Saturday, November 16, 2013

The Buck of a Lifetime

I had a special visit in the principal's office several days ago with one of my favorite students of all time.

Marcus was certainly on cloud nine when he began to recount a truly impressive story that might be worth mentioning.

He and his brother had opted to check a few spots in search of a deer when they drove down a dirt road overlooking a grassy opening.  Marcus had his rifle in true Downeast fashion next to him with the clip detached while his brother Leon had his rifle cased in back of the SUV when they spotted a massive buck motionless in the field.  Marcus got out and scoped the giant while Leon scrambled to get his rifle.  Both boys intended to shoot at the same time, an act of patience and symbolizing the bond this pair has shown through a childhood that has delivered some difficulties with the loss of their little sister.

On any account, they timed the trigger pull and both fired at the trophy deer.  The animal made way into the woods.

A fast discussion of who made the shot ensued as Leon was sure he didn't make the 200 yard shot while Marcus felt confident he hit the mark.  Leon even challenged Marcus on a scale of 1 to 10 on the confidence of the shot.  Marcus promptly retorted 8, no 9 or 10. 

After some time, they ventured down the road to search for sign of the shot and found blood.  Within minutes, Marcus was manhandling the monster out of the woods towards the road.  Excitement and cell phone traffic were high.

Once dressed and weighed, this 8 point buck tipped the scale at 260 pounds and Marcus who has dearly attempted to earn a nice deer now can say he has one to tell about for the remainder of his life.  His brother Leon when asked could only praise his older brother and shares the same enthusiasm around the memorable moment.

Marcus is currently studying construction and building management at a nearby community college and is one of the stars on the baseball team.  This young man deserves good fortunes and I see great things in his future.  I couldn't be happier for my boy, I'll never forget my first big buck nor will he.

Have a great day,


The Downeast Duck Hunter

Sunday, November 3, 2013

The Running Circuit

Part of my life around Celiac Disease is this ongoing effort to deal with inflammation and nutritional challenges.  For about 11 months now, I have been running to the point that I opted to get back onto the race circuit.  It began as a way to improve my health, but the Duckman got fast enough to warrant that competitive edge and so far, it's been a blast meeting other runners and getting back into the action.  After all, it's been 23 years since I did road races in preparation for my freshman year cross country season.

My results are as follows:  Bay of Fundy 10K- 35th out of 300, Moosabec 4th of July 5K- 6th, Milbridge Days 5K-6th, and the Washington Academy Homecoming Raider Run 3.7 miler- 3rd.

As of right now, I'm building a team to challenge for the Bay of Fundy Team Cup which includes the Washington County Junior High Champion (and I still can't quite catch him in all these races) and potentially a former State Champion.

As the weather becomes colder, I've still tried to get out at least once or twice a week but may need to invest in a better treadmill so I may be able to train this winter.

Leaping across the finish line...

Monday, October 14, 2013

Sea Duck 2013 Round II



The second sea duck venture of this season proved far more lucrative as both the scoters and eiders were moving early.

Although the coots were still flying in small numbers, the eiders arrived in larger flocks with some groups numbering in the high 40's and 50's.  It became a bit difficult to monitor a surgical limit with the potential of secondary and tertiary incidentals. 

A total of 14 ducks were taken with a full limit of eiders, five scoters, and the first merganser of the season that apparently seemed lost.  On any account, another great day with my father was found and I now bear down on a visit to Central Maine for some puddle ducking action with my great pal Steve the Maine Outdoorsman.

Until then, have a great day.

The Downeast Duck Hunter

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Sea Duck Opener 2013

4 eiders, 3 shots

5 shots, 4 drake eiders
 

 

With the new job, it's nice to be able to self prescribe some trigger therapy and let the steel fly. 

The 2013 duck season opened several days ago, but my opener had to wait.  As the boat received fast minimal preparation in a haste driven effort for overall readiness, I figured things were as well as they were going to get.  Time is at a premium and I let the dice roll in hopes that my half assed dedication would at least suffice for a quality sea duck venture.

After a few minor snags and a little extra transport time, my father and I were able to get the decoys into the Atlantic and start gunning for our annual sea duck opener.  This weekend proved quite successful and although we saw very few scoters, the eiders proved somewhat more satisfactory. 

I limited out on four eiders as a pair were dropped from two separate smaller groups whilst my father managed to outdo my great efforts with four eiders out of one group.  8 shots total with 4 taken on cripples equals twelve total shots and the limit was satisfied in less than an hour.

We opted to stick around and enjoy the scenery, sun, and a few more eiders buzzing our spread.  But the patch heads and butterbills simply weren't there, go figure.  But it was a great day nonetheless!


Have a great day,

The Downeast Duck Hunter

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Change of venue...



This past week, I interviewed to become principal for a regional elementary school.

Yesterday, I was offered the position.  Pending school board approval and an agreed upon contract, I will be leaving my 15 year career teaching and begin a new path in educational leadership.

There will be less ducks, deer, fish, and outdoor adventures but I'm looking forward to the opportunity to enhance my life and the lives of others.

Have a great Memorial Day weekend!!!

Friday, May 10, 2013

The Check is No Longer in the Mail


After ten years and 120 timely installments, the title to my fishing vessel aka Ducks and Bucks is in the mail.  The 27 foot Osmond Beal design finished by none other than Osmond Beal and his grandson Erick Blackwood (the chairman of the Moosabec World's Fastest Boat Races) became mine on Thursday, May 9, 2013.

Here's a couple neat facts and/or stories about my boat...

The boat was the last to be finished in the former Osmond's Boat Shop on Beal's Island as a newer larger facility was installed next to the aging and now collapsing building.

The first paycheck did not originate from the almighty pursuit of lobsters, but rather a dive job for an ailing yacht that had pulled some 3 inch wide rope into the wheel.

Hit almost 30 knots during the sea trial, and hasn't been that speed since.  

When naming this vessel, a disagreement occurred... Often, men name their boats after their wives.  Since I did NOT have one at the time, I went with a catchy name that exemplified my passions.  I married my wife several weeks after the boat was officially put onto the ocean.

My cousin and the Alley brothers decided to have some fun with me during a haul out.  They put a for sale sign on the boat for a price they determined would be "low enough to move fast".  For about two days, I received calls about selling the boat, several were at 3 a.m. when lobstermen are up and at em during the summer.  Eventually I figured out I had been punked.

Due to the lobster glut and low price last year, I hauled my traps out early and was done before school started.  The D&B only spent 12 weeks on the ocean last season.

Almost all of my sea duck scouting occurs while working on the Ducks and Bucks.  Watching the birds fly by in the early fall is one of my favorite parts of being on the water, hunting them several weeks later is my favorite part of being on the water.







Friday, May 3, 2013

Shifting gears...

My life is family, and my family is my life...
I had a good run, but I do not have the time or the energy to post regularly on my site.  I'm not getting out nearly enough in the great outdoors and I'm posturing for other opportunities down the road.

If the good Lord helps those who help themselves, then my efforts will be of fruition.

If not, then my efforts will be not in vain but rather unfortunate.  I must balance my life, family, health, and career in greater accord which leads to the obvious reduction in writing, photography, and video.

The website will remain up and I will post when the opportunity arises, there will be no forced posts for the sake of keeping things active or maintaining a readership or earning sponsors and that lucrative outdoorsman contract.  This blog will once again become what I intended previously, a record of a part of my life with a literary and visual appeal.

I'm thankful for gaining two fine buddies in Trey Luckie and Kevin Sellers who will be lifelong friends, and for those who've crossed in my adventures with Steve Vose.  We'll still do our thing down the road, and I'm sure there will be posts but my overall zeal and enthusiasm for writing by force is low.

Until my next post, whenever that may be... take care...

The Downeast Duck Hunter

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Please Louisville, One more win!!!

The Honey Bradger, Witchy Wheat, my wife, and yours truly...


I love March Madness and am constantly amazed one team will match up against a completely different foe from another part of the country.  The full court pressure of Louisville, the size and speed of Wichita State, the defensive zone of Syracuse, the return of Michigan, the athleticism of Florida Gulf Coast, and the continued curse of Gone-zaga.  It is all relevant and inspiring for me as I take part in several college brackets every spring, but this year I found myself participating in a different type of madness; a drawing.

For twenty bucks, I got four pulls out of the 64 contenders.  My hits were Colorado, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and finally Louisville who is the overall number one seed of the tournament.  I figured I had a good chance as anybody and felt confident with those picks.  After all, Wisconsin had a great run in the Big Ten tournament finally losing the championship to Ohio State and Minnesota had continually competed in the same league.  Louisville, however, was my lynchpin to success.

The Cardinals have mowed their way through the tournament turning the tide quickly against the Duke Blue Devils following the hardest to ever see sports injury I've ever seen, so bad that my wife had to leave the room as we replayed the action to fathom the seriousness of the injury to guard Kevin Ware.

Last night, Louisville met up with an amazing Wichita State team that had played ever so impressively as well.  The 9th ranked Shockers had mowed over #1 Gone-zaga and La Salle while surviving a second half surge by #2 Ohio State.  Wichita State also happened to be the team that my buddy, the Honey Bradger held with pride.  The stars were aligning on this one.

Our match up took on a whole new life as a variety of pictures were sent to each other along with harassing text messages all building up to our show down at a get together.  This match up promised insane smack talk and potential violence coupled with an overnight invitation which mandated all children being relocated to all available grandparents.  Yes, the Final Four party would provide food, fighting, and fantastic basketball madness for all those who dared to participate.

Wichita State proved capable, illustrating great size, speed, and shooting whilst the Cardinals found themselves in a war of attrition and hung in there.  After several hours of brutal words, a slew of sign language, and one hard fought battle, the Louisville Cardinals survived and will face the Michigan Wolverines tomorrow.  Due to same crap as Monday night football, the game will start around 9:30 EST so I must stay up until 2 a.m. in order to accommodate the west coast but that's okay especially if I (Louisville) win.  For a couple hundred bills, I'll be a slug Tuesday morning.

Have a great one!!!

The Downeast Duck Hunter

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Maine Basketball Gatorade Player of the Year

Every state has those who find themselves at the very pinnacle of a particular sport.

I'm very fortunate to have been part of the life and times of a very special, talented, and promising student athlete who can be listed as one of Maine's greatest basketball players.  Ever.  Simple as that, ever.  Let me introduce you to Garet Beal, a two time Maine Gatorade Player of the Year and Mr. Basketball.

He's also my neighbor, student, and newest duck hunting partner...

During his senior season at Jonesport-Beals High School, Garet averaged 34 points, 11 rebounds, and 6 assists per game while leading the Royals to an undefeated regular season record.  I must also share that his statistics are even more staggering for the amount of time Garet averaged per game, just 24 minutes per contest.

In addition to these incredible achievements, Garet broke his father's single game scoring record with a 55 point explosion in three quarters this winter and set the all-time scoring mark at JBHS with a total of 1686 points.  The four year varsity starter averaged over 20 points per game for his entire career and is considered to be one of Maine's best Division 1 basketball prospects.

The 225 pound 6'5" guard has accepted a full scholarship to the University of Maine.

However, I can't just let this post completely praise my good man G without inserting some interesting story about me...

Just last weekend, I brought forward a unique team of former Royals for what I will refer to as "The Match Up".

I'm not sure when exactly I played last, but it's been some time.  Needless to say, there existed an abundance of smack talk on Tweeter between G and myself whilst the banter around town was focused on my demise.  It even got so bad that Garet put on Twitter and Facebook that he "was going to shut me down".  I retorted that he may do that, but he'd never "shut me up" so I even opted to dress the part acquiring black headband and socks to make sure he'd find me on the court.

I had informed my students that there existed a list of unique achievements that wouldn't be brought up until I had met the criteria of performance.  They would find out as I progressed up and down the hard court.  Here's a couple (well as least all of them):

First shot- a called 3 pointer as soon as I let fly which sunk like a desperate boys heart when a girl said she wouldn't dance with him.  3 points for the cause.

Fast break lay up breaking through a feint defense.  2 points for the cause.

Vertical finger roll of a bounce pass.  Another 2 points for the cause.

Jump shot on the baseline before Mr. Basketball could make his way over.  2 points for the cause.

A steal from Mr. Basketball that not only surprised Garet, but the entire crowd especially after I laid in another basket.  My last two points for the cause. 

Survived 18 minutes of running (thank god for the treadmill and a few 3 milers outside this spring)

Dunked a couple lame one handed runners during warm ups

Earned a double technical, got kicked out, returned incognito and was kicked out again.

Enjoyed one fine evening with a bunch of fine young gentlemen and the older legends. 

Mr. Gatorade Player of the Year finding himself in a bind, I'm the awesome dude with the head band!

When it was all said and done, the smiles skunked the frowns.  For that, I'm fortunate to be right where I live.  I'd like to wish our outgoing seniors the best of luck and thanks for being a positive element in my life, you all are legends in the making.

Have a great day,

The Downeast Duck Hunter

Sunday, March 3, 2013

One million ducks...





Well not really, but springtime has brought the ducks.

Today, I figure there must have been over 25 mergansers, 15 common goldeneyes, and a zillion buffleheads just under the shore.  I opted to take a few pictures from the house and by the wharf with the video camera.

Enjoy.

The Downeast Duck Hunter














Friday, March 1, 2013

On the board!!!


Living in a small coastal community certainly isn't for everybody. I however, wouldn't have it any other way. Our island school has a rich tradition in terms of basketball and my family has been a huge part of this honored past.

My father held the Eastern Maine tournament scoring record of 90 points in 3 games for 15 years until it was broken by another local.

My sister is considered one of Maine's elite with her accolades; two state championships, all-Maine first team, and a Division I scholarship to the University of New Hampshire.

And well, I did well also... but that's for someone else to talk about, not me.

Today, I'm very pleased to share the beginning of a new era. My oldest at 8 years of age, began her basketball career. With too few ladies in the 6th, 5th, and 4th grade, our three 3rd graders were asked to join.

After a lot of discussion and balancing the sides, my wife and I agreed to let our beauty participate. With an emphasis on rest, study, and commitment; she has become the newest Honey Bee.

Big eyed and green to the game, the rookie stormed out onto the court and began absorbing the immensity of the process. She motored up and down the court, anchored her spots as dictated by the coach, nabbed a rebound, earned an assist, and then with less than a minute left to go in the third period she made it happen.




Tonight we go across the bridge to play the very strong Falconettes who make up the other half of our two town school district. Here's to tradition, and those who keep it going.

Enjoy your weekend

The Downeast Duck Hunter

Friday, February 22, 2013

The big 37... birthday bass..

I was asked if I feel older and honestly I do...

I'm like an older bulldozer, still plowing and piling just not quite as pretty and coming up with an occasional hydraulic leak.  Other than that, I figure I'm smarter and better than ever although I don't run as fast.  Anyways, with the 21st of Febauchery being my birthday I opted to spend the "I can do whatever I want day" on the hardwater with one of my staunch buddies, Craig.

To sum up  the morning, I'll keep it simple.  29 flags, 11 bass, 3 pickerel, and one perch.  I averaged a flag every 10 minutes and used two dozen large shiners.  I was even able to catch three bass on one large golden which after the last catch just couldn't make the descent down for another sortie.

As my Febauchery vacation nears an end, I'll say that although my ice fishing has not yielded yesteryear's numerical and qualitative value, my Febauchery vacation provided yet another month full of opportunities with family and friends.

Although the month isn't over, I intend to lower the plow and move some more dirt.

Until next time,

The Downeast Duck Hunter

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Snow... bring it on!!!

Living on the east shoreline during a winter Nor'easter...



With coastal southern Maine well over two feet and Downeast Maine varying between a foot or two, I would like to complain about the devastating snow and wind.  So much wind that any potential danger of being snowbound resulted in not even needing a snow plow, snow blower, or shovel. 

It's been interesting watching the blizzard blow the snow right on through.  I however, have been bouncing around helping out some elderly citizens of my neighborhood who weren't so lucky.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, the family ice fishing vacation starts in seven days!!!

The Downeast Duck Hunter

Friday, February 1, 2013

Blah!!!

Travis talking smack, Erin winning the ice derby without setting a trap, and Rabid trying to Tweet incognito...


January wasn't exactly a great month to get excited about other than a few good brook trout and plenty of cold with strong winds that basically negated any possibility of one last sea duck venture.  Anyways, Febauchery should look promising with an early trip to West Grand Lake this Sunday, a family vacation ice fishing along with the Vose family over school break, and another stab at Northern pike as vacation winds down.  After that, who knows...

Try having a conversation with the Rabid Outdoorsman, who'd rather Tweet all day...


No one won the ice fishing derby last weekend, but no one lost either.  The meeting of the Maine outdoor bloggers went well and Erin reigned supreme simply by supplying me with a variety of GF items including a monster bottle of high octane apple cider.   It was great to find out that Erin and her husband, Brent, will in fact be naming their son after the Duckman.  Tony will be a great name for the future outdoorsman.

Other than that, I've been damn near throwing up watching the oil barrel these past few weeks and honestly have not wanted to pound some keys about life. Hopefully, I will get some renewed enthusiasm.  But then again, it's my website and I'm not getting paid by the article...

Take care,

The Downeast Duck Hunter

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Ice Fishing Guild- Maine Event: Blogger Derby

 Here's the video trailer from last year's pikefest...


video




This Saturday in south central Maine, an ice fishing convention has been planned and I conveniently thrust myself in the plans.  A pursuit of the almighty toothy bastard, the northern pike, will ensue and I look forward to the potential of a trophy.  Comprised of a decent amount of Maine bloggers, this should make for some interesting perspectives over the next week or so...

We'll see how it plays out, but here's the line up so far...

Erin over at ...and a strong cup of coffee








Travis over at Just North of Ordinary









Steve over at The Maine Outdoorsman









Ryan over at "I don't have a blog, but I like being on the Downeast Duckhunter"





Tony over at the Downeast Duck Hunter











Here's to debauchery, lies, half truths, and the demise of the one they call Rabid.

Stay Tuned

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Close but no cigar... congratulations Dad!!!

19 inch brook trout weighing in at 3 pounds 7 ounces


 My second jaunt onto the ice brought about some interesting circumstances as the bulk of the day resulted in next to no action.  Once the afternoon arrived, so didn't the flags...

14 inch brook trout, 2nd place today
After several stolen baits and two smaller culprit brook trout (8 and 9 inches respectively), I landed a decent 14 inch brookie while my father yanked a fine 19 inch/3lb 7oz keeper as I returned from taking the ice auger to the truck.

The season champion still retains the title
Although my father's prize could be considered a fine trophy, he still came up short to the current family record powered my last weekends behemoth score of almost 4 pounds and 21 inches.  When asked what he intended to do with his quarry my father immediately retorted, "I intend to eat this fish".  Well done Dad and thanks for a great day on the hard water.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend,

The Downeast Duck Hunter

Monday, January 7, 2013

Brook Trouting Hard Water Preview Video

Here's the teaser for my first ice fishing excursion this past weekend. Have a good one.

The Downeast Duck Hunter


Saturday, January 5, 2013

New one for the books...

The first of my limit was 13 inches, the second just 21 inches & 4 pounds.  Great brook trout fishing today!



Here's a picture of the two trout I caught today.  Not too bad for my first time out this year.  The ice is still sketchy so be careful if you opt to tread out on the hardwater.

I'm in the process of compiling the video and photos for my first ice fishing video including the lunker that almost got away.

Until then,

The Downeast Duck Hunter


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year: Black Duck Style




I opted to bring in the new year forgoing the ice fishing pursuit as a monstrous blizzard dumped plenty of snow on what little ice had formed over a short spell, but rather trying my hand at a duck that has been fairly mum on the scene for me this year.

The tide was approaching which meant the ducks would be arriving to browse amongst the exposed seaweed and rocks.  With just two black duck decoys, my hopes was to arouse the interest of just one of the duck world elite.  And that happened... way too fast...

Within minutes of setting up, two committed blacks arrived and I chose my limit carefully and sniped the drake from about 20 yards.  I raced against the breezy NW wind and waded out in the shallow water to acquire the product of my efforts.

This is still a lot of day left, but an approaching cold front and gale force winds may leave this black duck as the last for my vacation but the first for 2013.  Have a great and wonderful new year full of ducks down and tight lines.

Best,

The Downeast Duck Hunter
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