sprigs vs greenheads vs ?

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sprigs vs greenheads vs ?

Postby uncle Jed » Sat May 13, 2023 8:58 pm

What is your top pick to shoot? I prefer a strap full of greenheads,personally Sprigs are my second choice.
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Re: sprigs vs greenheads vs ?

Postby Rick » Sun May 14, 2023 4:24 am

A strap full of greenheads being four-per vs a strap full of sprig being one-per, I'd rather the mallards on the strap. But sprig being more reluctant to finish and neater looking doing so, I find pintails more satisfying to over the decoys.
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Re: sprigs vs greenheads vs ?

Postby Deltaman » Mon May 15, 2023 8:03 am

Love watching Pintail work, with their sleek, long necks and bodies, just so graceful and pretty. We don't see very many anymore, but when i was a young man, we got our share of them along the Alabama coast, and they were only 10 points :o Never shot a 2-man limit of 20 ea. at the time, but we had a few hunts when we came home with double digits.
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Re: sprigs vs greenheads vs ?

Postby Ricky Spanish » Mon May 15, 2023 9:44 am

Deltaman wrote:Love watching Pintail work, with their sleek, long necks and bodies, just so graceful and pretty. We don't see very many anymore, but when i was a young man, we got our share of them along the Alabama coast, and they were only 10 points :o Never shot a 2-man limit of 20 ea. at the time, but we had a few hunts when we came home with double digits.

There are days in January where it's all mallards and teal until about 9 or so and then the entire sky is full of pintails. You can whistle at em all you want but getting them into a timber hole is rare. Nice show but it's time to go. :lol:
Don't care that I'm not killing them they are sky ballerinas in my book. Graceful flyers that own the sky.
He was extremely stoked about that one.
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Re: sprigs vs greenheads vs ?

Postby Darren » Mon May 15, 2023 2:57 pm

Never been one to operate by the common-for-elsewhere notion of "if it's not a greenhead, it's not a duck," and always favored the grace of a working pintail over many other species anyway. Unlike most Venice-area hunters who quickly grow tired of pins diving into their spread long after their meager limit has been filled, the continued rarity of our success with pins keeps them prized when we do trick a pretty one into joining us.

For so many in the ag land telling me they routinely get swarmed at close range by the throngs of pins we see passing high, we sure do play hell killing just a few a season. For whatever reason, the closing hunt of this past season had them particularly interested in us after most of the season passing us by.

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Re: sprigs vs greenheads vs ?

Postby Rick » Mon May 15, 2023 4:06 pm

Have been looking, without success,for another like this one since 2008:
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Re: sprigs vs greenheads vs ?

Postby SpinnerMan » Mon May 15, 2023 4:39 pm

uncle Jed wrote:What is your top pick to shoot?

Any waterfowl. A single bird often ranks among my top 10 best days of the season. Some years in the top 5. If you exclude geese, it's been a fair number of years that it wouldn't be in my top 5. :o

After that, it is pretty much anything but mallards since that is mostly what I shoot or at least used to. I've never got a sprig, so I'd take that over 4 greenheads, at least for one day.

Anything that I've never gotten is my #1. We're heading to Maryland in January so hopefully I can get some species I've never gotten. Sounds like we have a decent chance of adding canvasbacks and surf scoters, but I'll be happy if we have a few good days of shooting regardless of what it is.
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Re: sprigs vs greenheads vs ?

Postby plainsman » Mon May 15, 2023 7:55 pm

My area opened up to an 8 duck limit no matter species, 4 greens and 4 pins is the perfect strap for me :thumbsup:
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Re: sprigs vs greenheads vs ?

Postby Ricky Spanish » Tue May 16, 2023 7:04 am

SpinnerMan wrote:
uncle Jed wrote:What is your top pick to shoot?

Any waterfowl. A single bird often ranks among my top 10 best days of the season. Some years in the top 5. If you exclude geese, it's been a fair number of years that it wouldn't be in my top 5. :o

After that, it is pretty much anything but mallards since that is mostly what I shoot or at least used to. I've never got a sprig, so I'd take that over 4 greenheads, at least for one day.

Anything that I've never gotten is my #1. We're heading to Maryland in January so hopefully I can get some species I've never gotten. Sounds like we have a decent chance of adding canvasbacks and surf scoters, but I'll be happy if we have a few good days of shooting regardless of what it is.
canvasback is over-rated.
It is a shock when you pick one up and feel the weight.

A Bird is a bird UNTIL you pick out a green head, kill it, and go pick up your spoonie. Nothing stings quite as much as when your prize turns into a Hollywood. :lol:

I used to have 20:10 vision 30 years ago.
Now I will admit that I've shot a few idunnos.
They're tough birds.
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Re: sprigs vs greenheads vs ?

Postby SpinnerMan » Tue May 16, 2023 8:31 am

Ricky Spanish wrote:canvasback is over-rated.

They taste a hell of a lot better than a scoter. :thumbsup:

Our annual hunting trips are about going places we have never been and getting things we have never gotten.

It's all entertainment, so whatever floats your boat. I am amused at how harshly people proclaim that you are entertaining yourself incorrectly. If it's nothing but greenheads, enjoy. If waterswatting a Suzie is fun, :thumbsup: There's no wrong way. For me, it's a variety of things. I have more fun taking my wife out when I know she has enjoyed it then shooting a few ducks. My bread and butter is Canada goose hunting. Calling in big honkers and watch them fall from the sky. Socializing and hunting with people I have never hunted with is big. My annual trip with my buddies is the crown jewel of the season most years. Adding a hen or drake in a species that I've not gotten before is a big thing for me as well. I've got 22 different species of waterfowl. That leaves a lot more out there. With a little luck, I'll add a few more this upcoming season.
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Re: sprigs vs greenheads vs ?

Postby Ricky Spanish » Tue May 16, 2023 9:30 am

SpinnerMan wrote:
Ricky Spanish wrote:canvasback is over-rated.

They taste a hell of a lot better than a scoter. :thumbsup:

Our annual hunting trips are about going places we have never been and getting things we have never gotten.

It's all entertainment, so whatever floats your boat. I am amused at how harshly people proclaim that you are entertaining yourself incorrectly. If it's nothing but greenheads, enjoy. If waterswatting a Suzie is fun, :thumbsup: There's no wrong way. For me, it's a variety of things. I have more fun taking my wife out when I know she has enjoyed it then shooting a few ducks. My bread and butter is Canada goose hunting. Calling in big honkers and watch them fall from the sky. Socializing and hunting with people I have never hunted with is big. My annual trip with my buddies is the crown jewel of the season most years. Adding a hen or drake in a species that I've not gotten before is a big thing for me as well. I've got 22 different species of waterfowl. That leaves a lot more out there. With a little luck, I'll add a few more this upcoming season.

Three or four words triggered this?
:clap:
What species have you not shot?
So far this little bastard has avoided me. :lol:
16842474033214979588369463351288.jpg

Scoters and these are so far off my radar.
Got any scoter pics?
This is as close as I'll ever get to this duck.
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Do people actually eat non-puddle ducks?
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Re: sprigs vs greenheads vs ?

Postby SpinnerMan » Tue May 16, 2023 12:00 pm

Ricky Spanish wrote:Do people actually eat non-puddle ducks?

Yes of course. Canvasbacks for example.

For me, there are sausage ducks which is most of the divers we get and non-sausage ducks. Most for me are somewhere in the middle. My one buddy cooks them all for his family.

Ricky Spanish wrote:What species have you not shot?

Species high on my list that I have not shot are BWT and specklebellies.

I think I got a cackling goose but I was so sick with the flu that I should not have been hunting. I didn't take any pictures, but it was the littlest one I have ever got, it looked "cute" and it's bill was stubby, but I had cleaned it before it crossed my mind what I had shot. I'd really like to get a cackler.

I believe there are about 40 species, so there are nearly 20 more that I can get. We were looking at Harlequins in Washington for next year, but they closed the season :o
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Re: sprigs vs greenheads vs ?

Postby Deltaman » Tue May 16, 2023 12:38 pm

Cool to do the yearly trip with your same base group Spinner, and hope you add a couple of species to your belt this year :thumbsup:
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Re: sprigs vs greenheads vs ?

Postby Ricky Spanish » Tue May 16, 2023 1:02 pm

SpinnerMan wrote:
Ricky Spanish wrote:Do people actually eat non-puddle ducks?

Yes of course. Canvasbacks for example.

For me, there are sausage ducks which is most of the divers we get and non-sausage ducks. Most for me are somewhere in the middle. My one buddy cooks them all for his family.

Ricky Spanish wrote:What species have you not shot?

Species high on my list that I have not shot are BWT and specklebellies.

I think I got a cackling goose but I was so sick with the flu that I should not have been hunting. I didn't take any pictures, but it was the littlest one I have ever got, it looked "cute" and it's bill was stubby, but I had cleaned it before it crossed my mind what I had shot. I'd really like to get a cackler.

I believe there are about 40 species, so there are nearly 20 more that I can get. We were looking at Harlequins in Washington for next year, but they closed the season :o

Oh shit I forgot about geese in my tally.
Add 5 to my score in the pm.
6 if you count giant as a Canada goose species.
If getting one of everything is the goal then you're awesome.
I was really happy to kill all the puddle ducks except cinnamon teal.
I'm glad you brought this up.
I'm on 28 or 29.
Whee. I'll settle for limits of greenheads any time anywhere. I'm "just a mallard hunter" that had a lot of accidents.
I accidentally shot a snow goose...lol
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Re: sprigs vs greenheads vs ?

Postby SpinnerMan » Tue May 16, 2023 1:46 pm

Ricky Spanish wrote:6 if you count giant as a Canada goose species.

I'm sketchy on whether cackling geese should count or not given they were moved from subspecies to species. I believe there are 7 subspecies of Canadas and 4 of cacklers. I just want to get one of the really little ones because I see them from time to time. It looks especially funny when you have a cackler mixed in with honkers. It looks like adults with a child. I only look at those at honkers, lessers, and cacklers. However a buddy shot a western subspecies common to Utah if I remember correctly. It was clearly different and midsized between honkers and lessers with a white cap on his head. No idea how he found his way to Plainfield, IL.
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Re: sprigs vs greenheads vs ?

Postby Ricky Spanish » Tue May 16, 2023 3:46 pm

SpinnerMan wrote:
Ricky Spanish wrote:6 if you count giant as a Canada goose species.

I'm sketchy on whether cackling geese should count or not given they were moved from subspecies to species. I believe there are 7 subspecies of Canadas and 4 of cacklers. I just want to get one of the really little ones because I see them from time to time. It looks especially funny when you have a cackler mixed in with honkers. It looks like adults with a child. I only look at those at honkers, lessers, and cacklers. However a buddy shot a western subspecies common to Utah if I remember correctly. It was clearly different and midsized between honkers and lessers with a white cap on his head. No idea how he found his way to Plainfield, IL.

I got one near Rantoul. I was like wtf you been eating son? Lost little goose.

It's not unusual to see one single speck or one single snow goose among the flocks of honkers here.
Three seasons ago a pretty large flock of specks stayed at Clinton lake until it got too icy. I don't think anybody killed any
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Re: sprigs vs greenheads vs ?

Postby Rick » Tue May 16, 2023 6:28 pm

SpinnerMan wrote:I'm sketchy on whether cackling geese should count or not given they were moved from subspecies to species. I believe there are 7 subspecies of Canadas and 4 of cacklers. I just want to get one of the really little ones because I see them from time to time. It looks especially funny when you have a cackler mixed in with honkers. It looks like adults with a child. I only look at those at honkers, lessers, and cacklers. However a buddy shot a western subspecies common to Utah if I remember correctly. It was clearly different and midsized between honkers and lessers with a white cap on his head. No idea how he found his way to Plainfield, IL.


I'm guessing that what you're seeing are Richardson's or Hutchinson's. ("Depending on who your ornithology professor was related to." according to the late USFWS Senior Mississippi Flyway Biologist, Art Brazda.) Averaged 3lbs and change when the state was weighing them at our place and made me think I was shooting a giant when I took a 7lb 9oz mid-continent bird (LA's unofficial state record for a time, according to our late state lead waterfowl guy, Robert Helms) out of a little bunch of them.

Only pre-cacklerization real-deal original cackler I've seen was a mallard-sized mounted bird from the upper West Coast.
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Re: sprigs vs greenheads vs ?

Postby SpinnerMan » Wed May 17, 2023 6:10 am

Rick wrote:
SpinnerMan wrote:I'm sketchy on whether cackling geese should count or not given they were moved from subspecies to species. I believe there are 7 subspecies of Canadas and 4 of cacklers. I just want to get one of the really little ones because I see them from time to time. It looks especially funny when you have a cackler mixed in with honkers. It looks like adults with a child. I only look at those at honkers, lessers, and cacklers. However a buddy shot a western subspecies common to Utah if I remember correctly. It was clearly different and midsized between honkers and lessers with a white cap on his head. No idea how he found his way to Plainfield, IL.


I'm guessing that what you're seeing are Richardson's or Hutchinson's. ("Depending on who your ornithology professor was related to." according to the late USFWS Senior Mississippi Flyway Biologist, Art Brazda.) Averaged 3lbs and change when the state was weighing them at our place and made me think I was shooting a giant when I took a 7lb 9oz mid-continent bird (LA's unofficial state record for a time, according to our late state lead waterfowl guy, Robert Helms) out of a little bunch of them.

Only pre-cacklerization real-deal original cackler I've seen was a mallard-sized mounted bird from the upper West Coast.

I am pretty sure you are correct. I think that is the only of the 4 that that's normally found out of the west and the largest of the 4 subspecies. But a 3 pounder compared with the normal 10-12 pounders I shoot or even the 6 pound lessers is very small and would make my day.
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Re: sprigs vs greenheads vs ?

Postby Ricky Spanish » Wed May 17, 2023 7:45 am

It's strange but birds fly around and get driven off course by storms. There was a surf scoter killed at sanchris lake one year. I've shot black ducks that I thought were mallards until I ground IDd. You shoot a hen mallard and it's got a drake bill so you get out the book and ...oh.
Weird stuff happens especially if you move around a little more. The waterfowl does.

The year before last for a couple days there were a shitload of Canada geese at the refuge at big lake.
That's super unusual. I think I took a picture.
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Re: sprigs vs greenheads vs ?

Postby Ricky Spanish » Wed May 17, 2023 4:32 pm

Some day I'll get another pintail to light in a timber hole and this time I'm shooting it.
Won't hurt a bit I can still shoot 4 mallards and a wood duck. Please don't wake me up this is a fine dream.. :lol:
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Re: sprigs vs greenheads vs ?

Postby don novicki » Fri May 19, 2023 10:02 am

I'd buy you dinner if anyone can shoot a limit of Mallards or a Sprig. Here in NW Pa. I always look for farm ducks or Muscovey, We don't waste time on a Sprig with a 5" tail. :lol:
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Re: sprigs vs greenheads vs ?

Postby Rick » Fri May 19, 2023 10:22 am

don novicki wrote:I'd buy you dinner if anyone can shoot a limit of Mallards or a Sprig. Here in NW Pa. I always look for farm ducks or Muscovey, We don't waste time on a Sprig with a 5" tail. :lol:


During all the seasons I hunted in the Mid Ohio Valley, I saw one little flight of pintails during open season there. Might have been 100yds or higher. (And, yes, I shot.)

But come spring they were often seen on area sheet water. Sly bastages.
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Re: sprigs vs greenheads vs ?

Postby SpinnerMan » Fri May 19, 2023 1:04 pm

Rick wrote:During all the seasons I hunted in the Mid Ohio Valley, I saw one little flight of pintails during open season there. Might have been 100yds or higher. (And, yes, I shot.)

Years back I was hunting with a guy who took limits as somewhat of a suggestion. Never really felt comfortable hunting with him because of that. Pintails are pretty rare. It was late season goose and an absolutely beautiful flock of pintails worked our goose spread up high. A lot of nice drakes in the crowd. I said "don't shoot them up high." I never thought he wouldn't shoot them, just didn't want everyone in the area seeing ducks falling from the sky. To my surprise, he did not actually shoot.

He never went over the aggregate group limit when I was hunting with him. I think that was because he knew that was not my thing. I was hunting with him and his brother before work. I had to leave and we had gotten a few mallards. Later that morning he texted me a picture of my boat piled with greenheads :shock: I think there may have been a couple more than 8.

I've seen a few pintails while hunting and got 2 hens, but not many here either. Definitely a rare trophy around here.
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Re: sprigs vs greenheads vs ?

Postby 5 stand » Fri May 19, 2023 2:40 pm

Pintails are few and far between around here the last one I killed was in Kansas December of 2020... See them in South Dakota every year and almost always in places that you couldn't hunt them(for various reasons) even if you had permission... They are true trophies in my book...

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Re: sprigs vs greenheads vs ?

Postby Ricky Spanish » Fri May 19, 2023 3:45 pm

I actually shot a wood duck in Illinois last year!?!
20221103_084030.jpg

Oh yeah....swatted him good from about 40 yards.
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