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Thread: first sea ducks/2012

  1. #1
    Sponsor Hoytguy's Avatar
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    Default first sea ducks/2012

    Took my daughter up and over to Valdez this weekend, Drove all night hitting thompson pass about midnight friday night.. 3-4" of snow on the road, had to put it in 4x4.. Who would have thought in sept eh? anyway got to the dock at 1 am sat.. Slept in the truck till 7 so we could see to launch.. Left the harbor at 730 and headed out 30 miles or so..

    While pumping some more into the raft a flock of about 40 birds came cruising by about 6" off the water, We both emptied our guns on em and when the smoke and feathers cleared.. we had 9 of them, 8 drakes and a hen.. the rest of the morning was singles and doubles with a flock of 4 we totally whiped out.. Around 1130 or so we climbed the mountain in search of goats.. spent the night up top, Seen a few goats, just not in range of going after in the time we had, nor the equipment we brought. it was slippery and slick up top in all the snow.. So around noon we headed down and changed into some dry clothes, and duck hunted again off the same point.. Came home with both of our limits for 1 day.. pretty fun stuff, cool looking ducks.



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    Looks like a fun hunt! I've been looking forward to this season. I might make it down to Valdez this year. How would a 16 foot Jon boat do in the bay of Valdez? Me and another Guy want to go Down there. But we aren't sure how the boat will do. Also what loads were you using on those scoters? I have heard they are tough birds but I shot one last weekend with blackcloud 3in 4s and a buddy shot one with nitromag 3in 4s. But any info you can give me will help!! Thanks!

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    Member sayak's Avatar
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    I got a scoter (on a lake, of all places) this weekend. How do they eat? Can't be as bad as other sea ducks I hope.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sayak View Post
    I got a scoter (on a lake, of all places) this weekend. How do they eat? Can't be as bad as other sea ducks I hope.
    We shot ours on a lake too. And it was only at about 10 ft deepest spot. And it was full of divers

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    Im not sure what they tast like.. I hope with enough bacon and garlic I can kill the fishy smell if need be.. They cant be worst than a merganser.. I wont even shoot them things now adays.. I let em fly by.. I saved 6 drakes and 2 hens for mounting to put in my showroom..

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    As far a sea ducks go they aren't bad. They aren't like eating corn fed mallards or pintails. The black scoters are the best to eat out of all of them, the surfs are second. I soak them for a day in water to pull some of the blood out of the breast, it will mild the flavor a little. Then cook them however I decide to make them. They go good in stew, or you could make sausage out of them.
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    Nice!! As for eatting them, I save all the meat and take it in to indian valley and have them make beef jerky.... Comes out really good.

    I can't wait to hit Whitter!!!!!!
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    Very nice!!! Sounds like y'all had a great hunt. I am hoping I can find someone to go afetr the seaducks with. I have no idea on how to hunt them or where to go and I really don't like the idea of paying a guide $2000 or more to hunt for sea ducks.

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    Airborne, if you want Sea Ducks you need to talk to Buck in Seldovia (he is on the forums as Bucksducks), he has very good rates, and way more birds than you will find anywhere else in the state. You will get a really good idea on what tactics you need need, and where to look to find the birds. Buck knows that area like the back of his hand, and always seemed to know where the birds would be, or where they were headed. I have hunted with him twice, both on 4 day hunts. He can get you on any species of sea duck you want as well as some divers, with the exception of King or Common Eiders. I hear he does get a common every once in a while. There is a small population of Stellars Eiders in the bay that you have to watch out for, they are protected. I had a party lined up to go last year, but everybody bailed on me at the last second. It's the last time I ever try to set something like that up again without getting deposits laid down.

    Duckdon can tell you as well, as he has hunted with him for the past 3 or 4 years.
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    Thanks DS56. Y'all have mentioned him to me before I deployed. Now that I am about to be back, I have been looking all over the internet and everywhere I have looked, the shortest and cheapest sea duck hunt was $2000 for 3 days of hunting and I think it was in Kodiak or Valdez, so tack on another grand or so for flight from ANC and back and it's just way to expensive. I will shoot him a PM and see what he can do. Thanks again.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoytguy View Post
    Took my daughter up and over to Valdez this weekend, Drove all night hitting thompson pass about midnight friday night.. 3-4" of snow on the road, had to put it in 4x4.. Who would have thought in sept eh? anyway got to the dock at 1 am sat.. Slept in the truck till 7 so we could see to launch.. Left the harbor at 730 and headed out 30 miles or so..

    While pumping some more into the raft a flock of about 40 birds came cruising by about 6" off the water, We both emptied our guns on em and when the smoke and feathers cleared.. we had 9 of them, 8 drakes and a hen.. the rest of the morning was singles and doubles with a flock of 4 we totally whiped out.. Around 1130 or so we climbed the mountain in search of goats.. spent the night up top, Seen a few goats, just not in range of going after in the time we had, nor the equipment we brought. it was slippery and slick up top in all the snow.. So around noon we headed down and changed into some dry clothes, and duck hunted again off the same point.. Came home with both of our limits for 1 day.. pretty fun stuff, cool looking ducks.



    559398_10151073885431586_797147202_n.jpg283495_10151073886041586_1247666048_n.jpg
    I'm jealous! I'm saving to buy a salt rig now.

  12. #12
    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    Nice shooting and a great weekend for you two!

    I wish I had your kind of taxidermy budget.......I thought my Griz and Caribou mounts were going to cost a lot this year. 8 scoters - hopefully you have a good price on birds you might share with us??

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bullelkklr View Post
    Nice shooting and a great weekend for you two!

    I wish I had your kind of taxidermy budget.......I thought my Griz and Caribou mounts were going to cost a lot this year. 8 scoters - hopefully you have a good price on birds you might share with us??

    Im a taxidermist.. LOL.. Im not mounting all of them, maybe 2 drakes and a hen flying.. or a pair sitting on a rock covered in barnacles.. Just takes materials and time.. I dont seem to have much time for my own stuff these days.. here is a Bufflehead I shot that was in my freezer for years.. then one day I got around to it..Seem to get more done in the winter months..

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    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    Thought maybe you were an independently wealthy duck hunter - heard of those once!

    What do you get for a seaduck mount?

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    I dont do ducks and geese or migratory waterfowl for the general public, it requires another federal license, more paperwork, tags, etc.., our seasons here are long, but open early and the majority of the birds are pinny in sept-mid oct.... puddle ducks wont feather out till mid to late oct. Only a few die hard duck hunters who play in the winter and kill ducks into nov and dec.. with the cost of the additional license, its not worth the money as I'd only have a couple or few to do a year.. No license is required for upland game, I do several phesants, grouse and ptarmigan a year.. Cost on those is 225-275.00

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoytguy View Post
    I dont do ducks and geese or migratory waterfowl for the general public, it requires another federal license, more paperwork, tags, etc.., our seasons here are long, but open early and the majority of the birds are pinny in sept-mid oct.... puddle ducks wont feather out till mid to late oct. Only a few die hard duck hunters who play in the winter and kill ducks into nov and dec.. with the cost of the additional license, its not worth the money as I'd only have a couple or few to do a year.. No license is required for upland game, I do several phesants, grouse and ptarmigan a year.. Cost on those is 225-275.00
    that makes sense why there are not many waterfowl taxi's up here. is there a way you can check for pin feathers with out cuttin it open. i shot a scoter a week ago that had all of its colors but not sure if it has pins or not.
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  17. #17
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    a sea duck molts, but not in the same degree as a puddle duck.. A duck can still be mounted with pin feathers.. Just harder, more time consuming, and have to be more carefull.. Usually they fall out in the skinning, cleaning, wash, rince cycles.. leaving a less then perfect bird to deal with.. Sea ducks retain their colors all year round and IMO, can be pretty much mounted at any time.. If its full of pins, it will look kinda ratty, etc, and you can feel them by running your fingers opposite the direction the feathers are laying.

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    As Hoyt said..the pin feathers are very difficult to work with. You ask about seeing..There is no need to open a bird up to notice them. Spend some time looking at their feathers and it will be easy enough. for one, it will be shorter than the rest, look like it has a waxy coat to it and appear to be rolled up or working it's way out of a straw if you will. It also has not completly set into the skin and therefor will slid out with the handling process of the Taxi's work.

    The process for most birds requires alot of work and the skin is quite delicate as you know. Throw in an early bird with pins and it can be a disaster for the client, most will suggest getting another bird later in the season. For those special moment hunts..it is a delicate process and usually requires a more careful handling of the skin. Most of my issues was with Pheasants and pin feathers..we just super glued them back in before drying .

    Quote Originally Posted by kwackkillncrew View Post
    that makes sense why there are not many waterfowl taxi's up here. is there a way you can check for pin feathers with out cuttin it open. i shot a scoter a week ago that had all of its colors but not sure if it has pins or not.
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