Sunday, January 24, 2010

Northwest Connecticut- End Game

Last day for my season was on Friday the 22nd. My hunting partner Joe and I set up on the mouth of the Connecticut River on the East Lyme side with a mostly diver spread. We arrived fairly early and heard a lot of mallards and blacks chattering as we threw the dekes out.
About 15 minutes before legal shooting time, flights of mallards began to take off right over the top of the blind. I estimate about 50 to 60 ducks went over, well within shooting range. If they had held off another 10 minutes, we could have possibly done something. The rest of the day was pretty lackluster. Only had 1 drake goldeneye into the spread which took off at mach 10 as soon as I got the gun up. Not many ducks in the air for the rest of the day other than a couple of red breasted mergs. Did see a bunch of brant hanging out just off shore about a ½ mile away.
We picked up about noon and paddled back to the launch. A couple of other groups of hunters were returning at the same time as us and reported the same activity as we had. No ducks. Note to self: don’t put the big boat away as the boys sea duck hunting around the islands have been putting the smackdown on the scoters and old squaw.
And that pretty much sums up the season for us. There was never any real migration around here at all. I only had 1 day where I scraped up a limit on mallards. I did find a couple of new spots to hunt that have potential for next season. I was also introduced into the addictive activity of layout hunting which I plan on doing a lot more of. Well, the decoys are put away and the guns are clean. Time to dust off the turkey calls and practice up for the spring season and spend some time at the fly tying desk.
And another waterfowl season is in the books.

Terry Mahoney

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