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Today was my last chance to get out for the season. I tried a spot that I hadn't hunted this season, plenty of birds walking in to setup but everything flew out even before legal. Had some mergs buzz threw the spread that got the pass, picked off a couple blacks in the first hour then saw nothing else but black ducks.
Ok, picked up & tried over on the other side of the marsh. More black ducks & mergs coming thru probably cause they knew they had the free pass. A pair GEs land out past the decoys(probably 40 yards) first shot they fly thru the pattern, try a second shot no shell. The shell somehow got caught on the shell latch.
Probably an hour goes by nothing but the black & merg show then I notice a duck bee lining it for the GE decoys, it swims thru those & heads for the mallards dekes. I stood up when it was right in front of me & dumped as soon as went to fly. The dog brings it back & holy **** I shot my 1st wigeon.
Ive only seen a few on some duck ponds that are the typical green/white head drake's. This one has only a little bit of white & had some faint green when holding it in the sun. I'm guessing immature drake cause of the bit of color on its head bit I've never had one in hand before View attachment 476548
Nice bird, surprised to see lack of ice in background. Dealing with a lot of ice on North Shore
 

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Congrats on band! Really curious of where it was banded?
That black duck was banded and shot in the same town on the eastern shore - Wye Mills. Banded in February of 2020, hatched in 2019. Guys I was hunting with down there said they've never seen a banded black. I certainly haven't seen any up here!
 

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That black duck was banded and shot in the same town on the eastern shore - Wye Mills. Banded in February of 2020, hatched in 2019. Guys I was hunting with down there said they've never seen a banded black. I certainly haven't seen any up here!
Thanks! I have never shot a banded black, but the group I talk to daily and hunt with have shot 4 on the north shore over the past 10 years or so. All were Nova Scotia or New Brunswick birds, hence my curiosity on your bird.
 

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Discussion Starter · #125 ·
Congrats on the band Matt and nice Wigeon Nor’easter! I also shot my first Wigeon this season but unfortunately it was a hen.


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Out for a quick one this morning. Hopefully not last hunt of season and hope to get out Saturday if ice allows. I think everyone had the same idea, with the amount of shooting going on. Had a black decoy about 15 minutes after shooting light at about 10 yards and emptied my gun. Shortly after had a pair of goldeneye buzz the diver dekes and whiffed on the drake. Right after that 15 to 20 bufflehead buzzed me at warp speed and couldn’t stay on a bird and ended up flock shooting. Took a deep breath, did my mounting and swinging exercises and settled back in. All blacks were flying real high luckily I had a slow pick of single divers buzzing the decoys. Ended going 4 for 4 with three bufflehead and a goldeneye hen. Let a bunch of old squaw hens go and a pair of hoodies. Felt a little redemption from the poor shooting with the shot I made on the goldeneye.
Bird Vertebrate Beak Mammal Penguin
 

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Fun hunt to end the season. New spot for me, interesting canoe paddle out. Wind and snow were blowing, big flight of geese and blacks off the roost just before first light. Buffleheads and golden eyes started coming into the spread, then a few pairs of mallards and a few stray flights of geese. Finished up with a goose, mallard, pair of goldeneye and a drake bufflehead
Snow Vertebrate Mammal Wood Water
 

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I went back to the spot I shot the wigeon earlier in the week. Being the last day of the season & a Saturday there was a few other groups of guys further up river from me so it was a gauntlet all day. The majority of the ducks were flying down river getting shot at a couple times before they reached me so alot of high flyers & no interest in the decoys. Had a group of 6-8 gadwall swimming up river towards me feeding on the edge, they got about 150yds from me then one of the groups opened up so the birds jumped up & were gone.
Ended up with a pair of golden eyes, pair of hooded mergs & a couple crows that kept buzzing over the blind
Dog Braque francais Liver Working animal Carnivore
 

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I should've gone out this morning for the late week goose season but I forgot to set an alarm Oh well

So what is everyone hearing for next season proposals?
I've heard a reduction on sea ducks to 4 per day(3 drake & 1 hen eider which we already have in Massganistan) & the end of the special sea duck season in the Atlantic Flyway so they would just include sea ducks into the regular duck season.
I've heard some rumors of more reductions with mallards & black ducks which is utter BS.
Two years of no aerial surveys cause of the Wuflu is a huge BS excuse by USFWS that needs to end cause speculation by biologist that all duck populations are crashing is ludicrous!

And anything on the proposal about moving shooting setbacks out further cause of the idiots complaining on the Northshore ?
 

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I should've gone out this morning for the late week goose season but I forgot to set an alarm Oh well

So what is everyone hearing for next season proposals?
I've heard a reduction on sea ducks to 4 per day(3 drake & 1 hen eider which we already have in Massganistan) & the end of the special sea duck season in the Atlantic Flyway so they would just include sea ducks into the regular duck season.
I've heard some rumors of more reductions with mallards & black ducks which is utter BS.
Two years of no aerial surveys cause of the Wuflu is a huge BS excuse by USFWS that needs to end cause speculation by biologist that all duck populations are crashing is ludicrous!

And anything on the proposal about moving shooting setbacks out further cause of the idiots complaining on the Northshore ?
I heard about doing away with the special sea duck season. The antigunners/hunters always file insane bills about set back and they never make it out of the committee. We still need to watch those bills.


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If there is a reduction of mallards and black ducks, I’m gonna have to seriously think about the time invested in duck hunting compared to other hunting. Early season would still be fine as long as there isn’t a change to the wood duck count, but once a couple cold fronts push in, any reduction in those species would be tough. It would be tough waking up to potentially shoot 1 mallard and 1 black, add in the fact that the Berks is already 1 goose, I’d throw up if they do the same for central and coast :(
 

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What I read/heard on the sea duck bag limits was a full one bird reduction across the board. So 4 total, 3 of each species. Doesn't seem like getting rid of the special sea duck season has much of an effect on WHEN we could hunt sea ducks (other than losing a week at the beginning). And can't say I've had many situations where I need the dual limits so really wouldn't care too much about the removal of that season, compared to a reduction on mallard/blacks or canadas which I always hear whispers about.
 

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Nor’easter good looking dog. Cold weather tolerance is clearly good too. Nice going!
Thanks, Remington is 7 but looks a little older with the white on his chin. He's alright, he does sight retrieves fine but blind retrieves he should be better but it's my fault. It was hard to spend alot of time training him right & keeping him on a regiment thru out the year with me being gone so much every year while I'm out commercial fishing.
 

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Probably the last hunt of the season, may try and do an afternoon hunt on the Tuesday closer. Late goose was the best it has been in a few years. Heavy snow and ice pushed huge numbers of birds to the coast. A lot fewer birds this morning as there inland safe havens are starting to melt out. Had one flock of 12 to 15 do it dirty and I took a bird. Next flock was much bigger and I had a shot opportunity, but thought they make another pass and finish, but they didn’t.
Some pics from the late season
Plant People in nature Grass Wood Adaptation
Wood Grass Grass family Landscape Trunk
Cloud Sky Water Atmosphere Natural landscape
 
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