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Mike, are you still around? i have hunted the west side of SI appox 30 days a season for the last 3 seasons and can give you a few pointers. No point in laying it all out unless you're still here though. -or- if someone else is new to the area and would like a few pointers, speak up. i am not an "expert", but i do have a good working knowledge of the area.
 

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do you hunt inside the permit zone? what a hassle this is. jeez, i never knew there were so many kinds of canada geese until i got here. back east they were just "canadian geese". i guess i'll have to break down and get my card for next year. too many missed opportunities on the lower river this year. i can't tell you how many times i've had flocks of big honkers pass right over my head. easy shots..but, no card....no goose.
 

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3M - i'd be happy to show you how things work on the westside of SI. I don't hunt the eastside much (at all) so i'd probably not be much help with that. Drop me a PM if you want to hook up this year. my hunt time is limited, but i can manage to sneak out here and there.

-Ed
 

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i have hunted those blinds, except for holman #4. i did hunt homan once, #2 it was. they shoot alot of birds out there in the right conditions, but the pass shooting over the treetpops thing just isn't my game. so i usually pass on Holman even when it's shooting well.

as for your observations about mud lake, you are pretty much right on. :thumbsup:

traditionally, mud 1,2,3 are the hot spots with each blind shooting 300+ birds per season. in seasons past #1 was typically the place to be out of the 3 of them, but this season had it lagging a little behind #3 and #2 by about 50 birds. #8 was hot this year and #9 is usually the next best place to be behind 1,2,3. #11 had some good days, but it takes a combination of circumstances to get a really good shoot on #11.

Seal Lake didn't shoot worth a damn this year. normally it hits a really hot period where people will take the seal lake blinds before the mud lake blinds. Seal #1 and #2 are probably the best, but seal #3 can really smack some birds too. seal 4 is just in a bad place and usually doesn't do as well as the other 3.

Steelman Lake. the steelman blinds are akin to duck hunter's siberia. everyone that has hunted SI for any ammount of time can tell you a story or two about a day that they slayed limits of birds on a steelman blind, but those stories are far and few between. it is worth mentioning that Steelman #4 is not a bad shooting blind. not usually a lot of birds shot there on any given day, but they don't usually get blanked either. also, steelman #7 can shoot IF and it is a BIG IF there are a large number of teal on the island. you can always tell a teal day by how many birds got shot on ST7. lol. if you have boat you can hunt on ST2 or ST3. ST2 had some good shooting later in the season.

that is about as much as i can stand to type on the subject. we could talk for hours about decoy placements for different blinds in different situations, but there is a lot of "off season" time for that. no need to spill it all out in one sitting. lol.

good luck and good hunting. maybe i'll see you on the island next year.
 
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