What the Futch

burgawboy

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Since they draw blinds now and its not the mad dash it once was, I'd give myself an hour set up time plus whatever the walk in is and and BS-ing you think you'll do, subtract it from shooting time and be done with it....

You're post had me reminiscing- way back when you could just go hunting before the lotteries, blind draws, army of duck hunters on the coast, and rules and regulations, I'd walk out there after sunset the day before and hang a cheap LED light near where I wanted to hunt. That thing would be out there swaying back and forth in the breeze like someone already setting up the next morning and we'd then casually stroll out to our spot while everyone else was scrambling. You don't get those days back.
azzhole :yes
 

Downeastwoodduck

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Since they draw blinds now and its not the mad dash it once was, I'd give myself an hour set up time plus whatever the walk in is and and BS-ing you think you'll do, subtract it from shooting time and be done with it....

You're post had me reminiscing- way back when you could just go hunting before the lotteries, blind draws, army of duck hunters on the coast, and rules and regulations, I'd walk out there after sunset the day before and hang a cheap LED light near where I wanted to hunt. That thing would be out there swaying back and forth in the breeze like someone already setting up the next morning and we'd then casually stroll out to our spot while everyone else was scrambling. You don't get those days back.
That sounds awesome man, truly.

Only thing is, the early season hunts you draw a unit and blinds are first come first serve. Only reason I asked lol I wish it was the way you described it. One can dream.
 

KAHunter

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What time would y’all recommend getting at the gate if it opens at 4? I was thinking between 3:15-3:30
Yeah thats what we used to do when we had to get to our spots first. Be ready to roll by 345. Someone inevitably left first (and a bit early) then it was off to the races. While it was a lot of work and early hours and you would occasionally get screwed it was mostly fun and we killed alot of ducks before the blinds where implemented. I guess thats what you get when you go to the meeting to discuss the blinds and literally everyone wants blinds and doesnt care about a good hunt just want somewhere easy to go.

We def had some interesting run-ins with people. Had a group set up directly in front of us and one ditch over. We told them and they didnt care. They bitched bc we were "shooting" in their direction. :scratch They shot a few birds and didnt even try to pick up half of them.

Had another group leave their stuff in overnight on a cart on the bank that we did not see and come in right before shooting light and set up 50 yards down from us

Mostly good times but def dealt with some knuckleheads.

The blinds did it in for me. Its a shame that place was cool.
 

KAHunter

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Since they draw blinds now and its not the mad dash it once was, I'd give myself an hour set up time plus whatever the walk in is and and BS-ing you think you'll do, subtract it from shooting time and be done with it....

You're post had me reminiscing- way back when you could just go hunting before the lotteries, blind draws, army of duck hunters on the coast, and rules and regulations, I'd walk out there after sunset the day before and hang a cheap LED light near where I wanted to hunt. That thing would be out there swaying back and forth in the breeze like someone already setting up the next morning and we'd then casually stroll out to our spot while everyone else was scrambling. You don't get those days back.
We would get to our spot early then split up. One near our spot, one 100 yards one way and the other 100 yards the other way. Usually kept people off us. Everyone with atleast 2 lights.

There was always some guy who strolled in right at shooting time trying to get near us but we usually could keep us off
 

JFG

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DEWD, If you found birds in your unit and want to get a certain blind, then what I’d do is get/find a good bike and be ready to roll down the dike to that blind when 4am hits. No one on foot will beat you unless they sneak in early. Get your buddies to cart in the gear you’ll be needing. No worries how long it takes for them to get there, you’ll have already secured your spot. I’ve done both a bike and a small canoe. It’s funny when you paddle right past someone that’s hoofing it. They tire out pretty quickly…..;)
 

Clark

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We would get to our spot early then split up. One near our spot, one 100 yards one way and the other 100 yards the other way. Usually kept people off us. Everyone with atleast 2 lights.

There was always some guy who strolled in right at shooting time trying to get near us but we usually could keep us off
Way back (before permits or the 4am rule, when shooting hours were all day 3-days a week) we would simply get there first: go out at midnight; or launch the boat then sit at the ramp until the second boat showed up and then head out. Did not realize at the time just how lucky I was to have a like-minded hunting buddy who was willing to do that stupid stuff ;). There was a relatively small group of guys who regularly hunting the place and while we competed, we also respected each other and worked together to make sure we stayed spread out.
Later the shooting days/hours were restricted, and the 4 am/no decoys rules phased in. We were disadvantaged by following the 4 am rule, because at the stroke of 4 lights would magically pop up all over the marsh :rolleyes:. We still had decent access and many good hunts. Crowding exploded as people got onto internet sites and posted locations :mad:.
The final straw was eliminating access via the permit system. It has been 5 years since I got a Futch draw. Probably 20+ for Mattamuskeet. And bird numbers tanked at Matt when the SAV went away so now it is mostly good for watching sunrise.
Really frustrating when I get a permit to a good place, then have someone walk in at LST and set up 100 yards downwind - which happened in my most recent two permit hunts.
 

PrairieDream'n

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"Probably 20+ for Mattamuskeet".. me too. That was once a cool place to go, especially when you could just show up when the weather was right and pick a blind- no draw needed. Used to be some great opportunity on NC public land back then
 

Clark

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I got to hunt Skeet the first year it reopened for public hunting, and my son got a youth day when he was 9 (so 29 years ago). I've applied each year since, for 2 or 3 people each year, and gotten one draw since.
 

JFG

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I’ve shared this before (here?) but we wore it out back in the the day. There was one streak where our group took limits 7 straight hunts over a period of a couple years. It was fairly easy for you and/or your partners to get drawn. Not many applying on 3x5” index cards. Additionally, getting a stand-by blind was common. If none were available, we’d head out to the sound and have good hunts there. But that’s long since over for the most part.

I quit applying for Skeet 6-7 years ago. Hunting had gotten so poor that it just wasn’t worth going if shooting ducks was the main motive. I will say this however. If you’ve never been, just being in a blind at sunrise and watching/ listening to all the fowl around you is well worth the price of admission. And the quiet tranquility of the lake and the area is also so enjoyable and rivaled by few….especially in NC.

There is hope now to restore the once ever abundant SAV in the lake as most know. This late fall/winter is the scheduled start of an aggressive carp eradication program. Biologist and managers feel they are the major cause of the degradation. Restoring the SAV would be huge and once again bring birds back enough to make me want to apply again…just say’n.
 

Clark

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I quit applying for Skeet 6-7 years ago. Hunting had gotten so poor that it just wasn’t worth going if shooting ducks was the main motive. I will say this however. If you’ve never been, just being in a blind at sunrise and watching/ listening to all the fowl around you is well worth the price of admission. And the quiet tranquility of the lake and the area is also so enjoyable and rivaled by few….especially in NC.
I still apply because I have a DIL that has never hunted the lake, and I'd like her to see it despite the hunting or lack thereof. Also have a grandson that will be ready for a youth hunt in a year or two!
 

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