Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 10

Late Season Duck Hunting
By James J. Corsetti Jr.
UCK HUNTING, for me, has been the savior of my hunting season, particularly the past decade or so. With the disappearance of farms and farmland, pheasants and rabbits aren’t as plentiful, so I’ve been forced, more or less, to hunt waterfowl and, quite frankly, I am not a bit sad about it. True, there is nothing like a pheasant blasting up out of a field, or the simplicity of a late winter rabbit hunt, but waterfowl hunting has its virtues as well. It is a different game that requires different tools and different techniques. There is nothing like working the edge of a swamp on Christmas Eve morn for a mixed bag of ducks. Even if I get nothing in the bag, I’m usually rewarded with an air show that keeps me coming back. The way the regulations are set up (formulated by the Federal Government, and promulgated by the Game Commission within the Federal parameters), our season is split between an early fall season and a late season. The fall season is normally the first or second week of October, and, at least in my part of Pennsylvania, it is mostly a wood duck season. Yes, there are other ducks around, particularly on the big lakes, but they are fewer in number at that time, and most of the smart local mallards are hanging out in parks and industrial park ponds where no one can bother them. Wood ducks, however, in the past few years have been numerous.
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Traditional duck hunting techniques don’t usually work well with wood ducks. They usually do not respond to calls well, and when they see a decoy spread, they rarely land in it. They usually buzz bomb the site, but in doing so, give the gunner quick, fleeting shots. For all intents and purposes, even if I put out a decoy spread, it usually is just for tradition’s sake — most birds and shots are taken by pass shooting. Our second duck season usually runs from mid-November until mid-January. During the second season I have encountered weather patterns from sunny 70-degree days to 20-degree lows with ice and snow. Quite frankly, though, action in November can be hit or miss. If the weather is nice, I might still get action on wood ducks (particularly in the swamps), with the odd mallard or bufflehead for variety. But, generally, it is slow, and sometimes ducks seem nonexistent. On such days geese sometimes are moving and offer shots. Goose season is also broken up and during part of the duck season you cannot hunt geese, so, always check the regulations. The truth is, at least in the southeastern part of the state, December and January can offer great duck hunting. Where I hunt, I always have a good chance to pursue mallards. Woodies sometimes stick around and, some years, I get a black duck or two. On the big lakes, there might be buffleheads, as well as other divers. I might also get a crack at mergansers, but truthfully, they are not edible, and they actually do smell fishy, which is what they eat. They are, however, neat looking birds and make nice mounts. The migration is in full swing during
GAME	 NEWS



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011

Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011
History of the Whitetail
Contents
In Those Days
Flintin’ With the Flatlander
Late Season Duck Hunting
The Perfect Opening Day
A Moment for Redemption
Deer Harvest Estimates
Beware the Pogonip
Habitat for Hunter Access Cooperato
The Cadet
Field Notes
Conservation News
Off the Wire
Another View
The Naturalist’s Eye
Straight from the Bowstring
Fun Game
Lock, Stock & Barrel
Annual Index
Crossings
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - History of the Whitetail
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - In Those Days
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 4
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 5
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 6
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - Flintin’ With the Flatlander
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 8
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 9
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - Late Season Duck Hunting
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 11
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 12
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 13
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - The Perfect Opening Day
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 15
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - A Moment for Redemption
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 17
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 18
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - Deer Harvest Estimates
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 20
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 21
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - Beware the Pogonip
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 23
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 24
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 25
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - Habitat for Hunter Access Cooperato
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 27
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - The Cadet
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 29
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 30
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 31
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 32
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 33
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - Field Notes
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 35
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 36
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 37
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 38
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - Conservation News
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 40
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 41
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 42
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 43
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 44
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 45
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - Off the Wire
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - Another View
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 48
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 49
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - The Naturalist’s Eye
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 51
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 52
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 53
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - Straight from the Bowstring
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 55
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 56
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - Fun Game
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - Lock, Stock & Barrel
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 59
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 60
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - Annual Index
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 62
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 63
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - Crossings
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - bb1
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - bb2
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - Cover4
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