Duck Hunter Numbers

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Duck Hunter Numbers

Postby Mallard Cutter » Tue Jan 17, 2017 10:26 pm

Just noticed a few days ago that the traffic on all duck hunting websites seems to be decreasing. Has anyone noticed an actual decrease in the number of duck hunters overall ???? I only hunt private land and I used to hear folks using the ponds around me shoot a volley every once in awhile but over the last two years I have heard nothing. Just curious if maybe the new has worn off of our sport by the younger crowd.
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Re: Duck Hunter Numbers

Postby Bluesky2012 » Wed Jan 18, 2017 6:26 am

During teal season I did notice a decrease in people out in the marsh. I started hunting a few different holes this year so I can't compare as well to previous years, but it did seem like there were a few less people out there. We'll see though. I'd love for the novelty of the fad to wear off and bring the numbers of weekend warriors down.


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Re: Duck Hunter Numbers

Postby NCBUTTERBALL » Wed Jan 18, 2017 8:29 am

Also hasnt been the best weather and hunting the last couple of years, so I'd assume thats a factor.
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Re: Duck Hunter Numbers

Postby KAhunter » Wed Jan 18, 2017 10:33 am

Give it a few slow years and some lower limits/shorter seasons and people will weed themselves out. Alot of guys dropped it back when it was 30 days and 3 ducks per day.
"If you have to be crazy to be a duck hunter, i dont wish to be sane" Robert Ruark

Its always duck season, there is just a long break from february to september.
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Re: Duck Hunter Numbers

Postby ncbufflehead » Wed Jan 18, 2017 11:14 am

I think facebook groups is the reason there's not as much on these websites anymore.
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Re: Duck Hunter Numbers

Postby creekcaptain » Wed Jan 18, 2017 11:50 am

ncbufflehead wrote:I think facebook groups is the reason there's not as much on these websites anymore.



I think this is definitely a factor. The young bucks can post all there kill pics and tell each other where they shot all there ducks so everyone can share and have equal success. :fingerhead: Over here they get beat up by the old guys for "sharing". Talk forums are old school nowadays.
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Re: Duck Hunter Numbers

Postby Paul26 » Wed Jan 18, 2017 3:57 pm

Yes, I agree that the chatter here has been considerably less than past years. I don't know if I have seen more than a handful of kill pics, little weather discussion, absolutely no talk of decoy tactics, layout boats, calls......all the stuff we see over the years.

Kind of disappointing actually.

But I must also add that at least in my neck of the woods, I have seen the same thing on the water and at the ramps. So while the lack of duck-chatter may be due to social media, I think that this year there just hasn't been a lot of folks hunting compared to the last 5-10 years.

This past Monday (MLK) has ALWAYS been one of the crazy busiest of the season here. Mine was the only boat at a normally packed marina aboard Camp Lejeune, and I did see a SINGLE light on the other side of the New River at 0500.........normally in mid-late Jan they appear to spaced out across the entire shoreline. Even in bad years for actual duck activity there were plenty of hunters. Not this year.

Probably just cyclic. Maybe the Duck Dynasaty phase is ending, just like the Tiger-Golf phase ended. Hell boys, keep an eye open for the decoy sales, all those millennial's are going to sell their entire duck kit and take up the next craze.
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Re: Duck Hunter Numbers

Postby Paul26 » Wed Jan 18, 2017 3:59 pm

Paul26 wrote:Yes, I agree that the chatter here has been considerably less than past years. I don't know if I have seen more than a handful of kill pics, little weather discussion, absolutely no talk of decoy tactics, layout boats, calls......all the stuff we see over the years.

Kind of disappointing actually.

But I must also add that at least in my neck of the woods, I have seen the same thing on the water and at the ramps. So while the lack of duck-chatter may be due to social media, I think that this year there just hasn't been a lot of folks hunting compared to the last 5-10 years.

This past Monday (MLK) has ALWAYS been one of the crazy busiest of the season here. Mine was the only boat at a normally packed marina aboard Camp Lejeune, and I did not see a SINGLE light on the other side of the New River at 0500.........normally in mid-late Jan they appear to spaced out across the entire shoreline. Even in bad years for actual duck activity there were plenty of hunters. Not this year.

Probably just cyclic. Maybe the Duck Dynasaty phase is ending, just like the Tiger-Golf phase ended. Hell boys, keep an eye open for the decoy sales, all those millennial's are going to sell their entire duck kit and take up the next craze.
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Re: Duck Hunter Numbers

Postby Bluesky2012 » Wed Jan 18, 2017 6:28 pm

Paul26 wrote:Yes, I agree that the chatter here has been considerably less than past years. I don't know if I have seen more than a handful of kill pics, little weather discussion, absolutely no talk of decoy tactics, layout boats, calls......all the stuff we see over the years.

Kind of disappointing actually.

But I must also add that at least in my neck of the woods, I have seen the same thing on the water and at the ramps. So while the lack of duck-chatter may be due to social media, I think that this year there just hasn't been a lot of folks hunting compared to the last 5-10 years.

This past Monday (MLK) has ALWAYS been one of the crazy busiest of the season here. Mine was the only boat at a normally packed marina aboard Camp Lejeune, and I did see a SINGLE light on the other side of the New River at 0500.........normally in mid-late Jan they appear to spaced out across the entire shoreline. Even in bad years for actual duck activity there were plenty of hunters. Not this year.

Probably just cyclic. Maybe the Duck Dynasaty phase is ending, just like the Tiger-Golf phase ended. Hell boys, keep an eye open for the decoy sales, all those millennial's are going to sell their entire duck kit and take up the next craze.


Shoot man never put it together that you were so close to me all these years. Too bad I'm moving soon now.


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Re: Duck Hunter Numbers

Postby Dingbatter » Wed Jan 18, 2017 6:55 pm

Mike Marsh didn't have any articles with locations in the Wilmington Star News this year (so far). Man he has screwed up some good areas over the years. :mad:
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Re: Duck Hunter Numbers

Postby ncdrumchaser » Thu Jan 19, 2017 4:15 am

i think the numbers are up or at least the same. The amount of jon boats going down up and down 64 each weekend tell the tale. Hahhaha just cause you don't see them at your ramp doesn't mean they are not here! All the duck commanders are busy hiring all the new guides here in dare county, hunting the public waters in Hyde each weekend, or running their own internet guide service on the public waters in Hyde!
becuase you leave at 2 am to hunt ducks... makes me glad we have blind laws!
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Re: Duck Hunter Numbers

Postby Paul26 » Thu Jan 19, 2017 10:03 am

Yeah, could be true. Shouldn't assume state-wide trends based off what I am seeing in the Onslow-Western Carteret areas. But I can state without question that the hunting pressure in this area has been down considerably. If all the youngsters went to Hyde: great. Lord knows the locals (guides) up there can use the $.

Come to think of it.....that's actually a great arrangement for us down here!

More conspiracy theory: I think the 17 and 19 degree nights on 8-9 Jan absolutely crushed us. It could not have come at a worse time. I think the massive flights and rafts I normally see this time of the season simply aren't here. This is very similar to 2010, when we had a deep freeze and they kept cruising south right at the major migration time.

I'll be in Hyde County for the last weekend. Anyone: PM on what you're seeing there. I'll be on a private impoundment.
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Re: Duck Hunter Numbers

Postby davidsonducks » Thu Jan 19, 2017 12:19 pm

I certainly can't speak for the coast, but here in the piedmont it seems numbers have at least maintained if not increased slightly. I have noticed some changes in hunting behavior this year that I haven't seen in the past. Usually I hunt fronts, before and after, and occasionally in between if I am bored. This method has typically led to great success, but this year has just been awful. Which leads me to the point about hunting behavior. The particular lake I hunt used to be pretty barren during the week days with maybe one or or two parties at most hunting. This year there has been pressure literally every day, with multiple boats, and to boot, there are no ducks. I hunted the snow, the zero degree morning, and every front in between. No ducks, yet the hunters keep coming back and staying. While it hasn't been over crowded this year like the last couple, there is no break in the action. Everyday there are people at the ramp, and they shoot nothing, its really shocking. Sixty degrees yesterday, four boats hunting, blows my mind. The constant pressure seems to not allow the couple ducks that used to hang out on the lake to build numbers for when a front does come to get them to move around. I honestly hope with last year being sub-par, and this year being my worst personally in six years, that these guys will give it up, but who knows.
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Re: Duck Hunter Numbers

Postby Dingbatter » Thu Jan 19, 2017 7:07 pm

Paul26 wrote:Yeah, could be true. Shouldn't assume state-wide trends based off what I am seeing in the Onslow-Western Carteret areas. But I can state without question that the hunting pressure in this area has been down considerably. If all the youngsters went to Hyde: great. Lord knows the locals (guides) up there can use the $.

Come to think of it.....that's actually a great arrangement for us down here!

More conspiracy theory: I think the 17 and 19 degree nights on 8-9 Jan absolutely crushed us. It could not have come at a worse time. I think the massive flights and rafts I normally see this time of the season simply aren't here. This is very similar to 2010, when we had a deep freeze and they kept cruising south right at the major migration time.

I'll be in Hyde County for the last weekend. Anyone: PM on what you're seeing there. I'll be on a private impoundment.



We had a strong front push through in December too. Lows in the 20s on a full moon, I think the birds just flew us over on the way south.
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Re: Duck Hunter Numbers

Postby ncbufflehead » Thu Jan 19, 2017 10:19 pm

Paul26 wrote: If all the youngsters went to Hyde: great. Lord knows the locals (guides) up there can use the $.

A lot of the new "guides" aren't locals and most haven't hunted these areas very long. I'm not sure how a lot of these clowns are even getting the captains license required to legally take hunters in a boat, some have got to be lying about sea time. Some of these guys are absolute morons. Honestly, it's pretty freaking amazing that they haven't killed anyone yet.
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Re: Duck Hunter Numbers

Postby merg » Fri Jan 20, 2017 6:14 am

More pressure than ever at coast. Unbelievable the number of 20-25 yr olds hunting every day. None of em seem to have jobs, although they have jacked up trucks, nice boats and a Drake wardrobe. The few I know "work" for daddy.
Doesn't help that the first advice newbies have gotten for 15 yrs on social media is "head to the coast".
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Re: Duck Hunter Numbers

Postby ncdrumchaser » Fri Jan 20, 2017 6:29 am

I'm am pretty sure Ol captain froggy sunk his boat at the dock at big trout a few years back. I don't think that went over to well. I don't have Facebook, don't want it either. Although over the years I really did enjoy reading these forums over the season. They are verybtame now!
becuase you leave at 2 am to hunt ducks... makes me glad we have blind laws!
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Re: Duck Hunter Numbers

Postby EastBound&Down » Fri Jan 20, 2017 10:17 am

merg wrote:More pressure than ever at coast. Unbelievable the number of 20-25 yr olds hunting every day. None of em seem to have jobs, although they have jacked up trucks, nice boats and a Drake wardrobe. The few I know "work" for daddy.
Doesn't help that the first advice newbies have gotten for 15 yrs on social media is "head to the coast".

100% correct
It's all about the social appearance part of being a bada-- duck hunter. Poor guys aren't even having successful hunts and keep coming back for more and more. As long as there is breakfast cooked in the blind and you got a heater running so your tootsies don't' get cold, it's a successful hunt.
Some of the described above about killed 1 of my friends a month ago. Buddy was hunting off a small island and out setting decoys from the boat. Keep in mind my friend is running navigation lights on his boat and shining a head lamp. Here comes daddies 20' Jon boat w/ 115 full throttle and runs through decoy spread, misses buddies boat by 25', and hits island and grounds boat 10yards onto dry land. Youngens had so much gear stacked on bow they could not see forward and were driving strictly by GPS. Their response was they drove same track day before and did not know where this island had appeared from. Buddy looked at their GPS screen and course track showed correctly them T-boning into the land just as they did. Took about 45 mins to get their boat back into the water and luckily no one was hurt or killed.
I kill more ducks in one week on public water than you and your "Crews" or "Teams" would even think of killing all season. I work hard, scout and abide by the law...but still kill the crap out of ducks.
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Re: Duck Hunter Numbers

Postby quackedout » Fri Jan 20, 2017 8:21 pm

davidsonducks wrote:I certainly can't speak for the coast, but here in the piedmont it seems numbers have at least maintained if not increased slightly. I have noticed some changes in hunting behavior this year that I haven't seen in the past. Usually I hunt fronts, before and after, and occasionally in between if I am bored. This method has typically led to great success, but this year has just been awful. Which leads me to the point about hunting behavior. The particular lake I hunt used to be pretty barren during the week days with maybe one or or two parties at most hunting. This year there has been pressure literally every day, with multiple boats, and to boot, there are no ducks. I hunted the snow, the zero degree morning, and every front in between. No ducks, yet the hunters keep coming back and staying. While it hasn't been over crowded this year like the last couple, there is no break in the action. Everyday there are people at the ramp, and they shoot nothing, its really shocking. Sixty degrees yesterday, four boats hunting, blows my mind. The constant pressure seems to not allow the couple ducks that used to hang out on the lake to build numbers for when a front does come to get them to move around. I honestly hope with last year being sub-par, and this year being my worst personally in six years, that these guys will give it up, but who knows.



Worst year for us in 6 or 7 years as well. I hunt different lakes around the piedmont and it has been pretty much slow all season. Usually in years past you will hit good little 2 or 3 day stretches after a front where there are a few birds around but not this year. Hunter numbers appear about the same to me for the places we go but I will say that most people this year have been courteous and not setting up too close which is nice.
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Re: Duck Hunter Numbers

Postby HydeMarsh » Sat Jan 21, 2017 9:04 pm

Has been a very slow year for us. wish we had all the shooting we hear at "Dare to Hyde". not being derogatory, just envious. Do not see nearly the boats at the ramps as we did 2 years ago. My spots in the sound have not nearly the ducks as years past. In our impoundments we have definitely not had the gadwall numbers we have had in previous years, teal numbers are down, pintails are up (not a bad problem)
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Re: Duck Hunter Numbers

Postby Dingbatter » Sun Jan 22, 2017 9:45 am

I had an invitation to hunt Lake Mattamuskeet last weekend and it was the first time I had been to Hyde Co since 2009.I have a buddy who used to hunt it for years but had stopped due to all the new crowds who have showed up over the past 5 years. He had told me the place had gone to crap and after what I saw last weekend I have to agree. People everywhere and I mean everywhere. I don't think you'll see me there again until I get another invitation or draw a permit to the refuge, and that isn't anything to get hyped up about. I had fun and enjoyed the hunt but for now, I'll keep going and doing what I'm doing now. Hyde Co no thanks!
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Re: Duck Hunter Numbers

Postby Paul26 » Sun Jan 22, 2017 6:11 pm

Last one on this: I just figured it out. This year had no energy to it. From weather, to talking to hunters at the ramps, to trading scouting reports with trusted friends, and most tellingly, the lack of hunting reports and actual pics, this whole season was just lethargic.

I caught the lethargy bug myself: I did not go yesterday due to 60 degrees and fog. Just didn't have the drive to do the 0400 thing to shoot buffies and mergs, which is all anyone is shooting in my parts. I voluntarily did not hunt on a Saturday in January. The duck gods are not happy with me
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Re: Duck Hunter Numbers

Postby quackedout » Sun Jan 22, 2017 8:18 pm

I mostly hunt in the piedmont but know someone who lives and hunts the coast a lot that I go with. They had a pretty good week the week before Xmas but other than that it has pretty much just been scoters and buffleheads. The bluebills that normally show up in those parts havent shown and it has just been tough all together for them. They have found some bluebills on the rivers but lots of people are setting up on the same birds and it just hasnt been that easy. I know a person that has a lease on an impoundment around skeet and it has been pretty bad for them too.
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Re: Duck Hunter Numbers

Postby HydeMarsh » Sun Jan 22, 2017 8:36 pm

Dingbatter wrote:I had an invitation to hunt Lake Mattamuskeet last weekend and it was the first time I had been to Hyde Co since 2009.I have a buddy who used to hunt it for years but had stopped due to all the new crowds who have showed up over the past 5 years. He had told me the place had gone to crap and after what I saw last weekend I have to agree. People everywhere and I mean everywhere. I don't think you'll see me there again until I get another invitation or draw a permit to the refuge, and that isn't anything to get hyped up about. I had fun and enjoyed the hunt but for now, I'll keep going and doing what I'm doing now. Hyde Co no thanks!


Do you have a blind permit in Dare?
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Re: Duck Hunter Numbers

Postby Dingbatter » Mon Jan 23, 2017 6:41 pm

No
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