A Speck-tacular Time Thus Far - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-22-2017, 09:37 PM Thread Starter
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A Speck-tacular Time Thus Far

While my trout fishing addiction and renewed enthusiasm for archery hunting kept me out of the waterfowl game for most of the early parts of the season, of late, we've been getting out a decent amount and have been lucky enough to get into some fun bird action in a variety of situations. As usual, the story starts off in the corn field. Good efforts on the hide are important and keeping a watchful eye to the sky helps too.

20180903194217_IMG_5006 by Zak Appleby, on Flickr

The hide must have been decent because despite the less than stellar weather the first group of 8 did it perfectly and we both tripled to end the morning about as quickly as you possibly could.

20180908192137_IMG_5018 by Zak Appleby, on Flickr

A few days later we had one of those mornings that I love where the rain fell hard the night before. I had to work but had time for a quick 45 min shot. Bootoxen and I went in lite with a dozen dekes and our guns. We simply hid in the weeds along the banks of the now filled desiltation basin and picked off a handful of mallards, a few in what seemed like darkness since it was so cloudy at LSL. At 7am it was time to bail but a good time was had for sure.

IMG_20171206_073208921_HDR by Zak Appleby, on Flickr

The weather hasn't necessarily been our friend this year. Gin clear blue bird AM's like this don't generally get a waterfowlers blood pumpin' too much.....

20180903182309_IMG_4994 by Zak Appleby, on Flickr

But the dog doesn't mind as seen by the smile in this pups face following another success Canada shoot.

20180910203722_IMG_5038 by Zak Appleby, on Flickr

Eventually though we did get some weather in the form of snow and things really started to shake loose. We had an odd morning where we crossed over into Jersey for a field Canada hunt only to find that the field had been spread in about 3" of manure the evening before. I had no interest in laying in that and without having much of a backup plan we retreated for a rather long haul back to PA and went after a small flock of snows that we saw hanging out. While the hunt didn't total pan out (Bootoxen and I couldn't shoot to save our lives) a few birds did hit the dirt including this RUSTY guy

IMG_20171212_095843555 by Zak Appleby, on Flickr

Following another small snow event Kwright, in all his wisdom, came up with the completely unnecessary idea of putting out every decoy we own, on a perfect weather day for a successful normal sized spread Canada shoot. Of course we got right on board for something a little different. We arrived at the field to a whopping 4 degrees at 6am. Chilly!! 46 dozen decoys later and we were all set lol. The birds came out and the birds put in and in no time we were wrapped up. Probably not something I'm gonna do too often but worth a good story this time around I suppose haha.

IMG_20171222_214041 by Zak Appleby, on Flickr

The sun came back out in earnest for a few days so instead of hitting the field it was time to get back on the water and chase a few ducks and maybe some bonus Canada's cause, ya know, you can never ever have enough Canada meat......Mmmmmmmmm. The sky was dead clear and the sun started to come up quickly.

20181009195912_IMG_5106 by Zak Appleby, on Flickr

Our expectations weren't very high but boy did the bird show! The action is pretty crazy in the dim light of rising sun.

20181009200457_IMG_5110 by Zak Appleby, on Flickr

Ducks work the spread all morning long and we even had a flock of big slobbenly somewhere resident Canada's plop right into the hole to cap the morning off!

20181009233040_IMG_5118 by Zak Appleby, on Flickr

Following 4 straight sunny days the clouds finally returned so we got back to the field to take advantage of the obviously great conditions. The first birds of the day began to trickle off the roost and come in for a closer look. The first group locked up from a distance and everything seemed great until they decided to start pumping the wings again at the last second before coming into clean range. The front bird, however, still wanted in pretty bad and let it be known. The odd sound it made "Beep Beep Beep" confused up all for about 5 seconds until in came overhead and the visible belly bars gave the answer as to why. No matter how many Specks you hear, and it's not many in PA, you never gets used to it haha. The first thought is always "that's a weird sounding Canada!". Well, there was no patience with this bird and at 35 yards we popped out and dropped it! We typically like to get them in a lot close but we weren't taking any chances with such a rare bird and Bootoxen anchored it hard. Such a cool looking bird and only the 2nd Speck I've ever seen killed on a hunt I was on.

20181010211817_IMG_5185 by Zak Appleby, on Flickr

We finished up the rest of the 11 Canada's we needed (Specks count as part of the dark geese limit) and cleared up while recapping the story the whole time. It's pretty much why we all do it. I think more than anything I enjoy those "you remember that day when" stories that are made in the field with buds. This one was certainly one of those hunts. I'm looking forward to more stories as the season wears on hopefully!

Hope everyone has a great Christmas and a Happy NY!

Last edited by Trout 2003; 12-22-2017 at 09:44 PM.
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-22-2017, 09:45 PM Thread Starter
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Ya wanna know why people don't past here lol??? 1 hour to create that post. OUCH! ;-)
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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-22-2017, 09:57 PM
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Awesome recap Trout! thanks for sharing.
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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-23-2017, 06:04 AM
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I, for one, am glad you took the hour to do so. Good stories and pictures!

"Well boy, you ain't gonna git nothin' layin' in that bed." ~My ol' man
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-23-2017, 09:05 AM
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yep thanks for sharing
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-23-2017, 12:01 PM
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That was really good reading. Thank you for posting!
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-23-2017, 01:34 PM
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I don't hunt waterfowl but I thoroughly enjoyed the write up. Great pics also.
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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-23-2017, 02:17 PM
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Great story and pictures.

Nature can teach us alot.
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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-23-2017, 02:17 PM
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Awesome post. Thanks for sharing man. Congratulations on the speck. I love seeing guys take unexpected birds.

I hate late hunting partners! Always wake up early and be the first one there.
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-24-2017, 08:51 AM
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Congrats on a great season so far and great post and pics. Glad to see someone is doing well. My son and I have had a few flocks commit but the places we can hunt just haven't had as many birds this year but we are still optimistic. But overall its been slow for us, We had a family party yesterday and had to stop hunting at 10 AM got a couple mallards early and then right at 9:45 when we were getting ready to leave had a flock of 6 geese come in and got 5 so we were happy about that.
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