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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, how did your year go?

Our season technically ends this weekend, and I may go one more time if the ice is not too thick, but for all practical purposes, it's over.

In West Central Missouri, it was dry, dry, dry, so the seasonal wetlands and puddles never happened, and very warm. Little to no measurable rain since September. We had pump (and time) issues, so we had minimal huntable water early on, but oddly had some very good hunts with limits of mallards.

After procuring a new pump and filling the duck lake, things looked much better, but success did not follow. The second half of the season was very slow resulting in some days producing a couple of harvested birds and other days rarely seeing a duck in the air.

We are now entering the "We need" season when my three partners talk about all the things We Need to do, but none will take action, and next year will look like this year.

Still better than sitting on the couch or working.
 

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I should not say this too loudly but ours has been fairly decent with all things considered. We have until the last Sunday of the month and a lot can happen in those few weeks but if it ended today, I would be exceptionally satisfied.

We have a lot of "we need" talk but we just usually end up buying more ammo instead. :)
 

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Slow, bought a Kayak to get into a marsh that the mud is too nasty to wade into, plus it is a long way through cattail. Made it in with the yak and the water level was way lower, which is strange cuz most everything else was up, barely made it back as the yak was dragging ass and I about beached it multiple times!

Going tomorrow as season goes till the end of the month, but the marsh that holds birds is most likely froze so hoping the ducks are in the canal and river.
 

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Been good so far. Have till end of January. Sucks, but drought years seem to be the best ones.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Been good so far. Have till end of January. Sucks, but drought years seem to be the best ones.
That does seem to be the case at times. When we have to go through the hassle of pumping from a very low river, testing the pump's lift capability, and it is a giant pain, it does seem like we have had better seasons.

When we are blessed with a big rain resulting in a brief flood of our club which sits in a Corpse of Engineers (Little Hussein humor) flood easement, the duck lake and L shaped slew we call Poachers Point both look fantastic, but I don't think we do as well.

Oh well. I will still opt for the flood as I freaking hate dragging the pump in and then trying to get someone to volunteer to drive an hour each way to pour ten more gallons in each day.
 

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Hey guys. Thought I would make my first comment on this thread. I am relatively new to waterfowl and this is my second serious season. Before I would go out with whoever else wanted to try for some ducks if they didn't get a big game tag. Last season me and my buddy got way into it. We started off in Nov of '20 and man we hunted to the end of dark goose and tried a couple weekends into the conservation order. There were a lot of growing pains last season but the flocks were plentiful. This season has been incredibly dry and warm so the geese really haven't moved around much and flocks are small. Ducks were decent now at the December and I've been able to harvest some Mallards & Gadwalls. I'm joining a group this Saturday for a special veterans hunt to go for geese. We are supposed to set up a huge spread on private land with a decent sized pond. Hopefully it pans out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well JAC40, welcome to your new addiction for which there is no cure, and it sounds like y'all are having success which is great.

After decades of hunting experience, I can tell you that none of us really know what we are doing. We just pretend. Somedays, we show up late, haphazardly toss decoys, talk too much in the blind, and kill limits. Other days, we arrive at the blind an hour before shooting time, check the wind and set decoys accordingly, add extra brush to the blind, load up and ...... watch birds pass us by all day.

In which part of the country are you hunting?

Also thanks for serving our country. Let the other veterans on your hunt know that the hunters of America love and appreciate them for keeping us and our families safe and free.
 

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Well JAC40, welcome to your new addiction for which there is no cure, and it sounds like y'all are having success which is great.

After decades of hunting experience, I can tell you that none of us really know what we are doing. We just pretend. Somedays, we show up late, haphazardly toss decoys, talk too much in the blind, and kill limits. Other days, we arrive at the blind an hour before shooting time, check the wind and set decoys accordingly, add extra brush to the blind, load up and ...... watch birds pass us by all day.

In which part of the country are you hunting?

Also thanks for serving our country. Let the other veterans on your hunt know that the hunters of America love and appreciate them for keeping us and our families safe and free.

Thanks for the welcome and thank you for the support! I am hunting in Eastern New Mexico mainly so I am in the the Central flyaway.
 

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If it wasn’t for specks and some curious snows, it would be a pretty slow season for the southern portion of the Mississippi flyway. Im just glad I love hunting specks as much (or more) than big ducks. Anything much south of central Arkansas seems to be struggling between the lack of water and birds.


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If it wasn’t for specks and some curious snows, it would be a pretty slow season for the southern portion of the Mississippi flyway. Im just glad I love hunting specks as much (or more) than big ducks..

Being as how you now have what were our specks, I hate you.
 

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I had a slow start to the season. None of my wood duck holes produced like they normally do. Did get onto the green wing teal a bit. Later on in the season the mallards were fairly plentiful but here in the Atlantic flyway we are blessed with a 2 bird limit. Took a friend out for the first time and he is now add. Pretty much lost interest in chasing eiders for now so I haven’t been at all. Decided to try my hand at building a Kara hummer s a winter project so we’ll see how that goes. Sure wish we had specks here. That’s pretty high up on my bucket list.


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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Oddly, I had a great end to my season.

We are frozen out and other than some river flyers, all the ducks have moved south.

I arrived at the club today at about 8am to pick up the duckcart and an ATV, and to hang all the decoys in one blind and cover it with a tarp. It is peaceful, solitary work, as we are well over a mile from the nearest farmhouse.

Upon arrival, I was walking down into the woods where we park the ATVs and duckcart. The duckcart was facing away from me and I saw some eyes look over the seat at me. Dang it. I thought a raccoon had taken up squatters rights. Then I heard a soft- woof, woof.

As I approached, it was a young, little beagle, and it was really shivering from the cold. Thankfully, it had a collar with a metal tag attached. Of course, I had to take a pic with my phone and zoom in as I forgot my reading glasses, dang it.

This was Lilly, and her owner's number was on the tag. I picked up Lilly so that she would not take off and carried her to my toasty warm truck and put her inside, and then called the number on the tag and left a voice mail. I went about my work.

A few minutes later, a person called back. He said they were out on the roads looking for her at that time, and he had prepared his son that it was likely his dog was not coming back. Said that after the sun went down the night before that they spent three hours driving the county and farm roads looking for Lilly. I let him know I was also a dog lover, so I could not imagine the anguish this caused them.

I told him where I was and he said he knew the spot and was on his way, and I went about dragging trailers out of the bottoms and up to the field.

The gentleman and his teenage son arrived, and I took the now warmed up pup out of my truck and handed her over. The expression of relief on their faces almost made a mess of me.

After some pleasant casual conversation, expressions of relief, and several firm handshakes, they took off and I went back to work, and received the following text an hour later....

Sir, I just wanted to tell you again how much I appreciate the call about our beagle. My daughter was up all night crying, so you’ve made her day. Nice to meet you, don’t hesitate to call if you guys ever need anything.

I am sooooo glad I decided to weather the cold to pick-up today. In an odd way, I will never forget this season for its ending. It was a good season.
 

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Good job Rat! 👍 Does the heart good to do good deeds. Beagles, the most lost dog breed on earth. :ROFLMAO: Have run into countless guys over time when rabbit or pheasant hunting that were searaching for their lost Beagle. Almost like it's a hobby. They are great at running rabbits by ya though! 👍
 

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That's great you got to save the little guy.

My DIY season has been a complete bust.

The club I've hunted at for about 15 years. The ducks just fell off a cliff a few years back. It wasn't great, but there were usually enough around to be fun. This is my second season of zero. But that's in part because I used to hunt about 30 days. This year I hunted 3.

I also hunt by a cooling lake late season. We never really got the cold we need before the season ended. They did better than I expected so I may have missed out, but couldn't convince myself to duck hunt instead of archery. We saw some nice bucks, but never got a shot. I did get a 1.5 year old buck. So the freezer is not completely empty.

Geese are really my waterfowl season outside our annual trips. I break it in my mind into early, middle and late. September is feast or famine. Last three years have been good with two years ago I got a couple birds shy of my best season just in the 15 day season in September. This year was a bust. Middle is where I mix ducks and geese, sometimes targeting one or the other, depending on activity. Didn't even go. Missed one goose on one of my 3 duck days.

Now usually my goose season averages out. Good early. Bad middle/late. The season actually goes until the end of January. I'll need one hell of a finish, but I am in Florida. I was planning to go up, but after such a terrible season and now Covid rates sky high. I don't want to go up there and get stuck in Illinois because they close things or I get quarantined. I still may go, but I think my season is over.

The saving grace was our trip to Lubbock, TX to hunt sandhill cranes. Amazing three days with a great group of guys.
 

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Being as how you now have what were our specks, I hate you.
I agree with your statement. The numbers in the north MS/Arkansas/West TN areas have gone up year over year for quite a while. I remember hunting at a friends lease 10+ years ago in Mississippi and we saw specks, but most were high and headed to Louisiana. Now, that really doesn’t seem to be the case as they show up mid Nov and stay.

Though many still chase the ducks, I got hooked hard on specks a few seasons back and really prefer chasing them over any duck. I still consider myself far from experienced in the art of speck hunting, but working them gets me excited. If you ever find yourself up near where I hunt, swing by. I’d love to sit with you and pick your brain on those birds. I’ve read many of your posts and articles you have been referenced in with respect to specks. Been a lot of help.


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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I remember hunting at a friends lease 10+ years ago in Mississippi and we saw specks, but most were high and headed to Louisiana. Now, that really doesn’t seem to be the case as they show up mid Nov and stay.
It is interesting how things change and morph. About ten years ago, you could have called our club Gadwall Corner as we killed more Gadwall than anything else until late in the year when it was Mallards. The last several years, we have rarely seen any Gadwall. The four of us maybe harvested two Gadwall this year and I might be off by one.
 

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I agree with your statement. The numbers in the north MS/Arkansas/West TN areas have gone up year over year for quite a while. I remember hunting at a friends lease 10+ years ago in Mississippi and we saw specks, but most were high and headed to Louisiana. Now, that really doesn’t seem to be the case as they show up mid Nov and stay.

Though many still chase the ducks, I got hooked hard on specks a few seasons back and really prefer chasing them over any duck. I still consider myself far from experienced in the art of speck hunting, but working them gets me excited. If you ever find yourself up near where I hunt, swing by. I’d love to sit with you and pick your brain on those birds. I’ve read many of your posts and articles you have been referenced in with respect to specks. Been a lot of help.


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Appreciate it. Enjoyed the now too rate treat of working a couple at my marsh blind this morning. Has become all the more fun for becoming so rare - but I still wish it wasn't.
 
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