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Congrats on band Matt! Past couple of days on coast have been extremely slow for puddle ducks. More goldeneye showing up every day. At least most of the ice flushed out today. Yesterday morning was pretty dicey. All my central rivers are froze over and what open water there is can’t be reached. Hopefully after this warm up they open up enough to hunt safely and retrieve birds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #223 ·
What are people thinking for the weekend, central or coastal? My central spots have some residual ice along the ramps, but seem to be open and navigable if you can get around that - saw some trucks and trailers at a few of the ramps I don't use that often.

Part of me wants to hunt central, but haven't been able to scout and the risk of a skunk has me thinking I play it safe and go coastal tomorrow and saturday... at least the possibility of a diver hunt there if the puddlers are slow.
 

· Chief Throw's-a-Party
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For what it’s worth, and I don’t mind saying so because there’s plenty of room for hunter’s. Duxbury has been absolutely loaded with ducks and geese on the coast. The mallard numbers are impressive, outnumbering blacks in some spots. I’ll be trying to get another deer on Saturday for the last deer hunt. Good luck.
 

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Found an open pocket in central yesterday and set up on it this morning. 2 man black and mallard limit in just over an hour. Probably the best hunt I have had in Massachusetts. Could have finished earlier if we wanted, but took turns on the shooting. Hung around to 9 hoping for some other birds, but all blacks and mallards except for a couple of hoodies. Glad we left when we did as ice was getting soft quick and walk out was single file and well spaced out. Spud was going through pretty easy on way out. Went back this afternoon and tried to punch a hole in for boats. After 30 minutes we gave up. Ice still over 2 inches in spots.
 

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Discussion Starter · #227 ·
I hunted coastal this morning - went back to a flats spot on north shore I had good luck earlier this month at with both divers and puddlers. Started off by sleeping through my alarm by 30 minutes, which may have been an omen for what was to come.

Get to the spot I had in mind (slightly different from my previous position in this area, but within line of sight). Somehow get set up in time, feeling good - then a boat shows up in front of my spread right before first light.

Guy starts right in with swearing and attitude, says he owns “the whole island” I’m on and he had planned to hunt “this whole creek area”, asking who gave me permission to hunt here. Well, by then, given the time and his attitude, I wasn’t about to leave. Told him to call a warden if he thinks I’m trespassing, but I’m below high tide line, already set up, and don’t plan on moving. Plenty of space all around for him, but he decided to pout and set up 200 yards away.

That group sky blasted at geese and puddlers all morning, but lucky for us, the divers were coming from our side and loved my spread. My brother and I shot a six bird mix of old squaw and bufflehead, leaving a few on the table with bad misses.

finished off the morning by getting back to the ramp too late and hitting low tide. Had to kill some time talking to the EPO the other guy called on us, who confirmed we did nothing wrong and this particular guy makes a habit out of this sort of thing.

as far as bird numbers - lots of old squaw and buffies, hundreds of canadas and blacks rafted ip in the marsh and river now, saw some white wing scoters and mallards as well. Did not see any golden eye, or any other scoter species.
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Discussion Starter · #228 ·
Found an open pocket in central yesterday and set up on it this morning. 2 man black and mallard limit in just over an hour. Probably the best hunt I have had in Massachusetts. Could have finished earlier if we wanted, but took turns on the shooting. Hung around to 9 hoping for some other birds, but all blacks and mallards except for a couple of hoodies. Glad we left when we did as ice was getting soft quick and walk out was single file and well spaced out. Spud was going through pretty easy on way out. Went back this afternoon and tried to punch a hole in for boats. After 30 minutes we gave up. Ice still over 2 inches in spots.
That hunt sounds like a dream Buffle. I did some quick central scouting on my way back this morning and all of my spots are still closed up or there’s enough ice at the ramp to convince me not to bother. Reports like yours may have me second guessing myself though!
 

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I feel very fortunate to not have to deal with some of the A Holes you guys run into! I just don’t get what is wrong with people. If you want to hunt a certain spot get your ass out of bed early and beat everyone else. I can never comprehend the guys that make a habit out of showing up 30 minutes before legal and get pissed you are where they wanted to be. Good for you Matt sticking your ground.


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Agree 100%. Thankfully I’ve never had to deal with that. I’ve come upon other hunter’s before and high tailed it outta there. Even apologizing for getting close to their area without knowing right away. We should all respect each other in our hunting endeavors.
 

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I hunted coastal this morning - went back to a flats spot on north shore I had good luck earlier this month at with both divers and puddlers. Started off by sleeping through my alarm by 30 minutes, which may have been an omen for what was to come.

Get to the spot I had in mind (slightly different from my previous position in this area, but within line of sight). Somehow get set up in time, feeling good - then a boat shows up in front of my spread right before first light.

Guy starts right in with swearing and attitude, says he owns “the whole island” I’m on and he had planned to hunt “this whole creek area”, asking who gave me permission to hunt here. Well, by then, given the time and his attitude, I wasn’t about to leave. Told him to call a warden if he thinks I’m trespassing, but I’m below high tide line, already set up, and don’t plan on moving. Plenty of space all around for him, but he decided to pout and set up 200 yards away.

That group sky blasted at geese and puddlers all morning, but lucky for us, the divers were coming from our side and loved my spread. My brother and I shot a six bird mix of old squaw and bufflehead, leaving a few on the table with bad misses.

finished off the morning by getting back to the ramp too late and hitting low tide. Had to kill some time talking to the EPO the other guy called on us, who confirmed we did nothing wrong and this particular guy makes a habit out of this sort of thing.

as far as bird numbers - lots of old squaw and buffies, hundreds of canadas and blacks rafted ip in the marsh and river now, saw some white wing scoters and mallards as well. Did not see any golden eye, or any other scoter species. View attachment 478193
Don’t know who shot what in your party, but just a reminder old squaw limit is now 3 birds. Looks like 4 in your picture.
 

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Got on some birds the last couple days on the marsh, mostly divers with some gadwall mixed in. Not excited about this warm spell. We need to get some real cold before the season ends.


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Well of course after my post yesterday it was bound to happen to me. Thankfully they weren’t A Holes. I was completely setup and comfortable 40 minutes before LST. Having some coffee and I hear voices and now it’s 25 minutes to Legal. So I standup and turn on my headlamp and there’s 3 people paddling down the river with no lights. Apparently they were planning on hunting where I was because they tucked a jet sled full of decoys in the cattails. They were friendly and kept on going down river so really no harm no foul. I still don’t know why you push it to the last minute. Well I ended up with my two mallards and it took me way too many shots to get the 2nd. Quite a few birds around today.




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All good things come to an end. The fabulous ice hole hunting of the past two days is over. Most areas opened up overnight. Birds spread out some. We were still basically on X and treated to a show. Around 10 minutes after LST my partner whispers over to me are we bird watching or hunting today. I called the shot on the next group and dropped a black and hen mallard. Black was at about 8 yards so I was positive on ID. My partner took a mallard which was a drake. Next group in he takes a hen. I then struggle to pick out a drake. Old age, cloudy skies, and birds coming in big groups. Ended up not getting my drake. We both needed to be out of marsh by 8:30 today. Heard a wood duck this morning.
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Beautiful looking drake AA! And I will second that Buffle. Was really hoping the thaw would hold off one more day, but wasn't the case. Me and a buddy scratched out a couple greenhead limits, on some absolutely horrendous shooting mostly on my part. We just couldn't quite get birds to finish the way we wanted, but still plenty in range, and I don't know what was wrong with me today. I am no stranger to whiffing, but today was another level 😂. We could have finished our mallard limit by 7:30. Eventually stuck around till 10:30 hoping to see some black ducks or geese, but got neither, which is crazy especially for this spot this time of year. Plenty of birds around, just all mallards. Really good fat on our birds though, AA sent me a pic of similar fat on his birds, which is always a good sight for these later season birds. Back at it Monday!
 

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Discussion Starter · #236 ·
Don’t know who shot what in your party, but just a reminder old squaw limit is now 3 birds. Looks like 4 in your picture.
thanks for the reminder Buffle - had my little brother with me so all good on that hunt! Have found myself refreshing my knowledge of species limits a few times already this season with the changes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #237 · (Edited)
Went out today to a marsh spot I’ve seen the blacks and geese working a lot that also has some divers passing through depending on tide.

Lots of geese and blacks flying in the immediate area, but they seemed content rafting up further out in the river. Divers also seemed happy pulling up about 100 yards further out from my long lines. Good activity, just not close enough.

My buddy and I finished up a muddy hunt with a younger drake black duck that did it perfectly, a drake bufflehead that did the same, and 3 coots that made the mistake of coming in to the spread. My first coot actually haha, and a bird that I’ve surprisingly wanted to try on the plate for a few years.

Happy New Years everyone.

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We’re a crazy bunch us duck hunter’s. I mean who in their right mind would get in the canoe and push it with a pitch fork over 80yds of ice to get to open water? Me, that’s who. Unfortunately cover was almost impossible to come by and that killed this hunt. That being said, it was raining ducks 20 minutes before LST and continued raining ducks thereafter. I shot poorly today and should’ve had two blacks but at least happy with one. Concealment is key and I didn’t have it. All I could do was try to get them in and it was next to impossible with me being the sitting duck. Still enjoyed a good time though. There was no better place to be.
 

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love the dedication Bill, and at least one was willing to play! I was thinking similar thoughts as I sat in the middle of a body of water sipping coffee as birds just passed by, wouldn't even give me a look. All while the group to my left and the group to my right blasted off plenty of shots for all of us. Didn't even shoulder the gun, frustrating day, but is what it is. Highlight was watching 16 geese give it up all cupped into the group of 3 to my right, and all 16 left. Think someone pulled up and shot early, because there was a lot of yelling and what I am assuming was multiple expletives after the fact :LOL:
 

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Never fired a shot today. The temps got colder than what was expected and there was ice where I wanted to hunt. The spot i primarily hunt is two ponds fed by a river, if the front pond is iced up the back one typically is frozen solid. So I was able to paddle to the river and get setup. Lots of mallards quacking from the back pond so I figured things were frozen in around them. Not much of a morning flight so by 730 I made a move. Took a walk and sure enough the back pond was open. I grabbed 6 ducks and 2 geese and made the move. Kicked 50 mallards out and got setup. Hunted until 11 and watched mallards land 200 yards away. Frustrating day but oh well.Hopefully the rain/snow predicted for Friday will get us some new birds.


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