Don't know how it happened but this year I shot more geese than ducks. Well I guess Hurricane Sandy had something to do with that but thanks to the Dutch brothers and a couple of very successful goose hunts with other members of the DHC community I was able to contribute 34 sets of wings or tail feathers to the Dept of Interior's Wing study program. Interestingly enough one of the black ducks was reported back as a male MallardXBlack Hybred mix. I did not see any indication when I cleaned him and clipped his wing, I did take pictures the day of the hunt and he looks like a Black duck but he must have had some white around the wing patch. I usually notice these sort of things so I was a bit surprised when I received the report. I have shot a handful of hybreds over the years and most are fairly difficult to notice, the changes are usually very subtle but easy to spot to the trained eye. I must have been asleep when I cleaned him....
In other news the brant have finally vacated the Brigantine area, I saw my last flocks May 11th with a few stragglers here and there the next couple of days but have seen none for about a week. It is amazing that we get to enjoy their presence for almost 8 months of the year! I always look forward to October and their arrival, usually mid month. The bay is looking good and clean, the fishing has been excellent for bass and with flounder season open the boats are showing up. I "winterized" the duck boat and have got the Whaler up and running, and am going to do a little clamming for a Memorial Day party this weekend! Put your order in now! LOL
Cabelas had a sale on some snow goose floaters and I couldn't resist so I have 8 new decoys to add to FFT's original 4 and the single floater I found years ago, since I now chase them on land as well as "sea" I have more decoys and even less room then before. I swear its an addiction!!! FFT, When everything settles down after the "storm" you have got to come back down and bring ding-dong with you.
Jack is going through withdrawls as he enjoyed driving by the brant scattered around the island and now only has a few groups of Canadian geese with their newborns along RT 30 to stare at. We spent everyday on the beach over the winter until dogs were denied the right to freedom on the beaches here in Brigantine so he has a lot of pent up energy even though we run thru retrieving drills every evening for 1/2 an hour or so. I know he can't wait for summer to be gone.
Don't know if any of you check out Snow Goose Central, another site owned and operated by Chris Hustad but for those of you who aren't familiar with it, it is dedicated to snow goose action and I was hired by Chris to write the weekly guide reports. The action has ended now but the boys out in the Midwest had a pretty wild spring season, what with the crazy weather and all. It was a neat experience to speak with all those guides and hear of day afield shooting over 100 geese!!! Not the norm, but definitely not all that rare this year. In all my years of hunting I don't think we ever topped 25 birds in a one day hunt, and the majority of my hunts consisted of one black duck and 2 brant, if I felt like shooting a brant, which most of the time I pass on.
Anyway, I just thought I'd put something up and see who's out here in cyberspace thinking about ducks at this time of year. Keep the faith, the season will be here before we know it and we'll hopefully see each other then!
Enjoy your summer