Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 Year Ender...

Good morning for a hunt

My father and me

The Brother-In-Law
The 2010 duck season ended on a high note as my father, brother-in-law, and yours truly hit our limit and a bonus old squaw.  I messed up the HD upload so I wouldn't maximize the screen, on any account here's the video... On another note, my buddy Rabid scored a bobcat and called me during the hunt.  Here's the link to his page.  Click Here.

video
I'll drop the write-in later, have a great day...
The Downeast Duck Hunter

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Game time!!!

Click here for the entire painting done in 2009, another one is in the works...

After a pleasant nor' easter,  persistent winds from the north over 20 knots, and chilling temperatures, it looks like game time begins Friday morning.  The trailer has been thoroughly inspected and will need repair this spring, but it will suffice for the short jaunts back and forth to the town landing.  As of right now, the boat is fueled, loaded, and ready for some action.

I hope to get some serious video footage and then get back into compiling another video.  We'll see how things roll.

The forecast for the next few days are as follows:

THIS AFTERNOON
W WINDS 10 TO 15 KT WITH GUSTS UP TO 20 KT.
SEAS 2 TO 3 FT.

TONIGHT
NW WINDS 10 TO 15 KT. SEAS AROUND 2 FT.

FRI
W WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 1 TO 2 FT.

FRI NIGHT
W WINDS 10 TO 15 KT WITH GUSTS UP TO 20 KT. SEAS
2 TO 3 FT.

SAT
NW WINDS 10 TO 15 KT. SEAS 1 TO 2 FT.


With only one month left for this season, my days are numbered...

Until next time,
DEDH




Sunday, December 26, 2010

ATV Plastic Restoration- a popular entry from the old site...

There are a couple of posts from my old site that continue to bring in visitors and I figured I'd merge them over time into the new blog.  This one dealt with giving my 2003 Yamaha Big Bear new life just by using a heat gun and buffing compound to return the color to the fenders.  Several months later and with proper storage, the finish remains the same.  Here's the entry...

ATV Plastic Restoration Project- Spring 2010


Before




After




Before




After



This has been a long time coming and I should have never let my ATV go like this, but time got past me as I got married, had a couple of kids, and gathered a few more jobs in my busy world. Some things like my 2003 Yamaha Big Bear 400 4X4 found minimal usage (500 miles in six years) and I never replaced the cover once it went bad. Nevertheless, I decided this winter that I would either repair the damage done by the sun and weather or buy a new fender kit for my quad...

After an abundance of research and no luck, I decided that maybe a heat gun could potentially restore the plastic to a more original form. I chose to hit up youtube.com to see if anyone had done this and found several videos of people using heat guns to bring out the finish on plastic ground effects. There was one that seemed plausible. Click here to see the video.

So I've started the process and see some success, but I want to mention that this will not be perfect but rather an improvement. Also, once the heat gun has been used for several minutes I've applied a buffing agent used for fiberglass boats. It has evened out the spots where the heat gun overlaps, but the compound beforehand did not yield better results...

I look forward to the complete restoration of this proven quad with only 700 miles. I've documented my progress below...

Take care

The Downeast Duck Hunter video

Friday, December 24, 2010

Day Two Fail...

Looks like I got a lump of coal for my Christmas Eve hunt as I returned to the same locale.  Things were similar as I caught the early ebb tide in the afternoon, however the black ducks played a different game today.  I happened to notice them feeding towards the open water below the blind as I quietly tossed the decoys and found concealment.  With persistent calling and a continued effort to find food, the ducks meandered my way up the tidal estuary.

One duck in particular was paddling in full haste as the others held back.  Once it caught sight of the decoys, there was no hesitation where this duck was heading.  I did get surprised by one duck waddling on the grass from the far shore and another which decided to drop in.  Things were going exactly as they should.

I put the bead on the first duck which still was the best shot at that moment.  It was just outside the left decoy and the far bank provided a most excellent backdrop.  The shot was taken, feathers.  A second shot, feathers, and my last shot, nothing.  The ducks took to the air with the other ten or so down below.

My chance had gone as no more ducks would return before legal shooting ended.  With Christmas Day being the last day of puddle ducks, I fear it may be my last unless I can pull out some Christmas miracle.

The hunt was enjoyable in solace, time for reflection and consideration while in the field puts me usually in a better place.

On a side note, I discovered today that my axle for my EZ Loader trailer has a considerable fracture between the U-bolts.  I've got to figure out fast how to make things right for my sea duck hunting future hinges on this predicament.

Merry Christmas,
DEDH

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Day One of Vacation Score!!!


With time running out on the puddle duck season of 2010, I chose to strike a salt marsh with an ebb tide in hopes of taking a black and a bonus mallard or two.

A solo hunt photo with my take...
In just about one hours time, I convinced one duck to swim around the bend with a barrage of responsive quacks.  As I put the call down and lined up the shot, the duck took a sudden turn.  I took the shot and then witnessed the rise of at least twenty more black ducks.  The impressive showcase went without fire as the black duck limit was met with the single bird.

To my surprise, the duck did not cooperate and it took several more shots to dispatch the tough animal.  Finally, I went into the woods and around the marsh to where the hen black duck chose to relent.

A beautiful hen black duck with my Xtrema2...
In a perfect world, the duck would have drifted along with the ebb tide and northern wind directly to my blind.  However, I am more than pleased to begin my vacation with one of the more difficult ducks to take. With hours not days left in the puddle duck second split, I hope the weather holds well and allows for some serious sea duck action.  I haven't nearly been out as much as I would like.  Stay tuned...

Take care and Merry Christmas,


                                                                                                    DEDH

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Merry Christmas

For those of you who swing by and somewhat enjoy my literary wonder, I send you best wishes and a productive new year.  I'm nearing a vacation and intend to catch up on some duck hunting.  When I'm done, there won't be a creature stirring...

Enjoy your season...

DEDH

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Ice fishing mayhem...

It's on and I haven't even finished out the duck season, but ice fishing is fast upon us and I've found myself in a bit of a dilemma...

A great friend of mine is well, a device and equipment aficionado.  And as of right now we are in the process of either 1) building an ice shack, 2) buying a used one, or 3) investing in higher quality commercial shack.

So here's the run down of how this has been.  Let me remind you this is part fun and part half-truth...

There will be something done for the short term and a long term plan is in the works so I'll keep you posted, but I want to share how exactly our planning has run awry...

My idea of an awesome shack... $600.00


Our version of a nice Sno Pro 6X10... Researched online prices around $3,000.00


And Bud's Big Daddy Dream Shack... about $13,000




Tuesday, December 7, 2010

All that's good isn't always edible...

Right after my writing up yesterday’s post, I began the process of dressing my quarry.  Upon field dressing my black duck, things didn’t quite look right.  Both breasts were impregnated with small white objects that resembled rice.  My personal philosophy with questionable game is “when in doubt, toss it out” and that's exactly what I did.  But this issue remained at the core of my undying process to know everything before I die, so I then began the almighty search of answers to my questions.  So here goes...

I started by searching for parasites that affect ducks and quickly made way to this protozoan parasite named sarcocystis.  After comparing several pictures online to my photo, it became apparent that I was getting close to determining the cause of avian rice meat.  However, this disease is distributed world wide and found in a variety of animal species which led me to consider this question, “Is this common in Maine and am I at risk since I dressed the animal?”.
This morning I wrote to the Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife with a description of my findings and was responded to in a timely fashion.  Sure enough it was Sarcocystis, or “Rice Breast Disease”.  It isn’t common in Maine, but does occur in waterfowl as Sarcocystis rileyi when duck either feed or drink from water that has the eggs of the parasite.  Here is a good link to read up on this topic.  Click Here
For my safety, it looks like I’m okay especially after cleaning up well once I discovered the problem.  It has been suggested that you can still cook the meat very well and still digest the meat, but I’m not sure anybody would be interested in trying Parasite Infested Duck.
The hen taken at the same time had no evidence of being infected.

Take care,

DEDH

Monday, December 6, 2010

Snow day black duck...


With fingers crossed, I worked on the blind constructing it with olive drab canvas, alders, spruce, and marsh grass.  It seemed like a chance, usually rain hits the coast while snow falls inland.  But I knew that the opportunity could become a reality and if I found myself in school, my buddy Jab would give it a go with my father.  So realistically, it became a win/win and a coin flip for me.

The weather forecast continued to cooperate with my ambitious plans and I began planning for a school cancellation.  I planned on calling my buddy as soon as I got my call, and then prepare to head out to his house where we would try for the black mallard a.k.a. black duck.

Sure enough at 5:30 a.m. the call came in and the ball was rolling.  Since high water would be around noontime, we did have some time to burn before the tide got up.  However, we also had a little bit more snow than I wished and found myself cleaning up the driveway & vehicles.  By 8:30, I stormed out in four wheel drive and made the half hour trek to the gunning venue of the day.

We quickly readied our gear and moved to the salt marsh only to find the water covered with a blanket of slush.  If this snow had arrived during high water, then the water would have readily absorbed all snow.  However, the snow only accumulated during the low water and floated as the tide moved in.  Discouraged but not defeated, we pulled the decoys and gear out to the blind and quickly tossed five plastic black duck decoys into the slush.  Just outside of our small spread lie a narrow channel of open water representing the tidal creek that drains the marsh.  But the entire marsh was slush, our success seemed to hinge on luck.

Our two black ducks await retrieval, notice the slush and the only open water.
No sooner had I met Jab in the blind, a single black duck landed just outside the decoys.  Neither of us had 1) expected a black duck to be into the dekes within one minute of setting them out or 2) loaded our shotguns for we hadn't even got the firearms out of the cases.  The black duck took off and we made no hesitation to grab our guns while rushing to find our shells for the next opportunity.

That opportunity came four minutes later.  A pair responded to my call and arrived with full commitment.  As soon as they landed, we popped up and fired leaving both for retrieval.  I attempted to net the two blacks but the large tide dictated otherwise.  Jab slid out of the blind to get his skiff and row out to get the downed pair.

I'll be honest a say that the slush was not easy on Jab.  For every row he took, I'm guessing he made about 11 inches headway.  Eventually he got out there.

Since our black duck limit had been met, we chose to hope for a mallard and set out my bufflehead decoys as well.  We knew that our chances were slim, but we had the morning and figured we'd spend it in the blind.

We watched geese several hundred yards away and about twenty five black ducks inside of us working the only open water near them.  Eventually cold wet hands got the best of us and we chose to call it a day.  Even though it wasn't exactly as we had planned, I'll take it and be thankful.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Big tide, backwards wind, & a fair day on the water...

Beggars can't be choosers, and I've been begging mother nature to throw me a weekend without wind.  The forecast was supposed to be northerly 5-10 turning westerly 5-10 by morning and a bit of flood tide made for a potentially good day.  Things went well but not quite as planned.

The temperature was a wet 45 degrees at 5:15 a.m. this morning and the wind, non-existent.  I was quite pleased with the motor which had been suffering from a long illness of algae in the carburetors.  A thorough cleaning and a new carb kit seemed to be the cure as I gradually opened up the Mercury en route to our gunning hole.

Then the wind picked up slightly from the southeast which didn't hamper our early gunning, but would put us into a more tedious position later as the tide would turn.  Matt dropped an early old squaw as I connected on two early eiders.  My father dropped a couple eiders as well before the tide turned ebb.


Several things turned a promising hunt into an average run.  First, the wind was not ideal and the high tide stood us alone with no structure to funnel the ducks into range.  In addition, high tide in mid-morning offers no feeding opportunities for sea ducks.



Nevertheless, we scored seven sea ducks and quit around ten o'clock.  A highlight of the morning was a banded drake eider tagged in Nova Scotia in 2007 by my father.  For someone who hasn't been chasing sea ducks nearly as much as I'd like, I'll take this day as a success and run with it.


The Duckforce has been covered for the upcoming storm scheduled to drop several inches of snow early this week and I'm hoping for some black duck action in that storm.

Until next time,

DEDH

Monday, November 29, 2010

Hunting Permission Attained

I'm happy to say that my professional guides license has been upgraded with a hunting permission.  To be bluntly honest and quite frank, this achievement did not occur easily or without struggle.

I again thank my buddy, The Rabid Outdoorsman, for his support and encouragement while putting most appreciation towards my wife who had to endure hours upon hours of diverted attention and study.  Let's just say the fishing endorsement can wait as I get back to a more relaxed frame of mind (not that my life is hectic or anything).

It would be important to thank the members of the oral board for once again pushing my thinking and challenging my every intention of becoming a hunting guide.  I'm a better man for this experience and can only offer my total respect and support for those whom I've encountered at DIFW during this ride.

I look forward to the future as several opportunities are in the planning stages, the timing of everything now becomes the key.

Take Care,

DEDH

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Trial and Error... well more trial...

So the forecast for this Thanksgiving break doesn't seem so appealing, but I figured I'd at least put a possibility into motion.

I decided to give one of my very best friends a call to see how the wind looked at his waterfront property and although it didn't seem favorable, it still seemed plausible.  We had talked in the past about me hunting the tidal frontage, but never actually got around to trying until this summer we constructed a small blind on one of the better spots.

However, the early goose season came and went, the first part of the duck hunting split came and went, and here I was still wanting to give this spot a go.  So today with super double clearance, I set up for buffleheads on the high tide with a dozen GHC magnums.  My pal, Craig, joined as an observer with an immense curiosity about the passion I call duck hunting.  He has never hunted, but I'm starting to feel he's getting quite interested.

It didn't take long for a group of three drakes to veer into the decoys, and I quickly dispatched the closest one as I was handcuffed by a rock which saved the other two.  However, the wind had all intentions of shuttling the downed drake away so I moved to retrieve the duck.  Craig who had returned from his house grabbed the oars and we paddled his skiff out for a tedious retrieval.  To sort of explain what we were facing, the forecast was as follows:

NW WINDS 25 TO 30 KT WITH GUSTS UP TO 45 KT...
DIMINISHING TO 20 TO 25 KT WITH GUSTS UP TO 35 KT LATE. SEAS 5 TO
8 FT.

My buddy Craig admiring the possibilities of duck hunting, hunter safety here he comes...

The strong Northwest wind did not relent nor did I.  About one hour later, a single hen quickly arrived from the east and laid perfectly outside the spread.  One shot took her down, while another finished the job.  This duck I would get via wading, but I learned a hard lesson.  When one goes wading, make sure if you take your jacket off, make sure it is somewhere where the wind will not cast it into the ocean.  As I waded back out of the water, my new Herter's waterfowl jacket was drifting as it had blown off a rock and was on it's way elsewhere.  Thank god I've got that Motorola waterproof military phone which has been washed three times and now dunked in salt water.
The author with a matching pair of buffleheads...

Shortly thereafter, my wife and kids arrived for a dinner date.  Craig and I have girls the same age who are the very best of friends.  Our wives are top notch buddies as well, so it became clear that our afternoon of gunning would end as dinner neared.

After picking up the gear, hauling out the boat, and cleaning the buffleheads, we went upstairs for some grilled burgers, ribs, and all the fixings.  The buffleheads found the grill as well and didn't last long.

I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving, and also hope the wind subsides somewhat so that the eiders may find my way.

Take care,

DEDH


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Climbing.... Climb Away...

The Daisy Scout Heading Up
14 years ago last summer was the last time I hit a rock wall.  Not to say I'm getting older, but I'm pretty sure  I'm holding my own quite well.  I'm stronger, smarter, and more successful... I just don't run as fast and the hair thing, well that's another story.  But today I got back into the harness and took to the wall with my oldest daughter who is in her second year of girl scouts.

Most often my wife attends the weekend functions with the other dedicated moms, but this one caught my interest.  We planned for this a long time ago and I fought off invites ranging from ATV riding, a weekend hunting trip with the Rabid Outdoorsman, and other tempting opportunities but there would be no compromising agents to this getaway.  My little beauty and I were going to tear this up and she exuded excitement especially since, "my dad is coming".

There was a shorter wall with no ropes only spotters which provided a great chance for the girls to try things out.  It didn't take long for me to shimmy up a couple of times to get my daughter fired up.  Before long, she was getting outfitted for the big climb and I wasn't far behind.

We hit the wall for about two hours and left excited, encouraged, and exhausted.  However, I will honestly say that I still have it but am not sure about how I'll feel tomorrow.

Falling.... fall away...

Take Care,
DEDH

A Maine Special...Triple Beam!!!

Quite an impressive whitetailed deer was taken this week.  Check out this link...



Photo courtesy of the Clark familyLucas Clark and his first deer, a 20-point, 190-pound buck bagged Nov. 13 in Northport, Maine.


Deer's abnormal antlers stop traffic

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Short reprieve from the sea ducks...

This year isn't quite panning out like I had hoped...

First, the weather on the weekends hasn't exactly been on my team.  Second, the Duckforce has been sicker than a hypochondriac.  Thirdly, I've been a little consumed with deer hunting based on the previous two problems.

Spared for the moment, but not for long...
It's going to be weird to say, but I passed on a small buck last week.  The shot was not optimal, but possible however I chose to spare any unfortunate circumstances.  Having been quite successful in years past BK (before kids), deer hunting has taken a back seat to my duck hunting especially since I've made far more investments due to avian flu.

I'm planning on whacking and stacking this Thanksgiving, but will be foregoing this upcoming weekend to spend some time with my favorite Daisy Scout.  We both are participating in a rock wall adventure.  It looks like I'm the only adult heading vertical, why does everybody else get older but me?

Take care,

DEDH

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Matt Diesel in Full Effect...

The Brother-in-Law & DEDH



I'll get to the write up soon, but for now here's the only solid video clip worth putting up.  No one dared to put down the mighty firearm for a few seconds of filming, so I caught a few opportunities just for the blog. This one of Matt Diesel was the best...

video
Take care,

DEDH

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Game time...

It's never been so long without dropping the boat into the Atlantic for some sea duck action, but the weather and obligations have provided 36 days of eider nothingness.  However, Saturday has been slated for a day of reckoning.  The forecast promises us this nasty storm, but things will subside.  Slated for this act of trouble will be Matt Diesel who ends his one month probation for his accord on the duck hunting opener, and my dad who provides more duck hunting lore and legend than any one I know.  Here's the forecast and wish us luck!!!


FRI NIGHT
S WINDS 20 TO 25 KT WITH GUSTS UP TO 40 KT. SEAS
13 TO 18 FT. RAIN. VSBY 1 TO 3 NM.

SAT
SW WINDS 5 TO 10 KT. SEAS 10 TO 15 FT. RAIN LIKELY. VSBY
1 TO 3 NM.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Duck Band...

It looks possible that the Duckforce may get into the water Saturday morning, but I'm toying with the idea to attend the resident only deer opener.  Having gone from a guy who took a buck ranging from ten points & 200 pounds in 1993 to my last spike horn in 2008 that made for a 28 minute season, I find my time quite limited.  Family, jobs, and life seem to cut into the prior role sets that I used to enjoy.  On any account, I've got the basic goods on the small banded eider taken two weeks ago.  Here goes...


Where banded: Upper Woods Harbour, Nova Scotia
When banded: 05/17/2001

I marked the location as the red point A.

View Larger Map




That makes for one old duck and second only to my 13 year old hen
taken back in 2008.  Here's the write up from my old blog.  http://thedowneastduckhunter.blogspot.com/2008/10/bands-bling-bling-baby-bands.html

Have a great day

DEDH

Friday, October 15, 2010

First Sea Duck of the Season!!!

So we've been pounded with this pleasant nor'easter which has put power out at different times today and my hopes for putting the duck boat into the Atlantic were literally blasted out of the water.  However, I did have a plan for at least today-  Get home and once my wife landed, I'd try for a black duck.  She got home at 5:11 and legal shooting ended at 5:51 so my time to act accounted not for much.


The forecast went like this and it wasn't pretty...

TONIGHT
S WINDS 15 TO 20 KT WITH GUSTS UP TO 40 KT...BECOMING
SE 10 TO 15 KT WITH GUSTS UP TO 25 KT LATE. SEAS 10 TO 14 FT.
NUMEROUS SHOWERS. AREAS OF FOG LATE THIS EVENING AND OVERNIGHT.
VSBY 1 TO 3 NM.


So my plan was to work the high tide on a western point in hopes that a successful shot would drift in my efforts.  If the ducks were stationed on the windward side of the point this would work, at least it should.  As I loaded the Xtrema2 with my Kent Fasteel pellet fury, I noticed a small flock of eiders on the northern side of the point, but moving away and around the point as they quickly picked me out.  This situation in my eyes became a staunch possibility and I quickly made headway towards the end of the point.  


Concealed by the thickness of a large low lying spruce branch, I quietly watched two young drake eiders fight the wind and turn the point.  They were a bit too far and a chance at best.  Then I noticed a female working to my left much closer to the shoreline than the male pair.  They joined mid-way as I worked my way out from the cover of the giant spruce and shifted quietly behind a large blow over.  Once the hen dove to feed, I lurched out and readied for the shot.


The first shot made it mark, but the hen was determined while the drakes that were still out of range took off.  The other eiders off the point took to the air as did some black ducks that caught me by surprise.  A bleak shot with bad timing was quickly offset by the renewed focus on completing the effort on the hen eider.  With two more following shots in a fair sea swell, the eider subsided.  


All else went according to plan as the wind and chop pushed the eider into shore.  As I reached down for the hen, I noticed the ever exciting bird band.  Upon this, I bolted for home to take some photos.


What is most impressive about this particular hunt was that this banded hen eider was taken exactly how I usually pursue black ducks and mallards.  For today, a sea duck stalk proved worthwhile and the attainment of yet another banded duck has been one fine beginning to a blustery and absent sea duck season.






I'll post later with the data.



Take care,


The Downeast Duck Hunter



Sunday, October 10, 2010

Opening Day Photos...

Weekend two has been pretty much been a blowout, figuratively and literally speaking.  I am almost finished with the Duckforce and should be ready for some sea duck action by next weekend.

Here's some of the pics of last weekend's jaunt, let's hope for some great weather, smaller tides, and less wind.

Unloading the gear

Waiting for coffee after a restless windy night

Skybuster stew with the single burner after the fire was doused

Wet, wet, wet, & wet

Ambush in action, off on a sneak hunt

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

That's how I roll... (Photos to come)

Even though it actually isn't the 2010 opener as I hunt sea ducks in January, the new season began with much anticipated excitement and a forecast that honestly should have made us stay home.  So rather than go into a telling rendition of how we managed, I will provide an abridged and blunt force presentation to the things that hit me like a hurricane (major pun intended).  I apologize for the lack of photos, there was no way that I intended to bring my camera to the fun and games for this foul weather trip.

1) Rabid stuck me on the remote island to set up camp with a quickly dropping sun, while he went back to help some dude get his gear off of another island.  Paying it forward didn't help me set up the entire camp on our first night.

Base camp
2) I'll huff and I'll puff, and I'll blow your house down.  My god didn't it blow the first night, I honestly thought Rabid and I were dead men.  It was so bad, I video taped my last will and testament on my cell phone in the event that a rogue tree became my widow maker.  My wife informed me that gusts in the area we were camping were above 50 mph, she said she also pulled my life insurance papers out.

3) Your duck hunting partners complain about the coffee you specially brewed up in the duck blind.  My guess is that our Duckpower reunion might be a few years from happening again, may I say that one of them is hard to chew while running with the pair is like being with hungry wolves in Yellowstone.  Next time I'll let them drink water, and the coffee was quite excellent if I must say.

4) Matt Diesel and his adage of "you miss 100% of the shots you don't take" should be "you miss 100% of the shots at ducks 87 yards away".  Sky busting took on an a life of it's own throughout the entire area fast.

5) Rabid's one-winged and powerless MoJo decoy proved about as effective as well, nothing.  It didn't even make an appearance while other MoJo's across the way brought in the mallards like a moth floats towards the light.

6) If it doesn't blow, it pours.  Day two brought more rain than I want to admit.  The dutch oven sky buster stew almost didn't happen if I hadn't brought my single burner propane stove, and the brothers had the gall to tease about my readiness.  Local reports gave us almost 3 inches of rain from the afternoon to the next morning.  I'm happy I brought the monster tarp, my all-terrain aerobed, and extra gear.
video
7) Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.  The ducks had no interest in us at all the next morning, I took two shots at an impossible target just to appease the one they call Diesel.

8) Did I mention that next time I'll let the bastard brothers starve, get wet, and potentially die next time?

On a more positive note, here are the top great factors in the annual trip.

Rabid looks good here, but Sparky wan't succeeding...
1) The sky buster stew was amazing, it made a crappy downpour into more of an enjoyable mission that resulted in one of the better meals I've ever prepared.

2) We each took a mallard on the first day, factor in the pressure and early sky busting I would say that anyone who got a duck did well.

3) I did accept a challenge to start a fire with my firesteel, and little did I know that my efforts were being timed.  Within 9 minutes I got some dry material to spark up, and if anyone would like to ask Rabid how he made out on his counter-challenge feel free to e-mail him.  Or you can just check out the picture from my cell phone camera.

4) Even though camping was tough, the weather did make us push our efforts to make for a great time.  With no sleep from the windy night, I easily rested as the rain persistently and effectively sang upon the tarp that I had put out.

5) I enjoyed using my Ambush canoe/kayak hybrid, as it paddled well and motored even better.  Rabid and I did some sneak hunting without a high degree of success, but I do see the potential for this very able craft.

6) It's hard to say, but I've got some solid friends.  I look forward to next year.

I'm anticipating two days worth of hunting this upcoming weekend, it should make for some excellent photos and storytelling.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

In about one week...

This photo never gets old, the first big hunt for Duckpower years ago!!!

It's on, and I'm wound up.

In about one week, I'm bolting for central Maine for the annual duck hunting (for details of last years debauchery click here for part one, here for part two, and here for part three) and camping opener.  I'm still not sure how Rabid convinced me to walk away from the sea ducks, but this experience only gets better year after year.

On taps for this year is the official reuniting of Duckpower as for the first time in two years we'll all be hunting at the same time & same place.  Things sort have gotten crazy with kids, distance, and life; however we all have used Sharpies on our calendars and the convergence of duck hunting awe will be late afternoon next Friday.  In addition, we will be expecting none other than the father of Diesel and Duckhammer on Saturday.  This equation only results in one possible solution: mayhem and I can't wait.

The logistics are being hammered out, gear getting packed, and the menu is on the way.  Duck stew on the fire in a dutch oven will be the main course Friday night coupled with some other culinary delights throughout the trip should make for quite the experience.

So while Rabid continues to work on short stories about some guy named Chunk, I prepare for the beginning of the best trip ever.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

It's official, I'm in the market...

My last major firearm purchase was the Beretta Xtrema2 which has been everything and anything I've ever wanted in a shotgun, but I have this never ending desire to move towards the next great thing.

Several years ago I was intrigued by the new large X-frame hand guns put out by Smith & Wesson namely the S&W500 and .460 XVR, although I was very interested in the Ruger Redhawk series.

Now after several years of serious research ranging from affordability to practical application, I've decided to put my fingers into the rusty money account and grab a Ruger Super Redhawk in .44 magnum.  Basic reason, I also own a Ruger Deerfield Carbine in .44 magnum and figured that I could use the ammo for both rather than introduce an entirely new cartridge into my collection.  Throw in the price difference and it became a no-brainer for me.

Ruger Super Redhawk in .44 Magnum and 7.5 inch barrel

With my wife's encouragement, I've been in contact with a local friend who also happens to be a licensed firearms dealer.  It looks like I may be acting on this sooner than later.

Take Care,

DEDH

In celebration of all that flies...

So I hit my younger cousin for a day on the boat in order to get more lobster traps home and bait a few more in hopes to complete my season.  However, he can never just complete the task at hand.

It with great appreciation and sarcasm to announce that he quietly worked a hungry seagull onto the deck of my boat.  On another note, I had to tend several sets while he waited patiently for a photo opportunity.

Have a great one!!!

The gull was released right after the picture...

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Next Step... not as planned...

Yours truly feeling the joy of the new requirements...

Rabid who managed to slide in under the old testing procedures...


So I figured since I would be in central Maine for the duck hunting annual opener with none other than the Rabid Outdoorsman, why not call DIFW and set up a time for my written hunting guide test? To my surprise and actual dismay, things have changed between my recreational test and now (August 24th to September 10th). Apparently I now must take another oral examination that includes another lost person scenario in addition to an abbreviated written test. In more simple terms, what was just a fairly large written test now has become basically a repeat of what I have just taken only three weeks ago.

Completely caught off guard on this wonderful information, I decided to go through the entire process and schedule another examination. So now I get to return to the old material and review while hitting everything else hunting & trapping.  On any account, I want this worse than our president wants to hold seats in the Senate and House of Representatives so here I go again.

So as my school year warms up, the after school program nears opening, and my lobster gear awaits the return to dry land, I now have thrown another iron into the fire. I'm sure I'll be fine, but it doesn't change the fact that my master plan isn't the same route as I had intended.

Be ready for the opener in about three weeks for I will do my best to exploit the misfortunes of my other members of DuckPower while we embark on a two night hunting/camping fiasco in the Maine wilderness.

Take care,

DEDH
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