Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Storm Day Black Duck...

We were supposed to have a half day of school before Thanksgiving break but a little snow storm made it a full day.  Once I got the phone call, coffee was brewed and I jumped into the truck that already bore the proper amenities necessary for today's hunt.  After rousting my dad, we made slow progress as we inched into heavier snow.

It didn't take long for set up, the Atlantic was already flooding well above the channel as the monster tide coupled with a powerful storm system put the blind at risk for "swamping".  Three feeder decoys were cast to the best of my ability into the channel and we waded into the blind.

Notice the water at the floor of the blind...

MoJo waiting for deployment...
In a snow storm, black ducks become what I refer to as "stupid".  They rely on sound as they lose their impeccable sense of vision and will pack up into larger groups.  Therefore, an effective wooden duck call with a lower rasp will entice a black duck especially a single bird flying frantically in search of friends.  We did see ducks early, but the strong tide pushing the water in a variety of directions put two of my decoys in less-than-satisfactory position and MoJo had to wait until the waters recessed.

In addition, our snowstorm turned into a cold rain for a bit which in turn brought about a nasty chill that progressively worsened with the bitter Northerly wind.  Once the tide turned ebb, a large branch grabbed one of my decoys and towed it downstream, out, or at least away from us.  I quickly grabbed the rowboat and raced to procure the renegade deke.

Upon my return, Dad informed me that he was "too cold to hunt" and needed to go up to the house.  We went up together and while he went inside, I quickly changed out of some cold wet gear and jumped into my second round outfit.

Today, I would not relent.
There is a channel way, but the large tide brought the water...

Shortly thereafter, I sat alone calling for my limit of one black duck.  As the tide recessed, the shore grass exposed along the channel and forced more structure to guide any potential target.  And sure enough, I found one which lighted above my decoys upon my hailing call.

Soon I was offered a five quack vocal where I responded with a lighter three quack return.  This conversation lasted no more than three minutes as the duck made quick action downstream towards the blind.  Once the black duck crossed the bead of the Xtrema2,  the black had no chance as a quick one-two flurry of steel found the bird.

A beautiful black duck...
I needed to move quickly as the channel was draining and the dispatched duck was well on its way.  After retrieving the duck, I grabbed the decoys, picked up the blind, and returned to the house to meet my father.  The snow day produced one of the larger black ducks I have ever encountered.

Thanks for reading,

 The Downeast Duck Hunter


  1. Great pics Tony! Won't be long before you be dusting off the tip ups! Happy Thanksgiving to you and all your family. Keep up the great posts. Peace, Mike

  2. Nice my man! I would have been in the house with your father! Under a blanket! Sipping on a stiff drink! Much too cold for this South GA boy!

  3. Nothing like a Black Duck.Glad to see the colder temps are moving in up there.We are stuck in the 70's with no birds in Virginia!


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