Headed out to the Nisqually

Discussion in 'Washington Flyway Forum' started by WidgeonmanGH, Dec 18, 2017.

  1. WidgeonmanGH

    WidgeonmanGH Elite Refuge Member

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    Nice leisurely Monday hunt. If anybody heads out that way be sure and say hi.
    Really nice (for my spot) outgoing tide. Nice to be back on the ducks.
    :grvn
     
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  2. WidgeonmanGH

    WidgeonmanGH Elite Refuge Member

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    Well that changed quickly. Got caught in I-5 closure and my daughter in law went into labor. So now back home, switch my rig and hit a local lake.

    Prayers for those who were injured and lost their life. :pra
     
  3. JEG

    JEG New Member

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    He WidgeonmanGH, I'm going to be moving to Lewis-McChord in a couple of weeks, and I've been e-scouting, and Nisqually looks like a pretty amazing place. Maybe I could pick your brain sometime about the mechanics of hunting it. I'm not asking for any deep secrets or honey holes, just the basic 411 on how to stay alive out there and not get crosswise with the rangers, etc. Many thanks, and Merry Christmas.
     
  4. JEG

    JEG New Member

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    BTW, congrats on the new grand baby. Still waiting for one of those :)
     
  5. WidgeonmanGH

    WidgeonmanGH Elite Refuge Member

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    JEG - Sure it is a great area to hunt and I always try and help those who are serving. It is tough when you are moving around to get some good hunting in.

    I assume you have a boat of some kind?

    Since you re already on base, I understand that there is actually some hunting to be had on base as well. As a caveat I have never hunted in those areas, but there is quite a bit of land with wetlands available. Others might be able to help someone in active service point you in the right direction there.

    Here is a tip to get you started.
    Bird movement is determined by tide not time.
    Go out to the ramp with your binocs 1 hour before high and watch what the birds are doing through the switch (2 hours after). Do the same thing an hour before the low and through the low. It will help you begin to understand how the place works. The regulars who are getting there really early (consistently) are probably doing it to get their spot, not because of bird movement. Weekdays are your friend. Go on a Saturday morning if you want to listen for shots and that will tell you where most of the birds are killed on the Nisqually. There are spots that are not being hunted that could consistently take limits out there. They are my plan B,C,D spots if there is competition but I have mostly gone to weekday hunts now so I have very little competition.

    The mud is no joke. Especially if you are hunting alone, DO NOT deploy deeks or retrieve birds without having your boat with you.

    .02 Don't bother with opening weekend. Most of the time it is not worth the frustration and watching the yahoos is mostly just embarrassing to the sport. They have largely moved on by the 3rd week of the season or if it starts raining. lol

    By the by, you only get 1 box of shells. I suspect that most people take more, but that is the regulations and it actually makes it pretty fun trying to scratch out a limit on a box (considering water swats on cripples).

    Your watercraft will determine the possibilities as far as hunting goes.

    Here is where I get my tidal info:www.saltwatertides.com (Washington, Dupont Warf)

    Next couple of weeks will be some of the biggest tidal exchanges of the year. Sat. Jan. 6th the tide goes from a -1.1' to a 15.6' and then back to a 5.4'. YEEHAA. If you happen to couple that with weather it can be quite nautical. (Beware of the North Wind depending on your boat)

    The Nisqually begins to be less productive the further into Jan. you get. The birds that are hanging out for the winter on the refuge have pretty much figured out where the closed zones are and about how high they have to fly to avoid being shot at. Also when the sheet water on the fields due to the rains shows up then the birds scatter off of the salt. That being said, when that sheet water freezes they move back to the salt! But at that point a good portion of them also move south. Point being is that this is definitely the tail end of the migration. Last year I went to the Nisqually on Jan. 20th and only managed to get a buffy drake, (because I did not want a skunk!) lol. The birds were just not there. Last two weeks of the season I hit a lake and enjoy some diver shooting.

    Have a Merry Christmas and zap me note when you get on base.

    Chris Henderson
    aka - Widgeonmangh
     
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  6. WidgeonmanGH

    WidgeonmanGH Elite Refuge Member

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    [​IMG]

    Thanks for the congrats too. We just found out last night that grand babies 7, 8 are on the way! My oldest grand daughter is 3! Big close family. LOVE IT!
     
  7. JEG

    JEG New Member

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    Hi Chris, Thanks. That's just the kind of info I was looking for! :)

    "I always try and help those who are serving." I'm retired for the military now, but headed back to join the civil service, after a 9-year break. Was a professor until academia drove me away ... headed back to "my tribe" as it were.

    "I assume you have a boat of some kind?" I do -- I have a Hobie Pro Angler 17 kayak -- I haven't gotten much of a chance to use it in Colorado (I've played when I could, but we are really just a desert here with a few spots of water). I'm not going to be able to bring her up till spring time (my first trip with the Ram 2500 will have the RV behind it -- I have too many toys lol)

    "Since you re already on base, I understand that there is actually some hunting to be had on base as well. As a caveat I have never hunted in those areas, but there is quite a bit of land with wetlands available. Others might be able to help someone in active service point you in the right direction there." I hope so! Years ago I got stationed in the FLA Panhandle, and I was so excited to hunt on the 800 square mile Eglin AFB range, and I could not find a single person who hunted in my office.

    "Here is a tip to get you started.
    Bird movement is determined by tide not time.
    Go out to the ramp with your binocs 1 hour before high and watch what the birds are doing through the switch (2 hours after). Do the same thing an hour before the low and through the low. It will help you begin to understand how the place works. The regulars who are getting there really early (consistently) are probably doing it to get their spot, not because of bird movement. Weekdays are your friend. Go on a Saturday morning if you want to listen for shots and that will tell you where most of the birds are killed on the Nisqually. There are spots that are not being hunted that could consistently take limits out there. They are my plan B,C,D spots if there is competition but I have mostly gone to weekday hunts now so I have very little competition." Sounds like wisdom ... thanks

    "The mud is no joke. Especially if you are hunting alone, DO NOT deploy deeks or retrieve birds without having your boat with you." OK.

    ".02 Don't bother with opening weekend. Most of the time it is not worth the frustration and watching the yahoos is mostly just embarrassing to the sport. They have largely moved on by the 3rd week of the season or if it starts raining. lol" The same as it is everywhere. NY, CO, FL ... opening day is either for the buffoons or people who have opened their checkbooks to lease a huge chunk of land and can segregate themselves for the unwashed masses, IMO. Last time my brother and I went out in opening day on some public in upstate NY, 3 different DOW officers checked our IDs. It was clear it not a good day to be out.


    "By the by, you only get 1 box of shells. I suspect that most people take more, but that is the regulations and it actually makes it pretty fun trying to scratch out a limit on a box (considering water swats on cripples)." I've hunted in a few places like that, and I think it's pretty cool. I'm kind of a one-bird/two-bird guy anyway -- it's just me, and I have a hard time going through more than a couple of duck breasts a week.

    "Your watercraft will determine the possibilities as far as hunting goes." I hope that Hobie PA 17 will do the trick.

    "Here is where I get my tidal info:www.saltwatertides.com(Washington, Dupont Warf)" THANKS!

    Next couple of weeks will be some of the biggest tidal exchanges of the year. Sat. Jan. 6th the tide goes from a -1.1' to a 15.6' and then back to a 5.4'. YEEHAA. If you happen to couple that with weather it can be quite nautical. (Beware of the North Wind depending on your boat)

    "The Nisqually begins to be less productive the further into Jan. you get. The birds that are hanging out for the winter on the refuge have pretty much figured out where the closed zones are and about how high they have to fly to avoid being shot at. Also when the sheet water on the fields due to the rains shows up then the birds scatter off of the salt. That being said, when that sheet water freezes they move back to the salt! But at that point a good portion of them also move south. Point being is that this is definitely the tail end of the migration. Last year I went to the Nisqually on Jan. 20th and only managed to get a buffy drake, (because I did not want a skunk!) lol. The birds were just not there. Last two weeks of the season I hit a lake and enjoy some diver shooting." I'm going to miss the season this year -- not leaving Colorado till MLK weekend. But I hope to ready to go for 2018!

    Have a Merry Christmas and zap me note when you get on base.

    Chris Henderson
    aka - Widgeonmangh

    Cheers, and Merry Christmas
    John Grenier
     
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  8. JEG

    JEG New Member

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    THAT's AWESOME!!!!
     
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  9. Ducksergeantorg

    Ducksergeantorg Senior Refuge Member

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    Hey, JEG
    I'm Retired Army, I would recommend Nisqually for hunting. I would also recommend Sesqualitew Lake (Spelling?) on North Fort, JBLM. It's the largest huntable fresh water lake near Nisqually. The permit system is a little bit of your time if your Active Duty or Retired. At times the duck hunting can be incredible. Check with the Northwest Adventure Center.
     
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  10. JEG

    JEG New Member

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    Hey DuckSgtorg,
    Thanks! I really appreciate the info. I tried the base hunting path at Ft Carson, and again at Eglin, and it almost got to the point where I felt like I needed to use my GI Bill to go to law school to understand all the rules and regulations. But I'm game, if for no other reason than I can pronounce JBLM. LOL. Some of those names are pretty crazy; I'm sure I'll show myself to be an outsider every time I open my mouth. I did see the NW Adventure Center has a "Climb Denali" program -- now how cool is that. Everything makes it look like JBLM is a sportsman's paradise. I can't wait to get up there! THANKS AGAIN.
     
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