Duck Hunt 1-24-16

Discussion in 'SouthWest' started by Bridgeman, Jan 25, 2016.

  1. Bridgeman

    Bridgeman New Member

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    Duck Hunt 1-24-16
    I should have gone to work both Saturday and Sunday, but I only worked Saturday, I had to go with the great conditions we have had last week. I looked into the weather at Maysville KY; and NOAA was calling for SW winds at 5-7 mph which is a DS wind DS of Aberdeen, Ohio mile 408, so I was going there or perhaps Manchester, OH. Low Saturday was around 14 and river at 28’ or just above pool stage at Cincinnati. The weather man was calling for lots of snow Friday and we ended up with less than 1†in New Richmond, Ohio. I was semi worried about the Ohio River freezing, it had slush ice along the banks Wednesday. I got up at 7:00 am and was on the road east on 52 by 7:45. As I was getting the boat ready I heard Boom- Boom -Boom from the river, poor New Richmond ducks. I saw that the river below Meldahl was open on my trip east. Above the Dam I saw the river hunters east of Bull Skin Creek. The ramp at Bull Skin was empty. There was a lot of fog on the river above the dam. It was then that I noticed the ice. The river had large sections with ice on it, so thick that crows were sitting on it. It looked like my hunt at Aberdeen was done. I decided to continue on and have breakfast at the Ripley Yum Yum in hopes that it might be open further US. The river will first freeze just above the Dams, and sometimes will be open further US. Had a great breakfast at the Yum Yum and after I checked the ramp at Ripley, there were 3 trailers parked, I wonder how they could hunt; most likely put their decoys on the bank, because the ice flowing DS would have carried them away. I headed east for Aberdeen.
    At Aberdeen the ice was worse, not better. I turned around and was headed for Neville , Oh mile 439. I was hoping the ramp was open or I would have to put in at New Richmond, mile 448. The ramp was open and there were 4 trailers there and the ramp had been cleared of snow. 2 of the trailers appeared to duck hunters, the other two looked like bass boat trailers. I got ready at the top of the ramp. There was no shelter to change into my duck hunting cloths, so I laid down my army surplus tent that I carry to camouflage the skiff if I decoy hunt to keep dry as I change into my hunting cloths. Just before I got ready to launch, in pulls a decoy hunter. There were 3 guys in a 16’ john boat with a 25 merc. They said they got 1. I put the skiff in and headed DS running the 15 at an idle and spotting for ducks with my binoculars. The wind was at my bank which is fantastic. I was also thinking the decoy hunters most likely ran up this bank. About .5 mile down a drake and a hen mallard got up right beside me, how did I miss them as I was checking the sand bank through my binoculars? I motored all the way to just above Carntown and spotted a decoy hunter ahead. I decided to cross over to the KY bank. I crossed over and motored down the rock bank and saw a bunch of geese sitting inside the mooring cells at the limestone plant at Carntown. They know how to be safe. I went down about 1 mile to the barge facility that cleans Moscow barges of excess coal. I then switched over to the good Ohio bank just above the city of Moscow, Ohio. I started down at a slow idle. I saw nothing. This was surprising, seeing how many ducks I had seen Wednesday. I crossed back over to the KY bank and headed down at a slow idle. I soon spotted ducks below me. I cut the 15 and put the troller on low. There was 5 mallards swimming near a sand bank below me. At 200 yards I cut the troller and started paddling. I got right beside them, they were dabbling in the shallow water right beside me. I dropped the paddle and the first duck to take off was a hen, and I dropped her. My next shot got 2 drakes with 1 shot, they were right on top of each other. I did not have a 3rd shot. The hen was a cripple and was skipping towards the middle of the river. My two drakes were feet up at the water’s edge. I ran out to the middle chasing my hen. She dived under, and I cut the 15 and waited. She popped up 20 yard away and I shot her on the water. She was dead. I picked her up and ran back to my 2 drakes, the problem is there was just 1. I looked all over, including walking the bank, but no duck. There was snow on the bank, so if it walked up the bank I would have seen the tracks, but nothing. There was no cover just a sand bank. I pulled into the bank for some chicken noddle soup and coffee and hoped my duck would pop up. I took a picture of my 2 ducks and the Moscow Power plant below me, and the river above me.
    I headed DS and a slow idle. I soon spotted ducks below me. It was 4 mallards sitting on the bank. I put the troller on low. At 200 yards I started paddling. I noticed I was in too close but the ducks were still sitting on the bank. When I glanced over the side of the skiff, they were gone, they were swimming DS, and I was too close. I chased them for 2 minutes, and they were well within shotgun range. I dropped the paddle and proceeded to miss the same duck 3 times. I cranked up the 15 and headed DS at a slow idle. Around Mentor a hen and a drake got up right beside me, how did I miss them? I snapped a picture of the cane that grows along the river below California Ky. I ran down to just above New Richmond, and decided that I have had enough for one day. I took a picture of New Richmond ahead of me . Debi had tapped both football games, so I was going home to relax on the couch and watch the games. I also might find some ducks on the run US. By this time the wind is stronger; still DS but there was a chop on the river. The boat bouncing up and down made spotting hard. Just below Point Pleasant I saw a boat anchored ahead. They were catfishing, they were hard core. I kept running up and just above them I spotted ducks ahead. I ran to the middle of the river and spotted them as I went past. I ran about .75 miles ahead and crossed over. I spotted them below me, and pulled into the bank for coffee to let them settle down. I pushed off with the 15 at a slow idle, and then cut it and put the troller on low. They looked calm, and I was thinking I would get them. All of a sudden they got up at 300 yards, they did not like the looks of this log.
    I cranked the 15 up and headed US. I spotted Geese sitting on the bank below the Moscow Power plant. I ran up the KY bank and crossed over at the 1st mooring cell below the power plant. I ate my sandwich and had the rest of my soup. I also waited for a barge to come up, so its waves would not hit me on the float down. I headed down with the troller on low. As I got closer there were 5 up on the bank, and 6 more below them on the water’s edge. The one on the bank were a little far up the bank, so I decided to past them to get to the ones on the water. At 300 yards I started paddling. I past the ones on the bank, I got right beside the 6 on the bank. I dropped the paddle and raised up. They looked at me and did not fly. They were 200 yards DS from a house. They finally got up, but I could not shoot, they may have been pets, and I don’t like shooting next to houses.
    I cranked up the 15 and headed back US. Just below the Neville Ramp I spotted ducks on the bank. I crossed over and ran up to the ramp and crossed back over. It is now 5:00 pm. I headed DS with the troller on low. There were 2 white ducks below me, yes white ducks. They were DS from a house that was well back from the bank. Next to the white ducks was a female Gadwall dabbling in the shallow water. I passed the Gadwall because I had two mallards about 300 yards below the white ducks, and 2 more below that. I got right on top of my 2 mallards. I dropped the paddle and it took two shots to drop the drake, I had no shot on the hen, she went US instead of DS. I picked up my drake and headed for the ramp. I pulled out the skiff and as I was getting the boat ready to tow it home a bass boats pulled out. I assume they were sauger fishing below the dam. I took a picture of my 3 mallards in the boat at the ramp. Home by 6:00.
     

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  2. pjf

    pjf Anti Media Pro Staffer

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    Another nice post. Thanks for sharing. :cool::cool:
     

  3. mslater

    mslater Active Member

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    Did you build the skiff yourself?
     
  4. Bridgeman

    Bridgeman New Member

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    No I had it built in Louisville by a boat builder in 1998
     
  5. mslater

    mslater Active Member

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    So when you're paddling, how do you keep from being seen? I assume you've got a system to keep that "log in the water" look.
     
  6. Bridgeman

    Bridgeman New Member

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    The boat is very tippy. You sit on the side opposite to the bank and the side near the bank goes up to hide you from the ducks .
     
  7. mjmaurer

    mjmaurer Active Member

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    Great pics Bridgeman. MJ