TRIP REPORT: Jan 7 with Dare to Hyde Adventures

Discussion in 'Sponsor Announcements' started by Traveller, Jan 8, 2016.

  1. Traveller

    Traveller Senior Refuge Member

    Mar 12, 2004
    Greenville, NC
    My friend and I booked a duck hunt for January 7 with Dare to Hyde Adventures. Here is a summary of our trip:

    Their lodge and headquarters is located in New Holland area of Lake Mattamuskeet, at the intersection of Hwy 264 & Outfall Canal Road. The dining room/lounge/meeting room is very well done. Inside is a large TV and bar for social time, and it looks like they have a fire pit outside for social time in the evening. Since we live in Greenville, we didn't stay in the lodge. It looks like they did a lot of renovations to the old motel that was there. We met some other hunters from South Carolina and some from Wisconsin.

    We met the guide at 5:00 am. He was an enthusiastic young man named Matthew. --Oh to be 19 years old, drive a nice chevy 4WD, and work as a duck hunting guide--that would be the life! He is from Mattamuskeet and we could tell he loves to hunt and fish. He was polite, a hard worker, and very outgoing. I could see that he genuinely attempted to engage us and get to know us. You can tell when a boy is raised the right way.

    We rode with him in his truck to an impoundment on the north side of the lake, surrounded by fields of flooded corn stalks, as far as you can see. we took a vigorous walk of about a 1/4 of a mile through water, knee-deep and with a very mucky bottom, to the blind at far edge of the impoundment. I admit I struggled through it, wishing I'd had a wading staff. Loaded with my gear, I almost lost my balance a few times when the muck tried to pull my wader off.

    At the blind we encountered hundreds upon hundreds of tundra swan roosting in the water. What a roar they made when we arrived!

    Matthew arranged the decoys while we got into the blind and got situated. He briefed us on legal shooting times, and we discussed calling the shots. He told us if we saw something he didn't, then we were free to shoot. We talked about proper ranges and sky busting, too. Generally, the communication level was very good.

    As legal shooting hour approached, we were continually swarmed by hundreds of birds. Swan, pintails, widgeon, gadwall, mallards, and teal were calling all around us, and flying into the water in front of us. With a steady north wind at our backs and the sky heavily overcast, I think our conditions were near perfect. Temps were in the mid 40s: It was cold but not freezing.

    At 6:50 am, we fired our first shots. At 7:15 am, we had our limits. Matthew did all the retrieving. We had expected to stay all day, and we were prepared for it with food, drinks, shotgun shells, and all the other extra gear one might need for a long day in the blind. (I always bring T.P.)

    We sat in the blind for another 20-30 minutes and watched the birds put on a show. We talked about the birds and the shooting. Matthew got some pictures for the guide service, and we took a few ourselves.

    Matthew carried our birds out to the ATV as we trudged along behind, out again through the sticky muck. Back at the truck we tarried a long while, still watching the birds working in the flooded fields, taking a few more pictures, and generally enjoying the morning.

    Matthew then gave us a short tour of the farm in the ATV, and we saw some of the other impoundments. We stayed there until nearly 10:00. I really appreciated that, as it helped extend our time in the field and we could continue to enjoy the feel of the wind and see the birds overhead. They were everywhere!

    Finally, we drove back to the outfitter headquarters and unloaded our gear.

    I am told that hunting has been tough most of the season due to the very warm weather. Thankfully the cold snap this week made a big difference and the guide service reported lots of new birds had been pushed down South. Regardless of the birds, Matthew made it an enjoyable hunt.

    Overall the experience was very positive. We appreciated Matthew's attitude and demeanor, and we complimented him to the the mgr, Rob Orr, when we checked out.

    [​IMG]Jay in Ducks January 2016 by Joe Friday, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Joe with ducks Jan 2016 by Joe Friday, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Tundra Swan overcast 2016 by Joe Friday, on Flickr

    [​IMG]Still Life Ducks 2016 by Joe Friday, on Flickr
  2. NC Ducker

    NC Ducker Senior Refuge Member

    Dec 4, 2006
    North Carolina
  3. coryj

    coryj Refuge Member

    Jan 20, 2015
    Central, VA
    Great report. Congrats on a good hunt.
  4. johnnys

    johnnys New Member

    Jan 29, 2016
    I've hunted in that area (Mattamuskeet Canal) a few years ago and some days were bust and others awesome.
    Glad you hit it on a goodun'.

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