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Late season diver hunting

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5 hours ago, Curt said:

Our old 'layout' began life as a wooden sneakbox, about 11 ft. long with a full cockpit hard cover.  When we first got it we wrapped the entire thing in fiberglass cloth.

Nobody was going to pull that heavy boat onto the deck so our only alternative was to tow.  The hull design actually towed fairly well as long as you maintained a slow speed and although the profile was a little higher than a modern layout boat she was very stable.  

Very interesting.  Our layout boat which was homemade and we bought used is relatively heavy for a one person layout. It has required a lot of fiberglass/repair and still springs little leaks.  It can only be towed at very low speeds.  So we lug it up on the deck.  Anyway we just bought a used fiberglass layout in great shape which is very light.  It has attachments on the underside for towing.  This surprised us as it's light enough to easily carry on the deck.  So I was curious how well towing went.

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There is an appealing wild and untamed character to late season diver hunting..  The ducks heavily insulated with thick layers of downy feathers and thick layers of fat ride in on blustery northwest w

There is a wide variety of ducks: Buffleheads:   Greater Scaup:   Redheads:     Black Scoter (far left) or Andrei's right hand:

Some of the ducks get expensive.  A bufflehead was swinging  through the decoys which I happily dropped with a clean shot.  Happy with the shooting until I realized that I had smoked the floating mojo

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5 hours ago, mister grouse said:

One thing about burlap as a boat cover in open water. It can be very dangerous in windy sub freezing weather IMO.  It tend to absorb water more than other fabrics. It can become extremely heavy in short order when it is soaked, freezes and then ice build on top of it. I have been lucky to have escaped some learning experiences in my youth when encountering this condition.   Even when it is in the boat it will get plenty wet from spray, dogs , and general traffic if wet ness. I prefer it in shore or no wind situations and as a boat  cover  INSide the boat if it is parked  away from the blind on shore.  Used in a water blind it has risks in sub freezing . IMO


I thought about this, having experienced similar but not dangerous results with a kayak. My solution thought was to cut and sew a dark grey tarp to fit over the gunwales and externally only covering my rub rail, but hanging to the deck internally. The decks are painted a medium grey but the rails and under gunwales are white. The boat is a dark blue and that hull color blends into our waters okay. 

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Most of our diver hunting in this part of Idaho is for Common Goldeneye, Ringnecks and Buffleheads on rivers. Although hunting on the Clearwater in northern Idaho we shot a lot of Barrows Goldeneyes. Hunting divers on a river requires a retriever trained in current and looking for cripples that dive. I train with a black and white painted Doken dummy attached to a heavy fishing line run through an an anchor and then run back to fishing rod on shore. I toss the dummy upstream of the anchor and give the retrieve command while taking up slack on the line. (helps to have a partner on the fishing rod) As the dog gets near the floating decoy, I make it "dive" by reeling it underwater. I let the dog swim around looking for it and let it pop a few times but don't let the dog grab it right away. When the dog does get it I flip the bail on the fishing reel and let the dog bring the dummy to shore.

Puck w CGLE 1 (4).JPG

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