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Honeymoon Hunting Disaster with Capt Froggy

Discussion in 'North / South Carolina Flyway Forum' started by pintail_drake2004, Dec 22, 2017.

  1. pintail_drake2004

    pintail_drake2004 New Member

    Messages:
    16
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2015
    Location:
    Illinois
    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.
     
  2. pintail_drake2004

    pintail_drake2004 New Member

    Messages:
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    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2015
    Location:
    Illinois
    December 19, 2017, Froggy sent a different guide to pick us up at 3:30 to drive us an hour south to go hunt sea ducks. On the drive down there, the guide told us that Froggy sent him out here and that he hadn’t hunted it since the beginning of the season. Now, being a guide myself we were always scouting for birds, but apparently you don’t do that with sea ducks. Our guide launched the boat in a canal and we started to boat off when we ran into a sand bar. Our guide attempted to man handle the boat out of the sand, asking us to be counter weight in the boat. After about 30 minutes, I offered to get out and help. We spent nearly 2 hours getting that boat out of the sand. The Guide said he wasn’t aware that there wasn’t enough water to run the boat down here. I’m thinking “what the (This word is unacceptable on Trapperman) have we gotten into?” Our guide suggested that he could drive us an hour back to where we came from and try up there. We expressed our concern about only wanting to hunt sea ducks and swans-as the day before Froggy set us up to mainly hunt teal and other puddle ducks. The guide said they kill mainly puddle ducks at the club.

    After the hour drive back north, we finally launched the boat and got out on the water. By the time we were set up it was nearly 8:30am (2 hours after shooting light). The guide was setting decoys in a “U” pattern with the boat in the bottom of the U. the 2 sides of the U were 50yds away. I mentioned something about having the decoys so far away, and the guide advised the ducks will fly on the inside between the decoys and the boat. I had my doubts. A group of birds came in on the front end of the boat, my wife was the only who was able to shoot safely. She fired one shot when the guide called it, but I told him after she shot I had a rangefinder on those birds and they were pretty far out there. A group of hunters behind us on the water fired a shot, and we watched a duck fly towards us. The bird swung out on the outside of the decoys, and the guide said “shoot”. I fired once with my 10ga but was about a foot behind him at over 60 yds. A few hours later a bluebill hen came in behind us, the bird was committed to the spread. The guide said shoot and my wife knocked down and broke the wing of that bird at 45yds. She had a failure to eject so I raked the duck with my 10ga. Unfortunately, the duck began to dive in the water. The guide began hollering at me to “shoot shoot shoot he is to the right of the goose decoys”. I couldn’t help it so I said “(This word is unacceptable on Trapperman) it, that bird is over 100 yds out. We can’t touch him from here!”. The guide said “well, he is still swimming we won’t get him” and sat down and got back on his phone. FYI-we shoot a lot of divers in So IL. When we cripple one, we pull up anchor and chase them down. We get the overwhelming majority of our cripples this way! I asked the guide and he said they don’t chase cripples. The guide told us that on Monday he had a client shoot 25 times at a duck to kill it. I couldn’t help myself and replied “that is what happens when you call shots at over 60 yds”.

    Around 12:30, our guide said something to me about us being awful quite. I expressed my concern of wasting 2 bluebird days chasing ducks when we could have been after a swan in a field. The guide said Froggy doesn’t take people to a field unless he has a group of 10-12 to go at a time. I said we came here for a swan and sea duck and I’m a bit upset we haven’t been put on either. Then I asked out guide 1 question, “is this your peak numbers for the migration like Froggy told us?” The guide started to give me a BS answer about weather and how the ducks migrate, I said don’t BS me just answer the question. The guide looked me in the eye and said “no, the majority of our sea ducks have not made it here yet!” I said when we get back, I want to have a talk with Froggy. We pulled decoys and left.

    The guide dropped my wife and I off at our cabin, and we went inside to eat lunch before speaking with Captain Froggy. While we were in the middle of eating lunch, Captain Froggy shows up at our door. He asked if everything was alright, because he had heard from his guide that we were upset. We expressed our concerns about not being set up for the types of ducks we were interested in hunting (set up for puddle ducks vs sea ducks), about shots being called 60+ yards out, and about the outfitter not properly scouting the water conditions where he was taking his clients. Captain Froggy starts to argue that he did get us on ducks, but we failed to shoot at the ones that came in. My wife told him that we are not shooting at birds that are out of effective range, and that’s why you had a client shoot a box of shells at 1 duck yesterday. Captain Froggy calls my wife an unexperienced hunter, and that she doesn’t understand how ducks don’t move on blue bird days or how migrations work. At this point, my wife and I were about finished with Captain Froggy. However, as we had driven over 14 hours to hunt on the East Coast, we decided to give this outfitter one more chance on Wednesday. Before he left the cabin, Captain Froggy scheduled us to hunt out of a stationary blind on Wednesday because he told us that the weather conditions would be rainy and windy. He said that we would have a good chance of killing a swan out of this blind.
     
  3. pintail_drake2004

    pintail_drake2004 New Member

    Messages:
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    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2015
    Location:
    Illinois
    December 20th, 2017: We were dropped off at the stationary blind with a new guide around 6:15 am. This time roughly all of the 200 decoys were set up within 35 yards of the blind. As the morning progressed we did not have any ducks get within a mile of our blind, and we did not see a single swan all morning. Although the conditions were wet, there was hardly any bit of a breeze on Wednesday. It was incredibly still, and not blowing as much as Captain Froggy said it would with the “front” moving through. Captain Froggy was hunting around the point with 2 other clients, and he came via boat to pick my wife and I up at 1 pm. As we were getting into the boat, Captain Froggy asked my wife and I if we wanted to come back this afternoon for another hunt. My wife told him that we were going to have to have a talk about that. We were going to leave it at that until we got into private, but Captain Froggy turned to the other 2 clients in the boat and said “This is the ******** I told you that I was going to have to put up with from her”. My wife told Captain Froggy that this was the 3rd day in a row without a single duck or swan. Captain Froggy said that the 2 clients in the boat with us only killed 1 duck that day, and they weren’t “(This word is unacceptable on Trapperman) about it”. Captain Froggy said that the 2 clients in the boat paid $350 to kill 1 duck, and we didn’t owe him anything past our initial deposit so we were getting “a (This word is unacceptable on Trapperman) of a deal”. My wife tells Captain Froggy that paying $500 for no chance at a swan and getting set up for puddle ducks instead of sea ducks like we had wanted is not a (This word is unacceptable on Trapperman) of a deal. Captain Froggy said that we had plenty of chances to kill a duck, and specifically brought up the Goldeneye “drake” that came into the decoys on Monday. I told Captain Froggy that he fired 2 shots down the side of the boat before he even called the shot for us. Captain Froggy denied shooting at the Goldeneye.

    My wife told Captain Froggy that he knew since Wednesday the 13th that we had our swan permits, and he made a very minimal effort at getting us onto a swan. Captain Froggy tried to explain that he had his elderly father with a heart condition scouting the field this afternoon for swans. My wife mentioned that he was supposed to have done this scouting sooner. I told Captain Froggy that back when I used to guide for geese, I always had the scouting done before the clients showed up. Captain Froggy blows up, and starts yelling at my wife about how swans don’t stay in one spot. He drops the “F” bomb towards her twice, and yells about how he doesn’t have to take this. I stood up in the boat and told him to stop talking to my wife like that. He yells that he was done with us, and our hunt is over. My wife tells him that he guaranteed us a swan. Captain Froggy said that he didn’t guarantee anything. My wife told Captain Froggy that it is written on his website that he has a 100% guarantee kill rate on swans, and you don’t pay if you don’t kill one. That was one of the major reasons we went with him as an outfitter. I turned to my wife and asked her what she thought, and we both agreed that we were done with Froggy. When Captain Froggy dropped us off at our dock, he asked us again if we wanted to stay for an afternoon hunt and he could set us up for sea ducks Thursday morning. I told him that we were done, and we’re not interested.

    My wife and I head back to our cabin where we start packing up our belongings. About a half hour later, Captain Froggy shows up at our cabin again. My wife was upset over our honeymoon hunt being ruined, so I met him outside by myself. Captain Froggy apologized to me and he said he wanted to apologize to my wife. I told him that he’s not coming into the house. He said that “she just does not understand, I can’t control the weather”. I said “Froggy, she does understand this. But you (This word is unacceptable on Trapperman) away 2 days where we could have killed a swan to set us up to hunt puddle ducks that we could hunt at home”. I continued to explain to him that I guided for a lot of years, and we had our fields scouted way before clients ever showed up. At this time, Froggy asked me if we wanted to go hunt in the morning and I said that no, we were done. Then he said “I wish I could have gotten you a swan”. And I said “you didn’t even attempt to”. He said “You guys can come back on Saturday. I’ve got a group of hunters coming. We will go to a field and kill a swan. We’ll be done by 8 or 8:30”. I asked Froggy if it was that easy why he hasn’t done that for us already. Captain Froggy didn’t have an answer. He again started to apologize, and stuck his head around the door and yelled his apology to my wife into the house. I told him that we traveled 14 hours to kill sea ducks, and we had contacted him 2 times before we arrived to make sure that he had sea ducks. Both times he advised that he had sea ducks. At this time, Captain Froggy said that the sea ducks aren’t here. I told him that I realized that pretty quick, and Captain Froggy left.

    So, my wife and I are pretty disappointed with how our honeymoon “sea duck” hunt turned out. I would highly advise not booking with Captain Froggy’s Hunting and Fishing guide service out of Engelhard, NC if you’ll be hunting the Pamlico Sounds!
     
    Albino Woodie and IrvingForbes like this.
  4. IrvingForbes

    IrvingForbes Senior Refuge Member

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    Location:
    Wanchese, North Carolina
    I'm sorry you and your wife had a bad waterfowl experience in North Carolina.
     
  5. JFG

    JFG Elite Refuge Member

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    Location:
    Coastal NC
    Wow, talk about an unpleasant experience. If you’ll pm me, I’ll give you some suggestions of several outstanding swan and sea duck guides that flat out get it done the right way. Total 180 from how they do things.
     
    Albino Woodie likes this.
  6. SeaDux1

    SeaDux1 Elite Refuge Member

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    NC duck hunting sucks most of the time but Dang he made it worse.
     
  7. bufflehead1

    bufflehead1 Senior Refuge Member

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    North Carolina
    Froggy strikes again. Amazing that he hasn't had his @$$ kicked.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2017
    coachcornbread likes this.
  8. bigdrumnc

    bigdrumnc Elite Refuge Member

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    Location:
    way east and shallow
    Wow, what a nightmare! That guy doesn’t have the best reputation! Be lucky he didn’t swamp his boat or even better the boat actually got u back to the dock!
     
  9. WoodieSC

    WoodieSC North/South Carolina Flyway Forum Moderator Flyway Manager

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    Dang, I'm really sorry to hear all of that, especially on your honeymoon.

    I know nothing about hunting Pamlico, et al, but Ol' Froggy sounds like he needs a good keel hauling. You both surely have more restraint than I do. If he had unloaded on my wife like that he would have gone swimming.

    Hope you at least had an enjoyable trip home. And contact some of the guys on the forum here if you need any advice on the locals. No doubt they'll do what they can to assist as we've got a bunch of good people here.
     
  10. coachcornbread

    coachcornbread Elite Refuge Member

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    Peoples Republic of N.C.
    He’s a giant idiot. I made the mistake of hunting with him once when I first moved here. Lesson learned.
     

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