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Thread: Long Island Sea Duck Hunt

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    Senior Member Joe Dutro's Avatar
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    Question Long Island Sea Duck Hunt

    In january I am headed to Long Island to hunt sea ducks for the first time if weather permits. If not then its brant and puddlers. Has anybody else on here ever done this and used their dog? What should I expect? What are the major concerns?

    Thanks in advance.
    Joe Dutro



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    I've never hunted sea ducks but I watched a show where the guy was hunting them on Long Island sound. He had a dog with him and on one of the retrieves he had the cut the boat loose to get the dog because between the waves and the current the dog couldn't make it back to the boat. It looked pretty hairy out there with the wind and a heavy chop on the water. I guess it would depend on the weather as to whether or not you would want to hunt your dog the dog on the show looked really stout and strong but it was to much for him.
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    Senior Member gdgnyc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Parker View Post
    I've never hunted sea ducks but I watched a show where the guy was hunting them on Long Island sound. He had a dog with him and on one of the retrieves he had the cut the boat loose to get the dog because between the waves and the current the dog couldn't make it back to the boat. It looked pretty hairy out there with the wind and a heavy chop on the water. I guess it would depend on the weather as to whether or not you would want to hunt your dog the dog on the show looked really stout and strong but it was to much for him.
    I think that was THE BEST AND WORST OF TRED BARTA. He pees in his waders in that episode.
    "I love the rod and gun and where they take me."

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    George have you ever hunted the sound?
    HRCH Dallys Wild Willow SH Born 11-06-97 Left Us 1-30-12 will always be in my thoughts RIP Willow

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    Senior Member gdgnyc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Dutro View Post
    In january I am headed to Long Island to hunt sea ducks for the first time if weather permits. If not then its brant and puddlers. Has anybody else on here ever done this and used their dog? What should I expect? What are the major concerns?

    Thanks in advance.
    Which part of Long Island will you be shooting? Mind if I ask which guide service you are using?

    There is no problem using a dog when hunting brant and puddlers. The only thing I worry about are the mosquito ditches in the marsh. A really hard charging dog, IMO, could get hurt in one of these. Many are not clearly visible and look like solid ground because they are hidden by grass.

    Find out what kind of boat you will be hunting out of so you can plan how to use your dog including how to get into and out of the boat.
    "I love the rod and gun and where they take me."

    "Do not judge a man until you have walked two moons in his moccasins."

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    Senior Member gdgnyc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Parker View Post
    George have you ever hunted the sound?
    I have hunted the bays that empty into the sound. I am not a sea duck hunter but when I worked for Back Bay Outfitters we did an old squaw hunt for a party in Oyster Bay that wanted ducks mainly for their collection. The open water of the Sound can get rough. There are some guys that say they get puddlers in the Sound.
    "I love the rod and gun and where they take me."

    "Do not judge a man until you have walked two moons in his moccasins."

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    George can you eat those sea ducks. I had some friends that went to Maine and they shot some eider ducks and brought them back and we trained with them I was just finishing up FF with my dog and I got to really test her out because those ducks smell so bad she really didn't want to pick them up.
    Last edited by Scott Parker; 12-11-2012 at 11:10 PM.
    HRCH Dallys Wild Willow SH Born 11-06-97 Left Us 1-30-12 will always be in my thoughts RIP Willow

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    Member Larry Housman's Avatar
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    Joe, you should be fine with your dog, but there are a couple of things to get nailed down in advance.

    First of all, find out what the freeboard is on the boat you'll be hunting out of. One of the biggest problems I have hunting them on the chesapeake bay is getting the dog back in the boat. I found the avery vest with the handles on the back is a great help even if you don't need it for the cold. That's hunting out of the standard chesapeake bay workboats that have 3' plus freeboard - if you're hunting out of smaller boats it shouldn't be a problem.

    The other big thing is that the dog may really need to be able to handle on the way back in, not just on the way out. Assuming your guide's rig is on short lines that are all attached to long lines anchored at each end, your dog could get tangled if he tries to swim through the middle of a line. Some guides that are used to dogs will use 2 - 2 1/2 foot short lines so the dogs swim over the long main line, but if not you need to keep your dog from doing that or it could get real hairy, especially if the waves are high enough to make maneuvering the boat to get the dog a problem.

    Use your judgement on how rough the water is, but if it's not too bad it's neat to see them learn to use the top of the waves to see where the birds are. Also, if you've never been sea duck hunting before, you'll be amazed how tough they are. I never send a dog for a cripple unless I'm 100% sure that it has a broken wing and can't dive. If a sea duck can still dive there's no way your dog will ever get that bird - they can stay down forever, and there's no land to try and pin them against. If the head is up, keep shooting!

    good luck, and have fun. You should try eiders up in new england too.

  9. #9
    Senior Member gdgnyc's Avatar
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    Two stories:

    1) A guide that I befriended said that in all his years of shooting ducks he saw one eider and shot it. He cooked it and tried to eat it and said to me "Those people up in Maine that eat those eider must be pretty hard people and very hungry."

    2) At the South Shore Waterfowler's Association Xmas meeting one year I was served Teriyaki Duck. I commented that it was quite tasty. Then the person asked me if I knew what kind of duck it was and I said I didn't know. He told me it was eider that he had shot that morning.

    Many people eat those sea ducks. I just haven't had much of an opportunity. Broadbill who posts on here shoots sea ducks.
    "I love the rod and gun and where they take me."

    "Do not judge a man until you have walked two moons in his moccasins."

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    Senior Member Erik Nilsson's Avatar
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    Joe
    We did a freelance hunt a few years ago in January on LI ,we were in the sound. I went to hunt Brant but we did get a mixed bag of birds. Tidal changes was neat to see, The salt water will eat a gun to pieces so make sure you take a good cleaning kit. Weather was about the same for dress we have but you may want to a good rain jacket from any spray from the boat or while hunting. Might not hurt to have some dramamine for motion sickness if it bothers anyone. If those sea ducks put their head up when shot put another one into it quickly, they dive fast and can be lost. We didnt take a dog but where we did go it wouldnt have been a problem but worth checking into. I took a wrong turn and ended up in downtown Manhatten towing an 18' boat with a surface drive on it. Yikes!!!!!

    Hope ya do well and enjoy your hunt !!!!!






    Last edited by Erik Nilsson; 12-12-2012 at 01:49 AM.
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