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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This year my brother and I are planning on hunting different parts of the river than we have in years past. We've seen buffleheads and a few goldeneyes and we were thinking about getting a diver rig together. Just wondering what divers you guys have seen and on what parts of the river.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Haha you're right but I'm not lookin for everyone's honey holes! Just wanna know what people are seeing if it's worth investing in a diver spread. I've seen them where I hunt between Middletown and Columbia and I know they're down around safe harbor and below in the big open water. Mostly I'm wondering what species other guys are seeing. I've seen the occasional ringneck and a few redheads but not many as well.
 

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All depends on the weather. You never know what you will see. I can tell you though they are just passing through and they don't stick around. Good cold windy day near a calmer spot is the ticket. I've gotten Cans, Redheads, Bluebills, Ringnecks, Buffleheads, Oldsquaw, Scoters. Never in big numbers though. Would I invest in a rig these days to hunt them , only if I had money burning a hole in my pocket.
 

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Late in the season I see some divers. Usually after the season closes. I have about 6 Goldeneye I throw out in the second season when I hunt the north branch. They give the puddle ducks something to look at.


I remember many years ago when the river would be loaded with divers. Not now. Things change.
 

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Mergansers - common and hooded. Buy a rig and kill as many as you can. Heard they're tasty over rice but never validated that comment :)

Other divers - spotty at best and not worth investing the $$ in my opinion.
 

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Goldeneyes love to eat the crayfish. We usually cut open the crawl and stomach to see what the ducks are eating. We had one one time that had a large one stuck in its mouth that swam into the decoys acting weird, we found out why.
 

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In short, you can kill any diver out there on the river.

Killing them consistently is a different game. Just like any other type of duck hunting you have to be where the birds are. I've sat in blinds in Canada and not fired a shot for two days, then proceeded to go to one of the not so hot lakes around home and shot a limit of redheads and bills with a buddy that weekend. Our rule of thumb is this, if there's birds there we hunt them the next day no matter what. If your serious about killing divers consistently this is the only method we have found in pa. I'm not talking about buffs and mergs, which we don't shoot regardless.

Thankfully myself and my duck hunting partners all have a flexible enough work schedule we can do this. Lots of times there here today gone tomorrow. Or in an hour. These guys ain't joking

Good luck. Diver hunting is something not a person I've ever took didn't enjoy. A flock of lessers bombing our blocks at daylight has always been more exciting than puddle ducks for us anyhow.

One last word of advice. Hunt what's there, not what you wish you could kill.
 
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