N W Zone

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N W Zone

Postby don novicki » Mon Dec 09, 2013 4:01 pm

Getting close to the end now. There were a good number of mallards a short while ago and I had a good hunt Thanksgiving morning. Not a lot of geese around, at least where I am at. A lot of corn still standing here by the lake north of 90. Hard to believe it's winding down. don't know what to make oi it. We had 10" more rain this past year than we did the previous year, got real cold real early with 15" of snow. Lots of hard water now. Off Friday and Monday and will be out for sure. Happy holidays everyone hope your season went well..... :thumbsup:
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Re: N W Zone

Postby vincentpa » Tue Dec 10, 2013 7:07 am

don novicki wrote:Getting close to the end now. There were a good number of mallards a short while ago and I had a good hunt Thanksgiving morning. Not a lot of geese around, at least where I am at. A lot of corn still standing here by the lake north of 90. Hard to believe it's winding down. don't know what to make oi it. We had 10" more rain this past year than we did the previous year, got real cold real early with 15" of snow. Lots of hard water now. Off Friday and Monday and will be out for sure. Happy holidays everyone hope your season went well..... :thumbsup:



I agree, it got cold real early. I was hoping for a freeze up in the NW the second week in December. After two years without a freeze, we got and early one. That's ok. I'm doing just fine down here hunting with Don. He's made some good calls the last two weeks on spots and tactics. I had hoped to shoot some divers on Pymie or PI this year but the weather didn't cooperate with my work schedule. Can't complain though. This year is already far superior than the last two, even considering the lull in November.
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Re: N W Zone

Postby stevespag » Tue Dec 10, 2013 9:58 am

How does the pym look, frozen? I was up about a week ago and the northern end was solid. I know we had a few warm days but I don't think it melted a lot. I am hoping to get back up once before the season is out.
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Re: N W Zone

Postby don novicki » Tue Dec 10, 2013 3:42 pm

I guess my seasons done.Broke my left foot in 2 spots. Out of action til 2014 sometime. Hit em for me fellas......... :thumbsup:
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Re: N W Zone

Postby Spunky » Tue Dec 10, 2013 4:24 pm

Hunted Hartstown this morning in the open spots and only saw 5 blacks and about 40 geese in 5 hours. Most of it frozen over. 3 miles down the road and one pond was open and no birds. Shenango is wide open, a group of guys were out in a boat last week and never fired a shot. No ducks, they have left and geese are almost as bad. Seeing the same 3 flocks of geese everyday.

If I could hunt the holding tanks at the sewage plant I could shoot my limit of mallards in about a minute. One of them had 20 birds sitting on it when I went past this afternoon. Usually at this time of the year the river is loaded with birds. Nothing this year. The birds never came down again. Did see about a fourty doves yesterday in a corn field.
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Re: N W Zone

Postby dsm16428 » Tue Dec 10, 2013 5:11 pm

don novicki wrote:I guess my seasons done.Broke my left foot in 2 spots. Out of action til 2014 sometime. Hit em for me fellas......... :thumbsup:


Well get a cast on that sumbich and get yer butt in the field Don! :lol3: I can drive into most of my spots so all ya gotta do is hobble from the truck to the layout blind. My nephew can dog birds for us. :lol3: :lol3:
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Re: N W Zone

Postby vincentpa » Tue Dec 10, 2013 5:43 pm

don novicki wrote:I guess my seasons done.Broke my left foot in 2 spots. Out of action til 2014 sometime. Hit em for me fellas......... :thumbsup:


Sorry to hear that. Hope you heal up soon!


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Re: N W Zone

Postby don taylor » Fri Dec 13, 2013 6:46 am

And to think guys were thinking they were going to outsmart mother nature and keep the season open until January. Now, it's just hoping that this couple day run at the end of the year proves productive. I hope we get a warm spell and you get some birds to shoot at. By then, it might be too little, too late. They'll all be South. The break might give the locals a chance to relax and make for easy pickings come 3 weeks. Who knows.

I'm just glad i had a chance to shoot all those birds in October and didn't sit it out for a split that would have been useless.
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Re: N W Zone

Postby Spunky » Fri Dec 13, 2013 12:45 pm

I'm afraid that the days of large migration of ducks through the northwest zone are just memories. They are being short stopped north of us and unless you get really bad weather they won't move through. there's still open water in New York and southern Ontario.


I will gladly give up the week in October of shooting woodies for the past 2 weeks I've had of shooting blacks and mallards any time. There's still a nice huntable population of local birds around but you will have to work to get them. Just this morning I shot 2 mallards and a black and could of had more but they were all blacks. Also found a group of about 300 geese loafing in an out of a way spot. I'll be glad when deer season is over so that I can get to some birds that Ive been watching for the last 2 weeks. So that last week at the end of the month should be very productive for me.
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Re: N W Zone

Postby The Weasel » Tue Dec 17, 2013 4:28 pm

Season off to a good start for us. Scouting some south zone areas now to hunt over Christmas break.

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Re: N W Zone

Postby don novicki » Thu Dec 26, 2013 4:01 pm

Ducks and geese pouring in to Lake Redi MIx here in Girard, I'm guessing several thousand honkers and an in determinate number of ducks, what look to be mostly mallards. These are the days you live for as a waterfowler : cold, snow, and a stiff west wind. I hope someones out there putting a hurt on em. I'm still out of action,so lets see some pics...........
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Re: N W Zone

Postby Spunky » Fri Dec 27, 2013 4:09 pm

Had the weekend warriors show up this morning right at legal shooting time and made enough noise to wake the dead. Laughing, talking, cell phones going off, making all kinds of noise while paddling through the swamp. Sure did make an anoying morning in the swamp. Did get one mallard, only shot I took.
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Re: N W Zone

Postby Duck_Stank » Tue Dec 31, 2013 3:48 pm

don taylor wrote:And to think guys were thinking they were going to outsmart mother nature and keep the season open until January. Now, it's just hoping that this couple day run at the end of the year proves productive. I hope we get a warm spell and you get some birds to shoot at. By then, it might be too little, too late. They'll all be South. The break might give the locals a chance to relax and make for easy pickings come 3 weeks. Who knows.

I'm just glad i had a chance to shoot all those birds in October and didn't sit it out for a split that would have been useless.

I've had some of the best hunting of my year on the rivers in the nw zone this last split of five days...I'd like a bigger split
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Re: N W Zone

Postby Spunky » Tue Dec 31, 2013 4:42 pm

Today was a pefect day for hunting. Good 20-30 mph winds, snow, cold temps and birds. What more could you ask for? Where I was hunting the birds took a good couple of minutes just to try to line up with decoys. They really had to fight the wind but did commit. 2 mallards and a goose.
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Re: N W Zone

Postby don novicki » Tue Dec 31, 2013 6:04 pm

1-2 feet of snow coming tonight/tomorrow. Still geese and ducks around with Lake Redi Mix wide open and holding lots of birds. For everyone that can get out tomorrow good luck and Happy New Year........
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Re: N W Zone

Postby dsm16428 » Tue Dec 31, 2013 7:37 pm

don novicki wrote:1-2 feet of snow coming tonight/tomorrow. Still geese and ducks around with Lake Redi Mix wide open and holding lots of birds. For everyone that can get out tomorrow good luck and Happy New Year........


I'm gonna try to get out tomorrow after work with this cold and snow. Last day for ducks and we had a bunch buzzing the goose spread just before they came back in.
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Re: N W Zone

Postby don taylor » Thu Jan 02, 2014 9:56 am

I heard from Bassmaster the Shenango was pretty busy over the split, filled with guys taking passing shots and packed into the areas that are not privately held. The worst thing that could happen for you guys is having part timers taste success on the rivers and creeks late season. You can't shoot up small water and have it recover quickly enough.



Sorry to read about the foot, Don. I snapped both arms a few years back in 09 and had to sit out the first two months, then used severly atrophied arms to try and shoot and paddle the rest of the season. It could be worse.
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Re: N W Zone

Postby Duck_Stank » Thu Jan 02, 2014 10:05 am

don taylor wrote:I heard from Bassmaster the Shenango was pretty busy over the split, filled with guys taking passing shots and packed into the areas that are not privately held. The worst thing that could happen for you guys is having part timers taste success on the rivers and creeks late season. You can't shoot up small water and have it recover quickly enough.



Sorry to read about the foot, Don. I snapped both arms a few years back in 09 and had to sit out the first two months, then used severly atrophied arms to try and shoot and paddle the rest of the season. It could be worse.

Can't control who goes out or where. Doesn't change my mind on a longer split anyways. Give the ducks a two week break during rifle season like geese. I'd like that a lot.
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Re: N W Zone

Postby Duck_Stank » Thu Jan 02, 2014 10:13 am

I saw and shot ducks everyday those five days between three spots in a three to five mile radius road wise (even shorter waterway wise) you can outshine any new guys or pass shooters with jerk rigs and knowing what you're doing.
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Re: N W Zone

Postby don taylor » Thu Jan 02, 2014 11:04 am

I could see and shoot ducks in the NWZ every day of the year. I'm refering to quality hunting where people have enough room to allow for a decent hunt to happen. Late season, the crowdd thins. When pymie is open, the river spots and creeks are left to the locals. Freeze the swamps, you'll see more crowds on the small water and maybe bringing them back during a thaw... when they'd normally hit the empty swamps.

I saw far too many mass migrations of mallards in pymie while we sat out deer season. From 06 to 10 it was standard and what lead to the complaints that got us open during deer. No thanks to sitting out the prime migration times to allow deer hunters the chance to make the most of both seasons. Pick one or the other.
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Re: N W Zone

Postby Duck_Stank » Thu Jan 02, 2014 11:40 am

I'm not a deer hunter, go out maybe twice a year at most. You know what they say about assumptions ;). I have more fun and see more birds when the lakes freeze and they use the rivers. Personal preference and one held by many I know around here. You don't agree, that's fine. Many I know and myself disagree, which is also fine.
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Re: N W Zone

Postby don novicki » Thu Jan 02, 2014 4:04 pm

Snowing now. We probably got 6-8" yesterday and we have gotten at least 8 inches so far today, with up to another 12" overnight, and still..........there are mallards around, and in good numbers. Some open water that the geese are keeping open and this wind should help maintain the hole. I for one am glad we had the split....... :thumbsup: Now to get Erie County moved into the Lake Erie Zone and be done with Pymie once and for all.........
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Re: N W Zone

Postby dsm16428 » Fri Jan 03, 2014 7:29 am

Here ya go Don. Got outta work at 1300 and was set up by 1345. Wasn't even all the way in the layout blind and I had 5 green heads working the field. Couple chuckles and they locked right up. Shot a triple within 45 seconds of being set up. Another 25 minutes later I was done on mallards and had 4 honkers belly up. Called an old HS buddy and told him to get his but out there!! Hung up the phone and looked up to see a pair coming in and finished my limit of geese. He got there 30 minutes later and shot one goose. Lol. By that time they had all headed back to the roost. I saw prob 300 geese and 75 mallards in 45 minutes.
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Re: N W Zone

Postby Spunky » Fri Jan 03, 2014 8:10 am

I'm also seeing plenty of birds. More geese than ducks. Now if the weather would break so it isn't so cold I should finish out the season in an above average way.

One method that I use with good results is not your typical method of hunting geese but it does work. Started doing this about 10 years and it has produced every year.

The birds will get condition to the ice fisherman and the huts around the lake. Set up the shanty and fish and when you hear the geese coming load up and be ready to pop out of the shelter and let them have it. Shot many a bird at Wilhelm, Pymie, and Shenango using this method. Works especially well if the birds are roosting on the ice. Set up a 1/4 mile up wind and just wait. Last year I shot 21 birds using this method, mainly due to poor ice conditions. Usually the best spot is finding which direction the birds use leaving the roost and hunt far enough away that doesn't spook them yet a spot that still will produce easy shots. 20-30 yard shots aren't uncommon.

Saw some guys last year set up in layout blinds with snow covers and set out decoys on the ice and they clobbered the birds when they returned from feeding.

But this method does have it's draw back. You MUST have ice that you can walk on. I won't go out on anything less than 6 inches. Found that a 10-12 lb goose can go through the ice if it's less than 4 inches.
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Re: N W Zone

Postby dsm16428 » Fri Jan 03, 2014 8:50 am

That and they're shooting up the roost. I'll hammer a loafing area/pond every day. They'll just pick another spot. You whack at em enough times-sometimes just once on a roost and you degrade your chances of seeing those birds around ever again exponentially.
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