2020-2021 Preseason...

Re: 2020-2021 Preseason...

Postby BGkirk » Tue Dec 15, 2020 2:37 pm

Today sure feels like “winter”.
Cloudy. Rainy. Wind and temp has a little bite to it.
Come on south ducks!


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Re: 2020-2021 Preseason...

Postby Darren » Wed Dec 16, 2020 8:48 am

Rode just our small part of the bunkie farm yesterday early afternoon in the SxS. Jumped only a pair of mallards on far end of the field we hunt, not another duck or goose seen or heard. Nothing down the road on the way out, BUT, BUT, BUT on a stretch of road just south of us, encountered fowl of staggering numbers. Mostly blues and specks but soon saw a lot of ducks mixed with them. Most I've ever seen in that location...and most of our flight comes from the south.

No one's going this weekend but I hope to mid-next week.
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Re: 2020-2021 Preseason...

Postby Rick » Fri Dec 18, 2020 5:31 am

Was in our marsh getting the blind ready for the weekend yesterday morning and videoed the disappointing, for our end, trip across the marsh. Narration couldn't compete with the GoDevil and video was shot at that loud sucker's top speed, while trying to stay in the run, so as not to push out more game than need be. But here it is:


Banded ducks last night and but only caught two mallard hens for telemetry study, along with 32 greenheads. May try a new spot after cutting last night's birds loose this morning.

Asked Paul's opinion on the greater than normal disparity of ratio, and his best guess was that the older birds, which nearly all were, might well be paired and avoiding concentrations and competition.
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Re: 2020-2021 Preseason...

Postby SpinnerMan » Fri Dec 18, 2020 7:37 am

Rick wrote:Asked Paul's opinion on the greater than normal disparity of ratio, and his best guess was that the older birds, which nearly all were, might well be paired and avoiding concentrations and competition.

Interesting.

I often put paired geese away from my spread where I don't want them to go. It seems to work. Sounds like mallards are doing the same thing.
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Re: 2020-2021 Preseason...

Postby Rick » Fri Dec 18, 2020 12:22 pm

While ball practice kept grandson Preston from joining his cousin, Gauge, and I for their capture and banding last night, he did get to bear a hand with what I think the fun part. While being so short-handed found me tossing both of our transmittered hens to insure them a strong start despite their new backpacks, Preston gave our lone ringneck a similar lift:


Hate that he didn't get to pull birds with us, but tickled that he now has his own "shoulda been there" to counter his cousin's.
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Re: 2020-2021 Preseason...

Postby Duck Engr » Fri Dec 18, 2020 1:43 pm

Pretty cool Rick. Something I’m sure the young man will remember for quite some time.
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Re: 2020-2021 Preseason...

Postby SpinnerMan » Fri Dec 18, 2020 2:21 pm

Duck Engr wrote:Pretty cool Rick. Something I’m sure the young man will remember for quite some time.

x2

I had a lot of fun as a kid going around with my grandfather stocking trout. That's a lot cooler. :thumbsup:
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Re: 2020-2021 Preseason...

Postby Darren » Sat Dec 19, 2020 5:49 am

Very cool, thanks for sharing
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Re: 2020-2021 Preseason...

Postby Rick » Wed May 05, 2021 4:42 am

Didn't see them yesterday - and made a point of keeping the bug from working the should-be-safer cross levee I'd rather they homesteaded.

Did get a close look at some for-sure fulvous for the first time on that farm this spring and had a presumed courtship flight of five mottleds drop, rock and roll right to me, as if tolling. The later of which had me wishing my life away and yearning for fall...
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Re: 2020-2021 Preseason...

Postby Duck Engr » Thu May 06, 2021 2:22 pm

Rick wrote:Didn't see them yesterday - and made a point of keeping the bug from working the should-be-safer cross levee I'd rather they homesteaded.

Did get a close look at some for-sure fulvous for the first time on that farm this spring and had a presumed courtship flight of five mottleds drop, rock and roll right to me, as if tolling. The later of which had me wishing my life away and yearning for fall...
I have to stay on myself pretty consistently to keep from doing the same.
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Re: 2020-2021 Preseason...

Postby Darren » Tue May 11, 2021 7:47 am

Rick wrote: The later of which had me wishing my life away and yearning for fall...


Went through a good few years of that, then found I'd had far too much else in life to be thankful for and enjoy the rest of the year.

That and time would just go sooooooooo slow when trying to wish it away
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Re: 2020-2021 Preseason...

Postby Darren » Fri May 21, 2021 1:01 pm

Any suggestions on a pit blind fabricator in the area?

Very much in the market for one to replace the rotted pit at bunkie farm.
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Re: 2020-2021 Preseason...

Postby Rick » Fri May 21, 2021 2:17 pm

Think most folks here get them from Hughes Welding in Jennings, but there are surely shops around Bunkie.
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Re: 2020-2021 Preseason...

Postby Ducaholic » Sun May 23, 2021 7:36 am

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Re: 2020-2021 Preseason...

Postby Rick » Sun May 23, 2021 8:53 am

Ducaholic wrote:https://www.quirkswelding.com/


He hunts with us some, so I might oughta be careful what I say, but what I've seen of them, albeit not yesterday, were much better built than designed from a gunning and gun safety standpoint. I veto

(Not that Hughes' standard design is so great - even though it was based on blinds a friend and I designed and had built to hunt Hughes' grandmother's farm my first year down here. Too shallow to accommodate a proper floor, and I'd no longer want a shell rack for people to use as a step and break. Better just to have a double-duty seat or gear bench on each side.)
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Re: 2020-2021 Preseason...

Postby Rick » Sun May 23, 2021 10:20 am

Rick wrote:
Ducaholic wrote:https://www.quirkswelding.com/

I veto


Thought I'd deleted that, as I don't have the stroke to veto anything the big cheese sets his mind to. But I did talk him out of a blind-for-hunts trade with David. I think...
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Re: 2020-2021 Preseason...

Postby Ducaholic » Mon May 24, 2021 10:57 am

No worries. I figured Darren could see for himself.

I have found anything less than what Eric had on his former lease is not worth hunting out of for many reasons. I find most to be too confining, too short, and down right uncomfortable. If I can't stand up, turn around, crouch slightly and be concealed without touching the walls or someone else I don't want to hunt out of it. It's one of the reason I gave up my lease aside from the lack of fowl. Never was comfortable in those small tight pits.
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Re: 2020-2021 Preseason...

Postby Ericdc » Mon May 24, 2021 11:06 am

I referred Darren to pit builder who built those pits at jones


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Re: 2020-2021 Preseason...

Postby Rick » Mon May 24, 2021 11:31 am

Ducaholic wrote:No worries. I figured Darren could see for himself.

I have found anything less than what Eric had on his former lease is not worth hunting out of for many reasons. I find most to be too confining, too short, and down right uncomfortable. If I can't stand up, turn around, crouch slightly and be concealed without touching the walls or someone else I don't want to hunt out of it. It's one of the reason I gave up my lease aside from the lack of fowl. Never was comfortable in those small tight pits.


One man's treasure...or trash...and all that. But if a blind's not designed so loaded gun barrels can be kept securely out of it, I don't want to be in it.
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Re: 2020-2021 Preseason...

Postby Ducaholic » Mon May 24, 2021 11:43 am

Rick wrote:
Ducaholic wrote:No worries. I figured Darren could see for himself.

I have found anything less than what Eric had on his former lease is not worth hunting out of for many reasons. I find most to be too confining, too short, and down right uncomfortable. If I can't stand up, turn around, crouch slightly and be concealed without touching the walls or someone else I don't want to hunt out of it. It's one of the reason I gave up my lease aside from the lack of fowl. Never was comfortable in those small tight pits.


One man's treasure...or trash...and all that. But if a blind's not designed so loaded gun barrels can be kept securely out of it, I don't want to be in it.



A valid concern in it's own right.
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Re: 2020-2021 Preseason...

Postby Ericdc » Mon May 24, 2021 2:38 pm

Image
Always felt like we had a safe system, by placing the butts in shell rack while muzzle rested on back of pit top at a 45 degree angle. Muzzles stayed out of interior of pit.


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Re: 2020-2021 Preseason...

Postby Ericdc » Mon May 24, 2021 2:39 pm

Oh and I miss that pit


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Re: 2020-2021 Preseason...

Postby Rick » Mon May 24, 2021 3:06 pm

Ericdc wrote:...by placing the butts in shell rack while muzzle rested on back of pit top at a 45 degree angle. Muzzles stayed out of interior of pit.


If that shell rack is configured like most I've seen, I'd not miss sitting on the edge of angle iron.

Would also much prefer an arrangement making it simple to switch seats with the wind direction - even though it means getting rained on.
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Re: 2020-2021 Preseason...

Postby Ericdc » Mon May 24, 2021 3:40 pm

We could shoot out the back just as easy as out the front, and shot more ducks out the back every year.

We never had a gun slip because the brush would hold the barrel on either side.


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Re: 2020-2021 Preseason...

Postby Ericdc » Mon May 24, 2021 3:42 pm

As far as sitting on the shell rack, it wasn't too bad. I could sit there and work birds off the back in a hard north wind with ease.

I felt like it was a real safe comfortable pit and those who hunted with me always raved about how nice it was.


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Re: 2020-2021 Preseason...

Postby Rick » Mon May 24, 2021 6:12 pm

Ericdc wrote:We could shoot out the back just as easy as out the front, and shot more ducks out the back every year.

We never had a gun slip because the brush would hold the barrel on either side.


I was thinking you were mostly shooting out the back, given your practice of sitting on the rack. Regardless, if you liked it, that's what matters. Just wouldn't suit me at all.
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Re: 2020-2021 Preseason...

Postby Ericdc » Mon May 24, 2021 6:28 pm

It was an adjustment, hunted 1 season up there where we faced west before pit was re oriented to face north. We did well that year on ducks, season 17-18.

The 3 seasons before that year we were in a different field where pit faced north and 2 seasons after that year we were facing north.

It made it easy to hide folks, I'd just tell them to keep heads below grass as I pulled birds into back of pit.


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Re: 2020-2021 Preseason...

Postby Darren » Wed May 26, 2021 10:23 am

Sorry I've been MIA, been hectic but all is well thankfully.

Few things on the blinds:

Quirks is close to the hunt site but has been on the higher end of cost in our research to date, and fancier to a degree deemed unnecessary. I say unnecessary because of course we've got a reasonable budget (buddy sold his SxS) but given the larger picture of hunting in the area/region, we struggle to find reason in (literally) sinking a substantial cost for a fancy blind for the long haul with so much uncertainty of what might lie ahead.

Current blind is a Hughes, bought new in the 2009 ballpark. Served well overall but really should have been heavily coated inside and out prior to install. Also negligence in offseason with water staying in it didn't help the cause, combined with not installing any kind of subfloor to take pressure off the floor from heavier feet. It got to the point where the floor metal was literally sloughing off, DComeaux likely noticed on visit from few years back.

As for design, given reasonable budget, likely going to go with just a widened bottom, taller sides, but otherwise standard layout with a bench setup and a shelf, or dual bench as Rick mentioned, either way. Current practice has been to keep guns out the pit for safety and ease of getting up and going, but recognize that it can be a detriment to our hide quality. If it's got a wider bottom, could look into vertical gun holds or something but the idea of guns inside the pit is an unnerving one, all in the name of a few birds might see them if laid across the top amongst the grass etc. Especially a consideration given we intend to have our kids along in the coming years, and a fair few green (adult) hunters come through there as well.

Glad to see the discussion here in the offseason doldrums of late May and appreciate insight from all.

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Re: 2020-2021 Preseason...

Postby Rick » Wed May 26, 2021 12:24 pm

Sure seems to me like steel gauges have shrunk like lumber inches. And I sure wish I did more than add paint along the weld lines of my current blind.

Re: laying guns across the top of a pit, I doubt it bothers birds one bit until their men look to said guns and reach for them just as said birds would otherwise be finishing. Grrr...

Just so much less conspicuous to grasp a gun with its butt on the seat next to you.
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Re: 2020-2021 Preseason...

Postby Darren » Thu May 27, 2021 7:28 am

Rick wrote:Sure seems to me like steel gauges have shrunk like lumber inches. And I sure wish I did more than add paint along the weld lines of my current blind.

Re: laying guns across the top of a pit, I doubt it bothers birds one bit until their men look to said guns and reach for them just as said birds would otherwise be finishing. Grrr...

Just so much less conspicuous to grasp a gun with its butt on the seat next to you.


Perhaps with the addition of a bench we could go to that approach (if top not too tall). I've had good luck in that approach at your blind, for sure. (and we'll need to copy your top rail padding system so please let me slide on the patent infringement.)

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