New to Sea Duckin' - Decoys

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New to Sea Duckin' - Decoys

Postby westernshorehunter » Tue Feb 19, 2013 10:32 pm

Looking to start hunting Sea Ducks in the 13'-14' season and have a ton of questions. Since I have a little time before next season, I will try to space my questions out so people don't get sick of my ignorance too quickly. I have about 6 dozen old mallards, 7 old woodies and one old pintail that I have dedicated to repaint for starting this new venture. I have read that sea ducks will deek to just about anything but I wanted to know everyone's opinion on what I should do with what I have. Looking to be able to tap into every kind of bird I can get my steel into in open water on the bay. All opinions and assistance is appreciated.
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Re: New to Sea Duckin' - Decoys

Postby tgs » Wed Feb 20, 2013 7:14 am

Depends on what birds are in the area you wish to hunt. Make sure your decoys are clean from debris and oils and such, base coat with flat black primer and go from there. Repainting puddle duck decoys is a pretty affordable and effective way to start sea ducking, I use mostly paints from local hobby shops and or walmart, good luck.
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Re: New to Sea Duckin' - Decoys

Postby westernshorehunter » Wed Feb 20, 2013 9:51 pm

Thanks tgs, I've got some wire brushing to do for sure with these old Flambeau dekes. From the little experience I have open water on the bay I know scoter, oldsquaw, and buffies are around but that's pretty much anywhere else too. Besides that I am about clueless as far as effective decoy mixes and the abundance of other species throughout the season.
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Re: New to Sea Duckin' - Decoys

Postby PSUbuzz » Thu Feb 21, 2013 6:23 am

Paint em all black and white, buy a dozen oversize canvasbacks and a dozen blue bills. The squaw, scoter, and buffies will bomb the black and whites. The only ducks ive seen out there in the sea duck zone that really care are the cans, red heads, and bluebills
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Re: New to Sea Duckin' - Decoys

Postby westernshorehunter » Thu Feb 21, 2013 1:39 pm

Thanks a ton PSUbuzz. If I have the six dozen repainted deeks should I make them resemble two dozen Old Squaw, two dozen Scoter, two dozen Buffies or do they pile into any arrangement of black and white birds?
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Re: New to Sea Duckin' - Decoys

Postby PSUbuzz » Fri Feb 22, 2013 8:13 am

westernshorehunter wrote:Thanks a ton PSUbuzz. If I have the six dozen repainted deeks should I make them resemble two dozen Old Squaw, two dozen Scoter, two dozen Buffies or do they pile into any arrangement of black and white birds?



Any arrangement honestly. As long as they see black and white dots on the water, thats buddies to them. Im not all old school 2 liter bottles and tires for geese type of hunter either, i hunt over normal nice decoys for everything else. But sea ducks just care about buddies to be with from everything ive seen in my 3 years doing it. Scoter seem to care more about the boat being near decoys than anything but if you have a layout boat youll be fine. Squaw and buffies are just not the most intelligent ducks when it comes to decoying. One last thing, if youve never seen a old squaw land in the decoys before theyre shot, let them land one time. Youll miss because youre laughing too hard, they are VERY...whats the word im looking for... "graceful" in their landing style. AKA they face plant into the water and then look around all confused as to what all that wet stuff they just landed in was like they don't live in it or something. Very funny to watch
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Re: New to Sea Duckin' - Decoys

Postby westernshorehunter » Wed Feb 27, 2013 11:54 am

Haha thanks PSUbuzz I'll be sure to look one to the water. I don't know if I am reading too far into the rules for the sea duck zone rules but if you are in one of the regular duck splits can you target non sea ducks in the sea duck zone. ie) cans, blue bills, buffies, so on. It says long tails, eider, and scoters but the way I'm reading it sounds like that's all you can shoot out there. Clarification would be greatly appreciated before I go shoot a can or something illegally.
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Re: New to Sea Duckin' - Decoys

Postby tgs » Wed Feb 27, 2013 12:28 pm

You can't in Maine. Sea ducks are simply what you listed, O/S, Scoters, Eiders. All others are considered either divers or puddle ducks and can only be shot only during the puddle duck season. We have a split as well for "non-sea ducks" and the sea ducks are open from Oct 1 through Jan 31st. And the zone for us pertains to basically just the dates, but if you shoot a sea duck out of the sea duck zone it counts as part of your general bag. That does not work the other way around, you can't shot a buffie (for example) in the sea duck zone unless buffies(ie puddle duck season) is open.
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Re: New to Sea Duckin' - Decoys

Postby PSUbuzz » Wed Feb 27, 2013 12:48 pm

tgs is correct. It doesn't work both ways. In fact during deer gun season, when all other waterfowl season is closed, the sea duck zone is still open for sea ducks only. Most of the puddlers and divers stay in much closer to shore than sea ducks, which helps out distinguishing between the two.
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Re: New to Sea Duckin' - Decoys

Postby westernshorehunter » Wed Feb 27, 2013 9:30 pm

To clarify the question. Regular ducks are in season and I am out in the sea duck zone, am I allowed to shoot regular ducks??
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Re: New to Sea Duckin' - Decoys

Postby ohioboy » Wed Feb 27, 2013 10:52 pm

If a train leaves London going 30 mph... :clapping:
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Re: New to Sea Duckin' - Decoys

Postby tgs » Thu Feb 28, 2013 5:25 am

In Maine , yes. As long as your sea duck zone does not have some special regulation regarding "regular ducks", you are fine.
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Re: New to Sea Duckin' - Decoys

Postby PSUbuzz » Thu Feb 28, 2013 7:41 am

A. During the special season approved by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, a person may hunt sea ducks (scoter, old squaw, and eider ducks) by shooting from a boat or floating blind which is anchored, drifting, sculled or paddled or while standing in the water on the natural bottom only in the following areas:

1.The part of the open waters of the Chesapeake Bay described as follows: Keeping to the south of a line drawn between the southernmost tip of Turkey Point, Cecil County, and the easternmost tip of Sandy Point, Harford County; keeping to the southeast of a line drawn from the southernmost tip of Abbey Point, Harford County and the easternmost tip of Lego Point, Harford County; keeping to the south of a line drawn from Rickett Point, Harford County and the southernmost tip of Lower I Point, Baltimore County; keeping to the east of a line drawn from the southernmost tip of North Point, Baltimore County to the northernmost tip of Rock Point, Anne Arundel County; keeping to the east of a line drawn between the southernmost tip of Mountain Point, Anne Arundel County to the northernmost point of Persimmon Point, Anne Arundel County; keeping to the southeast of a line drawn between the southernmost tip of Hackett Point, Anne Arundel County and the southernmost tip of Greenbury Point, Anne Arundel County; keeping to the east of a line drawn from the southernmost tip of Greenbury Point, Anne Arundel County to the easternmost tip of Tolly Point, Anne Arundel County; keeping to the southeast of a line drawn from the easternmost tip of Thomas Point, Anne Arundel County and the easternmost tip of Saunders Point, Anne Arundel County; keeping to the northeast of a line drawn from the southernmost tip of Dutchman Point, Anne Arundel County to the northernmost tip of Curtis Point, Anne Arundel County; keeping to the northeast of a line drawn between the southernmost tip of Drum Point, Calvert County and the northern­most point of Hog Point, St. Mary's County; keeping to the east of the western shore of St. Mary's County to Point Lookout, St. Mary's County; keeping to the southwest of a line drawn between the westernmost tip of Pry Island, Somerset County and the southernmost tip of Holland Island, Dorchester County; keeping to the southeast of a line drawn between the center of Norman Cove, Dorchester County and the southernmost tip of Lower Hooper Island, Dorchester County; keeping to the west of a line drawn between Quick Flashing Red Bell Buoy No. 10 and the southernmost tip of Black Walnut Point, Talbot County; keeping to the northwest of a line drawn between the westernmost tip of Howell Point, Kent County and the westernmost tip of Grove Point, Cecil County; and keeping to the southwest of a line drawn between the northwesternmost tip of Wroth Point, Cecil County and the southernmost tip of Turkey Point, Cecil County;
2.That part of the open waters of the Middle River in Baltimore County described as follows: Keeping to the south of a line drawn between the southernmost tip of Lower I Point and the southernmost tip of Bowley Point; and keeping to the north of a line drawn between the southernmost tip of Wells Point and the northernmost tip of Miller Island;
3.That part of the open waters of the Potomac River in St. Mary's and Charles Counties described as follows: Keeping to the south of a line drawn between the southernmost tip of Kits Point, St. Mary's County and the southernmost tip of Deep Point, St. Mary's County; keeping to the south of a line drawn between the southern­most tip of Huggins Point, St. Mary's County and the southernmost tip of St. Clements Island, St. Mary's County; keeping to the southwest of a line drawn between the northwesternmost tip of St. Catherine Island, St. Mary's County and the southernmost tip of Cobb Island, Charles County; keeping to the south of a line drawn true east across the mouth of Port Tobacco River from the easternmost tip of Windmill Point, Charles County to where that line intersects the shoreline above Mt. Air Road, Charles County; and keeping to the south of a line drawn between the westernmost tip of Sandy Point, Charles County and the mouth of Chopawamsic Creek, Stafford County, Virginia;
4.That part of the open waters of the Chester River in Queen Anne's and Kent Counties described as follows: Keeping to the west of a line drawn between the northernmost tip of Coursey Point, Queen Anne's County and the southernmost tip of Cedar Point, Kent County;
5.That part of the open waters of Eastern Bay and Miles River in Queen Anne's and Talbot Counties described as follows: Keeping to the southeast of a line drawn between Romancoke pier, Queen Anne's County and Bodkin Island, Queen Anne's County; keeping to the south of a line drawn between Bodkin Island, Queen Anne's County and the southwesternmost tip of Parsons Island, Queen Anne's County; keeping to the south of a line drawn between the southern­most tip of Narrow Point, Queen Anne's County and the southernmost point of Brian Point, Queen Anne's County; and keeping to the north of a line drawn between Bennett Point, Queen Anne's County and Tilghman Point, Talbot County;
6.That part of the open waters of the Choptank River in Talbot and Dorchester counties described as follows: Keeping to the south of a line drawn between the southernmost tip of Blackwalnut Point, Talbot County, thence to the southernmost tip of Bar Neck, thence to the southernmost tip of Change Point, thence to the southernmost tip of Nelson Point, thence to the southernmost tip of Benoni Point, thence to the southernmost tip of Chlora Point; keeping west of a line drawn from the southernmost tip of Chlora Point, thence to the northernmost tip of Castle Haven, Dorchester County; keeping north of a line drawn from the northernmost tip of Castle Haven, thence to the northernmost tip of Cook Point;
7.That part of the open waters of the Little Choptank River, Dorchester County described as follows: Keeping to the west of a line drawn between the southernmost tip of Casson Point and the northernmost tip of Susquehanna Point;
8.That part of the open waters of Tangier Sound, Fishing Bay, Monie Bay, Manokin River, Big Annemessex River, and Kedges Straits in Dorchester, Wicomico, and Somerset Counties described as f'ollows: Keeping to the south of a line drawn between the western­most tip of Roasting Ear Point, Dorchester County and the mouth of McCreadys Creek, Dorchester County; keeping to the south of a line drawn between the southernmost tip of Frog Point, Dorchester County and the southernmost tip of Nanticoke Point, Wicomico County; keeping to the south of a line drawn between the southern­most tip of Nanticoke Point, Wicomico County and the westernmost tip of Wingate Point, Somerset County; and keeping to the south of a line drawn between St. Pierre Island, Somerset County and the northernmost tip of Cormal Point, Somerset County;
9.The open waters of Pocomoke Sound, Somerset County and in Chincoteague Bay, Newport Bay and Isle of Wight Bay, Worcester County; and
10.The waters of the Atlantic Ocean opposite the Maryland Shore.


That is how DNR puts it. If you are in any Maryland waters during regular duck season, then you are allowed to kill puddlers and divers wherever you are. The sea duck zone has its own season that is different than, but mostly overlaps, the regluar late duck season. Just be sure if you are out on the sea duck zone during closure periods of the regular duck season, that you dont even fire a shot at a buffie, or canvasback, or red head, or you are breaking the law. Personally I think canvasbacks should be considered a sea duck since it has been very rare that I have seen them on the upper potomac or on ponds and lakes up my way. They are more out on the choptank and running the bay most seasons. Its tough sometimes distinguishing between the buffies and squaw when you first get started, but youll recognize the wing beat difference with some experience. Then it will be like deciding between blacks and hen mallards at first light. Hope that helps
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Re: New to Sea Duckin' - Decoys

Postby westernshorehunter » Thu Feb 28, 2013 6:05 pm

Ahhahh. That clears it up PSUbuzz. Much appreciated. I would have been looking cans and blue bills into the spread all season long thinking I couldn't shoot them out there.
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Re: New to Sea Duckin' - Decoys

Postby ohioboy » Fri Mar 01, 2013 8:08 am

westernshorehunter wrote:Ahhahh. That clears it up PSUbuzz. Much appreciated. I would have been looking cans and blue bills into the spread all season long thinking I couldn't shoot them out there.


you cant, BUT if you take me i will :lol3:
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