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tacklejunkie

My oldest son

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wants to try a duck trip for N dakota for a grad present this year(fall 2008). He has had gun safety. Ages since i duck hunted. He saw a DU show on sattelite plus his cousin went to N Dakota this past fall and has good stories. What do we need to do to make that possible? I have a lab who grouse hunts, obeys and water retrieves, just not ducks yet. All the info you're willing to give will be appreciated

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You will want to start by picking out a location and getting info on that area or doing some scouting. Make sure you have a spot to go before you head out there. N Dakota is a great place to hunt but without scouting and doing the pre hunt work it can be a frustrating place as well. Also get together some gear like decoys, boat, calls and so on.

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Others can tell you better, but I go once or twice a year. You will need very little gear. Waders, half a dozen decoys (mallard or widgeon or pintial, or combo), gun and lots of shells wink.gif Warm clothes just in case, as I have hunted in t-shirt one year, and in 15 degree weather the next year, on same weekend.

You definitely do not need a boat, unless hunting some very big pieces of water. Many people hunt fields, but that would be a big investment in gear for you - if you want to do that I suggest a guide, as it would cost less then buying even a small amount of gear you would need (i.e. even the trailer you will need to haul around said gear wink.gif )

I don't go to the "best" area or even what many would call "good" (but still very good and lots of ducks and lots of shooting), so permission to hunt land is not hard to get, and lots of land is not posted, meaning you can hunt it without getting permission. But some of the prime ducking areas I hear is getting pretty posted up.

Like was mentioned, pick the area you want to go, then start to make some phone calls to hotels or businesses in the area (restaurnats) and ask about lodging, as some farmers have mini-lodges that they can put you up and might even have access to good land that goes with it. We did that a couple years, now hunt on farmer-friends (who we met while asking permission) farm land and have a good time spending time with our farmer friends while over there.

You will have a blast, the North Dakota people and farmers especially are some of the nicest people you will ever meet!

We brought a lab who has only pheasent hunted this year, and she did fine on ducks after the first retrieve. She just had a hard time getting used to getting something she didn't see fall on the water.

BTW - you may need gun satefy as well, depending upon your age.

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if you go; be consious of other hunters in the area if you are hunting water. north dakota is a lot different than minnesota in terms of how waterfowl gets hunted. the mentality there is, "hunt the fields, leave the roost alone." i agree with this tactic to a certain extent as i love field hunting, but we have the gear to do it. just dont go and walk into the first duck covered pothole you find; if you screw up a locals field hunt because you busted the roost, they will not hesitate to confront you over it. the nodak outdoors forum has a lot of info about this on there waterfowling pages. in the 4 days i spent up there this past fall, i never once saw a vehicle with nodak plates parked at a slough or pothole; but saw plenty of blue plates (minnesota). the best slough hunts to get on are small potholes in the vicinity of larger roost ponds. the ducks trade back and forth all day between the fields and roosts. minimum decoys is needed for something like this.

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I just graduated from NDSU and hunted about 4 days a week in the fall during my four years there. ND has plenty of ducks to go around.

Find yourself a PLOTS map. It includes all land open to public hunting. Use that in conjunction with a satellite website (i.e. Google Earth or MSN Maps) and scout from home. You will be able to see small potholes next to big water and find water you can't see from the road.

Jamestown is a good area to start. There is alot of public land in that area and also a lot of ducks. The nice thing about Jamestown is that the town has hotels, food, grocery stores, etc.

Another thing, the Nodaks do like their field hunting but those that do mostly hunt mallards. I shot alot of gadwall and teal in my stint at NDSU because I wasn't too concerned about the mallards. If you want mallards, hunt the fields and try to pick drakes. If you just want to have some fun and get some ducks, find the potholes.

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