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The Good Ole Days

Discussion in 'Chesapeake Flyway Forum' started by Montauker, Sep 25, 2016.

  1. Montauker

    Montauker Elite Refuge Member

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    With other threads talking about the good ole days, I'm starting this to hear more stories of what the shore was like. Pictures welcome. Let's try to keep it to 1975-1985.

    My father used to come down from NY once or twice a year to shoot geese and I was always amazed as he would usually come home with a new jacket or fun stories.

    Was the Blue Bird thee place to be on a Friday night? Were Big Feet a big deal? You guys like lead?
     
  2. Bwana1

    Bwana1 Elite Refuge Member

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    Been waterfowl hunting for about 60 years and have many wonderful memories. Still at it and enjoy it as much as ever. Off to Manitoba tomorrow.
    The Bluebird was a great hunter hang out. Also, Buzzs Steak house( across the street), Hubbards, Rock Hall Inn, and Great Oaks were all Kent County spots.
    Big feet were nice, but a lot of people used the Herters full bodies. Not much difference. Tires, shells, and silos were also used. Didn't really matter. The big spreads of today were not necessary.
    Baiting was widely done, until the Federal agents arrived in force. Courts started to hand out jail sentences, and slowly things changed.
     
  3. Tailfeathers

    Tailfeathers Elite Refuge Member

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    First time hunting the ES. Half day at work, say good bye to the boss, get home, grab my stuff, say good bye to the wifey, head from Va to 50 hit the Bridge. Stop off and buy my best goose call, my Olt, 18 bucks back then, still love to smell the cedar ....Drive to Chestertown to the farm. No GPS, just a hand drawn map and the gazetteer. Have a nice dinner, more than I ever spend, stay up til late popping beers in the guest cabin, and fixing all the world's problems. Next morning half a hung over, get to the pit blind and.....hunt over a chetload of stuffers.
    Good old ES memories.
     
  4. Smackdown 870

    Smackdown 870 Elite Refuge Member

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    I still have about 80 of them...they still work just fine but have to be careful with them...

    I started hunting the shore in the 90's as a teen and I remember a pit being able to limit out and be eating breakfast at Dixie Joe's before most people were waking up.

    In the 80's seeing all the hunters eating breakfast, lunch and dinner at the Old Vonnie's. Hell the hotel was sold out all the time.
     
  5. easternshorerednek

    easternshorerednek Elite Refuge Member

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    I am 25 so I never experienced the "Good Ole Days" however I have heard endless stories from hunters who did. I started goose hunting the second year after the moritorium in Rising Sun when their was a 1 bird limit. I remember geese being endless and everywhere trading back and forth from one farm pond to the next and from ponds to fields. (Sometimes all night long) Now when I drive through Rising Sun during goose season I bet I don't see 25% of the birds that wintered there back in the early 2000s. It's incredible how things change over the years.
     
  6. Montauker

    Montauker Elite Refuge Member

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    I believe in a little bit of revisionist history plays into as well. When you look through old log books, you see a good number of lackluster days. However, when they were on them (ducks), they crushed them. Now you kill your can, two black heads and head home.
     
  7. Bwana1

    Bwana1 Elite Refuge Member

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    A lot of people forget that the Eastern Shore short stopped the geese that once wintered in N. Carolina. The States to the north now winter a lot of birds, while the population on the shore declines.....
     
  8. carolina girl

    carolina girl Elite Refuge Member

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    All weather related.

    Ive wanted all 60 days of my duck season in February, now you guys know why.

    This place is filthy with ducks and geese in February, cause that when we really get the weather needed to push ducks.

    Theres no need to migrate if they don't have too.

    When I was a kid, my dad would always take my squirrel hunting on my birthday, the first week in October. That's usually when we would get our first frost, hell people still have their pools open now the first week of October.

    I remember picking pumpkins at valley view farms with it snowing, before Halloween.

    The only thing short stopping watewrfowl is the weather, get the cold, you get the birds.

    You guys have heard us many of times on here, saying we want ice.........oh, no, we don't want ice, it will freesze us out before we can even hunt.....well, get a bigger boat! You want ducks and geese, pray for weather and ice!

    No ones shortstopping our birds but mother nature
     
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  9. slacktide

    slacktide Elite Refuge Member

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    In comparison to others on here, I am not that old, nor does my story go back as far... My first memories of duck hunting were of my grandfather hunting, would have been in the mid to late 60's... being allowed to meet the group of old men as they returned from the blind with their bag, and the decoys... it was the decoys that first intrigued me on waterfowl hunting... grand old masters floated in amongest some of the newer paper mache contraptions... as a tyke I had no idea that those noble wooden creations would prove to be a valuable asset for me in later life...The diver ducks that they shot certainly tasted far better than they do today... it was not for the skill of the cook either, but due to their diet here on the wintering grounds... aquatic corn I believe....My first goose hunt would come years later in 1974.... I remember the first goose as if it were yesterday... coming in low on the deck, raising above the decoys as it backpeddled the brutal kick of the side by side double on my 10 year old shoulder... the splash and its feet peddling in the air... I was hooked, and would never be the same... We hunted geese over a variety of crappy decoys in the 70's... paper mache, plastic, and eventually we wised up to vee boards on the water... homemade masonite silos in the corn field was our standard rig... nothing had the realism of todays decoys... I learned to call geese on a wooden Olt as well... sounded very little like a goose in comparison to my present call... but on occasion it did work... I remember the first opening day using steel shot... it was a catostrophe! Goose after GOose would decoy only to fly away as we sat in utter belwilderment... we finally reduced the decoy spread to within 10 yards of the shore and began to knock down some ( not kill but knock down.. it took the ammo companies a couple of years to create the proper non toxic loads) The goose season went on so long, that eventually the geese did become decoy shy ( we never picked up the decoys, just usually showed up and the geese would work the rig!) and we would have to take longer shots ( yes, sky busting) There was the Marlin Goose Gun a 3" chambered bolt action shot gun with a 36" barrel and full choke ( honestly a tight pattern at 80 yds with copper plated BB's), then came the 10 gauges 3-1/2" Ithaca Mag 10 shooting copper plated BBB's to pull down some riduculously high birds... MiKe Wilson at the Bear's Den made a firtune off of all of us as we tried all the gimmicks to harvest geese.... opening day hunts where always the thing for my family... the celebration rivaled the holidays... opening day weekends while I was in college were incredible.. my Dad had business associates from Italy, and points along the East Coast, I had my friends from High School and College, my sister ( not even a hunter) brought her girl friends down from NYC to celebrate not only goose season but the Eastern SHore... the oysters, beer, wine and dinners and the ensuing BS would go deep into the night, often we switched from beverages to coffee and went out at first lite... often we had 15 gunners on the first day... boxes of shells where expended on each toll... our shooting less than adequate ( see the part about late nites) ... today the excitement remains...opening days are more subdued for me and my boys... but I still have trouble sleeping the nite before.... Someday I will scan in the photos of my hunting youth... rubber waders, down jackets, old school camo patterns, and Jones style caps were the norm....[​IMG][/IMG]
     
  10. slacktide

    slacktide Elite Refuge Member

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    Here is one picture from opening weeked 1983... I got that boat as a high schoold graduation present... I still have it, its green now, but is one hell of a waterfowl boat! Note the Vee boards ( blinds are actually to left out of view of the picture)
    Photograph (1).jpg
     

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