Swans

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Swans

Postby AverageGuy » Sat Feb 03, 2018 12:41 pm

So I have hunted a new waterfowl permission spot for Geese the last two evenings. Shot a couple of Honkers and got to watch thousands of Mallards, Whitefronts and Canadas flying in and out of a roost pond. There are approximately 100 Trumpeter Swans using the roost and fields as well. They have flown over and past us numerous times and are magnificent to hear and see. My Nikon broke down so all I had was my phone and my Sony which has an inadequate zoom, but I did the best I could. Sharing a few. Spud came unglued a couple of times when a flock of those 25 lbs birds mumured and winged their way past us at 20 yards. Who could blame him.

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Used my Jet Sled to drag a modest spread of 8 full body flocked head Final Approach decoys across the bean stubble field and hide in the trees at the edge. Hunted with my new this season, A5 12 gauge, a Patternmaster Extended Range Goose choke and 3 inch Tungsten Hevi-Shot Bs to take a couple of Maximas. May be the last of the season for us.

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Anyone on here ever hunted Tundra Swans? It is something I would like to do some time.
Last edited by AverageGuy on Sat Feb 03, 2018 2:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Swans

Postby LongHammer » Sat Feb 03, 2018 1:35 pm

Those look really good for cell phone pics. I have dreams at night about shooting those giant Birds. Hopefully I'll be able to take a trip to shoot those monsters next season.Seeing a dog in a vest is odd right now it has been 80 here. I forget it is winter elsewhere.

In the offseason I did some patterning spent about 250 bucks on different shells and I ended up going with the patternmaster Code Black Goose and hevi metal number fours for everything waterfowl. What a difference that pushed out my effective range from 35 to about 50 yards. Had broken wings on 70 percent of my birds.
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Re: Swans

Postby orhunter » Sat Feb 03, 2018 2:31 pm

Those big Canadas are considered a nuisance around here. They never leave, eat and poop everywhere.

We had a Tundra Swan season years ago but the bunny huggers put an end to it.
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Re: Swans

Postby AverageGuy » Sat Feb 03, 2018 2:43 pm

Yea LH,

it was minus 4 F actual temp in the morning here 2 days ago. Wind was blowing hard while we were hunting those geese and it was cold. Apparently the folks at Hevi-Shot have come out with a lighter Tungsten blend of shot called Hevi-X. Lighter than their Tungsten shot, weighs the same as lead and alot cheaper than the Tungsten Hevi-Shot. I have a couple of cases of Hevi-Metal 3 inch 2s which I shoot for large ducks e.g. Mallards late season. The factory chokes on the new A5 produced a hole in the pattern at 40 and 50 yards. The mid-range Patternmaster choke fixed that immediately and the combo is very effective. The extended Range Goose choke with Tungsten is amazing for those big feathered up Honkers at longer ranges. I have been using a SBE2 for turkeys and waterfowl prior, - Bought and tested 2 Briley chokes, a Jelly Head, a Hevi-Shot and then the extended range Goose Patternmaster which out did them all with Tungsten 6s.
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Re: Swans

Postby AverageGuy » Sat Feb 03, 2018 2:50 pm

Orhunter, yea the resident honkers find the urban refuges and make a mess for sure. The Corporate Campus I was on at the end of my career had alot of green space and several large ponds. They hired a boarder collie and handlers to chase them off. A buddy of mine's uncle owned a sod farm with an irrigation lake about 20 miles south and we hunted it alot and we did very well on decoying big Honkers. I enjoy it alot. Most of the ones I am hunting now are migrators. The Wife has been cutting them into stew meat sized chunks and cooking it in a beef stew type recipe. Delicious.

Bummer on the Swan season, I think I am going to put in for a tag in SD.
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Re: Swans

Postby jlw034 » Sat Feb 03, 2018 2:58 pm

Great pics AG.
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Re: Swans

Postby orhunter » Sat Feb 03, 2018 4:39 pm

AG: You're recipe sounds yummy. The age of these birds can vary by a huge margin, that's why the slow cooker was invented. After you'e harvested the major meat deposits on the carcass or run into an extra tough old buzzard, chop it up and soak in the slow cooker a couple of days. Tastes just like beef....or canned bear. Most the guys around here who shoot a lot of geese, turn them into Pepperoni, sausage or jerky.
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Re: Swans

Postby RowdyGSP » Sat Feb 03, 2018 4:59 pm

Love the pictures of the swans against the pink sky. Great shots, especially for cell phone pics. As usual, Spud is looking good! Never had a chance to hunt swans, but would definitely like to one of these days. A neighboring state of mine has a swan season.
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Re: Swans

Postby Willie T » Sat Feb 03, 2018 6:46 pm

AG, yes I have hunted tundra swans in ND. A one bird permit for $5 in addition to your waterfowl license. I too use patternmaster chokes for waterfowl and have for over 15 years. The swan population has really grown the in the past 5 years. We usually take one while duck or goose hunting. The patternmaster with #3 steel will stone them if you go head and neck, which is about a 3' long target. Unless you take a grey adolescent bird, they are tough as a boot. A crock pot is recommended. The wife makes an excellent gumbo using tundra swan.
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Re: Swans

Postby J D Patrick » Sun Feb 04, 2018 8:32 am

great photos

love swans - we have a season here in NC for Tundra Swans. I believe they issue up to 7500 permitys. fun hunt we hunt them in fields.

you only get one, but watching them is the funnest part!
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Re: Swans

Postby AverageGuy » Sun Feb 04, 2018 9:42 am

JD, Yes you are in the Meca for Tundra Swans. Quite a few videos posted of hunting Swans in NC. I would like to decoy one in over a water spread and watch Spud tow it to shore.

I was in High School in the mid 70s and caught the heyday of Swan Lake NWR in Mo back when there were 300K Interior Species of Canada Geese using the area (Eastern Prairie Population). The limit was one goose and 10 shells. The Feds would rent you a dozen shell decoys for $1. We would drive up and rent 6 dozen decoys and put out our 6 full body G&H decoys at the downwind edge for the Geese to focus on as they worked the spread (no one used Full Body decoys back then and they were extremely effective). Used our wooden Olt goose calls and called/decoyed them in (still have and use mine, has a soft mellow sound that the modern short reeds acrylics do not duplicate). Shooting lead 2s or BBs 23/4 inch shells through my Dads A5.

Had quite a few hunts that were one shell fired. Enjoying the view has always been part of the ride.
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Re: Swans

Postby mtlhdr » Mon Feb 05, 2018 1:50 pm

The swan is definitely a majestic creature. Great photos, beautiful light in those first 3.
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