My wife and I had been planning our honeymoon for 11 months, we had decided to go to the Pamlico Sound NC and hunt Sea ducks and swans. We called around and researched several outfitters and chose one who said he has a 100% guarantee on swans and lots of sea ducks in late December. After several phone call interviews, we settled on Captain Froggy’s Hunting and Fishing guide service out of Engelhard, NC. We scheduled a 5 day swan and sea duck hunt the week before Christmas, and prepared all year for the trip. Over the summer, we called Froggy and asked questions such as “what kind of yardages they typically shoot their swans at” and “what size shot do you recommend I reload for sea ducks” etc. Froggy always gave us an acceptable answer of “within 40 yards for nearly all birds” and “use the biggest shot you are comfortable with, as sea ducks are tough!” December 13, 2017, my wife and I left Southern Illinois heading east on our big sea duck hunting adventure. About an hour into our trip, we called Capt. Froggy to advise we were on our way. We asked if there were a lot of swans in the area as we had our tags, and if they have been killing a lot of sea ducks. Capt Froggy told us yes on both accounts, and that we should call him Sunday evening when we were closer to Engelhard, NC to set up a game plan for the hunt. December 17, 2017, my wife and I arrive in Engelhard NC and call Captain Froggy to ask about the arrangements for the mornings hunt. Froggy told us that he would pick us up on the dock in front of our cabin at 6 am and run us to a spot they had been shooting ducks with a pretty good chance for a swan. We didn’t get much sleep because we anticipated a good shoot in the morning. December 18, 2017, Froggy picks us up a 6am sharp on our dock. We knew the weather was bad for the sea ducks with it being in the upper 60’s, but we still had hopes for a swan. I should note, I use to guide Canada Goose hunts here in So IL back when we had several million birds. I understand bad weather, and the importance of scouting for birds! Froggy began the boat trip to our spot, and we hadn’t traveled long before we saw a point with decoys. My wife turned to me in the boat and said, “those decoys appear to be an awful long way from the bank” but I assured her to trust the guide because he knows how the birds react in his area. Once we were set up, I began to range decoys in the spread with my range finder. Capt Froggy had about 200 diver and puddle duck decoys with a few snow and Canada goose decoys mixed in. I was getting ranges of 50 yards on some of the decoys. We know how our birds react to decoys, and they will often times hang up 10-15 yards on the outside of the spread. So we tend to keep our decoys within 30yds max back home. I said something to Froggy about the decoys being so far away, and he scoffed they can’t be that far. But I advised I just put a range on several and they were indeed 50 yard decoys and some were further. We had a spoonbill come in and skirt the edge of the decoys, Captain Froggy called the shot. I fired 1x with my 10ga at the duck flying away. Froggy had been telling us that Goldeneyes are rare out there and kind of a big deal. We told Froggy that we shoot a lot of goldeneye back home and we were mostly interested in hunting sea ducks. A few hours later, after having not seen hardly anything, we had a goldeneye hen come through the spread. Froggy got so excited he jumped up and fired down the side of the boat at the bird 2x. After he was done, he apologized and said they don’t get many goldeneye. And he even mentioned that he shouldn’t have shot down the side of the boat like that asking my wife “did I send that one over the bill of your hat young lady?” By this time, my wife and I were a bit bummed as we knew bluebird days were not good duck hunting conditions. Shortly after, Froggy said he heard a swan and began to “woo woo woo” at the birds. They were probably ½ mile away and close to 250 yards high. When they got closer, there was about 10-12 swans but nothing anywhere close to being within range. But it was cool to see because I have about 300 swans sit on my farm back in So IL for about 3 months of the year. We are not allowed to hunt them in IL. Froggy began to tell us about how many swans they kill and everyone gets a bird. Since the 10 – 12 swans did not come into our spread, Froggy calls somebody to scout his field for swans. Captain Froggy told us that he hunts a field about 1.5 hrs away for swans. The individual was not able to scout for the swans on Monday, but he told Captain Froggy that he would do the scouting for him on Tuesday. Suddenly, froggy said “don’t move they are cupped up!”. My wife and I were ready, Froggy gave the order to “shoot!” and we stood up. Neither one of us saw the birds. Froggy fired 2x and I looked up and saw that he was shooting at spoonbills that were 100yds high! My wife and I sat down without firing a shot. Froggy looked at us and asked why we didn’t shoot, and I said they were too high. We finished making our plan for Tuesday and went back to the dock without a sea duck or swan that we had come for.