Scull Boat Hunting
~ Elliott and Capt. Dave spent this calm late season morning practicing the art of sculling one of our local bays. I’m not talking about rowing one of those fancy Ivy League skiffs, this is scull hunting ! A tradition that was born over a hundred years ago from the ingenuity of East and West Coast market gunners that wanted to take advantage of rafting flocks of waterfowl. Gunners are tucked up under the gunnels of this very stealthy craft propelled only by a single oar out the stern. The rower paddles slowly in a figure 8 motion until you can get close enough to the birds for a shot, then one or both gunners raise for the shot. When it works you could almost reach out and touch the ducks. Sculling is an extremely exciting way to hunt, especially in the late season when the high pressure sets in, the bays calm down and there are plentiful rafts of full colored waterfowl out there. Long gone are the days of laying down a hundred duck raft for market with a the punt gun… now it’s about the quality of the birds and not quantity. Often a great day sculling requires a lot of hard work and maybe only a bird or two in the bag. On this mid- January morning we enjoyed a long scull on a flock of unsuspecting puddle ducks and E started us off with a great shot on a really nice drake pintail , followed by an exciting scull into an openwater flock of over a thousand greater scaup. Only a few days left to hunt the 2013/2014 waterfowl season, this year has been full of some fantastic hunts and great memories.