Monday, January 27, 2014

Final Day of Duck Season in VA

Saturday was the final day for Waterfowl season in Virginia and it was a cold one. With temps below freezing all week, things were starting to freeze up and birds were heading for bigger water. We decided to do the old find a spot that was holding birds and break a hole for them to land and wait for the to pile in. We drove to our spot breaking ice with the boat the last 1/4 mile.ONce to where we wanted to set up, we broke a big hole in the ice with the boat maybe 80ft x 50 ft and peppered it with decoys. Before the decoys were in the water, our trail in had refroze locking the place back up.

Once set up we waited, and waited, and waited. Nothing decoyed. Saw a few birds but nowhere near the numbers that we saw just days before and all of them wanted to be on the river. By 10am I decided we needed to make moves to salvage the day the view was great but the hunting was not!
We headed back to Seaford to one of my shoreblinds to try and scratch out a few birds but it was doubtful it would be a memorable finish to the season... boy was I wrong. We were setup by 1pm for our evening hunt praying for even a couple buffleheads to slip in just so that we didnt get skunked on the final day. Boy were we surprised... we did end up with some buffs in the decoys... along with canvasbacks, bluebills, ringnecks, ruddy ducks, black ducks, mallards, mergansers, and even a couple surf scoters. Most variety I have seen from that blind.. EVER. We proceeded to close out the season on a good note after all. One of my good friends even managed his first canvasback an hour before the season ended.

Lesson learned is that when we get a heavy freeze, stay close to home and hunt saltwater. With all the backwaters and local ponds froze solid they had nowhere else to go but migrate south or open saltwater... I guess they chose the salt!