Coastal Alabama Hunt 1/5/19

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Coastal Alabama Hunt 1/5/19

Postby Deltaman » Mon Jan 07, 2019 9:13 am

Date: 1/5/19

Time: Set up well before LST on a darker than normal night

Location: Mobile River Delta

Cloud Cover: Cloudy at first light, then clearing and sunny

Wind Direction and Velocity: NW 15+ most of morning

Temperature: Upper 40's

Moon phase: New moon

Special Notes: The dark night made the run somewhat of a challenge as we headed upriver, with the river full of floating debris from the floodwaters coming down from upstate. Water higher than normal because of the added water as well (as one of my coonass buddies would say "low tide is high tide")

Waterfowl Activity: Was a slow trickle of birds (almost all Gadwalls), throughout the morning, and just enough to keep us interested

Waterfowl Responsiveness: Started out acting like the typical "seasoned" Gadwalls, working the decoys, and then lighting out at 80-100 yds to feed, and pull other newcomers :( Again, pulled a rabbit out of the hat when we added 3 of the flock-a-flickers to the spread. Although the wind was blowing fairly hard, we are hunting a thick milfoil grass bed, in a pocket along a bay, and very little wind movement of decoys. The added movement turned the trick.......again, and was glad I brought them along.

Hunters: Stepson (Dustin) and myself

Guns: SBE and Nova

Malfunctions:

Dog(s):

Special Equipment: Despite the negative reviews I have read, these flock-a-flickers are making a difference. No other blind traffic to screw us up,and it was night and day as to how the birds finished. Coming back to the blind after chasing a cripple, 3 Gadwalls sitting in the decoys jumped up, and damn if one of them didn't circle around and sit back down in the decoys, next to the movement, before jumping up a second time as we got closer.

Curses: Bent barrels and mis-communication..........we had added some thick cover to the blind, and on several occasions, when alerted by Dustin that birds were coming in that I didn't see, we would jump up to shoot, and I found myself shooting at different birds, further out than others that I had not seen, that were on top of us :oops: We both just plain missed some other easy opps for no reason as well.

Kudos: We had action off and on most of the morning, but heard very little other shooting.

Birds By Species: 5 Gadwalls (lost another Gadwall to the bank, and knocked down a hen Canvasback that gave us fits diving. We chased that bird for 20 minutes, in open water, and still lost it :evil: )

Photo Ops: Did not take camera

Lagniappe: Watched a Bald Eagle off and on all morning.

Of Note: We do not have any coots to speak of............not that I care to shoot them, but it seems like it has been that way the last few years, and I reckon, indicative of our duck migration pattern. My usual go to for late season is a large spread of coots, with just a few duck decoys mixed in, but this year, with so few coots around, that may not work as we hunt over the next few weeks.
"It ain't what you don't know that gets you in trouble. It's what you know for sure, that just ain't so"
Mark Twain
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Re: Coastal Alabama Hunt 1/5/19

Postby Darren » Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:20 am

Though I didn't care for the lack of durability of the FAFs and have since given mine away, my buddies hunting my home town marsh are all using spinners and the grays have been eating them up, I'm told.
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Re: Coastal Alabama Hunt 1/5/19

Postby Rick » Mon Jan 07, 2019 12:47 pm

Deltaman wrote:Of Note: We do not have any coots to speak of............not that I care to shoot them, but it seems like it has been that way the last few years, and I reckon, indicative of our duck migration pattern.


Saw four coots on our ride out today and mentioned that that was an oddity this year, and my man from Houma said he was about to say the same.
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Re: Coastal Alabama Hunt 1/5/19

Postby Darren » Mon Jan 07, 2019 2:16 pm

Haven't been in my home turf to survey where they've historically been thick, but no one I know that's been hunting there has made mention of them. Sometimes would be in massive rafts of thousands and of course would draw grays from far and wide.
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Re: Coastal Alabama Hunt 1/5/19

Postby don novicki » Tue Jan 08, 2019 6:46 am

Hunting Presque Isle State Park here in Erie Pa., we would always have thousands of coot also. However this year they were conspicuously absent. First time ever for that. Wondering myself what happened to them. Congrats on a good hunt.
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Re: Coastal Alabama Hunt 1/5/19

Postby Duck Engr » Fri Jan 11, 2019 9:20 pm

Deltaman I saw a picture this evening of a guy who claimed to have killed a speck near the causeway. Ever killed one in the delta?
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Re: Coastal Alabama Hunt 1/5/19

Postby Deltaman » Mon Jan 14, 2019 11:15 am

DE, I have seen one killed here and there over the years, but definitely a rarity for this area. While I have killed a few Snows, and some Greater Canadians (now local birds), I have never killed a Speck myself. The Snows I shot here were all poor, and I have given the big Canadians to my stepson every time we have killed them. Think we killed 6 of them last year, but none this year to date.
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