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Got out and broke some ice to a spot ive been seeing birds. It was hot and heavy from shooting time till 8:30. Had a few large groups of 50 plus mallards working us but didn't have a big enough open pocket of water. Everything that came in was singles or small groups of 2 or 3. Most birds were cupped and committed with orange feet down. Had a blast.
 

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Got out and broke some ice to a spot ive been seeing birds. It was hot and heavy from shooting time till 8:30. Had a few large groups of 50 plus mallards working us but didn't have a big enough open pocket of water. Everything that came in was singles or small groups of 2 or 3. Most birds were cupped and committed with orange feet down. Had a blast.
Nice Shooting Soup
 

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Daughter and I walked a spring creek. After a mile plus there's one last pool to check with good cover to allow a close approach. While still 150 yards away well back from the creek somehow we got spotted and about 20 mallards blew out.

Pity, I had my new space efficienct retriever ready to go.

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lots of birds killed down here in SW MI..... everybody sending pile pictures thanks to the snow and freeze up.
 

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Water was way way higher than normally is where we went. Had a fun hop into 3in. Of silt that felt like water and felt zero form of any bottum in dark after not being able to get to spot we have hunted in past due to ice. Finally squirmed back in canoe and went to normally very shallow side of creek. Busted a bunch of ice. Got set shot 4 gaddies 3 green heads and a few drake hoods. Should have been a quick limit but wind was all wrong for where we ended up having to be. Heard more shooting than ever for the split. Kalamazoo ct.
 

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It just didn't pan out for us this morning. We were on a creek just off the Thornapple River. Watched a few high birds fly over early this morning but they never came back. A little bit of distant shooting but it was over an hour after shooting light. We stuck it out until 12:30 and then tried jumping a ditch in a new location. Which was also empty. We were hoping for at least a couple birds but looks like we're ending the season the way it started. With a big zero. Very 2020. Lol. It was a weird season for me.
 

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The action began with a volley from some private property around 7:20. At hours, more volleys, near and far off. 5 minutes into LST, two drake mallards drop into my spread and I shoot one. Saw a few more ducks streak high overhead, but didn't have any more shooting opportunity. Very little shooting after 8:30. Getting ready to leave, one of my wader straps comes unsewn. Whether I get out tomorrow depends on whether I can get that fixed.

Not a skunk at least. Good luck to those trying again tomorrow. Hopefully I'll be joining you.
 

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I hit the snooze button this morning, 5+ party’s on the lake and they were banging at them pretty good.
 

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So after our failed jump shoot about 2 pm İ was getting restless. I had the boat packed and waiting. But I'll watch football. Nope. Ok, I can find it on the radio and work on other stuff. 34-0 at half time. Ok, I'll just go.

Daughter has Jeep with the hitch and the Expedition isn't going to handle this launch.

But the kayak fits in the Expedition.

But we've just sold a cord of firewood and they're loading it in the barn driveway. So I help them load like a mad man, back in and grab some stuff from the boat and throw it in the truck and take off.

There's 100 mergs where I want to hunt. And a five acre shelf of ice from shore out. And I grabbed the goldeneye decoys and not the merg sleds. And the 20. Mergs die hard.

Paddle out leaving the gun and gear bag on shore and set up. Only to have mergs trying to land on me. This is gonna be a five drake trophy merg slam. But the water is so deep I only have eight decoys that reach bottom and those are with one or two feet to spare.

Paddle back and put the spinny and decoy bag with the short decoys in the truck and watch mergs work.

Paddle out, back the kayak into the ice to hold it in place. Did you know divers come in on the deck and not up high, and with trees behind them and very few drakes in the flocks are hard to see? And now they are buzzing the edge of the ice and not my spread? So I move 100 yards away on the edge of the ice.

Single comes in, shoot way behind it.

Pair comes in, miss the head on, then they go weak side. I line up the 20 and shoot it one handed Terminator style. I've had that work before. But not from a kayak in 30' of water. Don't do that again.

Soon about eighty mergs pile in 100 yards out front and start to party. When they broke out the sushi bar it was trouble, so I went to bust them out. Picked up the kayak paddle and they bailed. The same birds that tried to land on me while setting up are now spooked by a twitch at 100 yards.

But mergs make mistakes too and one circled around the decoys then bailed over the ice, saw me and flared straight up at twenty yards. Throat punched her with an ounce of twos.

She came down like a meteor and punched a 6" hole through the ice behind me.

The ice over there, behind me, that's much thicker. Sigh. By getting a running start I can slide up on it then break it. Ten minutes later I've got my merg.

Only to figure out I broke the ice so much that with the wind the whole bit broke loose and now me, my merg, and my decoys are drifting across the lake stuck in a huge ice jam. So I had to break that piece up to get my decoys back.

And somehow during all that nothing else worked.

Might try something new on those mergs tonight. Or might not...
 

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So glassed the creek after church and found a pair of mallards. Went home and picked up my daughter, headed out there. Walked to where there were, gone. Walked all the way back to the road. Nothing. Told her I was going to check downstream, she said she would stay at the truck. Walk to the first bend from where we started, there they are. Back off, text my daughter.

Fifteen minutes later she's ready to go. I have her walk up to the bend, they bail, she shoots. Hen flies away drake struggles to clear the bank behind a tree and flies away foot hanging, but flies to the woods at the end of the creek as far as we can see.

Hen later flies past going the other way, but no drake. Can only guess he landed.

Told my daughter I'd go get him.

More or less jog to the edge of the public property. I have retrieval rights for the next property but it's still deer season and they hunt to the end and it's not like I know where this thing is, so I'm not going to push it and walk to their wood lot.

Approach the creek and look down and there sits a drake. Sweet. He takes off not wounded at all. I pull up and suddenly realize he's not alone. Five drakes three hens. I check every last drake and all are healthy. Well, not the closest one after the 20 barks and he goes up in a cloud. Switch to another and hit him too far back. Shot three fixes that. In the snow and as hard as he was hit, I should have gone for another instead as he'd been easy to find and wasn't going to go anywhere with both feet shredded.

Walk the creek all the way back to the truck but never found the mallard. Guessing he was in that last 200 yards İ really didn't want to push. Got a text in with the person who leases it to see if I can walk it tomorrow.

Great to spend time with my daughter, and end 3/3 on my last ducks of the year, shooting the old 20 pump. And she said to pick up a license next year as she'll be home on breaks...
 

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Day two was another fun day in the blind! Late morning flight once the wind picked up a bit! Ended the season with 2 really good days with great friends! 8 mallards and a goose to close out the season! I already have a nice drake mallard mounted in the man cave, but I think this drake has a date with the taxidermist!
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Nothing like the first day at downriver. what a difference a day makes. all the ducks just disappeared. hunted the same spot as yesterday and encounter another group that stayed there overnight. They thought since they were there all night, they own the whole place and did not like us setup way away from them. shot a decoying drake, missed a swimmer, and were not ready for two passing mallards. Ducks were high and skittish. Saw lots of migrating ducks with V formation flying south. Wonder what happened to yesterday ducks with all marsh frozen. So sad the season ended and going through withdrawal already. Hopefully, there is a season date change next year with warmer temperature we are having in November. We need more days in December and early January. Stay safe and have a great new year.
 
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