Traded Hunts

Traded Hunts

My first sea duck hunt came from a traded hunt that had nothing to do with me. A co worker that lived in North Dakota called me one day and asked if I wanted to join him in a Maine Eider hunt. He traded a snow goose hunt a few years back with Capt. Mike a Maine sea duck guide. My co worker said all I had to do was pick him up at my local airport and drive up the coast of Maine for a 3 day sea duck trip.

Knowing nothing about sea duck hunting I was on board and excited for the opportunity. I mainly hunted geese and puddle ducks at the time and living in New Hampshire so close to the New England coast I never knew where to start with sea ducks.

The morning of the hunt we met Capt. Mike at the at the local gas station and purchased all the unhealthy snacks that we could fit in our blind bags and headed to the boat ramp. It was a frigid December morning and Capt. Mike  told us the tides would be perfect for first light. Once the boat touched the salt water we loaded up but there was a problem, the fuel lines were frozen due to the low temps. Capt. Mike, happened to be a heavy mechanic by trade and fixed the problem and had us heading away from the cove to where we would be hunting.

Through the glow of my headlamp, I watched my hands slowly stop working while setting the decoys. The surf was kicking over the bow of the boat. We were in a pinch point between two islands with not another boat in sight.

 We all set up on a ledge and loaded the guns and sipped coffee waiting in excitement of what was to come next. Just at  shooting light I saw more ducks than I have ever seen hunting locally in New England. Rafts of eiders oldsquaw and scoter were picking up and coming into the channels to feed for the morning. The size and speed of the eiders will challenge any good waterfowler.

 

After missing multiple shots on decoying eiders I was given an opportunity when a hen locked into the decoys and swing directly in front of me. After the shot the bird floated in the swell back out to sea. Capt. Mike was in the boat and retrieved the bird and radioed to back to us  “WHO  SHOT THE HEN?”. I instantly thought I was going to be scolded about shooting hens or maybe it was the wrong species even though I knew it was a hen Eider. I grabbed the radio and replied “I did”. There was a long drawn out pause followed by mike saying “well your Fucking lucky, First Eider, and it’s Band!”

-The bird was banded 5 years prior in Quebec -

I later became good friends with Capt. Mike, and it would not have been possible without being invited on a traded hunt. I want people to use the community forum and join the Public Duck Club to have the opportunity to share the passion with others. 


Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.