Posted by: williamefrazer | November 4, 2011

Worse day of hunting

It was a couple of years ago during one of the peak times to go duck and goose hunting in the marsh that I go hunting in. The day before it rained a little bit but I saw lots of duck and geese flying around during that time. So me and my buddy thought it would be a good idea to go goose hunting the next morning.

The next morning as we were preparing to go goose hunting my buddy brought up how many goose decoys we should take out, I thought that we should only take a couple since the field might be a little muddy because of the rain, my buddy thought we should take most of the goose decoys to have a better chance at getting a bird. So he finally won the argument, the walk out to the field was easy as it was still pretty cold and the mud had not warmed up yet. As we were unsuccessful on harvesting any geese we thought it would be a good time to walk back. On the way back we found out that the mud had warmed up and every step that we took we were all the way up to our hips in mud. Not to mention we were carrying at least 6o pounds of decoys a piece. A normal 10 minute walk turned into a two hour walk as both of us were exhausted and covered in mud beyond recognition of one another. Even the dog who is normally a black lab turned into a chocolate lab with all the mud he was covered in.

My buddy had enough and decided to go home. I had a pretty good spot to go duck hunting and thought it would be a good idea to go down the canal and break ice to get there. On my first attempt I was going pretty good until I noticed that I was almost out of gas, so I turned around and went back to the house to grab some gas. When I came back I saw one of my other buddies had just got there and asked if he wanted to join me on the hunt and he agreed. As we were going down the canal I noticed that the ice was getting thicker and thicker to break. At last I could see my hunting pond a couple hundred yards in the distance with ducks just dumping into the pond we were going to. The next thing I know my motor had come off the back of the boat and was not sinking to the bottom of the canal, I hurry and take my waders off and jump into the canal to fetch my motor. Turns out the water was over my head and the water temp was below 32 degrees.  I managed to grab the motor, but could not lift it out because it was so heavy. My buddy then comes in the water and helps me pull back in the boat. The motor is toast so my buddy had to go back to his cabin and grab his boat and bring it back to tow my boat in. The whole time all of this is happening there are hundreds of ducks dumping into the pond that we could never get to. By the time we got the boat back we had enough and called it a day.

In a day where I should of had a limit of ducks, I instead of had no birds to show for my efforts. But yet as I sit back and think about it this day surely was better then any day I could of had at work.

Happy Hunting

Will

Posted by: williamefrazer | November 3, 2011

Duck Hunting in the Wind

One of the best and most difficult times to go duck hunting is in the wind. When the wind blows for whatever reason every duck in the valley decides they need to get up and fly directly into the wind. This makes it so there are plenty of opportunities to harvest ducks, but there are also plenty of opportunities in which some of your decision’s that you make will make it very hard for you to harvest a duck. Here are a few tips that I have learned both the hard and easy way while I have been hunting in the wind.

The one thing that I would recommend to any hunter before they even think about setting up their spread in their favorite duck pond is to go and scout and see where the ducks are. In the past I would wake up to a heavy wind and rather then scouting to see where the ducks were going, I would setup in my favorite duck pond. And when I did this I found to be very unsuccessful in harvesting a bird, and only more frustrated to see large volume of ducks flying in the distance. One easy way to have success in the wind is to see if the ducks are flying low, if they are just simply setup underneath their flyway. One other thing that I have noticed while I have been hunting ducks in the heavy wind is that ducks like to go into heavy two-lee  potholes where they are sheltered from the wind. If you have a spot like this go scout it out and see if the ducks are going in there during the wind.

Shooting can also be very difficult to do in high winds. While the birds seem to be flying in front of you at a very slow rate they really are not. Make sure you have a good enough lead to harvest your duck. I have had this problem plenty of times hunting in the past where I could not hit a bird, if I would have simply of corrected my lead to the correct distance I would have had a much better day.

No matter how many birds you harvest make sure you have fun. Remember hunting is supposed to be relaxing

Will

Posted by: williamefrazer | November 2, 2011

Leaky Waders

I have gone through on average at least two pairs of waders a year while I have been duck hunting. It seems that I find the holes on opening day or when the ice hits and I break through it. Through all of the waders that I have owned I have never had a pair of waders that go past two years. And at prices at the minimum of $100 dollars a pair of waders I would like to find a solution to my wader problem or find a pair of waders that fit my hunting lifestyle.

I don’t know if it the way that I put the waders away at the end of every duck season or if it is the alkaline marsh that I go hunting in year round, nothing seems to last. I have had tried all of the wader brands Mad Dog, Cabelas, Remington and countless others, and they all have the same results of making it to two years if they are lucky and then drenching my feet at the time when I least expect it. Does anyone have a pair of waders that they have had for a while and use quite often that they would recommend?

I could try fixing the waders, while I have done this in the past they seem to last only a couple of weeks until a bigger hole forms in my waders and my feet are doing the backstroke in my boots. Is there a technique that anyone does that they would use on fixing a pair of waders?

My new theory that I’m trying this year is having two pairs of waders and splitting the time that I wear them. I’m hoping that this will cause less stress in the waders and that both pairs will last then the two year leak time.

If anyone has any kind of idea about how to fix this leaky wader problem please help out a fellow hunter.

Stay dry

Will

 

 

Posted by: williamefrazer | October 27, 2011

Swan Hunting Nevada

Swan hunting in Nevada is one of the few states in the country where swan hunting is legal. In Nevada you can only harvest two swan’s a year with a permit that you can buy over the counter. You also need a NV hunting license along with a state and federal duck stamp along with a Nevada HIP #. So now the question is why should you go swan hunting?

I consider the swan to be the filet mignon of the sky. Not only is there breast meat delicious but there neck meat, when made into a soup can be quite delicious as well. Swan hunting is not easy as well, as you need to have the right equipment and setup to being successful in harvesting this bird.

What do you need hunting wise to go swan hunting. The first thing is good camo and good cover where ever your hunting so they cannot see you. Second something white and floats. When I first started hunting I would use old goose decoys that I would spray paint white, finally I ponyed up the big bucks and I know have a large flock of swan decoys. If you don’t have any of these just get something big and white that will get there attention from the air.

Usually when I setup for swans I look to see where the swans are roosting on the pond and then I kick them off. I know this goes against my rules on kicking off roasting birds, but this is the one bird that it is ok to do it with. Or the other option would be setup where the swans might be flying through during the day. Either way don’t expect to see any swans untill the last 15 minutes before sunset. And on alot of occasions the swans come 15 minutes after the sunset while I’m picking up the decoys as they are probably laughing at me for my effort.

Besides using decoys to attract swans I have another method that I seem to be the only one that I know that uses this method. While alot of people like to use a swan call and with alot of practice they sound really good, I find the natural swan call that comes from within sounds the better. I have shot almost all of my swans with me whooing at the swans. I have brought swans into a goose field with goose decoys by doing this call it works. The best kind of advice I could give someone on how to whooo without teaching them in person is to give out their best Ric Flair impersanation and  go  whooooooooooooooooooooooo. Another good idea is to mimic the swans as you hear them. Remember practice makes perfect.

Happy Huning

Will

whooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

Posted by: williamefrazer | October 22, 2011

My kind of shotgun

Over the past ten years or so I have had one shotgun that I can always depend on. I’m anything but a gun expert and can only tell you what I like about the guns that I have had from personal experiences. I will also be honest about my gun cleaning and practices, I’m not a clean freak hunter when it comes to cleaning my gun. My shotgun will get an exterior clean maybe after every hunt but an interior clean might happen after the end of every duck season or when my shotgun goes for its annual swim into the marsh. So what kind of shotgun do I use?

Lets start with the shotguns that I have had before. I have had Browning shotguns before the gold and the silver, they are very sweet shooting guns and I seem to shoot them exceptionally well, but I have had problems with keeping them operational during the hunting season. Even if I clean the whole gun after every hunt they still seem to get jammed or have other problems while I’m out in the field.

Bennelli shotguns while these are favorite of many duck hunters that I know, I have shot Bennellie’s before and I just don’t like how they feel. Nothing against the gun it’s just my own preference.

I know two other people who have won Stogers at duck dinners, and both of these hunters have had problems with these guns such as parts of the gun falling off while they were hunting.

My gun that I have used for the last ten years and have had zero problems with is the Berretta Xtreama 391. If you look at my gun you will notice through wear and tear that  it has been on many of duck hunts. It has a little rust going down the barrel, the choke can no longer be taken out of the gun because it has been shot so many times that it has been permanently welded into the gun. I have dropped the gun into alkaline waters at least a half dozen times. But even with all these problems it is the one gun that I can take hunting and knowing that it will work out in the field. Not only do I have full faith that my gun will work I also shoot this gun very effective when it comes to waterfowl.

The Xtrema 391 is my kind of shotgun.

Posted by: williamefrazer | October 21, 2011

Simple Rules for Ice Hunting

Every year when it gets really cold in the Stillwater marsh in Nevada, the marsh which was once just water turns into a thick piece of ice. While hunting in the ice can be very rewarding when it comes to getting ones limit of ducks, it can also be very dangerous as well. I have had personal experiences where I have had been breaking my boat down an ice filled canal only to have the motor fall off the back of the boat. So here are some simple rules everyone should keep in mind before they go hunting out in the ice.

Know how deep the water is before you make your way out onto the ice. If you have hunted out in a pond and know the depth of the water then you should have no problem with walking out on the ice, even if the ice breaks. If you are hunting a new pond where you have not been before it might be a good idea to stay away from going across the ice or hunting that pond in general.

While it is always rewarding to take your hunting dog hunting it can be very dangerous to take them hunting out on the ice. If you do take them, Make sure you know how deep the water is in case the dog breaks through the ice and make sure the dog can touch the bottom, make sure you will be able to reach the dog if the dog breaks through the ice.

Simple rules like these will make it a very safe and rewarding hunt.

Posted by: williamefrazer | October 14, 2011

No Luck on Bands

Every year it seems like me and one of my friends where I go duck hunting shot the same amount of birds every year, the only difference is he gets like 12-20 bird bands a year while I might be lucky enough to get 1. Why is this? Do the duck gods not like me? Does it make a difference what kind of bird I shoot?

I used to have a theory for every 100 birds that I would kill that 1 of those 100 birds would be banded. This theory seemed true for a good 4 years and I started to have other believers in my theory until the dry spell hit me. I went 4 years without getting a banded duck, I shot over 300 birds in those years and not one single band for my hard work (Don’t get me wrong I don’t hunt just for the bands but I love to hunt and I especially love the taste of birds and none of the birds that I harvest during the year go to waste). Finally last year I broke the dry spell and shot a duck out of a ditch. This is the same ditch that usually provides 10 -12 banded birds a year.

New Theory. My new theory is that if you want a banded bird the place to get them is out of a ditch, for whatever reason a bird who has a little silver bracelet that goes around their foot feel more comfortable in a ditch.

This is my new theory and who knows it might have a better run then 4 years, we will have to wait and see.

Posted by: williamefrazer | October 13, 2011

Nevada Duck Season is Almost Here

A few reminders about Nevada hunting laws for all of my hunting friends who plan on going duck hunting this weekend.

First thing to remember is to buy your hunting license with all of the correction information about oneself on there.

Another thing that you are going to need is a Nevada and Federal Duck Stamp. Not only do you need to purchase these but you need to sign them as well. If you do not sign these stamps you can be citied a ticket by a game warden. After you get your stamps make sure you call in your HIP #, if this is not done you can also be citied a ticket by a game warden.

Now that we have the license out of the way make sure the shotgun that you are taking can only hold three shotgun shells in it. You might have gone chuckar hunting and forgot to put the plug back in. Always make sure that you have steel shotgun shells with you, if you have lead that would be a very bad thing if you are checked by a game warden.

Next thing you need to know before you go to the field is the start and finish time of shooting hours. Start time is half hour before sunrise and stopping time is at sunset.

Make sure you know the limit of the species that you are hunting and that you are capable of identifying the bird before you shot the gun.

Most important have fun, if you follow the rules you will have nothing to worry about but making memories in the marsh with friends and family.

Posted by: williamefrazer | October 8, 2011

Goose Hunting Nevada

I have been goose hunting in Nevada for my whole life. I often wonder what can make or break a good goose hunt. Here are some of the examples that come to my head if you want to be successful in harvesting a goose.

How many decoys is enough. In the beginning of the year when the geese have hardly been shot at the more decoys the merrier. They often want to find the biggest population of other geese to feed with for a since of security. Later in the year the best thing to do is only have a half dozen decoys out. At this time of the year they have been shot at so many times by hunters who have large spreads of decoys that they are very nervous about being around any kind of large number of birds, decoys or alive birds. And while I’m on the subject of decoys if you are hunting ducks and geese later in the year, I have found the best results for harvesting either of the two is to put the  two decoy spreads as far apart as you can from one another. There are alot of hunters who like to put everything together decoys wise while sometimes it might work, I feel that the best decoy spread is by setting it up like how you would set it up as you would most likely see it in Nature.Another thing that I have heard which I do not know if its true or not but I have  never had good results when I put goose and swan decoys together, supposedly the swans and the geese do not like each other at all.

Be good at goose calling. If you have a new fancy goose call that you have never practiced with before don’t practice it in the blind. Always take the call that you feel the best with, even if it is a flute call.

Leave the dog home. Even thought the house might be destroyed by the time you go home, most hunters in Nevada that I have noticed do not have good goose dogs, they often break when the gun goes off or run out to greet the geese as they try to land in the decoys. While there is always an exception to the rule dogs are better in the marsh then the field.

If there is a dry ditch use it. I know everyone likes to use there super duper stealth blind that you put out in the middle of the field. But I have had the best results just by sitting in the ditch, I have seen the geese who have been shot at before and might be a little skid dish do a couple of passes and will be studying the decoys very extensively before finally coming in for a landing. I feel that if you have a couple of big clumps out in the middle of the field by the decoys that those geese not commit to coming in and will probably o somewhere else.

Scout, scout and some more scout. Scouting is the best thing you can do to be a successful hunter, not only does it work great with geese but it also works great with any kind of animals. This is my most important tip to tell you while you are scouting, if you see geese in a pond first thing in the morning and looks like they have been sitting there all night Do Not Hunt that Spot. These geese are roosting there, what you want to do is watch where those geese fly off to and  land later in the morning. If you scare them off the roost there is a good chance they are not coming back, and might even leave your hunting area for the year. Another good tip if you are going to a field for the first time that year and haven’t had the chance to scout the field go and look for fresh goose poop, that is where you will want to set your decoys.

Don’t Move. When the geese are flying over you, you have to remember that there are like 40 eyes watching over you and if one of them sees you they are going to alert their buddies and find a new place for their morning breakfast. Also another good reason not to bring the dog.

Have fun. Goose hunting can be one of the most rewarding hunts there is. Not to mention goose is great to eat, and also great to make jerky out of.

Happy Hunting

Will

Posted by: williamefrazer | October 7, 2011

Best and Worst Fishing Trips

We all have had are great fishing trips where all of the stars aligned and we caught our limit of fish and one big one that makes the picture you took with your catch that much better to show off to your friends. And then we have all had those fishing trips where you would never tell your buddies about what happened, and where every time your turned your back the lines were getting twisted into the propeller or the down riggers were somehow getting stuck together, which to this day you still can’t figure out how that happened. Here are some of the best and fishing trips that I have been on when I have rented out a charter to go fishing.

Best fishing trip would have to be in Cabo San Lucas when I went fishing with Picante! when I was still in middle school. If you ever go to Cabo and you want to go deep sea fishing I would highly recommend going with Picante! they are simply the best to go with in Cabo. Not only did we catch tuna after tuna, I caught my first Stripped Marlin as well. After we let the Marlin go we continued to haul tuna after tuna until we could no longer lift a rod after how sore we were. We had the hotel prepare some of the tuna for us that night and it was some of the best fish that I have ever had. That and probably fishing in Alaska is some of the best fishing I have ever done in my life.

Worst fishing trips, well I have had a lot when I have been the guide (and this blog is not about my mistakes), but the worse had to be when we went fishing in the San Francisco bay for Halibut. Me and my brother rented out a private boat for the two of us so we could sit back and relax and have a good day of fishing. While we were fishing the guide would set the hooks and then put them where they needed to be. As we were watching the rods I heard this weird noise coming from the cockpit, it turned out to be the captain as he was snoring away inside the cabin.  While this normally not bother me as being an experienced fisherman, I noticed that there was a strong tide that day and it was pushing the boat  directly towards a bridge as a fairly fast rate. So we had to wake the captain up (who was not the happiest of people to wake up), and have him drive us back where the fish might be and continue fishing. It’s bad when this happens once, but when it continues to happen 4 times in a row you start to sit back and reflect on your decision making process when it comes to selecting fishing guides. Not only did our lives feel threaten at times but even more troublesome was all of the other boats that were around us were catching fish like it was going out of style. We could have tried a different kind of bait or set up to catch fish but that would have involved waking the captain up. Luckily for this guy it was such a bad memory that I blocked his name out of my head so I can’t tell you not to go fishing with him.

If you have a great day fishing or a bad day fishing the most important thing to remember is that the worst day fishing is still better then the best day of working.

Happy fishing

Will

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