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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Was fortunate enough to be selected to hunt the Ohio reserve draw at Magee near Port Clinton, OH. Hunted yesterday and though the weather wasn't ideal ducky weather...



Had a great 2-man limit shoot which also included a nice mixed bag.
Bag included; Mallards, GWT, Wigeon, Gads (place was polluted with 'em) and Woodrow.

I was going to run Mags, but then I offered up to my buddy that maybe we should run his young lab. With the cruddy bottom (you'd sink in mud up to your knees), I'm very thankful we had her around!




mixed bag



And apparently, we represented Michigan well! After the hunt, we were talking to the Tech there and only one other party brought in a limit of Ducks.


it was interesting to take part in this type of hunt to experience it and to see how other agencies handle their GMA's. Yes, we had a great shoot. hard to beat a mixed bag limit of puddle ducks, but after having done it, it just reaffirms for me that Michigan does it right... well, maybe better is the right word when it comes to waterfowling gma / hunter opportunities. I've said it before, before being too critical of things, you should always see how others (states/feds) handle waterfowl management. You might actually walk away counting your blessings here in michigan.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
sorry about pic quality. camera went south right away, so this is off the bberry.

need a good waterfowling camera - suggestions? (key word is waterfowling - has to be able to take a beating, waterproof, etc. etc.)
 

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I have an olypmus, its waterproof up to 30 some feet and shock/sand proof as well. Google them and you will find they have a few different models to choose from.
 

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I was down there at a waterfowl show earlier this fall and heard about that hunting area. I was told it's something everyone should do once in their lives, but after that, you probably won't want to do it again. Glad to hear you got a limit out of it. Looks like a really ducky area.

I'll second the Olympus suggestion. One of my partners has an Olympus that is waterproof, shockproof, freezeproof, etc... He had it out in 15 degree weather last season and the pics turned out great.
 

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Great hunt. it's luck of the draw out there. Some blinds are terrible no matter how many birds around. Another week those ducks will know the safe zones then all new ducks flock to live ducks on safe spots. Looks like if you hunt it, get the first week. Last year we hunted in Mid Nov. in a blind by the lake which are suppose to be great. We shot 1 gwteal:sad:
 

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Soooooo when you have time Mr. Branta please give us the details of how they ran there GMU. How big the area was etc...........:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the suggestions - looking into that one right now. (looks perfect - compact.)


Jimmy, I think you hit it on the head; it was neat to do. glad I did it, but not jumping up and down to get back down there.

Maybe we got lucky with the spot (blind 5)? maybe that's the hot spot? we walked out with a box of shells between us.

~~~~~

Here you go Mike:

Ohio reserve hunt procedures-

like Michigan, you enter a drawing for up to 4(?) waterfowl GMA's. where our reserve draw is for the opportunity to hunt the opening weekend, their draws are for throughout the season.

you can sign up for the draw at each location (paying for each opportunity to be selected) and then in early sept, they announce the winners.

If you are lucky to get chosen, they then also tell you the DAY that you will have to hunt the area.

you show up on your predetermined time and then there is a draw for the blind locations.

they then have a state employee punt you and 5-6 other parties out to your blind/zone. they do this with a 16' "tender" that train pulls 5-6 jons tied bow to stern to the one ahead of them.

hunt until noon and that same punter will come and pick you up.

that's it in a nutshell. it seems like a labor intensive process for the amount of hunters they cater to (imagine an MDNR leading each party into the prior fields, or the 'teens at FP) and I guess the biggest negative to me is that your hunt date is predetermined.

it could be later in the season, it could be a weekday, it could be ducky and then it could be 60+ degrees windless and blue skies.

the area is a managed moist soil units as well, so as Jimmy said, I'm not surprised if the hunting gets progressively worse. Imagine FP or NP without any corn?

now that I think of it, I should've asked what their yearly take was, then hunter trips etc. for a comparison.
 

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Thanks for the info......I think I'll stick with the way it's done here......
Can't imagine getting towed out to my blind. Where would you hide your ducks if you shot over your limit ? Pretty risky getting towed back as well...............;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
BFG could explain it better. He's been there a number of times and from the area.

Essentiaaly, that's it as I understand it.
Posted via Mobile Device
 

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After the first few hunts the birds stay away from the blinds. You are allowed to hunt 300 feet maxium from the blind I believe. I have hunted there 4 times and 2 times we got away from the blinds and did fairly well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Just got off the phone with my buddy out west. (Fed Biologist)

He thought he'd call to see how things are going back here in michigan and then to ask me to guess what time the trucks started lining up outside the refuge in N. California.

I said "2 days out" - and I'd be wrong.

Nope. answer was 4.

waiting in line 4 days in advance just to try for a spot to hunt! :yikes: unreal.
 

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Congrats on a great shoot in Ohio Branta and Eider!

Funny how they work things down there. I would say this about the area, the guys that know what they are doing will still always do better. Cream rises to the top even in a bingo type area. I believe a lot of people think that "Hey, I got drawn for Magee, a limit for sure" and it just isn't true. You still have to know what the heck you are doing. I've had multiple great days out there.

Great job. (With your luck I'm surprised you didn't get a band!!:16suspect)
 

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Joe was talking about this area while we were working the youth hunt. Looks like you guys faired well... Congratz Branta !!
 

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now that I think of it, I should've asked what their yearly take was, then hunter trips etc. for a comparison.
While not a perfect system, it is what we currently have to work with here in Ohio. When Branta sent me a message about his hunt, I knew he would have a good time.

I've never hunted Magee or Ottawa in October...always November/December. I've had some very good shoots, and I have had some very poor shoots. By the time the 2nd or 3rd week of the season rolls around...and the we do not get any fresh birds...it can get tough.

You are only permitted to be 75 yards from the blind. This is a safety precaution...and it should be followed.

By season end, the average birds per hunter will be right around 1. Right now it'll be higher...as we have woodies and a lot of teal around...and add to that the dumb juvie gaddies and likely wigeon around too. By mid-November...we are left with local mallards and gaddies that have been shot at for 6 weeks..no teal, no wigeon, no woodies. Can be a difficult hunt.

While you do get towed out to your blind...it's not an "easy" or "canned" hunt...the bottom in Magee/Ottawa is bad....very soft. Tough to walk for sure, and you will never find a bird that sails into the brush around the blind...in spots it is impenetrable.

Good hunters will kill their share...average/poor hunters will do ok in the early part of the season, but will struggle later on.

I've been applying for Magee/Ottawa for almost 15 years now and have never been drawn. The times I have been able to hunt there have always been with someone else who had been drawn. They hunt 4 mornings per week...M, W, F, S.

Branta is right...they do not plant corn in the marsh. There is some buckwheat and millet in a few sections that are rest areas.

The one problem we have is that the permits are transferable, so as long as someone has a SS#, they can apply. This is where it gets chitty as I don't think it is right for someone to apply for their grandmother, aunt, neighbor, etc. etc. Some guys I know will sink a couple hundred bucks into controlled permit applications.

Odds of getting drawn for Magee were somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 to 1 as I recall for this season.

Glad you had a good time Branta...
 
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