Monday, April 30, 2012

The Downeast Duck Hunter &

I'm happy to announce that I'll be showcasing online videos offered by, an online social media source and video network of Remington. This endeavor is to serve as a resource for the shooting community featuring tips, how-to’s and safety information for hunters and other gun enthusiasts online. 

As programs are created, I will be displaying those videos that are pertinent to my website.  All videos shared on the Downeast Duck Hunter can also be seen at  with the other videos I elect not to share.

This particular video focuses on the efforts of the hunting community in terms of contributing to conservation.  Yes, hunters are conservationists.

Have a great day,

The Downeast Duck Hunter

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The banded mallard...

On December 21, 2009, a somewhat catching opportunity excited a most amazing result.  A mallard twosome were feeding just around a small point and found themselves the subject of one dedicated pursuit.  Finally, after crawling for almost one half hour and finding the narrowest of shooting lanes, I timed the happy pair and cast my steel shot through that small opening.  A drake and hen mallard remained motionless on the calm sea waiting for a quick retrieval that left me one inch to spare on my new chest waders.

With both in hand, I pressed onward to the end of the point to meet my father who had already set up bufflehead decoys.  He inquired about my single shot which prompted a visual retort of two mallards.  It wasn't until we finished our day with a mixed bag of goldeneye, bufflehead, black duck, mallard, and teal would I realize the magnitude of the drake mallard.  As we readied the sled and prepared for our short jaunt back to the truck, I caught the shine.

A variety of banded eiders have been part of my collection with a goose & bufflehead gifted from my dad, but never have I encountered a banded mallard.  Without haste I raced to the house, called my taxidermist, and readied the duck for transport.  In the excitement, I failed to write down the numbers on the band.

This past week, the finished mallard made its way Downeast.  I'm very pleased with the quality and took the time to register the duck with the Bird Band Laboratory online.  The results:

Date banded: 08/30/2007
Age: HATCHED IN 2007

Oromocto is just southeast of Fredericton, New Brunswick. 

Have a great day,

The Downeast Duck Hunter

Monday, April 23, 2012

Big Bear Plastic Fender Swap...

The Big Bear after the heat gun experiment... Click HERE for that post

The Big Bear fender swap is now complete, the bright red with a continued combative fading issue has been replaced with a dark hunter green effect.  Many thanks must go out to Tim H. who tackled the entire replacement in two afternoons.  Without him, I'd be looking at the green fenders in the corner of my basement.  Cheers to you buddy!

There was no question it was the right move...

Final product, total cost $300...

I look forward to getting my quad out on the trails and using it in the near future.  This process has been informative and I certainly intend to be more observant of how I store this Big Bear.

Have a great day,

The Downeast Duck Hunter

Friday, April 20, 2012

ATV plastic replacement

There are two posts over at the old site that continue to attract visitors at an impressive rate, one being the 4 subspecies of the common eider and the other an effort to restore my faded fenders on my 2003 Yamaha Big Bear.  Today's quick post will be more related to the latter.

Weird things happen, several years ago my buddy Steve (The Maine Outdoorsman) commented on how my ATV surely showed the signs of abuse.  He wasn't wrong, I had not taken the proper measurements to protect the bike from UV light exposure and weather.  The Bear with limited miles saw limited duty and sat outside sorely neglected while I attended to all other aspects of life.  I then began the process of figuring out how to restore the luster in faded plastic or at least purchased new fenders.  The wheeler is fine mechanically, but I really wanted to improve the cosmetic aspect.

That led to the heat gun and buffering compound, which honestly worked well.  The problem however was that without constant attention and storage, the dreaded fade seemed to come back without regard to my labors.  Finally, I opted to either find another bike cleared by a reasonable offer for my Bear or find new plastics.  Within a week, both happened.

While a buyer was working on getting a loan at the bank, I happened to be floating around and saw an ad for unused Yamaha Big Bear plastics.  I called, spoke with a man who had owned an ATV auto shop, and bought the green fenders unseen.  You see, my buddy Rabid was just minutes from where the goods waited.  I put the check in the mail, called him, and wrote his wife an email to confirm his unknown honey do list for the Duckman.

Rabid came through and I just brought the plastics home from our bass attack weekend.  The Big Bear is stored at a friends house so that I may access the trail system in Washington County, but it also happens he's a jack of all trades and has been dedicating a few hours here and there to do the swap.  Here's some photos of his progress and I'll be putting up some before/after photos next week.

Have a great day,

The Downeast Duck Hunter

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

I be bassing..

After a three hour drive the prior afternoon, a late night including some candle pin bowling, and enough lies to fill any bull with shit, the early morning proved a bit rugged as Steve (The Maine Outdoorsman) and I made our way to North Pond to find a toothy bastard.  What I learned is that bobber fishing really isn't fun...

A nice bucket mouth...
True I caught a decent smallmouth bass early, but I told Steve that I didn't drive three hours to catch something that I could get 25 minutes from my own house.  After no northern pike and a two hour sail across the lake in Steve's portaboat powered by a three horse outboard motor, I simply opted to go into search and destroy mode.  Armed with a life jacket and a spinnerbait, I began firing all cannons and scored a decent largemouth.  Eventually, we knew our chances for a nice northern were over.  Tired as we were with slight headaches, we needed to get home and consume a good meal in order to prepare for the afternoon bass attack.
Rabid's first bass of the day...
Number 35, morning of day two...

Refueled and filled with enthusiasm, we hit the landing and pushed the aluminum canoe into the shallows.  I had two goals... 1) catch a ton of bass and 2) destroy Steve... both weren't too difficult to come by as the pre-spawn bass were reacting to our offering.  The size wasn't exactly up to my liking, but a few nice bruisers found themselves caught and released.  When the short afternoon jaunt conceded, around fifty bass had been garnered including 31 from my position.  It was definitely a fun evening and certainly worthy of a return the next morning.

After reassessing our gear and replenishing the weapons of demise, our morning fared far better than the previous and the bass at first strike were certainly of a better quality.  Within several hours, over 35 largemouth had been hauled in from the bow while Steve made a quality run with at least 25 of his own.  There were plenty of casts, plenty of strikes, and plenty of action resulting in one fine tenure in central Maine. 

We had to quit around 10:30 because there was an important double top secret engagement scheduled at noon.  Many thanks go out to my good buddy Steve for having me stay once again, I look forward to getting down in a few weeks for a chance at an old tom.

Have a great day,

The Downeast Duck Hunter

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Awesome April Break Begins

The sun has risen on my vacation, may it never set...
Let's see how many get crossed off...

We'll see how this plays out, but so far the nine days known as April vacation rest before me with a variety of opportunities, hopes, and dreams.  Today, I must take a firearms hunting safety instructor course, attend an Easter egg hunt part II spectacular, and venture south to visit my buddy Rabid whose entire family is polluted with the puking flu.  Hell or high water, I'm heading down but never will I entire the abode de Rabid.  The garage will be my quarters and base of operations.  On taps, northern pike Sunday morning, all sorts including largemouth bass Sunday afternoon, and more fishing Monday morning.

Further out in the plans, include a family hike or two... including some geocaching after some monster erratics left behind as the last ice age receded, day trip to duck camp for some finish work, paint the bottom of the lobster boat, work on some traps, and maybe a local canoe trip.

We'll see how many Awesome April events get crossed off, but 9 days of trying to do something is way better than not being able to because of work.  Let's roll....

Have a great day,

The Downeast Duck Hunter

Monday, April 9, 2012

Hunter Safety Weekend

As the early spring has spurred some early open water action, my participation to date still counts at zero.  A variety of professional and personal obligations pushed any outdoor based opportunities aside and left me withdrawn like quitter hankering a smoke.  Even though benched for the first week of April, my trip this upcoming weekend to central Maine for northern pike and largemouth bass offers the potential of a walk-off home run ending this two week losing streak of fishing non-participation.  Now back to the title of this post.

I've opted to become a bow hunter, everything about it makes sense.  More hunting hours and warmer temperatures in October, less hunting pressure, and something new to get excited about.  The primary step was to take the bow hunting safety course offered by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife (DIFW).  It is important to mention that anyone who wishes to purchase a basic hunting, archery, crossbow, or trapping license, they must complete the respective education course.  For this spring, I opted to travel 40 miles west for a two-day affair immersing myself into a variety of bow hunting topics including but not limited to:  equipment, proper hunting methods, responsibilities, and general safety.

After 10 hours of laws, safety, bow hunting equipment, first aid, survival skills, map & compass, ethics, and landowner relations, I took the 50 question test and am certified to bow hunt in the state of Maine.  Most of the course was technically a refresher from my guides training, but it was great to draw back from prior knowledge and offer some input into the program.  Needless to say, I'm excited about the prospects of getting a new bow and practicing this summer. 

During this course I was chatting with Harland Hitchings, the DIFW regional safety coordinator and grandfather of Steve Vose the Rabid Outdoorsman.  I inquired about becoming a volunteer firearm safety instructor and it didn't take long for Harland to oblige.  Since I have completed two basic safety course as a student, I was able to complete an application take a written examination on the spot.  I now need to attend an instructor training course and then I can participate in training aspiring hunters in firearm safety. 

We'll see how this goes, but I'm a teacher of 14 years including 2 at the junior high level and a serious passionate ambassador for everything outdoors in our great state.  I look forward to helping our future hunters promote themselves in an ethical, positive, and safe manner down the road.

Have a great day,

The Downeast Duck Hunter

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

300 posts

On Monday, May 19th, 2008, I began a process to document my outdoor activities for friends and family. Today as I near the 4th anniversary of my efforts, the game has somewhat shifted... there's video production, networking, gear reviews, and other opportunities in the works. The Downeast Duck Hunter has been very good to me and for me. Years from now, there will be this wealth of stories, thoughts, and memories for my beauties... One of whom is up for the 300th post dedication...

This one is for you Leah...   You are growing so fast but you'll always be Daddy's little beauty...
Strong, stubborn, and very opinionated, you will succeed so well in life.  Even if it means steam rolling your way to your dreams.  Smart, pretty, and full of personality, I wonder who will dare to win your heart.  He will need the patience of your dad, and that is one tough card to play.

I love you beauty, I love how you roll, and I love watching you grow up...

First brook trout

When we returned, she jumped in...

Checking out the jewelry on Daddy's banded eider
Messing with Daddy's cooling hose on the lobster boat

You love pink, but you make brown look great

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Best Man Abuse: Happy April Fools Day

You thought you were safe Mahoney... There would be no way that I could even come close to past year's debauchery plus I promised it would end... However, sometimes things just can't die...  So I'll make you a deal... For one million dollars, I will destroy the once missing but now found video shown above.  If you do not correspond with me, I will quietly leak out portions of discriminating evidence  which includes your best rendition of the Blair Witch Project shown below... Life is good...  Happy April Fools Day!!! Boom!!! Pow!!! Poof!!!

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