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This weekend was our annual Alsea Bay trip. A good friend of mine has a place out on the spit in Alsea, and the whole gang treks out there every year to hopefully shoot some ducks, dig some clams, and steal some crab from the bay. Well, this year was a banner year.

I arrived Friday mid-day. After unloading everything, I went to do some scouting. We knew that birds had traditionally used the north end of the bay as a resting area... and boy were they using it. I saw two groups, maybe 1,000 birds in each group. Things were looking up, especially since we were getting some weather Saturday.

That night, on the minus tide, I dug some clams (well, actually raked them). I even chased down two crabs with my rake. One of the crabs was getting his groove thing on, so after I pried the female from his clutches, in the pot he went. There are plenty of jokes here to be made... feel free.

Anyway, Saturday morning found us with no weather at all. Sky was clear, some light wind. What the heck? Well, we had heard on the weather forecast they were still expecting winds 35 to 40 mph with gusts to 70 mph. Gusts to 70 mph? Let's go duck hunting!

Out we went, deciding to hit the "Blind". If anyone here knows that blind, we left a few things for the builders. That is one sweet set up.

Decoys go out, and we have 20 minutes to shoot time. Birds are working, wind is picking up, rain has started. Shoot time yet? Nope, 15 minutes to go. Splash down. Mallard. Shoot time? Nope, 10 minutes... you get the idea. In about an hour, we had 4 in the bag. We hit low tide, decoys in the mud, no birds flying. I'm wet, it's cold, I'm tired, I'm hungry. 10:30 am and we are going to call it. One of the guys unloads his gun. I'm reaching for my gun to unload it, and "Bird, straight in". As I reach for my gun, now going from "time to unload" to "hopefully I'll unload", and quietly hoping that the sound of the ripping velcro resulting from my friend trying to retrieve his shells won't scare this flock, we find ourselves in a ninth inning miracle. From there on out, it was one flock of Widgeon after another. No singles, no pairs, 10 birds or more. Constant action. Flock comes in, a few stay behind, birds retrieved, scanning for next flock...wait, wait, there it is, call them in, rinse, and repeat.

Due to our highly selective nature (read that "lousy shooting") we rounded out our limits by noon or so. I've never had a day like that out there. Spectacular.

But now we have a problem. I have two birds down to finish my limit, the dog can't get them, and those 70 mph gusts are finally here (Check out this web page. Look at the bottom graph. See when the wind picked up?) We have 30 to 40 mph sustained winds. The wind whipped spray is piercing. It's hard to hear anything. We are way out in the bay and have 4 dozen decoys to pick up in water that is too high for our waders. This will be fun. Oh, and the intake on the inboard jet is clogged. This will be REAL fun.

After dealing with a clogged intake on the inboard jet, and picking up our decoys, the two birds I had down were long gone, sad to say. We were lucky to get our decoys. We limped back on the 8 hp kicker. Wild, wild weather.

Saturday night found us with more clams to go into the pot. Sunday morning we headed back out to the blind again, but with no weather at all, we only scratched out 7 birds.

I had a great time. Saturday was a "Top 5" hunt for sure. One to remember. Some pics...

Sunday in the blind:


Results of the weekend's claming:


One of the birds taken... a nice Gadwall Drake


MarshBum
 

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I'm jealous! My first duck came off of Alsea Bay. Its been a few years since I've hunted it but I'm hoping to find myself there at some point this year.

Thanksgiving weekend was always a tradition. Usually there were tons of wigeon in the bay, weather was sloppy, and the hunting was great.
If the blind you're hunting is the same one thats been there for 20+ years its got quite a history behind it..
 

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Great story Geoff. Thanks for sharing...wait you didn't share...where are my clams?? :jester:

Looks like a heck of a good time...and yes it is a banner year.

Jon
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
If the blind you're hunting is the same one thats been there for 20+ years its got quite a history behind it..
The blind we hunt is labeled as(painted on one of the rafters) "BS Blind 2001". If this is the blind that you are talking about, I'd love to hear more about it. We've used it annualy, and were actually talking this year about how we wish there was a donation can in there so we could leave some coin.

We left what we could, and I hope the builders find it. They've done a spectacular job of maintaining it.

MarshBum
 

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I havent hunted that blind since it got 'fancy', but from your first picture I know where it is. A blind was built there many years ago but it was just stakes and some wire. It'd take a few minutes each morning ripping up some tidal grass to cover it up. I hunted it a few times but it was never a favorite spot to hunt. Looks like someone put some time into it which is great. Across the channel from that my dad shot an old squaw drake after we watched it in the decoys for a couple minutes, trying to decide what the heck it was.

The blind I was referring to is along the main river channel. Its been a popular spot to hunt for a long time but I'm not sure if anyone's kept it up.
 
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