Diy sea duck hunt

Discussion in 'Diver Hunters Forum' started by DWB5, Feb 13, 2017.

  1. no harm-no fowl

    no harm-no fowl Senior Refuge Member

    Messages:
    513
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2007
    Location:
    ohio
    We used a 16 foot deep v boat that belonged to my mom's friend. I put my dad's 15 hp Chrysler Seaking on it. We did all the research we could in 1985, that was before the net was even thought about. There was an article in wildfowl magazine. The article had all kinds of details, so we loaded up the boat and gear and headed out. We painted the decoys in the truck as we were driving up there. The article was about hunting at Bar Harbor Maine. We stopped in at the LL Bean store when we got into Maine. We walked around and looked through the store. One of the clerks was very helpful. We told him that we were driving up to Bar Harbor to sea duck hunt. (It was another 7 hours to drive up there.) He said "You don't have to go all the way up there, you can just hunt down the road.") He took us over to the topo maps that they sold and showed us where to go. He pointed out some spots that he had done pretty good at sometimes. We bought the topo maps and headed out. There were 3 of us, we ended up with 86 ducks for the week. All different kinds of sea ducks, mostly Eiders and Old squaws. There were some tips he gave us that I won,t soon forget. 1. Use 2 anchors. (we were going to be hunting off of ledges) 3. Don't hunt too far from the boat (So if #3 happens you don't have far to go to get to your boat.) 2. keep an eye out for rouge waves. He said they don't happen very often, but you want to be ready for it if it happens. ( The idea being that if you were hunting on a ledge that was sticking out of the water, it might not be if a rouge wave came along.) We never had one happen during the week we were there. ( If you hunt out of your boat, it's not such a big deal, because your boat will float over it. ) I wouldn't hesitate to go back again, it was great. But then I like a challenge and have confidence in my abilities. If your a capable person, with capable hunting partners, then go have fun.

    One side note, If I were to go now I would make sure I had a kicker motor with me. Just because I'm not as young and care free as I once was. There are plenty of islands in that area, and as we all know, it's always calm on one side of an island, no matter which way the winds blowing. Also, a 16 foot Deep-V will work, just stay around the islands.
     
  2. Rubberhead

    Rubberhead Elite Refuge Member

    Messages:
    8,697
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2002
    Location:
    Moncks Corner, SC
    DWB5,
    Thanks for this most interesting of threads. I keep coming back to it because it was just a couple of years ago when I got, all the sudden, interested in the idea of DIY sea duck hunting. I made up 8 sea decoys, 3 black scoter, 1 surf, pair of eider, old squaw drake and a brant for an anchor bouy, from old Herter's decoys.

    [​IMG]

    My goal is to take all six legal sea duck species (3 scoters, 2 eiders, and an old squaw) from South Carolina. The king eider is going to be almost impossible but I do know of one that was killed in SC so it's a "stretch goal". An old squaw is just a matter of time. I carry a camera so if a Harlequin duck decoys, I'll shoot it with digital.

    I managed to kill multiples of all three scoters (black, surf and white-winged) hunting solo out of a small 1436 hunting just inside the breakers. I killed an eider offshore hunting with a friend in his 17 footer.

    Like I mentioned, I almost always hunt solo so I can't easily film a hunt but I've been filming the pick-ups. Notice that the three scoters were out of my 14' jon boat...



    I even managed a SC brant hunting solo in the Palmetto State...

    [​IMG]

    Keep the dream alive (but safe). Killing all 32 species won't make you a complete waterfowler but hunting them will...good luck - I can't wait for pictures.
     
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  3. DWB5

    DWB5 Senior Refuge Member

    Messages:
    101
    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2017
    You are welcome! I have always wanted to go but always thought I would need a guide. Then a friend of mine said he did a hunt by his self. So that got me thinking of a diy hunt for them. If decide to do a diy hunt I may try it this year. If I go with a guide it may be next year because I will have to save. We will just have to see. I want to go on a hunt somewhere I just don't know where. I may try a snow goose hunt. But I really want to do my sea ducks though. I'm just still weeding through the guides. Thanks again for everyone's help.
     
  4. wanapasaki

    wanapasaki Senior Refuge Member

    Messages:
    128
    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2014
    Location:
    California
    YOLO. Why don't you see if anyone with experience in your area would tag-a-long? Just do your homework and watch those weather fronts. Any changes and I'd pack up and leave. Best to hunt a single long line for your first few hunts so you can pack up in a hurry.
     
  5. aecrowell

    aecrowell Refuge Member

    Messages:
    74
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2010
    Location:
    connecticut
    Great spot for a DIY Sea Duck hunt is just outside of Boston Harbor in Massachusetts. You can put your boat in at the public ramp in Winthrop harbor. Motor out through the outlet and just outside is a group of islands. Easy hunt just pick your day(s) and watch the wind. We would moor the boat in the lee and sit on the rocks to gun. Most of the decoys we used were Clorox bottles with black stripes or all black. Gang rig them with a few singles to break them up. Massachusetts NR license is pricey but the hunt is fun as hell. Some of the islands have fresh water ponds to jump shoot with Mallards and Black ducks. Giant Hares are also present so a mixed bag is possible. I used to gun there frequently but haven't been in a while. Make sure to keep an eye on your boat on a dropping tide. Good luck and shoot'em close.
     
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  6. tgs

    tgs Senior Refuge Member

    Messages:
    836
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2009
    Location:
    So. Maine
    Interesting read and threads. Can you do it...you bet, not sure I'd do it with a 15hp as previously mentioned although I have been out there with just that (in my younger years) so who am I to judge. The best advice I could give you is study the nautical charts of the area you intend to hunt...know the depths at low tide, AND also know how to read buoy colors and what they mean, depending on where you hunt, what had 15' of water at high tide at 6:00a.m. has only 2-3' at noontime and those granite ledges love lower units.

    Of course a guided hunt works too, nothing to worry about except how far to lead them.

    All the best either way.
     
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