Guests - If You want access to member only forums on FM. You will gain access only when you Sign-in or Sign-Up on Fishing Minnesota.

It's easy - LOOK UPPER right menu.

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
BeerHunter

Flocks of Hooded Mergansers

20 posts in this topic

Went out duck hunting on Sunday morning and had something happen i have never seen before.

There were divers flying every where and coming into out decoys verry well. We then noticed that all the flocks that we were seeing were hooded mergansers. I had not shot one Merganser in my life before this year and now i would have been able to fill a boat with the dumb things.

Wondering if anyone else has notice more Hooded mergansers around than normal.

Got 2 beautiful drakes along with 4 hens and 5 mallards for the 3 of us. And i never tried eating one yet, anyone know if they taste different than mallards?

Thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

IMO they taste way different than mallards. For comparison purposes only......

Ribeye Steak = Mallard.

Dogs butt = Hooded Merganser.

Others may disagree, but yuk.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Boilerguy, is that the pink ring on the doggies rear end or the inner area? tongue.gif In all seriousness, he's correct... mergies are fish eaters and Mallards are dabblers that eat mainly green stuff.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"yeah, you probably don't want to eat that" is what I'd say to someone who was debating whether or not to eat a merganser.

I have shot a couple over the years but now if I decided to shoot one it would just be to put a nice one on the wall--and since I'm just a college kid and already have a nice goldeneye on the wall I don't anticipate doing that anytime soon.

We made up a bunch of jerky with goose breasts one time and added some mergies we shot to that--pretty sure the mergie ruined the goose!

I have too been seeing far more mergansers around this year though--must've had a tremendous year.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

we shot two on sunday. saw lots of flocks and they would easily decoy. the hen and drake we shot im thinking of having them mounted together.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would have to agree....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kind of figured they would taste bad. Knowing that it could ruin jerky is the main reason i asked how they would taste. I am planning on doing a drake hen Mount, I do taxidermy on the side my self and am planning on doing head mounts of every kind of duck for in my garage for something different.

SO now i have 2 beautiful drakes and a very nice hen that will not be eaten but stuffed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am usually pretty good at I.D.ing hoods in flight. They look like a flock of large hummingbirds. However, two weeks ago we shot 3! Out of 2 different flocks! And, we shot a spoonbill. If we could of found a ruddy duck, we would have had the junk duck trifecta!

We ate the spoonie. Sometimes they are palatable. The hoods get used as training birds.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

hooded mergansers,or fish ducks, I allways wondered why I would see pictures of or hear about people including them in thier bag. I know this may seem odd to many people but I generally flay all my ducks (oh yea first everybody is right they are awfull eating) that said here is what I do if I get really hard up for ducks to eat, being I really crave duck meat, when I flay ducks instead of plucking I also cut out the legs to be grilled or fried in pan w/butter and onions and actually the legs and liver from fish ducks taste just as good as any other ducks, this is also the same for spruce hens the breasts are awfull but the legs taste just fine, not very much meat though good for snacking. Oh yea I allways see fish ducks at the end of the season, and you know it really is the end if you see common mergansers I haven't tried those. Good luck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

a former hunting buddy of ours (he now attends college out of state) went on a late-season hunt with my brother and I. We shot 4 geese and 3 big common mergies. He took the liberty of making jerky out of all of these birds, and wouldn't you know it he gifted us the common merganser jerky. Needless to say the jerky was not good (total waste of seasoning/effort) and we were not happy with his greed after basically guiding him on the hunt with our boat / decoys.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All mergansers are NEIGHBOR ducks. Give them to your neighbor you don't particullarly care for! smile.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just put them in a marinadie. Then I grilled them. They didn't seem to tast too bad. If I shot any I would breast them and grill them in a marinadie.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Boilerguy, thanks for belly laugh, thats the hardest I have laughed in a week.

But I agree...Yuk. After all they do eat primarily fish. I enjoy targeting Goldeneyes this time of year and the two ducks seem to migrate at the same time. Beautiful bird though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just an FYI, the limit on HOODED megansers is 1 per person, you can have 5 of the other two species and they don't count toward your duck limit, but the hooded is ONE. We have them in our area all the time. We try not to shoot them cause they are not the tasteist bird. We have a couple mounted and the drakes are awesome looking. They always have decoyed very nice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The limit was bumped up to 2 hooded mergansers this year.

From the DNR website

DAily limit is 5 no more than two may be hooded mergansers. The possesion limit is double...

So shoot away...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can shoot 2 hoodies per day, this is a new regulation this year

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've cooked them up like kc, breast 'em and marinade them overnite to throw on the grill the next day. That made them bearable, but I don't usually shoot more than a couple each year. Those drakes are beautiful, but they're still "fish-ducks" grin.gif after all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sunday went past Mille lacs and saw hundreds of merggies and mallards , not many divers not as many as the week before.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tons of hoodeds around thats for sure. 5 of us set up off of a point Sunday morning. Just has it got light enough to see the dekes. First a pair dropped in then a small flock then the flocks kept getting bigger. It was just an awesome sight watching them fish ducks dance there way into the decoys. We try not to shoot them. Wasn't long the mother load of buffle heads with a few bills mixed in made there way to our set up. We finished the morning with 25 ducks.i have never seen so many butterballs in one morning in my life. What a way to end a great year of duck hunting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I apologize, I did not notice the reg change. Thanks for pointing that out. It seems like it been one for so many years.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0



  • Posts

    • monstermoose78
      This is close to home for me. I love the dunes, but the refuge is messed up. The refuge told me they were brining native game birds back, so I was excited and said sharptailed grouse and the guy looked and me and said no ringnecked pheasants. I laughed at him and said really he said yes really. I told him ringnecked pheasants are invasive species he argued they are native and I walked out shaking my head.    The refuge could be a strong hold for sharptailed grouse, prairie chickens, and water fowl if they managed for them. The dune could extend this area. 
    • CaptainSeabass
      G'day guys, I've started up this post as I will be visiting Minnesota (to be specific the Stuart Lake in the Ottertail Lake area) and I would love to hook into some fish! I'm originally from the Netherlands, have lived in Australia for the last 8 years working as a fishing guide, I have moved to Dallas TX with my wife and now we will be visiting my in-laws in Minnesota. I would love to catch Musky, which I know West Battle Lake holds, and of course Walleye. I have been trying to look for areas that hold smallmouth but was unable to find any. I don't have a boat up there or anything so I know I will be in a massive disadvantage for musky but I will give it a try with waders. I would love to get as many tips as possible! Cheers!
    • thelars5
      This years West Central Bowhunter 60 will be held on August 12th and 13th with registration from 9am - 3pm Saturday and 9am - 2pm Sunday!   Come to enjoy the rolling hills and grasslands of the Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center. Little Crow Archers of Willmar & Swift County Archers of Benson have teamed up to host this 60-Target 3-D shoot. Shoot it in one day, or make a weekend of it and shoot both days! Our promise is that you will not be disappointed!   Highlights include, Generous sized walking trails, On-site concessions, and seating deck! Stakes for : Adult, Youth, Traditional, and Cubs All on over 100 Acres! 90% Rinehart Targets   Full Course (60-Targets) $23 Adults ~ $15 Youth 16 & under ~ $60 Family Max 1/2 Course (30-Targets) $14 Adults ~ $8 Youth 16 & under ~ $36 Family Max   Shoot Location: Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center 12718 10th St NE Spicer, MN 56288 GPS coordinates: N 45° 14.716 W 95° 1.777 @1.5 Miles West of Hwy 71 on County Road 29   www.littlecrowarchers.com
    • osok
         Personally I do seem to catch quite a few overs, some days it can be a challenge to find keeper fish ( stupid problem to have, huh?). One thing I notice is that all the fish seem to be very thick through out the classes.   While I was tackling some honey-do's I noticed that the breeze was a bit stiff, I'm sure it was a challenge to maintain a line or consistent  speed.   Over all was it a good day for you?
    • ZachD
      Nope that's exactly what I wanted to hear thank you probably will go to look at gander in forest lake to see if they have anything good left
    • ZachD
      There are good bass in Crooked too
    • DLD24
      Do you typically catch quite a few overs on fish? I fished it for the first time today and we got lots of gills and a few good quality eyes...The wind made boat control a pain.
    • monstermoose78
      lol I posted that Friday but with no service it must went when I ran into town for new hose
    • monstermoose78
      I was up over the weekend to do cabin duties. I did get laker trout at cascade river Friday mornings it was 17 inches but made for great trout and eggs breakfast. Agree with maple bacon longjohn and Chet's doughnut. Also a must stop for me is trail center for lunch the 3 Cheese grilled cheese is amazing with a chocolate and peanut butter milkshake. Just look at this lunch
    • Cliff Wagenbach
      Lindy rig with 1/2 crawler! 15' to 19' depth. Cliff