Duck Season 2017-2018

Re: Duck Season 2017-2018

Postby Darren » Sat Dec 02, 2017 12:17 pm

Sat. 12/2/2017
Delacroix - South Blind
50's to start, wind 5-12+ from N/NE/E, light fog and cloudy
Johnny & I with Harry

Saw a few birds around and on our lease area yesterday evening when Ray and I went out to install a shelf in one of the blinds. Not tons but far more than we expected. Forecast was for no wind and plenty fog but was thrilled to wake up to no fog and a decent wind. Conditions were really nice once in the blind, enough wind to move the water and keep the bugs off. Did not see a whole lot of birds but did make the most of our ops, especially some nice groups of GW's working in well. Got 4 from two separate wads so that helped us get the strap going quick. Saw a few grays but they were not dropping in like usual, just looking and cruising by, killed the only two that gave us a chance.

(12) 10 GW teal, 2 grays

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Water was pretty low, slogging was the game, no swimming
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From his lair
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Figuring we had no business putting three guns in one of our blinds, Ray went with Will to another Delacroix area and managed to grind out 7, mix of teal and dosgris with a mottled and a spoon. Planning to head back to our same blind in the AM
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Re: Duck Season 2017-2018

Postby DComeaux » Sat Dec 02, 2017 1:31 pm

Very nice!
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Re: Duck Season 2017-2018

Postby Darren » Sun Dec 03, 2017 11:02 am

Sun. 12/3/2017
Delacroix - South Blind
50's to start, wind 3-10 from NE/E, light fog and partial clearing
Wife & I with Harry

Intermittent fog on way out but very few hunters out to move our stale birds. Ended up seeing the most grays we've put eyes on in a couple of weeks but they weren't interested in us and we didn't have as many teal as yesterday. Had one nice wad of greenwings cross the pond and I let them go to call them back around......and they didn't. Should have shot! Nice morning together away from the little one nonetheless.

(0) Should have had a couple of teal

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Off till the 16th when we open the second split!
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Re: Duck Season 2017-2018

Postby Darren » Wed Dec 06, 2017 10:20 am

First Split Totals:

89 ducks on 10 hunts, 8.9 avg per hunt

Slightly more ducks but lower average from last season's 82 on 8 hunts

Overall just saw less grays in our area, not holding on us as they did last season. Though Sunday's hunt was a scratch, what we did see gave me some hope for early second split as we saw more grays using familiar places around us.

Big front barreled through yesterday with more cold coming in later this week and for the foreseeable so hoping we're heading in the right direction.

Bonus tidbit: Harry turned 3 yesterday, had a grand birthday lounging around the house with his baby sister watching the rain fall
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Re: Duck Season 2017-2018

Postby DComeaux » Wed Dec 06, 2017 10:26 am

Not a bad first split. I need to get to doing mine in the near future.... I hope we get some "new" birds in for the opener. Those stale birds are teasing me.
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Re: Duck Season 2017-2018

Postby Darren » Wed Dec 06, 2017 10:36 am

DComeaux wrote:Not a bad first split. I need to get to doing mine in the near future.... I hope we get some "new" birds in for the opener. Those stale birds are teasing me.


Yea, poor Ella was frustrated to watch stale birds work us then plop down in puddles 75 yards away from us. Will adapt as necessary in 2nd split! :D
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Re: Duck Season 2017-2018

Postby Darren » Wed Dec 06, 2017 5:28 pm

Looks just right for rest of this week and throughout next week, including a forecast front before the 2nd split opener, as of now at least.

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Re: Duck Season 2017-2018

Postby Ducaholic » Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:50 pm

I'm not one to ever gripe about cold weather regardless of when it happens but if I was choosing I would have liked to see this stretch of weather begin on the 14th instead of the 5th.

The Rain we got has been a nice blessing and was sorely needed but it probably falls about 3-4" short of what we really needed to get things jump started in the back water areas of Central La.

I just hope we get more of both and hope it's sooner than later.
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Re: Duck Season 2017-2018

Postby aunt betty » Fri Dec 08, 2017 9:04 am

Then let me whine about the weather. Too dry. Too hot for too long then wham it's in the teens.
It was summer like 3 weeks ago. Lake is so low that it's a hazard to even try to navigate in the dark.
Any ducks that would have migrated thru here plain flew right over on the night of the super moon.
It's going to be 11 degrees in a couple nights. The first good clipper of the season and it's a bit too late to do me any good.

Makes me memember the year it rained every single day in November. That was a great one but back then the mallard limit was two. Lake Shelbyville was "IT" and people from all over the midwest found out despite there being no internet. Met guys from Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Iowa all in one day that season. Crazy year it was. Hunting over vast acres of flooded corn.
Everyone was killing limits daily. Sigh...those were the days.
I've heard that it's incredibly stupid to **** around with a crazy man's head.
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Re: Duck Season 2017-2018

Postby Darren » Fri Dec 08, 2017 9:17 am

Ducaholic wrote:I'm not one to ever gripe about cold weather regardless of when it happens but if I was choosing I would have liked to see this stretch of weather begin on the 14th instead of the 5th.

The Rain we got has been a nice blessing and was sorely needed but it probably falls about 3-4" short of what we really needed to get things jump started in the back water areas of Central La.

I just hope we get more of both and hope it's sooner than later.


At least we got it, can't gripe about timing. Regardless of exact timing, we needed this event to shift a mass of birds (in theory, fingers crossed) southward. And now today it's snowing like hell here in BR
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Re: Duck Season 2017-2018

Postby Darren » Fri Dec 08, 2017 9:21 am

Certainly noteworthy for the log; Friday Dec 8, 2017 Snow Day across much of southern Louisiana

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Still coming down here, expected to last another couple of hours or so before clearing out.
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Re: Duck Season 2017-2018

Postby DComeaux » Fri Dec 08, 2017 9:22 am

It's pretty frigid to the north. Hope the corn freezes into corn sickles.

acttemp_1280x720.jpg
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Re: Duck Season 2017-2018

Postby Ducaholic » Fri Dec 08, 2017 9:33 am

[quote="Darren

At least we got it, can't gripe about timing. Regardless of exact timing, we needed this event to shift a mass of birds (in theory, fingers crossed) southward. And now today it's snowing like hell here in BR[/quote]


Yep we got it and we needed it!
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Re: Duck Season 2017-2018

Postby Darren » Fri Dec 08, 2017 9:44 am

Snowfall had slackened here a little while ago but has since picked back up, like a colorado ski resort wonderland. May have to break out the skis and head to the levee :lol:
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Re: Duck Season 2017-2018

Postby Darren » Fri Dec 08, 2017 9:46 am

DComeaux wrote:It's pretty frigid to the north. Hope the corn freezes into corn sickles.

acttemp_1280x720.jpg


Just checked 15 day forecast for St. Louis as a reference, looks to be seasonable with lows around freezing or below each day through the 22nd. Last thing we need after this plunge is a shift to warm with south winds to move 'em right back up
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Re: Duck Season 2017-2018

Postby Darren » Tue Dec 12, 2017 9:51 am

Water is currently extremely low in our marshes and has me making contingency plans to hunt elsewhere this weekend. Currently 3.65 ft or so on the USGS gage, a full foot (or more) lower than what we'd consider basically too low to fool with, ponds mudded out, etc.

Capture.JPG


Forecast for the weekend, saturday especially, doesn't look to be exactly ideal for a field hunt, BUT the alternative is no hunt at all.
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Re: Duck Season 2017-2018

Postby Darren » Fri Dec 15, 2017 9:02 am

Visited the camp early yesterday morning, water still too low to fool with our area tomorrow morning to kick off the 2nd split. Instead opted to gather my gear and head north, heading up to Bunkie (south side) rice after lunch time. Have some field prep work to do and piddle around the camp. Not much of a promising forecast for tomorrow but alternative is nowhere to hunt. Sunday shows rain with a big south wind over night so maybe that will get us in the game. Regardless, we goin' give it a shot :thumbsup:
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Re: Duck Season 2017-2018

Postby johnc » Fri Dec 15, 2017 9:12 am

You may be pleasantly surprised by goose action
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Re: Duck Season 2017-2018

Postby Darren » Fri Dec 15, 2017 9:50 am

johnc wrote:You may be pleasantly surprised by goose action


Would be a sweet surprise for sure; usually we have plenty of workable speck traffic, especially when the field is in rice as it was this year. Blind has only been hunted twice this season so far, and two specks were downed on one of the two hunts.

Gonna be practicing on the Riceland all the way up there in the truck today
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Re: Duck Season 2017-2018

Postby johnc » Fri Dec 15, 2017 10:37 am

stick with whatever produces a bite as far as the birds

may be more low end stuff being it will be cloudy,,,dark day,,,dark sounds=low
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Re: Duck Season 2017-2018

Postby Darren » Sat Dec 16, 2017 1:30 pm

Sat. 12/16/2017 - Second Split Opener
S. Bunkie rice
Johnny, David R., Chris and I with Harry
Wind mostly zero to eventually 5 late from NE, cloudy, upper 30’s to start

Though we knew we weren’t going to have wind to help us out, we’d hoped opener pressure would stir them a bit. Also had high hopes on specks after I jumped a good few hundred from in front the blind yesterday afternoon on arrival. Just didn’t do much at all today. VERY few ducks working this field though we saw big numbers high. Killed two of the three that presented a shot. Did have a five pack of specks not quite finish and also one pair we should have tried over the top, fired on none but there were a ton around.

1 spoon, 1 BW teal


Prized shoveler

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Wind is picking up and there’s rain on the way late tonight so hoping it’s not too ugly to try it again in the AM, and hoping it changes our game in the process. Literally just watched a 9 pack of specks light just outside our spread as I type this report.

As slow as it was today for us, reports from our Delacroix lease and immediate surrounding area were as bad or worse. Don’t know what’s up with that since they had a nice wind this morning.
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Re: Duck Season 2017-2018

Postby Darren » Sun Dec 17, 2017 6:13 pm

Sun. 12/17/2017
S. Bunkie rice
Johnny and I with Harry
Wind 5-8 or so from north then before long was zero, cloudy with a few sprinkles left over from big storms overnight, 50’s to start

Rain ended just as it was time to walk out to the blind around 6:15, it was rockin from 2am till then though. Saw more green wings working this morning than yesterday, and encouragingly, more actually working our field and not just blazing by. Flight was mostly from south to north but I was able to break some off to give us a swing. Unfortunately, shot poorly on the couple of nice groups that blazed in. Saw very few spoons and next to know big ducks of any kind low and workable. There are, however, an absolute ton of geese around and holding on the farm, specks included. Huge body was in same location all weekend and would get up and move here and there. Had a few speck bunches come give us a few passes this morning but either stayed out on us or lit just out of range. My fault really in that our dekes were downwind of us and I didn't adjust for wind direction today. Going to try them way up wind of us when we get back out on a good north wind again. Lost one crip GW that dove and swam off on Harry. Just 4 ducks strapped but was at least encouraging to have our chances.

4 GW teal

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Hope to try again late this week, whenever there's some good wind in the forecast.
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Re: Duck Season 2017-2018

Postby Darren » Fri Dec 22, 2017 1:31 pm

Fri. 12/22/2017
S. Bunkie rice
Johnny, Beau and I with Harry
Wind 5-15 from S/SW, cloudy, near 70 degrees to start, didn't even need a jacket for the bike ride in

On arrival the snows were low and loud, thought they had to have been bumped from our field. Sure enough as it got light enough I could see they had been busy opening up the stubble in front and behind us and that should get us in the game for the season. All morning they came hanging over us looking a lot like they had been there before. Though more ducks worked us most still wouldn't finish for reasonable shots, many landing just out of range. Shot poorly on one wad of teal and another wad of I believed to be woodies that buzzed over. Got one pair of specks to work well from our back side and cashed in. Later had a lone "snow" goose circling strangely low and ended up working into speck call, turned out to be a lil Ross's. Spoons are working but staying out on us.

Was sure fired up when those specks came crashing down to make our hunt, Ross's after was lagniappe. Better shooting and a little better luck we should have had closer to 10 ducks.

3 GW teal, 1 ringneck, 2 specks, 1 Ross's goose

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With some weather en route and wind shift in early morning, planning to head back up there and try it again tomorrow.
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Re: Duck Season 2017-2018

Postby Rick » Fri Dec 22, 2017 1:45 pm

Which bird crapped on Beau's lip and chin? (Need to tell him I asked.)
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Re: Duck Season 2017-2018

Postby Darren » Fri Dec 22, 2017 1:51 pm

Rick wrote:Which bird crapped on Beau's lip and chin? (Need to tell him I asked.)


:lol: Will pass it along

Of note did find that some form of fowl crapped on my new lucky duck's wing
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Re: Duck Season 2017-2018

Postby johnc » Fri Dec 22, 2017 2:16 pm

nice specks
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Re: Duck Season 2017-2018

Postby Darren » Sat Dec 23, 2017 2:01 pm

Sat. 12/23/2017
S. Bunkie rice
Johnny and I with Harry
Wind 10-15 from NW behind front passage earlier this AM, heavy clouds, near 50 to start

Drove through front line storms on way up here this morning, perfect timing, dropped from 73 when we left BR to 51 by the time we stepped out the truck, with good NW wind. Early flight was hot with plenty of teal, but first bunch in to work pretty was a mix of grays and wigeon in the dark of LST. Also had a lone speck coming to die that almost got over the duck spread at 10 feet high, but had a miscue on when the shot was to be called....he got out. Plenty of chances on teal, enough that it didn't matter if we didn't make the most of them that we should have each time. Eventually got out with our 12 ducks at 8:45, though shoulda/coulda/woulda been 7:15 easily. Rest of farm seemed to struggle from what we heard at the trucks.

(12) 2 wigeon, 1 gray, 1 woodduck, 7 GW teal, 1 BW teal

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Try again maybe mid next week, Merry Christmas!
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Re: Duck Season 2017-2018

Postby Ericdc » Sat Dec 23, 2017 2:03 pm

Darren how’d the new spinner work?


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Re: Duck Season 2017-2018

Postby Darren » Sat Dec 23, 2017 3:52 pm

Ericdc wrote:Darren how’d the new spinner work?

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Give it an A+ so far for ease of use and functionality, wouldn't bet against the remote working at much further than as far as you can see the decoy, flawless so far. I'm having trouble remembering to turn it off before calling at approaching geese, though yesterday's birds were all killed with it on, go figure. With the cloud you skies so far, Ducks not showing a preference or otherwise for it, though guess that's expected with that condition. Will keep running it, and considering getting a teal from same company to run with it.
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Re: Duck Season 2017-2018

Postby Darren » Wed Dec 27, 2017 6:38 pm

Wed. 12/27/2017
S. Bunkie rice
Johnny, FIL Mike C. and I with Harry
Wind 10-20 from NNE, light rain off and on, 37 when I got out the truck

Seemingly epic conditions for a field hunt and ended up seeing plenty of action. Ducks big and small were all over the field from the start but we played hell getting them to the levee. Lots of pintails but fewer green wings working us, also saw grays, mallards and increasing numbers of spoons. Still lots of geese around. It became apparent that many of the birds had spent the night (and maybe the day before too) to our front and left in field, it was obvious that they wanted in over there no matter how much calling. They'd respond and circle but soon got back in line on approach out there, plenty landed. Did not shoot well on the few group ops so that hurt our total but still got a few. Also let a lone snow that darn near dragged his feet across the blind get by while I was out of the blind. Way more pins than usual, to the point where we had to watch ourselves once two were in hand. A couple of times had a sprig in range while working geese or a group of other ducks that we could all shoot on. Ended up losing one sprig and a teal, both diving never to resurface. Grrrrrrrr

(8) 2 BW teal, 1 GW teal, 1 spoonie, 2 mallards, 2 pintails

Lending Harry a hand or two
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Happy FIL who would have been all smiles even without the strap
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The trouble getting birds to the guns is having me thinking we might benefit from the now-opened cut behind us having a few decoys with the idea being getting more traffic over the levee (and hopefully us). Only thing I dont like about it is not giving me a duck-free zone to put speck dekes out. Tried spinner on and off. Right now everything is out front, downwind in the case of a northerly wind, so made sense that so much was checking up just downwind of the dekes. Will tinker and see how it goes

Post-hunt made the trek down to the Shell Beach camp and have good conditions for a marsh hunt down here. We'll give 'em a try in the AM down this way.
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