Muzzleloader Duck Hunt Success

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My teenage son wanted to learn to duck hunt this year and added the challenge of using a Muzzleloader. I taught him calling, decoy set-ups, wind direction, concealment and reading a pond or body of water. We tried different shot with different load combos. What was most consistent in his Pedersoli 12 gauge with choke tubes was 1 1/8 ounce shot and same scoop for powder. The #5 Bismuth from Rotometals gave patterns that matched the name on the choke tube and were very consistent. Due to the mist and moisture, we loaded a card wad and then an olive oil soaked 1/2-inch fibre wad. The wad was put on a plate until it soaked up the olive oil about 3/4 up. We thought the oil would keep the barrel coated, keep the fouling soft and from becoming soup and keep it easy to load. The initial load was with Goex 3F but the reloads were pre-measured in tubes with Pyrodex RS. Musket caps from Schuetzen were used.

He was sitting in high grass off a pond at daylight. The first duck, a male gadwall, came over and circled. A little chuckle call had him turn and descend. At around 25-yards over the decoys he pulled the front trigger with the Modified barrel and the duck dropped dead onto the bank on the other side. About a half-hour later, a redhead came from right to left and skimmed low over the water. He dropped that one dead on the water with one shot from the Modified. A little while later two birds began to make loop-da-loop circles over the lake. We figured out they were Coot, and he decided to get one. On a straight away, the modified barrel knocked feathers out at around 30-yards and the Improved Mod barrel knocked it down at nearly 40-yards. Nearly an hour later a group of 5 ducks circled high. Several series of calls brought them down over the decoys. The modified barrel knocked one down at 32-yards and there was apparently a miss with the second shot as nothing happened.

At this point, there were more ducks in the distance, so I handed him the 19-gauge that had the same loads down the barrels, but was IC/Mod choked. While I am loading his 12-gauge, a pair of ducks passed the pond and turned back on a call and chuckle. Two wood ducks dropped in and he killed the male with one shot and missed the second one, which was probably a female but I didn't get a good look. Now I hand him back the 12-gauge and take back the empty 19-gauge. Were about to leave and a single black blob came gliding out of the left corner of the pond. Two shots dropped another coot onto the water.

Overall, a great first duck hunt with 4-ducks (3 species) and 2-coots. The effort to pattern and develop loads was worth it and the hit-to-miss ratio was quite favorable.
 
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Coot recipe:
Breast and remove all fat. Score meat. Rub with sea salt. Tablespoon each of soy and oyster sauce in hot pan. Sear meat about 45 seconds each side in sauce mix. . Remove and cool. When cool, drop in deep fryer for 20 seconds. Mix mayo, wasabi and mango juice until sweet/sour to taste. Cut meat pieces and serve with one or two exposed sides showing center of meat. Dip in sauce or drizzle sauce on pieces.
 
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Three of six
 

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Shot a coot once on a very foggy morning, old 16-bore percussion.
I had told my partner that we always eat whatever we shoot. Cooked that dang coot over the campfire. Made it through the first bite - almost.
Promised myself I'd never shoot another mudhen!
 
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Good lookin’ young man and that double looks like he was born with it.

Coot cooking - your recipe makes those mud hens sound almost edible…almost….

When I was about 12-13 y/o my buddy and I shot a pair of mud hens down at the local duck pond. His mother was of the “you shot it, you’re gonna’ eat it!” We cleaned one and buried the other ”because it was all shot up”. Mother Loran fried up the rest. Even the dog wouldn’t eat it. Have never, intentionally, shot another mud hen.
 
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Coot recipe:
Breast and remove all fat. Score meat. Rub with sea salt. Tablespoon each of soy and oyster sauce in hot pan. Sear meat about 45 seconds each side in sauce mix. . Remove and cool. When cool, drop in deep fryer for 20 seconds. Mix mayo, wasabi and mango juice until sweet/sour to taste. Cut meat pieces and serve with one or two exposed sides showing center of meat. Dip in sauce or drizzle sauce on pieces.
Sounds wonderful! I don't know that I'll try it on a coot, but it sounds like it would be great on a mallard too!
 
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Great pics, sounds like a perfect hunt!

Coot breast, salt and pepper, fried in butter for 1 minute on each side. Served on wonder bread with Velveeta cheese. Tastes great when cooked in the blind on a cold morning hunt. Way better than merganser. However I ate army food for 22+ years and liked it!
 
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Sounds wonderful! I don't know that I'll try it on a coot, but it sounds like it would be great on a mallard too!
Coots and other game, Especially if taken where water is continually muddy.
Soak for 8 to12 hours in salt water or vinegar dilute water . I cannot recal mixture ratio its been over 70 years. I am certain it can be found on internet.
Searing in a frying pan is ok but if ruining a meal is your goal do fry it.

Buzz
 
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