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It was an absolute tractor pull trying to get out of there, not going to lie thought multiple time about just letting my rig float away and start anew, but it was worth the price of admission. Thanks to AA for letting me join and showing me the ropes. We saw a ton of birds, don't think I've seen anything like the amount flying yesterday. Definitely difficult shooting with how strong the wind was, they could take off and peel out in a hurry. But we had multiple groups of geese finish with us in layout blinds smack in the middle of the silos, thought some were going to land on us. Pretty incredible, such a blast. Farmhunter the Affinity gang struggled early, but in the end the good guys won! Look forward to getting back out there again, a lot of work but worth it!
 

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Bird Beak Phasianidae Galliformes Feather

Well, I thought I was done for 2021 with a medical procedure. Thanks to the miracles of modern medicine I’m back in the game. I did miss shotgun season for deer but after getting cleared to hunt on Tuesday I was right back in the stand Wednesday with my muzzleloader. There’s been some good duck flights observed as of late. My spot had a coating of ice on Wednesday but I counted on it melting overnight with the front coming through. It did. So I was full on duck mode this morning and for the next two days. Most likely will freeze up starting Monday but I’ll just switch over to deer. Pretty good flight at first light. Blacks, mallards and geese and 3 Wood ducks that I of course missed. Connected on a few right over the decoys. Not a bad morning at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #83 ·
That’s a pretty good sized goose! At least it looks it. Great that your back at it!


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A lot slower than yesterday this morning but a nice morning and good to be out. Most of the birds were flying well before LST but a few made the rounds after. Avoided the skunk thanks to a very young and dumb black duck. But hey, I’ll take it. One more tomorrow then back to deer hunting. On a side note, I heard some shots in the region before LST. A holes.
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My bad BM, forgot to set my watch back from daylight savings... :LOL: but seriously not cool. Not worth it for a couple birds. On a positive note, so good to see you back out hunting sir and sounds like recovery went really well! Good luck in the morning
 

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Hunted central this morning as it looks like things may ice up this week. Insane number of mallard this morning! Had a drake canvasback swim into the decoys. I have never seen one in Massachusetts and positive on his ID. Thought about taking him, but have shot them on Lake Michigan. Let him continue his swim upriver. Jumped him again paddling out. Anyone ever shoot a canvasback in Mass?
 

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Discussion Starter · #87 ·
I also hunted Central this morning and there was quite a few mallards and blacks but they were extremely wary. Had 3 mallards drop right in just after legal and I missed and easy layup. That ended up being my only opportunity of the morning. Hunted until 11:00 and had some birds circle but wouldn’t commit. I was hidden extremely well too.

Buffle, Dog Tired shot 2 Can’s maybe 4 years ago in western MA.


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Same to report on my hunt in central this morning, tons of mallards and blacks, and still saw quite a few woodies, and we ended up bagging 2 of them. Like AA said, super wary birds. Everything we shot were passing shots or birds that would cup up in front of us only to bank last minute and land 75-100 yds out, and eventually were able to be patient for them to swim in. The only bird that landed in the kill hole was one of the geese, that cupped up and flew right over the duck decoys almost took out the spinner. Don’t think I’ve ever seen a goose do that. Ended up with 2 geese, 2 woodies, and a mallard. We should have doubled up on a pair of blacks but we got impatient and tried taking them on their first pass. Will be interesting to see what happens this week with temps dropping in the low 20s.

Bird Vertebrate Mammal Beak Grass
 

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Well, like I predicted, my spot froze up quick by Monday morning. Off to the deer woods with the muzzleloader. I’m mostly a morning deer guy but did an afternoon sit yesterday after a few quiet mornings. It paid off with a small doe coming by at twenty yards. 40 minutes in the stand and it was done.
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Discussion Starter · #91 ·
Congrats BM! She should eat real good! Early Christmas present!


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Headed out early and hunted a coastal marsh location near my home. I’m relatively new to duck hunting, so I missed my chance a few times due needing to ID with binoculars before shooting. Lots of black ducks and divers, heard some Old Squaw in the distance too. A hen Bufflehead managed to evade a hail of #4 boss twice, guess they’re making them armor plated these days.


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Headed out with a buddy for the annual Christmas Eve morning hunt. Always look forward to this hunt each season, really kicks off the Christmas festivities for me. There have been some bangers, and there have been some absolute busts. But regardless I love the opportunity to share the blind with good people during the holidays, talking about the year while enjoying some coffee.

Today was a tale of 2 hunts, the snow really made for some challenges. We must of paddled out to knock snow off the decoys 3-4 times, did not think it was going to snow that hard today. We saw a ton of birds the first 30 mins, huge groups of ducks, but couldn’t get any to commit over the snow covered dekes. First pair that eventually gave it up was an odd one, second time this season, this time a black duck and drake woodie flying together and committing to the spread. I went for the woodie and completely whiffed, buddy snagged the black duck. Then came a giant lull in action as the snow picked up, before a group of 14 geese cupped right in, both of us shooting a pair. The snow picked back up and we sat for a couple hours without seeing a single bird. About ready to call it quits, we looked at the radar and the snow would be tapering off soon. We decide to give it 30 mins or so after the snow clears and see what happens. Glad we stuck it out…

Right after the snow stops, we have 3 mallards give us a look, and we decide on the second pass to shoot. We end up getting all 3, absolutely pillowcased two of them. So I am limited out on mallards, I tell my buddy let’s at least stick a few more mins to try to get your other mallard. Eventually get a pair drake/hen to give a look, I start calling, and after circling 3-4 times they bank one final turn, eventually give it up perfect in our face. Buddy picks out the drake, and what a good choice. He shoots his first ever band!!! Local bird banded last year. I couldn’t believe it when I picked it up out of the water. So stoked for him, he is a die hard hunter, been hunting for a long time, and to witness him snag his first band was truly special. Definitely a Xmas Eve hunt neither of us will forget! Ended with 5 ducks and 4 geese.

Hope everyone has a blessed and Merry Christmas with your family and loved ones!

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Discussion Starter · #94 ·
Congratulations on an awesome morning! Your stories of the hunts are always great too!


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Some nice reports! The ice finally got the best of me and the great two weeks of mallard hunting has come to an end. Hope this spot opens back up for one more trip before central closes. Hit the coast on Christmas eve and very slow. Basically focused on divers as blacks were not moving. Shot very poor, must have gotten used to those cupped up mallards at 15 yards 😂. Birds were buzzing decoys at high speeds. Was able to scratch out some bufflehead and a pair of old squaw. Had a trio of goldeneye buzz the decoys, but were gone before I could even shoulder the gun.
 

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Congrats on the deer! Another very slow morning on the coast!!!
Bird Vertebrate Mammal Beak Grass
Very few blacks moving and those that were had no interest in decoying. Shot very poor again today. All birds came at once. Went from seeing nothing to having bufflehead, old squaw, and goldeneye from every direction. Took a hen bufflehead and old squaw and whiffed on drake old squaw. Only other birds all morning was a single bufflehead that buzzed the spread and another drake old squaw which I missed both.
 

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Limited time to hunt today and decided to continue hunting divers. Only had a small two hour hunting window, but tide was right. Got buzzed right after setting the decoys and before I even loaded up. Then it was a steady parade of bufflehead. Shot well today and quickly had 4. Decided to hold out for 45 minutes in hopes of goldeneye or old squaw. Ended up cashing in with a greater scaup drake!
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Discussion Starter · #99 ·
Great looking bird! That’s one thing I don’t have a great spot for is divers. I know of a great spot but the tide and wind are always crazy and it’s just not worth risking.


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Another quick diver hunt today. For having a week off I haven’t been able to hunt as much as I would have liked. Good numbers of bufflehead, but majority hens and buzzing the decoys at high speeds. Had one large group with two drakes in it and was able to down both birds. Love these little guys! Going to be grinding a bunch of meat tomorrow for sausage and will make a little jerky.
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