Saturday, December 29, 2012

Long overdue... way too long...

Arlin and Aidan in the duck blind
In life things sort of get by you...

You hash things over, talk up plans, and neglect the simplicity of follow through.

That's the case of my buddy and former schoolmate Arlin who also happens to be an avian enthusiast.

So many times have we talked gunning, but never once made good on our ideas or opportunities so often missed.  Today however, we took to my shore front and made a go for a few ducks.  What came out of this six hour hunt was far more important than the few ducks we garnered.  An opportunity to talk, reconnect, and mesh our worlds into one memorable experience resulted.  Arlin has always been a fine individual and I'm thankful we took the time to look over some bufflehead decoys together.

We have not had any quantity of sea ducks around this year henceforth my clear lack of sea duck posts.  I've opted to hunt what's out there and that happens to be mallards, black ducks, and buffleheads.  And that's what we did today...

Much like myself, Arlin is a sea duck hound who thrives on coffee in the boat while waiting for a white wing scoter to turn his way or that unique flock of eiders dropping the landing gear whilst gliding amongst the decoy spread.  We have however, never once made this happen.  Never.

Last year, we made an elaborate promise to gun sea ducks and then make way down to his family camp on Head Harbor.  Things got past us and now old man winter has suggested we try again next year.

Then we opted to try a day hunt out of my boat, but the weather and cold has left my duck boat on the trailer.  It didn't stop our conversation.  The following narrative indicates our plans over the past several days.  Our entire message thread would take a year to read...
  • dude, if you check out the NOAA extended forecast you may just cry... I know I am...
  • we are up against it buddy that's for sure...
  • Winds look favorable but it's supposed to be COLD 16 to 26 degrees, I really don't like going below freezing. We could gun off my shore mid day Saturday. There are some buffleheads buzzing around and I did see five whistlers out there yesterday. Plus if we get cold, we can walk up to the house for coffee and get warm.
  • sounds good to me buddy , only other thing I can think of is snag our 2013 licenses and try a day in there before black ducks close on the 5th but it's your call you just say when
  • We can head up to Jason's and try for a black duck anytime, problem is that last year we pulled 13 black ducks in 10 tries... this year we are 0-3... however it takes only one.
  • my biggest accomplishment besides finally getting gunning with you would be taking a drake whistler, that is one of the only species that I have not killed male and female of....
  • Let's do something tomorrow anyways, I've got buffles out here and I'll head out and scout Jab's property just in case... If he's frozen up then no black ducks will come in. I'll leave the buffles alone today so they may get comfortable... a lot of them have shown up today. I'll get back to you after I do some scouting.
  • ok buddy give me the time for tomorrow and I will meet you wherever
  • Jason's place was slushed up and I'm not sure if it cleared out. Good bad or ugly, I've set up a bunch of buffleheads so let's meet at my place for some coffee. I'd say around 8:30 a.m.
  • ok buddy would u be opposed to me bringing Aidan along to watch ?
  • You bet.
  • ok i will gather him up and we will be over in the morning

     So this morning, Arlin and Aidan (one of my farm league power hitters) arrived and we made quick action down to the blind.  Things were not necessarily in our favor in terms of ample ducks, but eventually a merganser made way to the decoys.  Without hesitation, Arlin dropped the hen and Aidan was a hard man to keep out of my boat.  Pacing back and forth, he did not relax until I presented him with the duck taken by his Papi.

    Aidan with the first merganser of the day.

     As evidenced by the above photo, Aidan (as any kid would) early in the hunt discovered his feet getting a bit cold and fingers doing the same.  He was able to hold on a little bit longer after I supplied him with some bigger boots, wool socks, toe & hand warmers, and a promise that he'd be able to head up and hang out with my girls in due time.  He readily agreed, and was up to the house in a few minutes to get some hot chocolate, grub, and some Nintendo with my pair.  I suggested to Arlin that he may not be coming back with those given opportunities.  Plus, he was a trooper and participated in a fair share of our hunt. 

    Over time, Arlin and I shot the bull and a few more ducks.  We dropped a pair of mergansers, a drake bufflehead, and then Arlin took our last merganser opportunity.  After witnessing a hen bufflehead escape certain death, we enjoyed some clam chowder in the blind made by my wife.  We were spared no struggle in our hunt, only the proper accommodations were allowed.

    Then as I was explaining how the mallards and black ducks work the shore, a pair of mallards were replicating my exact words.  We shifted spots to ready for the ducks as they swam the shoreline towards our position, then after a few minutes we discovered that they had retreated back into the head of the cove.  As we made way back to the blind, Arlin spotted some mallards making fast flight in our direction.  Within moments, our volley yielded a nice mallard which piled onto the water just off the water's edge.  I had to move quickly as an eagle thought he had a fast meal, but within minutes I acquired the dispatched duck.

    After the drake mallard and after five solid hours of quality time in the blind, the tide had receded enough to warrant defeat.  We gathered the gear, snagged Aidan from the clutches of my girls for several photos, and debriefed our hunt in my kitchen over coffee and some feeding mallards down below the shore..

    This hunt was long overdue... way too long as the post title so clearly states.  I had a blast with my good buddy Arlin and was fortunate to be able to share in a meaningful few hours over the decoys.  I look forward to the opportunities to come. 

    And for those who are interested, you would be hard pressed to find a crack shot like Arlin.  Those mergansers didn't stand a chance against the might of the one they call Farley!!!

    Have a great one,

    The Downeast Duck Hunter
    Aidan and Arlin with our four mergansers, one drake bufflehead, and one drake mallard.  A good time was had by all...

Friday, December 21, 2012

2 shots, one full limit of mallards...

The tide worked around to agree with my available time, and I knew that today would be the day.  A few mallards had shown up with the temporary freeze which meant my cove had what they needed.

The plan was to get to the shore without detection and then assess the circumstances.  If I were to be seen, then I would graciously accept defeat.  If I could negate the wary eye of the mallards, then I could be within striking range.  Today was the day that I would test my reflective practice, today would be that chance to merry the position of the rising tide, time of day, overcast conditions, and my efforts to "get onto those ducks".

It worked as I made my way down to the cove utilizing a baby crawl technique unmatched by no other that placed me just above the mean high water mark.  Then I kept concealed and studied the ducks, far more drakes than hens.  Too be so close and earn enough time to assess my shot warranted good fortune.

Today I would take a calculated shot once presented, the goal was a limit of mallards with one pull of the trigger.  Head shots would be necessary to achieve this challenge.  Once the bills presented themselves together, I would shoot down upon the unsuspecting ducks at half tide flood.

And it happened, one hen seemed to have three drakes constantly at her beckoning.  As she moved, they followed as one would attempt to cut of the other.  The hen turned towards me while the drakes lurched forward to accompany her while I drew down on the target.  Then I let the Xtrema2 with the #2 Kent Fasteel erupt with a well placed spread.  Three did not quiver whilst the fourth attempted to escape, but fell no sooner than taking off.  A second shot rendered the escapee motionless and fulfilled my limit within seconds.  The easterly wind and flood tide put the mallards on the shore in less than a minute.  As fast retrieve, it took longer for me to find my wife to take pictures than it did hunt the ducks.

I called my Dad who beamed with excitement as he told me several accounts of doubles and the occasional triple.  So often, he proclaimed, the old gunners wouldn't shoot unless the birds were on the water and would time the birds to gain multiple ducks in one shot.  To lose a duck meant less food on the table.  My shot was opportune, and well thought out while ensuring a minimal aspect of error.

I have only shot multiple birds several times including three mergansers in 2003, and several sea duck shots on the wing.  However, I almost managed to limit out on mallards with one shot.  I suppose that's an opportunity down the road, but for now I'll be happy with my four with two.

Have a great day,

The Downeast Duckhunter

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


My reason to worry.

I worry... never in my life have I been so worried...

Worried about America... it's economic woes... borrowing like a shopping addict... the fiscal cliff...

Worried about the hate... the clear partisan hate, one who wants those traditional values that propelled us to greatness... the other wanting to embrace the new, throwing caution into the wind and hoping for a better world... so many people being divided on so many fronts... my way or the highway...

Worried about our future... trying to raise my children and teach my students balance, appreciation, understanding, responsibility, and inspire them to make our community, state, nation, and world a better place...

Worried about the Newton school shooting, cried for those who died while also wondering if many good Americans will be further hated for owning firearms... In the midst of my worry as a parent, teacher, future administrator, I worry as a gun owner... and yes I can possess all those roles for concern...

I have a friend, a cohort who is certainly liberal... we tease, we joke, we talk, but we never argue... we seek perspective, reasoning, and further learning... many times we often come to a unique world where we actually meet common ground... I would like to say that this can be done at larger levels, but it can't... there are too many fingers in the cookie jar... for that I again... worry...

I believe in people, but when "ask what your country can do for you" takes precedence over "ask what can you do for your country" then we should worry... one tears down while the other builds...

I worry that a "new America" may not be able to take care of previous failures while fostering new ones... that the good fight for greatness may result in blaming the past as an excuse for pitfalls in the future... so much corruption, cheating, and coercion for benefit and greed... 

I don't believe in the world endgame, but I do believe that mankind is failing... Please try to listen more, think more, find common ground, and understand we are all people...

I don't worry about my efforts for a better world, I just worry about our world's effort... I'll do my part in my little corner of America...

The Downeast Duck Hunter

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Video removed

Veterans Day with my Dad, a great man and outdoorsman

 After less than a week and an abundance of visitors, I've opted to pull the video of the mallard double that my father took with one shot as the pair come within shooting distance after seeing the decoys in my cove.

All hunters have a perception of what is proper and improper when it comes to hunting, and I'm not really interested in becoming a lightning rod for support or criticism.  I love duck hunting and love doing it in a variety of ways in a continual process to become a more successful hunter. 

I intend to get in some sea ducking this weekend with an old friend who's goal is to look good on my website.  I promise only shots in the sky, but then again they usually are...

Until next time,

The Downeast Duck Hunter

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Mallard Double: Ambush Style

Dad's mallard double taken 12/5/2012

I found myself at home with a sick little girl today but also found myself watching the shoreline all day long.  Buffleheads dove out in the bay, the first whistler (goldeneye) arrived, and several mallards & black ducks worked the shoreline back and forth.  The mallards in particular were very interested in the three drake decoys I had thrown out just to the northwest of the bufflehead decoys.  

As the tide came up, the mallards were convinced that they needed to be in my little cove.  Once they began their migration, I immediately called my father to let him know of the circumstances.  His first response was, "I'll watch the girls and you go" but I told him to go for it.  After all, he's been missing the water frontage since we've (my wife and I) finally finished the house and he moved out of the first floor back to his first home.  He didn't seem to mind being handed this guaranteed opportunity.

Drake mallard banded in Easton, Maine 2009.

I'll just say that there are several ways to hunt ducks:  wing shooting, stalking, and silent ambush.  The silent ambush is a very difficult but often high yielding opportunity where you time the tide, wind, and your location in hopes that one may be able get a quality shot.  It's sort of like deer hunting.  My property however offers an expansive view where I can easily view all types of birds and make more predictable judgements than the average joe.  As I watch the ducks every day, I'm learning so much about their patterns.  

I'm very pleased with my father's shot.  When he was younger, he didn't have much so he always made his shots count.  For that, he still is the most amazing shot whether it be a snipe crack shot or three eiders on the wing. 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Options=Always Pick the Worst One

I should have known better...

The decoys were already set out by the blind, buffleheads were diving out in deeper water as the tide flooded, and I was fierce for some steel to fly.  All I needed was Purdy to get here, but apparently Santa was coming via helicopter over to the Coast Guard base and until that chopper took off I would not be seeing him.  Whatever, I had options and when you have options all is right with the world.  Well, so I thought...

I watched several big groups flirt with my decoys and then the text messages started.

7:42 (Jab) Iced up big time and water not running it yet.  Take your time.
7:57 (Jab) I got water flowing in now... in an hour or so u could get set up
8:34 (Purdy) Okay I will be over shortly

You see, I had options.  We could hunt below the house for some buffleheads and then head out to the black duck mecca (Jab's waterfront) for a quick shoot. But one hunt began to potentially screw up the other and one needed to go, and that became the buffleheading.  Purdy and I would venture out to my favorite black duck habitat, after all it was supposed to warm up and the ice should clear so that the ducks would have a spot to splashdown.  Two hunts became one and our chips were pushed all in.

Jab was right, there was ice and lots of it.  Within a week we had gone from no ice to push any ducks to the coast to "holy crap, look at all this ice".  Undeterred, the triad made way to a group of trees in the middle of the marsh and threw out the decoys. 

Well the ice never let go but rather continued to make while we watched the decoys hold position in the new skim.  Eventually, one black duck completely committed surprised us as we talked fantasy football and buzzed my baby MoJo.  None of us ready left none of us with a duck.  And that's all we saw.

After several hours of frigid conditions, we attempted to grapple the decoys and power the frozen spread out of the stream.  Eventually we scored the victory, but it didn't go without snapped lines and lost anchors. 

The forgotten option apparently was more successful according to my father.  Not only did he say the ducks were frolicking amongst my early set spread, but a random goose opted to visit my backyard down by the water.  He had asked my wife for one of my shotguns, but that's like asking me to find a pair of her shoes.  Realizing his window of opportunity was closing, he bolted back to his house and grabbed his shotgun and one shell.  With a speedy return, he shot the unsuspecting goose not far from the house.

My wife sent me this picture at 10:25 a.m. which included this text message-

Look at what your dad found while you were away... LOL

Isn't it amazing how your second option leaves you wondering why you walked away from the first one? 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Buffleheading with the Beauty...

There was a newbie in the blind, she even brought her own gun...

Ready for some more action...

I was quite pumped and the plan was set.

My youngest would go duck hunting with me.

This became more than just a hunt, actually it became a potential "rite of passage", an initiation of the youngest warrior in a clan of duck hunters.  I prayed for all things to be right in the morning, my thoughts rested solely on offering my passion to a curious youngster.  Repeated I asked myself if she would like duck hunting.  My wife simply said that if she wants to go then it certainly is the right time.  I went to bed imagining the hunt, the possibilities, and started to doze.

A little big, but she adapted...
I didn't sleep too much and was up way too early, but it gave me time to have it all ready.  Out came the gear, jackets, gloves, boots, and all other necessary items.  The only difference, there was beside my traditional spread the same set up for a first grader.  I couldn't wait for my little beauty to get up, and she didn't make me pace too long. 

When Leah shot down the stairs, she was greeted with toast and coffee (milk with some coffee) for breakfast.  While we ate, I watched a decent flock of mergansers swim along the shoreline by the six bufflehead decoys I had thrown out earlier on the high water.  For us, this was a good omen for I did not want our first duck to be the lowly common merganser.  I wanted our prize to be a drake bufflehead just like the ones Leah admired Thanksgiving morning.

Shortly thereafter, we put on our gear and made way under the shore.

Armed with a pink Red Ryder...
This was our first duck hunt, no big sister, no mom, just a little blonde girl and her daddy.  Armed with a pink Red Ryder, Leah exuded an excitement like no other.  We settled in, discussed proper firearm handling, and began to wait.

In the midst of some conversation, target practice on an unfortunate hen mallard decoy, and the always important sharing of a candy bar, a single drake bufflehead entered plain view and made an unfortunate turn into the wind to visit our spread.  With clearance to shoot, I popped up and dispatched the duck without hesitation.  As I looked down to my youngest, she grinned and bestowed upon me one immense honor, "good shot Daddy".

The remainder of our short hunt consisted of working on the blind, target practice with the BB gun, inspection of the bufflehead which had "rainbow colors through the black on the head", and general duck blind talk.  No more ducks dared visit the spread, but that's fine simply because we had a blast.

Top notch day, I couldn't have been any happier...

My wife has always said that our youngest would be the hunter, whereas our oldest is very content with just fishing.  I figure that I'll support their decision in what they choose to do in the great outdoors, but I'm very pleased that my little beauty thoroughly enjoyed her few hours "gunning" with her daddy.  She also hit that poor decoy about ten times, I've got a sniper on my hands.

Have a great day,

The Downeast Duck Hunter

Thursday, November 22, 2012

One Bufflehead... Two.... Three... Happy Thanksgiving All...

I've been battling a nasty cold and trying to chase the almighty buck, but the one I missed bow hunting still manages to be around only when I'm not.  With several days of the wrong wind and a Thanksgiving break, I've chosen to let the forest and my body rest.  However, one can not let opportunity knock and not answer that door.

The small spread set out for an ebb tide.

Rather than capitalize on some sleep, I ended up with the almighty stupid cat who opted to let me know that morning was here and he was hungry.  After feeding said moron and brewing up a cup of Breakfast Blend, I couldn't help but watch the sunrise overlooking a high but ebbing tide.  Translation... I could walk 75 feet down to the shore, put out some bufflehead decoys, and try for an hour or so until the tide pushed too far out.  So I did...

I watched several diving groups further out in deeper water, but eventually things went my way.  The first one came in alone and hit the landing zone.  Just after the shot, I scurried up to the house grabbed my daughter's new kayak and carried it down the to beach.

 Within twenty more minutes, I ended up with another...

And shortly thereafter, I ended up with the third... I called it quits after that..

Aside of a beautiful morning and waking up my wife with a little bit of gunfire, I'm appreciative of the life I live and thankful for the blessings granted.  For that, have a great Thanksgiving.  I intend to get out in a couple of hours with my dad to pursue the almighty black duck, then we'll tackle the turkey.

Take care,

The Downeast Duck Hunter

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Triple Threat: The Kelley Kids

Getting a buck is a big thing in my neck of the woods and what I'm about to share certainly is worth mentioning especially when three siblings can all tell their deer story around the table...

That's right... Caleb age 17, Osmond age 14, and Lexi age 11 are three of a kind... a triple threat if you will.  Let's get to the details... Here are the accounts of all three Kelley kid's deer including an extra for their dad.  Enjoy!!!

For a previous guest post from Caleb, feel free to check out Gear Review: Berkley Havoc Baits

Caleb commenting on his father's deer-

November 9th

My dad and I woke up bright and early in hopes to see a buck. We headed out to a field where I have had very good luck and put out some Tinks 69 & slipped into the ground blind. We were there for only 30 minutes before we saw our first deer- two fawns came running out in the field. I knew something was up when a nice doe stepped out and started to feed.

They fed for about ten minutes before they took off running right out at us. I looked over at dad and told him something was up. That no sooner left my mouth when a nice 7 point came running out with his nose down.

We only had one gun so I reached for it. Dad then grabbed the gun from me and said "this is my deer".  He then picked up my .243 and took aim.  He shot and hit his buck in the neck. The buck never even kicked his leg once. Once the smoke cleared, I asked dad why he didn’t let me shoot and he said that you will have your chance at a bigger buck. I had no idea that he would be right on this.

Caleb Kelley-

November 10th

I decided that I was going to walk this afternoon. The wind was blowing SW about 10 mph. I took off with the wind in my face and jumped several doe feeding, but saw no bucks.

I only had 20 minutes of shooting hours left so I decided to head back to camp. The wind was now blowing my scent to where I was going, so I didn't expect to see a thing.

To my surprise I saw a huge doe feeding near a field. I decided to sit and watch.  I blew on my doe bleat, then blew on my grunt call twice. I heard something running through the woods coming towards me...

My heart jumped when I saw a nice 8 point step out. I slowly took the safety off my .243 and aimed behind his forward shoulder. I slowly squeezed and he dropped in his tracks.  I quickly jumped up and ran up to my buck. I looked him all over and called my dad to come help me drag him out. He went 180 pounds and is the biggest deer I have shot yet.

Caleb with his monster and his father, Derrick with a fair sized buck

Lexi Kelley-

October 27th

Dad and I hunted hard all morning to only see 4 doe. We went back to camp and made up a game plan on the afternoon hunt. We thought we would try and walk up on a buck feeding in the field. It seemed we walked miles before we got there. We finally made it to the field.

Dad said to slowly peak up over the hill to see if there was anything out.  So, I slowly looked over the hill to see a nice 4 point standing 100 yards in front of me. I quickly sat down and told dad that he was out. He said, "okay, get your gun rested on that stump and wait for a good shot".

The deer seemed to not want to turn broadside for me. But then he finally swung. I took aim and squeezed the trigger, but however the gun never went off. I looked at dad and said it wouldn't shoot.

He quickly said, "jack another shell in". I did so and took aim, again. The deer started to walk off when I was about to shoot. Dad barked and the deer stopped in his tracks. I then counted 1, 2, 3 and squeezed. The buck ran 400 yards before he fell and died. I shot him with my brothers rifle.

I was so proud with my first deer. Not many 11 year old girls can say that they have shot a buck like I can.

Lexi with her nice buck

Osmond Kelley aka Ozzy-

November 12th

It was the afternoon and it was getting dark around 3:30 and I had 4 deer out, so I at least had something to watch. I didn’t know one thing and they took off, so I didn’t think anything of it.  About 20 minutes later a deer popped out and at first i didn’t see the horns.

I brought up the gun and it started to walk towards me. Then it stopped!  I saw horns, took it off safety, and shot. Its front legs folded up and its back legs was kicking up grass. At first I thought I shot its front leg, but I got him behind the forward shoulder.

Last but not least, Osmond with a fine young buck

I would like to congratulate these siblings on producing three very fine deer to adjoin their dad's nice buck.  They all are great kids and certainly have an innate passion for hunting and the great outdoors.  I also would like to thank their mom, Trisha Alley for allowing me to share in this remarkable story and encourage her kids to offer their own write ups on my website.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Take that Trey Luckie...

There will be plans to target some ducks and bucks this upcoming long weekend, but in the midst of a storm filled long work week I felt compelled to share in my good fortunes against a said Trey Luckie of Brave Eagles Hunt with Antique Brownings in fantasy football...  Be ready Sellers of Ducks, Dogs, and Downriggers because you are next this weekend...

My season might be over, but I'm dragging some high fliers down with me...

Have a great weekend,

The Downeast Duck Hunter

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Matt Diesel and the Duckman 11/3/2012

Duckpower was originally established on the basis of sea duck hunting and the awesome members that made dropping eiders look so good. Lately, one member has opted to neglect his duties and avoid any official shoot. This one is for you Rabid, the one who forgot the power behind the sea duck...

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Rematch...

My fantasy league hasn't been very good to me...

Hakeem Nicks of the NY Giants has been out most of the season, Aaron Hernandez of my beloved Patriots has missed a ton of games, and for some reason I'm getting severely pounded.  With a terrible 1-6-1 record in the Reach East Conference, I've scored 700 points in 8 games but my opponents have so willingly cranked out 791 during that same tenure.  The league average is 89 points per game, my average is 88 points per game, but my opponents average 99 points against me.  Ughhhhhhh....

Anyways, this weekend presents itself with an opportunity.  To avenge my early season loss to Trey Luckie of team Georgia Brave Eagle.  He's done well his rookie season and currently sits at the top of Reach East but lately he's slid from his dominant perch aloof the entire league.  I intend to help speed up his free fall upon demise and thoroughly whip his team into obscurity.

Trey is averaging 95 points per game, but so conveniently has witnessed his opponents average a paltry 79 points per game.  That's 20 points less per game average than what I am delivered.

Albeit the struggle of the team formerly known as the Harbor Hogs, Team Suck Ass certainly has been in the midst of some good battles but has come up short more times than not.  For that, I intend to continue my good run stemming from a tie with the top team in Reach West managed by another rookie guru, Pistol Pete.  My curse is over and I eagerly await also whipping Willie B. Hardegin run by fellow blogger K. Sellers of Ducks, Dogs, and Downriggers.

At least I'm 4-4 in my other league and favored to win this week... at least I hope...


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Go Black Bear Hockey

Up close and personal...

With our two very great friends the Honey Bradger and Witchy Wheat, my wife and I took the opportunity to accompany the before mentioned dream team at the Alfond Arena in Orono, Maine to watch the University of Maine Black Bears face off against St. Lawrence during homecoming weekend.

The Honey Bradger landed some season tickets on the glass and needless to say they are quite impressive.  For a former UMaine graduate myself (class of 1998), I would have died to watch a game on the glass during my collegiate years.  Especially since the team won the national title in 1993 and 1999, which basically put me in the midst of one crazy hockey run and left me in the student section.  Back then, hockey was king.  Now, not so much...

First warning, I think the old lady reported us...
Anyways, we rooted for our Black Bears and tried our best to make the most out of a 5-1 pounding at the hands of St. Lawrence.  Sometimes it isn't the bite of the dog, but rather the tricky moves of the Honey Bradger that makes for the ultimate night out experience.

Here's a few photos taken by the police before the Honey Bradger and I were escorted out of the arena... just kidding... have a great one!!!

That was a tricky spot...

Right after our only score, we got our second warning on this one

My wife and Witchy living the dream as the game winds down...

Monday, October 29, 2012

Trey Luckie and the Maine Duck Event: End Game

Trey seemed somewhat pleased with the hen eider, but quietly irritated with the erased opportunities for the white and black bomber.   The strong winds blistering across the oppositional tide offered no luxury for the die hard sea duck hunter.  If Trey had not invested so much into getting to Maine, I may not have even opted for our mid-day shift.  Often he brought up that he wasn't just visiting to chase sea ducks, but I wouldn't plan on going to Georgia just to swim.  We packed our gear and made fast work gliding over the white caps towards the lee of the town landing.  Day one had ended with a pair of black ducks just after daylight, two surf scoters, one female white wing scoter, and one hen eider.  I would have been happy with the five ducks Trey had gotten, and he certainly resonated in his quarry.

When presented some pan fried eider seasoned with salt and pepper, Trey eagerly took a bite whilst fathoming the unique flavor.  Out of nowhere, he inquired if I had ever eaten chicken livers.  I retorted with a fast "no" and we then commenced to finish the fried eider with honey per request of my guest.  Apparently nothing phases the Georgia rattlesnake.

Our forecast for day two did not bode well for our prospects.  Honestly, I questioned if we would even make it out for a second hunt.

But we did and a struggle for that elusive drake eider developed.  The wind made no intention of diminishing, nor did we find the weather so miserably bad that we wanted to surrender.  Things got a little messy once the tide turned, but at least the day was warm and the precipitation nil.

And Trey did get that one drake eider, although a limit could have easily been on the boat.  Close shots and tough ducks were substantiating the allure of this type of hunt.  Again Trey battled the variables and I consider our efforts well rewarded albeit the circumstances.

Our plans for the afternoon included some serious lounging around and some college football.  Then a full blown lobster buffet found Trey Luckie battling the odds and choking down at least four lobsters.  Those remaining were effectively picked by my wife and packaged to accompany Trey on his return the very next day.

Trey getting a head start on the rest of the competition.

In reflection, I'm very appreciative of our great friendship born out of some outdoor writing and it was great to see a pen pal type endeavor truly merge into something of meaningful substance.  I look forward to visiting Trey either this spring or next, nevertheless I'm happy that I've made a great friend in life.

Until next time,

The Downeast Duck Hunter

Working on the D3 apparel post
Trey admiring my good work and ease of cranking out a post in 2.2 seconds

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