Sunday, December 27, 2009

Virtual Hunting

So Santa had some issues with me this year and I had no choice but to bust my hump to get on the nice list over these past few weeks. After doing some research for a video game system since I'm not a gamer, it became apparent that the most family friendly device was the Wii by Nintendo. We've been busy with the bowling and other games, but my heart belongs to the Cabelas Big Game Hunter 2010 with the Top Shot Peripheral gun. Here's a link that will send you straight to Cabela's to check it out- Cabela's Big Game Hunter.

I must say the game is quite impressive and has consumed my weekend pitting the Downeast Duck Hunter against all types of big game ranging from Brown Bear to Caribou to Red Stag. Even though it isn't a fair replacement for getting into the woods, I must say that the average outdoors fanatic must try this game.

It took time to work out the buttons, apparently my skills have diminished since 8th grade but within an hour or so the game became more natural to negotiate. Below is a quick video of my cousin who found himself in Argentina pursuing Red Stag. Thus far, I'd have to give it an A+ partially for it has held my attention for three days straight and the realistic opportunities from my perspective.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Bear Baiting with the DEDH!!!

My esteemed friend and colleague, The Maine Outdoorsman, has spent several years pursuing the elusive black bear with little avail. So this past fall, I thought I'd try my hand at this baiting thing but couldn't bring myself to pull the trigger. Rather, I chose to photograph this sophisticated creature who manages to elude even the most experienced of hunters. I hope that my photo doesn't alter the face of bear hunting, for there would be no bear left...

But then again, this could be a futile effort to spread a little Christmas joy amongst the world of hunting and fishing. Have a great season friends!!!

Note: This photo was sent to my wife through email and wasn't taken by me. The photographer at this point is unknown...

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The story of 2009

For many people, Facebook is the social networking site that has become the everything and anything for communication. While some use it sparingly, some are so immensely hooked that they could be considered “addicted”.

I too am part of the Facebook genre, but my time and energy focus on checking up on old friends, playing poker online, and corresponding with a group of follow outdoorsman within my region. One friend in particular, Jonathan of Rising Sun Outfitters, seems to be the most energized by the online discussion and his news recently about this hen eider has resulted in my newest research endeavor.

A client from his firm bagged a hen eider that not only had a readable band, but a satellite transmitter as well. We chatted online while I was frantically searching the world wide web for any information pertaining to the topic at hand. As soon as I found one site and sent the link, I'd be on another more promising direction. I'll be honest, there aren't many of these around and this is a major event within the coastal sea duck hunting genre.

I will be posting a major story within the next week or so as the information keeps shuffling in, the information from the Bird Band Lab is absolutely critical in order to reference the eider with the correct organization who was tracking the bird. Without any shadow of a doubt, I'm absolutely pumped.

Stay tuned for what may be the highlight of the 2009 sea duck season.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Once again to the Bird Band Lab...

The band from this drake eider has been sent to the Bird Band Laboratory in Laurel, MD to be etched in order to determine the numbers worn off the aluminum band over time. For those who don't know the process, the band is put into a chemical mixture and since the band is stamped one can still "see" the numbers after immersion. Included with the band was a letter stating all necessary information pertaining to the take of the eider including location, date, and how retrieved.

Off particular note, the last band I sent to the BBL returned with some incredible information. The hen eider was 13 years old and banded on the southeast border of Nova Scotia. I've posted the link to an earlier blog entry about the bands taken thus far, not including the ones taken this year. Have a great weekend.

Bands, Bling Bling Baby, Bands...

The Downeast Duck Hunter

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Too funny to hold back!!!

So my best man, code name Sniper, and Littlefield make the trek Downeast for some eider action and I can't help but believe these two are the next coming of Harry and Lloyd. First they decide to travel 12 hours all over Maine yesterday, get home at midnight and then get up at 3 a.m. in order to get to my neck of the woods before legal shooting. The only thing missing was they came in a truck, not a moped. I suppose they were men of priority, because there's no way I'd carouse around like they did especially when a promising hunt was is the forecast. But that's the least of their trials and tribulations...

Obviously they were a little overdosed on caffeine or suffering from insomnia for they were shooting faster than Tom Knapp. I'll be honest, the eiders looked superb but my concern was that they were fast approaching their prospective limits rather quickly. I didn't even have a chance to load my gun, get a cup of coffee, or even get the camera out. These quack addicts apparently needed a fix, but I needed to put them in detox. Yours truly needed a few shots and I got them, then the two machine gunners were able to finish out their limits with restraint. When the smoke cleared, twelve eiders lay in the floor of the boat and we elected to try another spot for some scoters and old squaws. But this isn't the best part of the story...

I had kept informing both men to keep track of which birds they shot for two reasons, one obviously was to keep track of duck limits and the other was to see if any possessed the prize band that adds to essence of the hunt. I've said many times that a banded eider is the 8 point buck of sea ducking, and getting one is always exciting. However, my boys either weren't listening or too bent on unleashing the cannons of pain and suffering. As Sniper was confirming the first two limits of the morning, he exclaimed that one drake had a band. I knew for a fact that I did not get it as every duck in my quarry had been throughly inspected. That put the band in the possession of my two hunting partners...

To know that one band existed between these two yahoos was an internal treat to which I held my satisfaction well. The best part was that neither could prove who had in fact, shot the duck. The only comparative element was that Sniper had taken all drakes while Littlefield had one hen in his bag...

We acheived our limit shortly thereafter and our day had been limited in roughly one hour and fifteen minutes. After a quick phone call to my wife, we moved to another spot without any success. By 11:00 a.m. we were back at the landing...

The captain of the ship took the band, it now is a treasure by committee. Plus I now have a wonderful fire starter for any future engagements where all of us will be in a crowd. Their blunder has and will become my pleasure...

In addition, I tricked them both into a photo op with the prize eider. It was a great day and I'm still smiling as I finish with these words...

Have a great one,

The Downeast Duckhunter

Was it Sniper???

Or Littlefield???

Guess we'll never know!!!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Are you ready???.

My best man...

He's the same person I created a Facebook group to make fun of until he joined, once he got an account I wouldn't let him join the group. And I'm excited to finally get him downeast for some gunning action.

Getting my best man down for a sea duck hunt might just be the hardest thing to accomplish. But since the deer count is down in Maine and he's downhearted and depressed, my right hand man has chosen to forfeit this upcoming Saturday to pursue the might eider. Weather looks good and I intend to videotape as much as possible, my intentions are to publicly flog him to the dire end. Until then, hope for his arrival and potential poor shooting!!!

The Downeast Duck Hunter
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