Mattamuskeet

nekkedducker

Eight Pointer
I know, I can hear the eye rolls from here. Legit question though. I've hunted it several times already so no newbie questions, but I got my permit package in the mail and it said this year the blinds wouldn't be brushed in to bring your own netting and cover. A couple years ago i thought they converted all of them to grass mats (which stick out like a sore thumb). Not sure how to approach this. I know it's a crap shoot at best nowadays but I would like to maximize our chances. My 12 year old and a friend of mine who is a first timer will be tagging along. I wonder if some netting would be sufficient, or should I bring pruners and cut some branches and reeds to brush it in (if that's even legal in a refuge). What do yall think?

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Wildlifer

Twelve Pointer
Man that place just continues to go down hill. I wouldn’t worry about trying to brush an entire box blind. By the time you check in and listen to them talk you are not going to have much time to put out a spread and brush in an entire blind. Unless you have the first week I would just hope someone did a little work on it before you.
If I get a permit for any area with a blind I’ll bring some netting the throw over the top and keep it from looking like a big black hole with guys sitting in it.
Those blinds are no different than the ones at the coast. They are part of the environmental and the birds see them every day. I’ve had good shoots from blinds with not one pine tree on them.
 

nekkedducker

Eight Pointer
Kinda my thoughts too. We are actually the second hunt of the year I believe, so the chance of it being brushed before us is slim.

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WolfpackHunter

Six Pointer
Contributor
Wow...pretty sad they can't even brush the blinds.

I don't know how on earth you will be able to get ready prior to shooting light on the first morning...between the briefing/draw and the walk to some blinds...there is nowhere near enough time.
 

nekkedducker

Eight Pointer
Wow...pretty sad they can't even brush the blinds.

I don't know how on earth you will be able to get ready prior to shooting light on the first morning...between the briefing/draw and the walk to some blinds...there is nowhere near enough time.
Exactly, and our first day is blind 9 which is about 750 yard walk. We re packing light, maybe only 3 or 4 dozen decoys, so depending on time before LST, we ll just have to make a judgement call. Sometimes those briefings can be long winded.

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WolfpackHunter

Six Pointer
Contributor
Good luck. I hope you guys get some shooting in. At least you have 9. It seems like now if your not in 8 or 9 you might as well stay at home.
 

Wildlifer

Twelve Pointer
Last time I hunted it they had some nice (but very bright) reeds covering the blinds. In their infinite wisdom they put hog wire across the whole front of the blind for the brush which included the porch. My dog spent the whole day looking around the side of it and the few birds we shot he had to jump off the side and swim around. The next day some had cut a hole in that blind so the dog could get out the front.
 

Clark

Six Pointer
Back in the day the refuge provided the decoys. Just hung them on the back of the blind when you were done for the day.
 

kahunter

Six Pointer
Im convinced that some working at that refuge are trying to limit the number of ducks on the refuge and therefore limit duck hunting on and around it. Its a shame that is a cool place.
 

JONOV

Twelve Pointer
Im convinced that some working at that refuge are trying to limit the number of ducks on the refuge and therefore limit duck hunting on and around it. Its a shame that is a cool place.
I don't know enough about it but I've also wondered if there aren't interests that benefit by the operation being garbage.
 

shurshot

Six Pointer
Sometimes I just think you have to face the facts that it isn’t nor will it ever be as good as once was years ago. The days people like Clark and myself enjoyed there and actually shot multiple limits are far removed. I won’t get into the refuge personnel controversy because I don’t see them causing the birds to quit feeding and vacate the south shore where all 16 blinds are. How could they do that when wigeon grass was why birds came there in the first place? Walk out in front of any blind and all you pull up is mud. The staff certainly didn’t kill that. It has more to do with the now 1000 plus impoundments and thousands of acres of farmland water that subsequently run off into the lake each and every season. Add carp to the picture and the lake has told us she’s simply had enough. What once was covered in grasses that held birds is now just a resting area. Many move on and the ones that stay find food in the surrounding impoundments ...and gunfire too.
 

JONOV

Twelve Pointer
Sometimes I just think you have to face the facts that it isn’t nor will it ever be as good as once was years ago. The days people like Clark and myself enjoyed there and actually shot multiple limits are far removed. I won’t get into the refuge personnel controversy because I don’t see them causing the birds to quit feeding and vacate the south shore where all 16 blinds are. How could they do that when wigeon grass was why birds came there in the first place? Walk out in front of any blind and all you pull up is mud. The staff certainly didn’t kill that. It has more to do with the now 1000 plus impoundments and thousands of acres of farmland water that subsequently run off into the lake each and every season. Add carp to the picture and the lake has told us she’s simply had enough. What once was covered in grasses that held birds is now just a resting area. Many move on and the ones that stay find food in the surrounding impoundments ...and gunfire too.
Yes, but its an "insult to injury" thing.

But I don't think anyone would care about brushing their own blinds if they'd properly manage the reason the blinds are there in the first place, otherwise it's just like Harris lake.
 

Inshore duck

Six Pointer
The lake is done. This problem should have been addressed in the 90s. No SAV. The lake is rest pond essentially. Birds are feeding on the impoundments at night and loafing on lake during the day. Then repeating each night. That’s why you see 4-5,000 birds in the corn before lst and don’t fire a shot after. If Hyde lost the impoundments there would be no birds at all.
 

coachcornbread

Four Pointer
The lake is done. This problem should have been addressed in the 90s. No SAV. The lake is rest pond essentially. Birds are feeding on the impoundments at night and loafing on lake during the day. Then repeating each night. That’s why you see 4-5,000 birds in the corn before lst and don’t fire a shot after. If Hyde lost the impoundments there would be no birds at all.
Preach!!
 

nekkedducker

Eight Pointer
Yeah I cant speak in depth about the lake, management personnel, sav, etc. I read the comments here from the locals who know more about the subject than I ever will, but i know that in just 6 years since the first time we ever drew a permit there till now that it's just a different place. I enjoy the trip no matter what. The whole area just appeals to me so much that I take any chance I get to go there. My son loves hyde county, he thinks its paradise. That's mainly why I keep putting in for the hunt, knowing that I'd be happy with just a mediocre hunt at best. I mean it's reasonably cheap too with the permit. A couple nights at hotel engelhard and dinner at martelles isn't that bad. I've paid way more for lodging and guided hunts and had just as bad days without pulling the trigger.


I will say as far as the personnel there, one year we hunted and bagged a few birds. When we checked out with the young lady at the gate, who I assume has some degree in wildlife biology?, we had to ID some of the birds for here. She had no idea what some were.

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Duckmauler dhc

Eight Pointer
Place is so dead. And because of it so is the surrounding area. I can’t remember the last time I drive around the lake itself(not the wildlife drive impoundments) and actually saw a few ducks. Used to drive across 94 and you could literally walk across the ducks. Not to mention it was one of the greatest bass fisheries on earth.
 

shurshot

Six Pointer
Caught my fair share there in the spring time, was great save for the mocs that liked warming up in the sun. We walked the canal ditches throwing mostly spinner baits.
 

Duckmauler dhc

Eight Pointer
Caught my fair share there in the spring time, was great save for the mocs that liked warming up in the sun. We walked the canal ditches throwing mostly spinner baits.
I didn’t say they weren’t still some in there. But you’re not going out there and catching 200 a day. It was unreal back in the day. Still would be if the grass was still there
 

Clark

Six Pointer
Been trying to call Cedar Island and Mattamuskeet for last 3 weeks, left multiple messages. Finally reached someone - a volunteer who said employees are retiring and not being replaced, said they are down to 2 maintenance guys, the asst manager and a biologist. Sounds like they could use some help!?
 

Clark

Six Pointer
Hunted the lake today, thought the incoming front and wind might help. I was wrong, total kill was one hooded and one swan. Not for me, that was for all blinds combined (with one blind not yet reported). I successfully managed to conserve all my 30 shells. Saw maybe 50 ducks total, a bunch of Canadas, one flock of snows and a zillion swan. Blinds are not brushed. Definitely not worth 12 hours in the car for me, as I can not kill ducks much closer to home.
Can not believe I could sit on that lake for 5 hours and see only 50 ducks.
Drove across the 94 causeway, saw one group of 5 blacks on the water. Still killing mosquitoes in the car all the way back to Greensboro.
Really drove home the comments I've been reading on here.
I've been wanting to get my DIL down there to see how magnificent the lake is with all the birds moving at sunrise. Guess I can save that trip.
 
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nekkedducker

Eight Pointer
Hunted the lake today, thought the incoming front and wind might help. I was wrong, total kill was one hooded and one swan. Not for me, that was for all blinds combined (with one blind not yet reported). I successfully managed to conserve all my 30 shells. Saw maybe 50 ducks total, a bunch of Canadas, one flock of snows and a zillion swan. Blinds are not brushed. Definitely not worth 12 hours in the car for me, can not kill ducks much closer to home.
Can not believe I could sit on that lake for 5 hours and see only 50 ducks.
Drove across the 94 causeway, saw one group of 5 blacks on the water. Still killing mosquitoes in the car all the way back to Greensboro.
Really drove home the comments I've been reading on here.
I've been wanting to get my DIL down there to see how magnificent the lake is with all the birds moving at sunrise. Guess I can save that trip.
Appreciate the report. Honestly my expectations are in line with what you stated, thus my plan to pack light. Probably won't even bring any netting or anything. Just gonna enjoy the weekend with my son and my buddy who's never even been to hyde county. The wood duck hunting is hit or miss right now so a change in scenery will be nice.

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Inshore duck

Six Pointer
I hunt 99% of the time in Hyde as I live in eastern Beaufort county. Last year was one of the worst in recent memory but still managed to limit every time I hunted. This season I’ve killed 4 birds total. Hyde is absolutely terrible right now, none of the big high dollar clubs are killing birds.
 
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