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New duck hunter questions

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Never been duck hunting, but plan on doing some this year. I will be hunting public land. How far away should you set up from another group of hunters? What kind of spread should I buy. Have a canoe and Golden Retriever.

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good luck for the first few times. As for setting up by other hunters I would prolly stay at least 80 yds away or yull get blasted by pellets and and whole bunch of F bombs.
A couple doz decoys seem to work well in the begining of the season, as the season progresses I would try to put out twice that amount. I try and stay away from magnum decoys and just put out big numbers. Later in the season me and my buddies prolly have around 15 doz with 3 mojo's
I would use mostly mallards and a few divers on the edge of the spread!
I hope you R ok at duck calling to.


Good luck on openner I'll be on middle lake along with a million other people.

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Snag, learning how to duck hunt on your own can be a little intimidating. Its really nice to have someone show you how its done. But here are some things that I hope help you. I think the most important thing in duck hunting is wind direction. I always try to get the wind on my back or a cross wind. Anything other than the wind in your face. Ducks love to land into the wind. Camoflauge is also important. Make sure you don't have anything shining. And don't be afraid to hide your face on a sunny day. Stay still, movement from you or your dog will make ducks flair. Decoys are a matter of personal choice. Myself, I swear by magnums. Learn how to judge distances, pay close attention to what everyone around you is doing. They will teach you how its done. Hope this helps, enjoy, its an awesome sport.

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Its always nice to see another person interested in waterfowling! My advice is to try to find somone that you can go with the first couple times. If thats not possible, read as much as you can about it. I am not saying STD was wrong but you dont need 15 doz decoys to shoot ducks. I have been hunting since I was 7 and I have shot ducks over anywhere from 4 decoys to about 4 doz. You simply dont need any more decoys than that. I have never used more than 2 doz. for puddlers. The wind advice was good! always try to keep it at you back or to your side as ducks HAVE to land into the wind. Concealing yourself is important as is staying still. CAlling isnt a big deal. keep it to a minimum until you get a lot of practice and even then you dont want to call to much. somtimes i dont even call. scouting is probably the most important thing. you have to be where the birds are. as for distance between you and other hunters.....stay as far away as possible. at least 150 yards. its no fun when your right next to them. it reminds me of rush hour when there are ppl right next to me. its dangerous too. plus you are shooting birds that are working their decoys and they are shooting birds that are working yours. ethics is a big part of this hobby. if you have any more questions let me know. I am more than happy to help!

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150 yds Minimum between you and anyone else. do NOT set up down wind from someone else unless it is about 1/4 mile down wind. Learn the art of hiding and staying still while they are checking you out! DON'T SHOOT TILL THEY ARE WITHIN 35 YARDS!!!! With decoys, the more the better (generaly). With calling, the less the better (generaly). Watch ducks! they will teach you more than anyone on this, or any web site. Good luck! be SAFE! Have a blast!

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One more small hint that I've heard others besides myself use. Off to the side of your duck decoys, put three or four Canada goose decoys. You can use more but thats usually enough. It sometimes gets you a few bonus geese. I like my ducks to one side and geese to the other side with an open space right in front of the blind, for birds to try to use as a landing area.

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Snag, all good advise so far. Make sure you take all of the advise you can get. You will find your own way to duck hunt. I will stress, stay as far away from other hunters as possible. Where are you going to try hunting at this year? We get out of the cities because there are so many people out there that have no clue or ethics when it comes to duck hunting.
Also, myself I use 5 doz decoys along with 6 honks put out to one side.
When placing your ducks make sure you leave a nice landing strip for them to land in.
Any other questions, make sure you ask.

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First of all, get a duck boat or a small 12' or 14' fishing boat and paint it up in camo.
I know too many hunters who took a spill while trying to hunt in a canoe and lost there guns!
Don't hunt in a shiny boat or canoe as this will just scare the ducks outa there!
Stay away from other hunters at least 500'.
And don't call unless you really know how.
A few little quacks is all you need to get there attention then stay silent unless they start flying away then start calling again!
Good Luck!

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I know a number of guys who successfully hunt ducks from a canoe. They just don't shoot from it. Use it to haul you, your dog, and gear and to place your decoys. Then, pole it into the weeds and get out and stand. We like to haul out half an old pallet to stand on. It keeps you out of the mud and lets you turn easily for you shots. Your dog can have a dry pad to lay on in the canoe. And it gets him high enough to see where the birds fall.

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All good information.If you use common sense you will never have to worry about upsettign others. If you are hunting mallards put out more geese--if you are hunting divers put out more coots or bb. a lot of mallard decoys out does not mean you are going to get more mallards. Hunt smarter not harder ie do not look like every other hunter out there. Look at the flocks around you and mimic those. At times later in the year bigger can be better. Early in the year a good mix is a good plan to have a little more variety. you do not want teal out in november -- they are not here anymore. But swans are--so are blue bills. Swans and coots tear up the bottom and bb eat the hell out of that stuff. Othr ideas --- you gotta learn to call so practice with the tape in your vehicle. We all started out in the same place - - sounding bad -- you gotta try it though. If they are not coming in change stuff around move teh decoys move the blind, call less, call more, take some decoys out or put some more in, do somthing be flexible. most of all they call it hunting for a reason. Keep a jouranl of what works and what does not. good luck. If you ever want to go out email me at terry@libnatmort.com

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Simcox, I have to disagree with you(on a friendly note). We have shot teal right up to the close of season. But you are right in the sense that most people will not shoot them in Nov. We always seem to get a few even when it is cold as you know what.

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We too have shot Green Wings all the way to feeze-up. Have even shot Woodies that late as well...Never know when the "Northern Flight" of woodrows will pass through grin.gif

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You'd be surprise what is still around. The first really hard freeze will usually mean lots of greenwing teal and woodies. All those little ditches and potholes freeze up and force them to move. Two years ago hunting the last time I was out I dropped two teal. Neither one got wet as the slough had frozen over solid again.

Actually I've shot lots of greenwing teal late in the season.

Borch

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From what I've read the blue wings are the first to go south, the green wings are the diehards & usually go with the late divers & mallards.

I don't think there's any problem hunting out of canoe, by yourself, without a dog, done it lots of times, shot lots of ducks while doing it. However with someone else, very dangerous. We weren't shooting at the time, just got caught up in an overhanging tree in strong current, but I'm one of those guys who lost a gun (permanently) to canoe hunting.

Incidentally I still shiver when I think about how cold that water was & it was early October...

I would echo what anybody else said about staying as far away from other hunters as possible. You just screw it up for each other.

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My mistake sometimes I feel dumb -- you guys are right you can shooot them being woodies, gw, etc right up till the end. The general rule of thumb is that you will ot be seeing as many. The last to go are the mergansers,bb, and swans. So respectively you would want to put those types of decoys out (obviously you would not be shooting the swans). It was not meant as misinformation.

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Greenwings are a mid-late season bird, I shoot most between MEA and first weekend in november, I shot a bluewing 3 years ago the 2nd to the last weekend when everything was frozen and that wasent the only one I saw, it was just the only one i hit. I have to go against finlander in buying a duck boat, it might be a good idea but you dont really need one. I have hunted out of a boat twice in my life and still shoot plenty of ducks. If I shoot one that lands in the water i have my uncles dog get it or go out in the waders, if its to deep for waiders and your dog doesent retrieve go in the canoe and get the bird. I wouldent advise hunting out of a canoe though, my dad used to do it and almost died when he and my uncle fell out and couldent get out of the water for over half an hour because they were surounded by floating bog they couldent get on, they luckily finally got off the lake and walked to a farmhouse. They got hypothermia but lived. I have a spot 25 minutes from Robbinsdale that I hunt, public land that isent very busy and can be good hunting. Last year it was bad, two years ago it was good so who knows. You dont need a boat. Maybe we can set up a hunt or i can give you the spot if your interested. Where do you live in robbinsdale?? I live on 43rd and abbott.

[This message has been edited by Roosterslayer05 (edited 09-13-2004).]

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Thanks for all the replies everyone. I'm heading out of town this week to Atlantic City for business. I might have to stop by a Casino and see if I can win some money for a few needed supplies. Roosterslayer, I'm over by the Health Club. If you find some ducks on your spot, I would love to learn from someone.

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