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Gordie

Are ducks really worth it!!

13 posts in this topic

I went out this morning and it started out late cause had to get the kids on the bus not a problem. then went out on the lake I live on and motored over to a spot and threw out a line of bill decoys what a mess took half an hour to untangle the tangle free cord,not to bad threw out the other 3 doz decs and went to shore to set up in the weeds got out of the baot and wouldnt you know it I had a tear in my boot no biggie took it in stride then shot a nice drake mallard then and couple of green wing teal and figured I call it a day picked up my 5 doz decoys and put the motor down and yep it wouldnt start. had to push the boat around the lake 1 1/2 hours later got to my place. then I asked myself was it worth it? YES EVERY PAINSTAKING MINUETE OF IT!! and the thing is I wouldnt hesitate to do it again. I just have to thank God for the oppertunity to be out their..

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None of us are here on earth forever, and it's well worth the effort to take advantage of the time we do have. I agree! One year my bro and I were motoring across the lake, got almost to the other side and ran out of gas. Had to oar 1 mile across the lake against 15 - 20mph winds. Blisters on each hand, but we got ducks and geese that day....very much worth it! grin.gif

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And as I was reading your post I could swear you were going to say duck hunting sucks, I quit...and I would reply "yep, those ducks are worth it!"

LOL

But a duck isn't worth your life. This is the dangerous time of year when waters are freezing, air temps are cooold and the anxiety of blasting ducks clouds reality.

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But what a way to go Chuck!

Not saying I hope it happens to us tomorrow. DOH!

The top memories I have, include many debacles indeed. Great story El!

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Great story! Its days like that you'll remember for a long time.

"Yeah, ummm... you remember that one time I went out duck hunting, motor wouldn't start, etc... Man, that was a fun day!" wink.gif

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Here's one of my stories that I have probably told 100 times to anyone that will listen. We're planning on hunting a lake southwest of Hutchinson deer opener of 1995. We came across the lake the afternoon before and it was loaded with mallards, bills, and geese. The lake is probably 300 acres and the wind is blowing good. Furthermore, it is supposed to blow all night. We get up at dark thirty, and I see the temp is 8. Well, the wind should have kept most of it open.

We get to the access and see that the access area is iced up. Not a big deal. I throw a rock and all I hear is it bouncing across the ice like a golf ball. There's no way this lake froze completely, is there? Well, matter of fact it did. About 1/4" thick ice all the way across. So, we tear open a spot for the decoys. By the time we have them all out, they are froze in again. We shoot a bill and a goose and decide to relocate to the only patch of open water on the lake near an island. The birds managed to keep it open.

After picking up all the decoys and making it half way across the lake (now with a 1/2" of ice), I notice water in the back of the boat. Not just a little, enough to float the gas tank! We pulled to the nearest shoreline to find about 3 inch gash in the bow. It's 10 degrees and I am sweating. We have about 600 yards to get to the access, so we're not going to sink, at least that's what I told myself. We shifted the weight in the boat to the back to keep the gash above the waterline, and made it back. I was very happy to be back on dry land.

Moral of the story, ice can rip through aluminum, and cold water can kill you. Use good judgement the rest of the year.

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Today I shot two geese, One I crippled and it flew 100 yards and died right in the middle of a 5 acre pond. The only problem was it was frozen almost an inch thick. Too thin to walk on. It took me over three hours to find a boat, and go back and break through all the ice. Yet it was worth it!!

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2-3 weeks ago wehn is was really cold and windy. I when and jumped a lake. I shot 2 wood ducks. I had to walk back to the pond where my friend ron kept his 10' jon boat.I rowed across the pond. Pulled the boat up an incline when out on the lake got the ducks and rowed back aginst 30mph gusts(the pound was only 200 yards wide). Was I worth it oh yeah! But please be careful this time of year its getting very cold and windy. I dont want to here on the news that one of the duck hunters in Minnesota was killed while duck hunting.

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Two or Three years ago, with the boat freezing in and the decoys building ice we dumped a drake mallard and it coasted into the wild rice. we push poled the boat through a 1/4" of ice and back about 100 yards to retrevive the downed drake. Yeah It Was Worth It!! Two mile drive back across the bay after a mornings hunt in four foot whitecaps...Yeah It Was Worth It!! Taking an hour to wade through 200 yards of waist deep forty degree water in nastiest boggy crap with brush, logs, and rocks everywhere only to set up four decoys and be done with a limit of mature drake mallards in about forty-five minutes. YEAH, IT IS WORTH IT!!!!! grin.gif

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I think I have been there and done it all in 20 years of duck hunting.. including some *wish I wouldnt have*. It can be cold, frustrating, and unproductive...

Is it worth it? Always.

Nothing like putting out 180+ diver decoys on a 15 degree morning after busting out ice and clearing a area. After you get the decoys out you need to break your way into a blind... 2 minutes after its shooting time a huge sheet of ice 3/4" thick comes sweeping across your decoy spread pushing them all into a pile 50 yards long, then the ice sheet hits the ice that isnt moving and starts piling up like a pressure ridge(on your decoys)... next thing you know you break your way back out of the blind and bust ice for the next 30 minutes just to get to your decoys, and shovel through an ice pile for an hour to retrieve all the decoys.

Of course as your breaking ice to get to your decoys, some decoys are getting pushed under the ice, and others are getting crushed.. in the end about $100 worth of decoys are lost or destroyed..

yeah, its worth it.

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Thanks guys for reasuring me that their is still us die hards out their and that are willing to keep this sport alive for future genarations. Duck hunting is hard work and it still beats working hard at work!

Hey That Guy I had the same thing happen on Mille lacs 4yrs ago and it ended being one of the best hunts I'd evre had.

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Getting tied up for the 1st hour and a half(shooting time) didnt account for one of my best days that day grin.gif

Seen lots of ducks while going through that mess and retieing decoy weights. Heading out occasionaly to retrieve sinking decoys that were damaged.

I dont mind busting ice within reason... some days it gets back at you though! It can be some of the most productive hunting, and it can also be some of the least. Its still better than sitting on the couch!

I look foreward to the day my kid comes home after a tough duck hunt telling me stories of the day. At the same time, I look foreward to seeing his look af achievement of bringing home a really fat northern drake mallard!

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I'am not saying that part of the hunt was the best part but after all the swearing and setting up a second time and having the another sheet of ice rip apart the spread then relocating its now 8.45am and the birds just kept comming in .It was enough of a good thing to kinda make you forget abouit what happened earlier. until you tell the story and you realalise that the first part really $ucked but it was way worth it as amatter of fact we did it again the next mornig and didnt have the ice problems

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      • Use a headlamp, spotlight or navigation lights to alert other boaters of presence in dark and/or foggy conditions.
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    • Rick
      Live to hunt another day by wearing a life jacket or float coat
      Hunters preparing to hit the water this fall in pursuit of ducks, geese and other wild game are reminded to include life jackets on their hunting gear checklist.
      “Hunters in Minnesota are trained from a young age to always put safety first. For duck and goose hunters, that means always wearing a life jacket on the water, no exceptions,” said Lt. Col. Greg Salo of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Enforcement Division. Each year, more waterfowl hunters die from drowning than from other types of hunting accidents. Swamping, capsizing and falling overboard are all common factors leading to these deaths, but in nearly all cases the hunter would have survived had they been wearing a life jacket. “Before launching the duck boat, make sure everyone on board is wearing a life jacket or float coat,” Salo said. “It’s the one item that greatly increases your odds of surviving a water emergency and living to hunt another day.” The wide variety of comfortable, camouflage life jackets designed specifically for waterfowl hunting includes inflatable vest and belt-pack styles, insulated flotation jackets, and foam-filled shooting vests with quilted shoulders and shell loops. “Typical foam-filled vests or float coats provide optimal insulation against cold air and the effects of hypothermia, but without question, the best life jacket for waterfowl hunting is the one you will actually wear,” said Lisa Dugan, DNR boating and water safety outreach coordinator. “Choosing a life jacket style that works for you, and wearing it every time you’re on the water, is not only a good choice – it could save your life.” At the very least, all boats must carry one U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket for each passenger, and boats longer than 16 feet must also have a throwable flotation device immediately available. Children under 10 must wear a life jacket. Other water safety tips for duck hunters include: Don’t overload the boat; take two trips if necessary. If wearing hip boots or waders, learn how to float with them on. Stay near shore and avoid crossing large expanses of open water, especially in bad weather. Share your trip plans with someone and advise them to call for help if you don’t return on schedule. Use a headlamp, spotlight or navigation lights to alert other boaters of presence in dark and/or foggy conditions. Carry a cell phone or personal locator beacon in case of emergency. Don’t drink and boat and don’t drink and hunt Visit mndnr.gov/boatingsafety to download the DNR’s “Water Safety for Duck Hunters” brochure and to learn more about boating safety for hunters. Discuss below - to view set the hook here.
    • Rick
      The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is seeking applications for grants to support off-highway vehicle (OHV) trail projects and new trail proposals. Application forms for projects on existing trails are due to a Parks and Trails area supervisor’s office each year by Nov. 30. New trail proposals are accepted throughout the year. First authorized in 1984, Minnesota’s OHV trails assistance program is a cost-share program intended to help develop and maintain trails for use by all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), off-highway motorcycles (OHMs) and off-road vehicles (ORVs). Known as the OHV grant-in-aid (GIA) program, it helps to establish and maintain recreational trails at the initiative of clubs and other organizations, with the support and participation of local government sponsors. Organizations can apply for GIA funds through counties, cities or townships. All aspects of OHV trail development and maintenance are eligible for funding, including project administration, site planning, trail improvements, land acquisition for trail development, and trail maintenance. Proposals with a focus on maintaining or improving existing trails and trail systems will be assigned a higher priority. Program and application information is www.dnr.state.mn.us/grants/recreation/gia_ohv.html
      or by contacting the DNR Information Center at info.dnr@state.mn.us or 651-296-615, or 888-646-6367 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
                                                                                                     -30- Discuss below - to view set the hook here.
    • Rick
      The Department of Natural Resources will sell 40 northern Minnesota parcels in three public oral bid auctions in October and November. Tuesday, Oct. 25 – Nine northwestern Minnesota parcels will be auctioned at the County Administration Building in Bemidji. Thursday, Oct. 27 – 27 northeastern Minnesota parcels will be auctioned at the Lake County Courthouse in Two Harbors. Thursday, Nov. 3 – Four parcels in north-central Minnesota will be auctioned at DNR Brainerd area office. The properties include unimproved recreational land and residential lakeshore parcels in Aitkin, Cass, Clearwater, Cook, Crow Wing, Hubbard, Itasca, Lake, and St. Louis counties. There is a wide range of sizes and land uses in this selection of sales, from a small 0.80 acre former water access site on Pine Lake in Clearwater County to a 200-acre recreational parcel in Breitung Township in northeastern St. Louis County. The DNR regularly sells land which is no longer needed for its original conservation purpose, after a thorough internal review, and after giving state agencies and local governments opportunities to purchase the land. Proceeds from sales of lands the DNR had once acquired go to the DNR division that had managed the land and are used to purchase and develop lands better suited to that division’s conservation goals. Many of the parcels to be sold are School Trust lands. Proceeds from these auction sales are deposited to a fund that benefits the state’s public school system. School Trust land by law can only be sold at public auction.
      Bidders are advised to obtain and view the property data sheet, be familiar with the property, minimum bid price, and terms and conditions of sale prior to attending the auction. To obtain a property data sheet or terms and conditions of sale call 651-259-5432, or 888-646-6367 or email landsale@dnr.state.mn.us. The property data sheets are also available online at www.dnr.state.mn.us/lands_minerals/landsale/. Discuss below - to view set the hook here.
    • Rick
      Minnesota’s absentee voting law makes it easy for hunters who plan to be in the field on Election Day to make their vote count on Tuesday, Nov. 8. Minnesota’s firearms deer season opens Saturday, Nov. 5. Minnesotans can request an absentee ballot to be mailed to them, or they can vote absentee in-person at their county or local elections office. Ballots must be returned on or before the Nov. 8 general election. Details about early voting are available on the Minnesota Secretary of State website at www.sos.state.mn.us/elections-voting/other-ways-to-vote, or by calling 877-600-8683, or
      651-215-1440 in Twin Cities area. Discuss below - to view set the hook here.
    • Rick
      State forest trail use and management in northern St. Louis and Lake counties will be the topic of an open house, Wednesday, Oct. 19, 6-8 p.m., at Vermillion Community College, Room NS111, 1900 East Camp St., Ely. During the open house, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources staff will provide maps of existing trails, answer questions and take comments and suggestions from the public. Between 2003 and 2008, the DNR inventoried all routes and designated trails for various types of recreation within state forests. This current project will reevaluate the designations made during the initial review of the Bear Island, Burntside, Insula Lake, Lake Isabella, Lake Jeanette and Sturgeon River state forests in St. Louis and Lake counties. Changes could include redefining how trails can be used, determining options for motorized trail routes and trail connections, closing unsustainable trails, designating “areas with limitations” during hunting and trapping activities, and developing new hunter-walking trails. Changes to state forest trail designations must be made by commissioner’s order and published in the State Register. Written comments may be submitted to foresttrailplanning.dnr@state.mn.us or by mail to Joe Unger, DNR Parks and Trails, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul, MN 55155-4039. The DNR will accept written comments through Nov. 2. For more information, contact: Joe Unger, OHV planner, Parks and Trails Division, 651-259-5279. Joe Majerus, area supervisor, Parks and Trails Division, Tower Area Office, 218-300-7842. Information is also available online at www.dnr.state.mn.us/input/mgmtplans/ohv/designation/revisions.html. Discuss below - to view set the hook here.