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USPENAMC

duck pass shooting without being sky busters

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hi my father my brother and i will be going out to duck hunt/geese hunt on sat We dont have decoys and we might just find an area locally and will try and catch duck geese flying overhead while heading to lakes/ponds/rivers.

any suggestions for getting duck close without decoys? we do have some calls. we hope to catch some low flying ducks/geese on their approach to the water.

Although we dont feel we have much of a chance were out there to have fun so any suggestions would be great.

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First thing, go buy some cheap waders and a dozen decoys.(heck, I will give you a dozen decoys if you want)

Second, don't be shooting birds as they approach the water where I am hunting.

Third thing, you will be sky busting OR you will be making someone very PO'ed at you for shooting ducks as the approach the water.

You want to have fun? no better way than having ducks all nice and cupped up coming into your spread. Now that's fun.

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Look to up your percentage for pass shooting. Rivers, lake inlets & outlets, narrows and channels.

Decoying ducks in is what turns me on and 1 or 2 dozen duck decoys won't break the bank.

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You can buy a dozen decoys for about $20, otherwise go to a narrow river or stream and wait for them to come whipping down.

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One thing to remember when engaging in any kind of pass shooting like that is where the ducks are going to fall when you hit them.

If you are hunting the edge of a slough in the cattails, are your dead birds falling into the cattails or out into the slough. Do you have chest waders to go retrieve them? Do you have a dog to go retrieve them? Will you need a boat to go retrieve them? What about a crippled bird? How will you handle that?

I ask these questions because in typical hunting situations (over water or a field), they are answered easily. The action is in the field in front of you or on the water in front of you. You can see where your birds go down, you can see if they need a follow up shot, you can see if you have to chase it down real fast (or send the dog).

You may get "close enough" to shoot at a few birds in the situation you are describing but should you really be doing it? Will you be able to retrieve them, figure that out first before shooting at anything.

And like 'jblabsnduck' said, if you are going to do this on a pond others are hunting, you won't make any friends. We've got some road/ditch hunters that do this on our slough and it is irritating. We usually end up picking up their ducks because there is no way for them to retrieve them after they are shot. Geee... the water is a little deeper than 2 feet.

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I'll second JBLabs... if I look in the old storage shed, I can probably scrounge up some duck dekes for you... Let me know if you want me to look. I'm in the East Metro.

Good Luck!

Ken

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i was thinking that getting decoys was going to run me a couple hundred bucks? If they arent that expensive I can go and get some im going to look around online see what I can find. Thank you all for the great information and pointers. I might have a spot to go hunting out in buffalo lake place with bunch of little lagoons. Im going out and getting some decoys and see what i can manage.

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GHG hotbuys, or flambues, right around $25-$30 a doz, not the pretty'st deeks but will get the job done, and ducks like them just as well as the high doller ones

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I'm also a big fan of shooting decoying birds as opposed to pass shooting. Sometimes pass shooting is the only option, and many times even with decoys out, all you're doing is pass shooting. Pick up some cheap dekes and give it a try, this will be when the birds are the least-educated and easiest to work.

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I agree with the above. I know there is alot of talk about the 'cost of hunting', but if you break it down it comes out like this:

Durable goods (should last for 5 seasons)

$35.00 for 1 dz decoys/weights/string

$40.00 for 1 pr rubber waders

$15.00 for 1 call w/ tape (to be used sparingly!)

<$200 for 1 used 870 Express

Expense (expendables):

$12.99 1 bx of steel

$35.00 license/stamps/etc.

Of course, you can control your expense side by hitting more than 1 bird per box of shells grin.gif

However, with a little care your 1st year total cash outlay is likely less than you spent at house parties your first quarter of college, and you get something better than warm Bush Light keg alarm the next day.

If cash is tight, I've got a doz. decoys and waders in Chanhassen you can use.

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Back to your original question about not skybusting, you still need to be able to judge when a duck is out at 35-40 yards, whether its flying by overhead or you're hunting over decoys, so you're not taking that 'too long' shot. Its kind of like learning to judge distance when bowhunting. Set a decoy out on your lawn and pace off 35 yards. When you're setting decoys in the water, pace off or range the distance out to the farthest decoy. If thats 30 yards, you know you have about another 10 yards past that where you can shoot a duck. Also without a dog, you really need to take closer shots so you kill them dead, longer shots are going to just wound and drop them, but if they're in any kind of cover you will probably lose them without a dog.

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thanks for all your great advise, I was wondering on another silly question. Do you try and hit them on the head and neck or center mass. The reason i ask is because i know on TURKEY you aim for the head neck area.

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With the pace that some ducks are moving at - you just try to hit them period. Because you will be shooting ducks as they fly, you will have to lead the birds. It is not like a turkey where you can aim for the head / neck specifically. If you put the bead on the head / neck of a moving duck - you will miss. Any shots that hit the head / neck region of a duck are best and that is where you need to work on finding the proper lead. Head / neck shots will lead to fewer crippled birds, which is the desired result.

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Quote:

If you put the bead on the head / neck of a moving duck - you will miss.


You have to lead the ducks, sometimes by quite a bit, and follow through as well. Sometimes I'm aiming 2-4' in front of the bird and remember to keep swinging (follow through) the gun.

Sometimes you'll get them in the head, chest, or even bust a wing. Thats why you have to be ready for a follow up shot on the water, or send the dog. Diving ducks will dive and swim when they are crippled. When you drop one and it hits the water, make sure its dead. If its swimming at all or flopping around, it might be a good idea for a follow up shot.

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This is one of the bigger reasons I like shooting decoyed birds and try to avoid pass shooting.

A duck coming right at you, wings cupped, landing gear down is a easier kill shot for me than having to lead them (seriously) sometimes 3 feet and remember to keep swinging.

Yes, I take pass shots. However, I try to get them coming into decoys.

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Quote:

A duck coming right at you, wings cupped, landing gear down is a easier kill shot for me than having to lead them (seriously) sometimes 3 feet and remember to keep swinging.


I miss a lot of ducks like that, I think I get a little excited. grin.gif

When hunting divers over decoys, you can control and almost predict the flight path they will take into the decoys. Depends on the wind, depends on blind placement, and depends on decoy spread.

If I get the right spot on the slough, with the wind right at my back, we can catch them coming straight in. Thats a lot of fun!

Last year, we were forced to set up on cross wind points quite a bit which made for some really fun shooting. They would always come in left to right, right down the line of decoys and then the flock would flare out right around 10 yards. Gotta be quick!! grin.gif

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Your description got me excited Chris! Sounds just like our normal hunts. Redheads are funny, as if you drop the lead bird when they had landing gear down, the rest will just land often, so you have to be careful about cripples, as sometimes it was hard to tell... you have to yell at them to scare them up, and then the cripples will still be in the water smile.gif

BTW - my record so far is 8 (yes EIGHT!) shells at one darned ringbill I chased across the lake. When there is a good chop it is hard to follow the "beakers" sometimes. I followed him across the lake and got him as he was crawling to shore.

Pass shooting - we used to pass shoot in the afternoon/evening across the road from a refuge. Got permission from farmer, and we would get them as they flew back in for the night. No other hunters around, and you had to actually do your homework to find best place to stand. Now that refuge is open to hunting, so there goes our spot... it was fun because we wanted to hunt still, but also always let our slough/lake rest after about 11 am. Back then it was gentlemans agreement of the 4 groups on the lake to let birds rest after morning shoot, but then new people bought land and waterski on it, use motor boats (we, all groups, never did in the preceding 50+ years) and hunt they hunt all day long. Wonder why the ducks don't sit there anymore... ugh... we don't hunt that lake anymore.

Sorry, rambled again... Good luck this weekend everybody! I am pumped!

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I miss a lot of birds on the 1st shot when they are cupped over the decoys.. because I am leading them(puddlers). Shooting at a duck at full speed(pass shooting), and shooting at one hovering over the decoys is 2 different things. Them "hover birds" are easy to miss because often times its an illusion that tends to manipulate our brains to lead a bird 15 yards away only moving 10 mph. Put the bead on it and pull the trigger! There will be a dead duck laying there when the feathers quit falling... or be like me and lead it(miss) the 1st shot and scare the heck out f so we can drop it the 2nd shot when its flying much faster!

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