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french_lake_kid

Divers!

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french_lake_kid

New 2 diver hunting & so far absolutely love it. Thinking about getting serious abot it & wanted 2 know what you guys all use for, the brand of dekes, #s, species, calls, spread looks, mojo-no mojo, the whole 9yds. Just basically everything I need 2 know, and gear ect. Thanx a ton!

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stayman79

My quick 2 cents: You don't need calls or mojo's. You should have large numbers of diver decoys with a fair amount of white on them for visibility. I've added white to brand new decoys. Start out with 4 dozen and work your way up from there as you can afford to. It depends on location and wind, but usually a "J" or "U" with a LONG single line off one end works for me. Usually 12-15 in that line spread from 6 feet apart in close to your group to 20 feet apart at the far end. If they land instead of fly by, they'll often land just in front of your group, so make sure it's not too far out.

You'll probably hear lots of different tips, but this is what we do and 6 of us just finished a trip up north where we shot 92 divers so it works for us. Our spreads were 60-120 decoys depending on the boat/boats.

And yes, we ate duck tacos and only brought back our 12 each. We were somewhere between here and Canada .

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hanson

Divers really aren't that hard to hunt.

You'll need to hunt water that they typically frequent.

Stayman79 hit on the other critical pieces of the puzzle- location, wind, decoy spread.

If your decoys are arranged correctly with the wind direction, a lot of the times you'll get those flocks of 20-30 birds landing in your dekes. If the dekes aren't right, they'll fly around once or twice on the edge of shooting range and then leave.

The other thing I would recommend is to polish up on your diver duck identification, especially in flight. Most of the time, you can identify the ducks by the flock formation and the way they fly. But like I said earlier, a flock will usually give you a fly by, swing out, and then come in to your decoys. The fly by will give you a good chance to identify if they are Ring-Necks or Bluebills, Cans, or Mergies. I like to scan the flock to see what kind of drake to hen ratio I'm looking at. It makes it a lot easier picking out drakes when you already know the majority of the flock is drakes.

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HugoBox

The suggestions above are dead on. As far as decoys go, get the ones you can wrap the fastest I don't think divers spend as much time checking things out as puddlers do. We've also started to use more long lines which reduces pick-up time drastically. I would only add that patience will help you get great shots. Many times that first or second swing is just to get lined up - especially if there is a big flock. Unless they're right in your blocks be patient and they should come back. that said I'm the king of letting them swing their way right out of the lake! smile.gif I'd also recommend not taking those pass shots when they make their swing with the wind. They might be close but you get a diver going mach 10 with the wind and unless you're a heck of a good shot you'll have a hard time hitting them.

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french_lake_kid

Thanx guys, I'm guessing a long-line is a gang-rig?

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Dean Schellinger

Lots of divers around this year, we have had some success early in the year on them which is strange. Big Three in my book:

Scotts20Cabin20018.jpg

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french_lake_kid

There was a few down here, 4bills, 2 redheads, 1 cannie, 1 gadwall, all borrowed gear though.

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hanson

Thats a pretty sweet pic!

Sure wish I had the opportunity to shoot more of the "big 3".

Where we hunt, its ring-necks, ring-necks, ring-necks! But this year, its been Mallards, Mallards, Mallards! I posted earlier in the year that we shoot 90% or more ring-necks. I had to go and open my mouth because that has not been the case this year. We could have had a great Mallard shoot again on Sunday but some of us weren't shooting straight at some very key moments.

Whenever we run into "other" divers, its a great day. blush.gif

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Dean Schellinger

Quote:

Thats a pretty sweet pic!

Sure wish I had the opportunity to shoot more of the "big 3".

Where we hunt, its ring-necks, ring-necks, ring-necks! But this year, its been Mallards, Mallards, Mallards! I posted earlier in the year that we shoot 90% or more ring-necks. I had to go and open my mouth because that has not been the case this year. We could have had a great Mallard shoot again on Sunday but some of us weren't shooting straight at some very key moments.

Whenever we run into "other" divers, its a great day.
blush.gif


Yeah, we have been lucky this year to have had some sweet diver shoots. Hopefully the good times will keep coming with some colder weather in the next couple of weeks.

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HUNTFISH69

From my experience hunting divers a good setup that has worked for my group is a few rafts of ringneck and redhead decoys, ringnecks usually will land in with your diver decoys so put them where you want them to land and then line the shoreline with 150 or so mallard decoys. The big spreads get the attention of the big flocks of migrators. If you're going for big flocks, go big in your spread, if you're looking for mainly 2's, 3's, and 4's to come in you don't need near as many mallards but a few rafts of divers is still a good idea.

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dodger31

Gentlemen,

In your opinions, do you keep certain diver decoys separate in your spreads? Bills with bills, Cans with cans? Or can you mix them together with success? I am a bit new to diver hunting but we have had success with a mix. I am wondering if we will do even better keeping them separate. Thanks for your help. grin.gif

Dodger

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HugoBox

I tend to move the buffleheads or golden eyes out a bit and tightly grouped as that's how they tend to sit on the water.

Other than that, I think that we may like the way they look better when they are grouped a certain way but we've often shot redheads and cans out of the same flock flying together so I don't think the ducks care much. I think its more imprtant to try to be where the ducks are feeding. I know that sounds way too basic, but thinking back over the years we shot way more divers over really ugly decoys when we were in the right spots. I've heard plenty of stories about the depression years when no one had money for decoys so they painted anything they could get their hands on black and white and shot tons of ducks.

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stayman79

We've also noticed that the buffleheads will tend to land near "their" decoys, even if it's only a few of them. We'll sometime group the cans together, probably more in "hope" that the cans will come right to them, but I can't say that it matters. We'll mix 'bills, ringnecks and redheads most of the time. Most of our decoys are bluebills with additional white added to the drakes.

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palisade1kid

Quote:

My quick 2 cents: You don't need calls or mojo's. You should have large numbers of diver decoys with a fair amount of white on them for visibility. I've added white to brand new decoys. Start out with 4 dozen and work your way up from there as you can afford to. It depends on location and wind, but usually a "J" or "U" with a LONG single line off one end works for me. Usually 12-15 in that line spread from 6 feet apart in close to your group to 20 feet apart at the far end. If they land instead of fly by, they'll often land just in front of your group, so make sure it's not too far out.

You'll probably hear lots of different tips, but this is what we do and 6 of us just finished a trip up north where we shot 92 divers so it works for us. Our spreads were 60-120 decoys depending on the boat/boats.

And yes, we ate duck tacos and only brought back our 12 each. We were somewhere between here and Canada .


I agree wholehartedly.......

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Picture295.jpg

Picture296.jpg

There's nothing like diver shooting.

Time for deer this weekend. Hopefully I can fill my tags quick so I can get back out to big water for late diver action.

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french_lake_kid

I'm gunna be missing out on the quackers 2 until I fill my 2 or 3 tags frown.gif

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norwall

It dont matter I've shot Cans outta ringo dekes and vice versa

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hanson

I really don't think it matters what kind of diver dekes you have out or how they are grouped within the spread of dekes.

What I like to do, especially later season is add canvasback, goldeneye, or bufflehead decoys towards the end of my diver string. Most of the year, I'll just run bluebill dekes, but later (now until freeze up), I'll add another dozen of the "other" dekes to the end. Can, Goldeneye, and Bufflehead dekes all have a lot of white on them and are very visible. Thats really the only reason I add them, to get more white out on the water.

We've shot nearly every diver that frequents this flyway over Bluebill decoys only. I don't think the ducks have time to make a judgement as to what kind of decoys they are about to land in. They just think there is food or safety there.

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Ray Esboldt

I'm not even sure they care if you have diver decoys. I've killed lots of divers over mallards only. Albeit, those were mostly small flocks.

The only diving duck that I have observed to be picky is canvasbacks. I don't know that I have ever killed a can over bluebill decoys only. I have either had them come to mallard decoys or canvasback decoys, and that's it.

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BoxMN

We've traditional hunted over bluebills, but recently painted almost all our G&H to ringbill just cause that is most of what we see these days. We also have our Can set, about 3-4 dozen just cans (a few redheads) that we use.

We also have shot just about everything over them, and this year over the ringbill dekes we had cans, redheads, lots of ringers, one lone bluebill, a few buffleheads already, two goldeneye already, and two White-winged scoters! Actually my bro got the scoter and goldeneye, so he might have been usign the can dekes then, not sure. Throw in some teal and woodies, and a few stray mallards. Oh yeah... took two sawbills this morning... heh.

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poutpro

We shot canvasbacks and buffleheads over bluebill decoys today. If a guy can find redheads, I think they have to be the dumbest ducks and easiest to hunt of any of the divers.

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Sartell Angler

Quote:

We shot canvasbacks and buffleheads over bluebill decoys today. If a guy can find redheads, I think they have to be the dumbest ducks and easiest to hunt of any of the divers.


I'll agree, they are not the wariest of birds smile.gif

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