Saturday, December 17, 2011

Time's running out...

It's hard to believe, but the regular duck season in Maine finds itself approaching the last week. With the warmer than average fall, the ducks haven't arrived from the open inland lakes thus limiting the number of bufflehead and goldeneye in the coastal sector.  Today, I chose once again to chase the black duck and brought my cousin Scott to the adventure.  Typically I head out to the blind, throw out the decoys, blast one black duck, and then bolt for home.  With two blacks potentially arriving, today we had a hunt on our hands.

So we slid out in a small snow spitting system with about three hours left for flood tide.  The wind was running northerly which certainly encouraged a nice headwind for the ducks to utilize and the temperature had frozen all surrounding water pots.  Conditions were optimal and within minutes, we sat in the blind for the first black duck who dare try us.

Honestly, there weren't an abundance of birds as three separate singles made way into the creek.  Then in a surprising fashion, a pair dropped before us just outside the three decoy spread and my trusted MoJo.  One veered away while the committed sucker found Scott's excitement and precision all coupled into a single shot strike which left the duck motionless.  After several failed attempts to retrieve the dispatched duck, I simply gave in and got the rowboat for a pick up.  Scott had quickly found his limit.

Scott's sniped black duck taken at 1:30 p.m. on 12/17/2011

 Several more ducks made their way into the tidal estuary and conveniently grouped up into one stubborn flock.  They floated downstream feeding as they went, but did not respond to my call nor show any interest in joining up with my decoys.  It became highly important that I put one in my game bag, so I ventured through the woods upstream in an attempt to locate the floaters who dare ignore my efforts of allurement.

I pushed between the pond and the line of trees towards the embankment where I flushed the black duck.  The shot came from just below where it shows the location of the downed black duck.  A worthwhile stalk with worthwhile rewards...

The sneak paid off in time as I cornered a smaller single against the tree line leaving myself upwind.  As soon the the black duck gained the slightest amount of air, it fell victim to the Firesteel.  The duck however could not drift across the brook, but opted to remain on the opposite shore.  I walked back downstream within hollering distance and asked Scott to row over.  He quickly obliged and within minutes we had the duck, decoys, and gear all ready for the truck.

My black duck taken at 3:20 p.m. on 12/17/2011

 With one week left, it is in my hopes to score at least one more black duck which will leave me at an all-time high.   Then, I turn my attention to the sea ducks that have certainly enjoyed their reprieve.  Have a great day.

The Downeast Duck Hunter

Scott, MoJo, and the pair of blacks taken 12/17/2011


  1. Looks like you boys had a great duck day. Nice!

  2. Enjoyed this story, photography and graphics. Minnesota season shutdown 2 weeks prematurely before thanksgiving, by hard freeze & thick ice.


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