Diver Convert?

Discussion in 'Diver Hunters Forum' started by Woody, Jan 24, 2017.

  1. Woody

    Woody Elite Refuge Member

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    So I thought this would be appropriate to post here in the Diver Forum.

    I was bitten by the duck hunting bug at an early age, like almost everyone in here. Grew up in the 70s-80s in western NY, hunting mainly marshes and flooded timber. Mallards, blacks and wood ducks were the only things that mattered. After graduating from college in the early 90s I started to move around a bit and did most of my hunting in the central flyway on big reservoirs, farm ponds and rivers. Again – Mallards were king and all that really mattered.

    It wasn’t until a few years ago that I noticed lots of bluebills, cans and redheads on the reservoirs later in the year. So I started to try my luck with longlines and go after them. Of course everyone in my area thought I was nuts because nobody hunts divers on purpose. Had a lot of fun, learned a ton and shot a few birds along the way.

    Moved back to the east coast 2 years ago and linked back up with a hunting buddy of mine. This is our 20th year of hunting together. We hunt a lot on the northern part of the Chesapeake. He, like me was a die hard puddle duck guy. We tried targeting divers the last couple years with mixed results. Had a few good hunts, some busts – but nothing exceptional. They do have me calling them broadbill now though.

    Well last weekend, we both found out why guys go crazy for divers. We set up in a decent spot that had been scouted. Had some trouble getting there in the fog, but we made it and set up. What we saw over the next few hours, might have changed my life. We had flocks of blue bills, some numbering in the hundreds dive into our spread with reckless abandon. We shot our 2 quite early and then continued to watch them impale themselves on our spread for the next few hours. I believe we conservatively saw at least 5-6 K birds that day. At one point, the raft of birds sitting outside of our spread stretched for 300 yds. It was simply unreal and a memory that will live with me until the day I die. In 30+ years of hunting ducks, I’ve never seen anything like it.

    To hell with the mallards.
     
    Lastflight likes this.
  2. creedsduckman

    creedsduckman Elite Refuge Member

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    I've never killed alot of divers but they are awesome to say the least. I never cease to be amazed at the amount of noise they make cutting though the air. Oh and down here we call em blackheads!
     
    Mr_Mallard likes this.
  3. chcltlabz

    chcltlabz Elite Refuge Member

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    Like I told you before, THAT'S what gunning the Chesapeake is all about! In the good ol days, mallards and black ducks were considered "trash ducks"
     
  4. Mr_Mallard

    Mr_Mallard Senior Refuge Member

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    Alot of blackheads on the upper Chesapeake right now been killing em for a few weeks now
     
  5. bufflehead1

    bufflehead1 Senior Refuge Member

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    North Carolina
    Wish they would show up here. Last year we would see tens of thousands of redheads and blackheads every day. Without a doubt one day last year was the most I've ever seen in my life. This year the few that have showed up don't leave the refuges unless we get nasty weather and we haven't had but a couple good days.
     
  6. Jerky

    Jerky Senior Refuge Member

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    Eastern WA
    Your post makes me smile. Welcome to the dark side.
     
  7. Ringbill

    Ringbill Elite Refuge Member Flyway Manager

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    Squaw Lake,MN USA
    Up in this part of far northern Minnie, it's all boreal forests & lakes----1,009
    in my county to be exact. Divers rule up here, & I remember those days like you've just experienced. It's been decades now since we had those staggering rafts of bluebills, but I recall the memories from time to time.

    Ringbill
     
  8. H20DAD

    H20DAD Elite Refuge Member

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    Cool.
     
  9. Montauker

    Montauker Elite Refuge Member

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    Virginia/Montauk NY
    Yesterday morning I had the privilege, not while hunting but just looking at the river at sun up, to see about 2000 blackheads, river ducks, broadbill, bills, come out of an unlikely spot and fly down river. Cool site with the sun behind them. Too bad I wasn't hunting.
     
  10. Capt.Gregg

    Capt.Gregg Elite Refuge Member Sponsor

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    Nor Cal
    IMG_1022.JPG That was nice.
     

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