on the lake? Been scouting south of the bridge and not seeing much.
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Re: Lake Champlain

Postby RangerX » Mon Dec 05, 2011 7:54 am

It's been tough, I've seen little at the Sandbar and in Ferrisburgh off hawkins bay. We need another storm and some cold weather.
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Re: Lake Champlain

Postby LBeinhaur » Mon Dec 05, 2011 10:28 am

Don't I know it. I went out a few days ago from Mccleun Slang ( south of the bridge) and only saw one flock of 4 , looked like pintails, but they flaired too far out. Probably saw me. And about a dozen geese went over as well , too far out. I only live a few miles from there so I keep watching to see if anything shows up. I usually see a ton of birds rafting out from 10 acres campground but only saw one group of couts so far and that was about 2 weeks ago. Hopefully the weather will change and they will move down.
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Re: Lake Champlain

Postby LBeinhaur » Mon Dec 05, 2011 10:37 am

Hey Rangerx,

have you ever hynted in Fields Bay? I see the huge blinds set up out there and I always thought that farther back in the bay would be a good spot.
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Re: Lake Champlain

Postby RangerX » Mon Dec 05, 2011 5:57 pm

LBeinhaur wrote:Hey Rangerx,

have you ever hynted in Fields Bay? I see the huge blinds set up out there and I always thought that farther back in the bay would be a good spot.


Nope, most of my hunting is done out of little otter creek... I launch at the south slang and work my way up towards hawkins bay or down towards the fork in the creek. It's been absolutely horrific this year... the last 4 times out, I've seen nothing but a local flock of hooded mergansers, and a couple pairs of mallards and blacks. The winter storm brough birds in, but only took a day for them to move on... I'm totally stumped at this point.

The geese have been great this season, but the ducks have been a challenge. We are at 30 geese and 80 ducks, but i tell ya, half of the ducks have been from jumping potholes... alot of hard work.

I hate to say it, but I'm almost getting excited for the season to be over, just so I can stop thinking about where to setup... lol
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Re: Lake Champlain

Postby hawkman » Mon Dec 05, 2011 7:14 pm

RangerX - What you are seeing and when you have seen them is almost identical to what is going on in the NEK. Had a big wad of mallards come through at that last big cold front. They came in very late, after shooting time, two nights in a row and then disappeared.
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Re: Lake Champlain

Postby RangerX » Tue Dec 06, 2011 6:26 am

hawkman wrote:RangerX - What you are seeing and when you have seen them is almost identical to what is going on in the NEK. Had a big wad of mallards come through at that last big cold front. They came in very late, after shooting time, two nights in a row and then disappeared.


Yup, that's pretty much what's happening around here. I was in the NEK on Thanksgiving day, hoping to get a good hunt in from the storm front, but only ended up with a hooded merg and a couple bluebills.

I'm really hoping we get some cold weather or another storm... would like to end the season on a positive note.
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Re: Lake Champlain

Postby hawkman » Tue Dec 06, 2011 7:33 am

I can't help but wonder if all the flooding we had in August washed away the food supply. There is very little natural food left in the NEK. There is also water everywhere which spreads out the ducks. The few ducks around have been using areas I have never seen them use in 20+ years. The traditional spots I hunt, where food was plentiful are bare and/or completely submerged in deep water. I have yet to see a duck use any of those spots.

Also have noticed that of the 61 birds (mostly geese) I have shot, almost none have food in them. The only ones that had food (corn), were some of those mallards that showed up for two days. None had any wild food.

I see reports from New York, New Hampshire and Mass and it sounds like they have ducks now. Might the big ducks have simply passed through Vermont?
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Re: Lake Champlain

Postby RangerX » Tue Dec 06, 2011 8:58 am

hawkman wrote:I can't help but wonder if all the flooding we had in August washed away the food supply. There is very little natural food left in the NEK. There is also water everywhere which spreads out the ducks. The few ducks around have been using areas I have never seen them use in 20+ years. The traditional spots I hunt, where food was plentiful are bare and/or completely submerged in deep water. I have yet to see a duck use any of those spots.

Also have noticed that of the 61 birds (mostly geese) I have shot, almost none have food in them. The only ones that had food (corn), were some of those mallards that showed up for two days. None had any wild food.

I see reports from New York, New Hampshire and Mass and it sounds like they have ducks now. Might the big ducks have simply passed through Vermont?


I'm not convinced they passed through. My guess is the the local hatch took a major hit from the flooding in spring, along with the lack of rice... I've heard from some friends in Canada that the fields are still loaded with geese up there... tells me they are taking their time with migrating. I guess we won't really know until it gets cold... This 50-60 degree bullshit is driving me nuts... Interior Zone is done this weekend and I'm still hunting in waders and a sweatshirt. Nuts.
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Re: Lake Champlain

Postby snogoose » Tue Dec 06, 2011 11:54 am

This second half of the seaso has been abysmal! I've heard that all the ducks are staging North of the border and there is no need fo rhtem to leave the big cornfields in Quebec because there is no ice and the fields are full of food....bad news if we get a strong cold snap and they just skip over VT overnight.
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Re: Lake Champlain

Postby gmannn » Wed Dec 07, 2011 4:27 am

Definitely the high water in the Kingdom and two years of it to boot. when the water recedes there are ducks on the feeding spots. a few big Canadian blacks and mallards making their way onto our game strap and some whistlers with them. Whistlers are flying with some nice flocks but not droves of them that can be the case in December. There were about 25 in the park in Newport this weekend. This is the last weekend and maybe some snow and low clouds will favor us.
cut 'em
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Re: Lake Champlain

Postby hawkman » Wed Dec 07, 2011 7:21 am

Went out Tuesday PM. Saw one mallard. Also had hundreds of geese piling into the decoys...flock after flock. The ones in the decoys were calling so loudly to the ones flying, they drounded out my calling. The only problem is that the goose season was over last week. It was pretty cool to watch though.
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Re: Lake Champlain

Postby wingset » Thu Dec 08, 2011 4:14 pm

Hey Snogoose,

How reliable are your sources? Since MNWR closes Saturday, I want to know if I should strip my boat this weekend and focus on salmon!!!!
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Re: Lake Champlain

Postby pete/pmr » Fri Dec 09, 2011 1:19 pm

I woould go salmon fishing because the duck hunting sucks!!!! I am going out tomorrow just because it is the last day and do not expect it too be very good,but with this snow on the ground and the river open,most of the small ponds iced over ,might be productive!
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: Lake Champlain

Postby magogwhacker » Fri Dec 09, 2011 1:58 pm

I always play hooky when the first good ice arrives...I've never been this late in the season and not played hooky yet. What do we need to do to get a few days in the twenties and nights in the single digits? Who do I see about that?
What? There's open water? Its not cold enough.
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