River duck opener 10/21-23

Sluester

I kill stuff
Jul 22, 2003
11,643
213
56
Lakeside
Name
Mike
Boat
Killin time, Bill Collector
Tried working a full day Thursday but my mind was on hunting Fridays opener on the lower Colorado River. Quit working @ noon. Was all packed and ready to get Gunner (my 6 mo. old lab) his first duck.
This season is about him getting time in the field, getting use to new things and me seeing him grow. Got down there late afternoon on thurs. and checked with my buddy who had been scouting our areas. Not the best news but their were some birds, mostly Redheads and Ringnecks and some Wiedgon. Typical, but he also saw several Gadwall. Unusual for this early in the season.
After a surf&turf meal, (deer and albies) we sat around and do what we do best.... drink some beer, smoke cigars and remember previous seasons.
Tried to sleep, but like every opener I seem to just toss and turn. Up @ 3:00am. Wanted to get there early and set up. Found a different place to launch the boat so I thought I'd try it out. Well, I missed the dirt ramp the by about 2 ft. and got stuck. Oh well, boat was in the water and I'll get out later..... Freakin motor wouldn't start! WTF.
Screw it, I only have to row a couple hundred yds. About half way I hear a dog bark. I get the spot light out and see someone has already set up where I've hunted the last 3 years. Oh well, guess they learned from me. I decide to go to the other side of the pond where my 2 buds are setting up. A little crowed but doable as long as we work together. Got the motor to run and I haul ass to the other side. Set up quickly because they already were finishing up, between the 3 of us we had @ least 120 deks out.
Settle in for the sunrise. Look for the camera and can't find it in my shoot bag! Heck I can take pictures later. Hear several flights come over but no splashes??? Gets light enough to shoot and the guys across the lake start blasting away. I see no splash downs so they either missed or they landed them in the toolies.
I'm being VERY picky with my shots. I want Gunner to have the best chance for success. My buddies are shooting and birds are falling but it's really not that hot shooting. I finally get a Drake redhead to fly close enough and I miss, all 3 rounds! I was leading them too much, after shooting the dove loads, 1300fps to steel 1550fps it does matter.:) Next bird comes in and I whack it. Dog doesn't see it drop so I throw a rock and he's off! After a little coaching he finds it and I'm whooping it up! :High_Five The time I spent with him over the summer has and will pay off. Get him in the boat and give him a bite of my jerky.:rockin:
Several flights of birds come in but just don't get close enough for us. We try not to skybust, We have crippled and lost more birds like that, even with the dogs help. I shoot another bird but it sails into the bushes and decide not to go that route with the dog yet. There is time and he's already made my weekend.
My buds shoot at a nice flock of redheads I passed on and 2 birds go down. One gets up and flys toward the middle of the pond. I decide to go after it for them. They are in a wood blind and I'm hunting out of the boat, eaiser for me. I get close enough and he starts diving. Fucker is quick and has no problem swimming underwater. Comes up but is to far for me. Quickly change rds. to a 3"BBB and gun the boat towards the toolies. Pops his head and neck just out of the water and I let him have it... 50yd. slues shot! He's moving in circles and the dog sees him. I release him and he flys off the boat! No coaxing for him this time!:High_Five Man he learns fast. I decide I'm happy with what I have and decide to do some work with him in 4ft. tall toolies. He doesn't quite know what to do but after the 3rd time he's using his nose and is marking better.
Saturday we shot a few more birds but he only got to retrieve 1. Had a flight of about 30 cinimon teal circle 6 times, everyone of them were hens. I was hoping to get into a teal shoot. They are my favorite. Fast and small.
I had forgot my camera @ home so I took a couple pictues but have'nt downloaded them yet.
Great weekend! Not the numbers we were hoping for but we had a blast. Dog did great! Nice mix of ducks. wiedgon, teal, redhead, ringneck, mallard, spoonies and a pintail. Chased some quail around, ened up with 6 and they were yummy. :drool:
 

TheExterminater

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Jul 8, 2004
171
39
36
Los Angeles
Name
Jeffrey Vinquist
Boat
21' sea swirl
Sounds like you had a fun opener with a nice mix of birds. I have always wanted to hunt the river. I wonder how my zodic would work?

Jeffrey
 

Orca

シャチ, 鯱
Aug 16, 2003
3,494
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Mira Mesa Ca
Name
Don
Boat
2359 Trophy, Irene Sea
Mike, sounds like you had a real good time at the river this weekend. Glad to hear Gunner is doing well. He definately has the instinct.
 

Professor

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Dec 17, 2003
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San Diego
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Yale
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32' Blackman Sportfisher "Riley"
Great report Mike. You’ve really got to be looking forward to the season with your new hunting buddy and I’m sure you’ll see continued progress throughout the season.
 

Genelie

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Jan 13, 2004
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Lakeside,ca
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Gene Horner
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210 Triumph 21' genelie
Well done on the training of your dog mike. All was well back in the gloomy lakeside, I got my canopy up for the Jeep.
 

Sluester

I kill stuff
Jul 22, 2003
11,643
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Lakeside
Name
Mike
Boat
Killin time, Bill Collector
Thanks! On Friday we did not hear one other shot. Sat we heard a couple guys popping off early but that was it.

A zodiac would work fine. I've got a 12' flat bottom and I go and launch just about anywhere. You have to be mobile down there and do whatever it takes to get em. With little pressure they don'y move much until late in the season. It gets better for us after Thanksgiving.
Nice days, mid 80's clear not great duckhunting weather but it's what we have.:) Water was already cooling down. Grass was not a pain like it usually is which I think slowed things down. They dredged the heck out of the sandbars. We use to kill the whack the shit out of the teal on those things. Lots of our jump shoot holes are dry.:mad: Looks we'll be putting more time in scouting.
 

how2fish

........
Apr 22, 2003
868
6
CA
Name
Micah
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26' Champion
Very nice - sounds like a great weekend Mike!
 

Rob E

Yo soy su poppi...
Mar 15, 2003
863
1
Yorba Linda
Name
Rob Espinosa
Boat
La launcha se fue...
Nice report. Do you hunt near Cibola, or clsoer to Yuma?
 

Sluester

I kill stuff
Jul 22, 2003
11,643
213
56
Lakeside
Name
Mike
Boat
Killin time, Bill Collector
Rob E said:
Nice report. Do you hunt near Cibola, or clsoer to Yuma?
Closer to Y. We've hunted as far up as Taylor lake and as far south as the Colorado river goes, Gilla river too. Stoped buying an Az. hunting liscense when they raised it to $120.00 We now just shoot the river and stay out of AZ.

Don't think I have ever seen so many people fishing for flatties as I did last weekend. People were all over the place.
 

Blain Perkins

PerkDawg
Jun 24, 2005
6
0
60
San Diego
Name
Blain
Boat
18ft NITRO
Good job with the pup. I have a blond Lab Maddie and started her out at home with Bob white Quail then come duck seasion last year she was ready never skiped a beat. My son and I Hunted the Valley on the opener we got 14 by 9:09AM we were done for the day and sunday 10:15 done and Maddie retrived them all from ditches. The Birds that would hide up in the vegatation My Gorden Setter would find them pull them out of cover and Maddie brings them in. Check this out we jump a group of 9 Mallards shot 5 four Drakes and one Hen All 5 were Banded is that weard or what I think that is a new Record for one group. Cant wate for this weekend. Good Luck with Gunner your going to be so Happy with him. The Lab Learns so fast.
 

Sluester

I kill stuff
Jul 22, 2003
11,643
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Lakeside
Name
Mike
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Killin time, Bill Collector
[Check this out we jump a group of 9 Mallards shot 5 four Drakes and one Hen All 5 were Banded is that weard or what I think that is a new Record for one group. Cant wate for this weekend. Good Luck with Gunner your going to be so Happy with him. The Lab Learns so fast.[/QUOTE]


Fuckin A! I've have never shot a banded bird. Where did they band them? We had a guy shoot one last year, banded in Idaho 7 yrs. ago! Redhead drake. Were ya jump shooting the ditches or in a club down there?
 

Blain Perkins

PerkDawg
Jun 24, 2005
6
0
60
San Diego
Name
Blain
Boat
18ft NITRO
Running Ditches and cannels no club just allot of scouting over the years. It reely pays off. ILL be down there this weekend. Are you going down. ALL Five Mallards were bannded birds. They were from Blyth they did not get to farr. Last year my son shot a banded red head but I cant remember from were now ILL have to find his band. He even shot a white wing scooter two years ago on the AA Cannel.
 

StillinScrubs

Wahoo love me
Aug 30, 2005
957
114
Ft. Lauderdale/Miami
Name
Scott
Boat
Charon's skiff
Five banded birds together would likely be a brood still hanging out together. Nice going. I have shot banded woodies, mallards, and geese. No banded divers yet. I banded wood ducks, mallards, and geese for the division of wildlife here in Ohio several years ago.

Are these canals that you guys hunt on private property or can the public hunt them? This is just so I understand, I am not driving from Ohio to partake.
 

Blain Perkins

PerkDawg
Jun 24, 2005
6
0
60
San Diego
Name
Blain
Boat
18ft NITRO
The Ditches and Cannels are open. Some are Posted. But if you want to hunt them find out who ownes the land give them a call. I found moust will give you written permission. Some are jerks to just for asking.
 

Sluester

I kill stuff
Jul 22, 2003
11,643
213
56
Lakeside
Name
Mike
Boat
Killin time, Bill Collector
We use to do the same thing, jump shoot the ditches and canals. Same for pheasants. We'd let everyone chase them out of the fields and when then walk the ditches, flush and shoot the shit out of them.
Doing the local thing this weekend. Heading up to the local mts. Sat. looking for deer spots (archery) then hunting ducks sunday @ Sutherland. Don't know how good/bad it will be. I find a lot of guys can't shoot or set up wrong so the bird counts are sometimes misleading. That and some guys like to skybust and don't let the birds work.
 

Professor

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Dec 17, 2003
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San Diego
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Yale
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32' Blackman Sportfisher "Riley"
Mike

Isn’t there anyplace the birds can get away from you? You’re an animal. Good luck on the scouting and the hunt.

Yale
 

Vermonster

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Feb 26, 2003
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Escondido
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Sean
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I'm a Ho'.....
Just curious, in Vermont I knew some guys that got banded birds and they would send them somewhere and get a certificate saying when/where, etc, that they were banded. Do they do that here? Is the banding a U.S. Fish and Game thing or state agencies?????
 

StillinScrubs

Wahoo love me
Aug 30, 2005
957
114
Ft. Lauderdale/Miami
Name
Scott
Boat
Charon's skiff
Most banding is through the US fish and wildlife agency. States have programs where they will place these bands on birds in thier wetlands so that there is more data about where there birds go. It helps to determine flyways and wetlands utilization. I know that the Ohio division of wildlife has flown people to the James bay in Canada to band the lesser? Canadians that aren't doing that well and migrate heavily through Ohio. These birds are morons compared to the local giant versions.

In the case of geese it has shown how "local" birds migrate and allowed early and late large limit seasons that avoid migrating geese and focus on the local giant populations.

Canada also does US bands and I think that there are Canadian bands and some people and groups do private bands. I have shot banded pheasants, too.

Sadly the banders don't find out where thier bands go. I have banded over 600 wood ducks myself, never heard a thing.
 

KID CREOLE

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Sep 19, 2003
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San Pedro, Ca.
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Name
Stefan
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Mako 224 CC, FULL RACK
Vermonster said:
Just curious, in Vermont I knew some guys that got banded birds and they would send them somewhere and get a certificate saying when/where, etc, that they were banded. Do they do that here? Is the banding a U.S. Fish and Game thing or state agencies?????
V,

Most of the banding occurrs on the central flyway! I have had some luck with bands.

1989 3 banded honkers all from Montana, they were shot near the Salton Sea
2000 1 banded Mallard shot near Bakersfield, banded in northern Calif.
2001 1 banded Gadwall shot near Bakersfield, banded near Merced, Ca.
2004 1 banded GW teal shot near Salton Sea, banded in northern Saskatchewan
2005 1 banded and collared Ross goose shot in S/E Nebraska

Pile of snows on my tailgate, on the right side is a very rare white collared/banded ross goose

Other pic is of a banded mallard

ps: Never send the bands in, just call them in!

05Miss25.JPG StefanKernDucks.jpg
 

KID CREOLE

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Sep 19, 2003
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San Pedro, Ca.
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Stefan
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Mako 224 CC, FULL RACK
Yes they do, you'll find out the date of the banding, aprox age of bird, location and who did the banding!
 

Fresh One

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Feb 10, 2003
2,098
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50
Scripps Ranch
Name
Brent
Boat
none
We hunted Friday and had 2 teal and a Hollywood (aka spoonie). We saw good numbers of ducks moving around. We would have done better but we got busted on a couple of flights and also got sandwiched in between two other groups who were shooting up and down the river from us.

Its gonna be a good season this year IMO.
 

Blain Perkins

PerkDawg
Jun 24, 2005
6
0
60
San Diego
Name
Blain
Boat
18ft NITRO
Hay Mike Last weekend I only shot 6 Ducks for two days I think they left the valley. Or the water level was verry low in the ditches. But check this out I stop at a few ditches and turnd my Gordon Setter Loose He kick out at least 25 Pheasants in one and 20 in another it was crazy, Pheasants going all directions. So I Quickly Wrote down the ditches and cross roads.. What a good find for the Opener on Nov.12. I shot 5 Mallards One Greenwing Teal. I wont go down till the 12th give the Dogs a rest, OK I Need the rest.