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FishandFowl

Opener on public hunting land

23 posts in this topic

With the duck opener just around the corner. How early will you arrive at your spot to ensure you get it?

We usually spend 7 hours with the noon opener. I think that we will only need to spend 5 hours there this year.

No matter what there will always be those that show up at 10 minutes before legal shooting and wonder why there spot is taken. mad.gif


FnF

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Hunting Public land on opener is not for people that are easily frustrated or high strung. We used to get out really early and work our butts off dragging a canoe and all the other goodies to the best spot only to have our hunt ruined by some guy that shows up at 11:59am and stands on the opposite side of the slough to shoot at the birds setting into our spread. We still get out there a couple hours early but mostly to enjoy the morning and just grab the best available spot that doesn't require a lot of work.

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I don't think the 9:00am openner will get people out of bed any earlier than the 12:00 openner people will still be out before the sun is even close to the horizon I know I'll be out just as early as everyone else. prolly in my spot a 4:00am

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I've hunted public land for opener lots of times. Try to scout out a spot that's off the main trvel route for hunters. We've pushed the boat through 200 yards of cattails or rice to ge to a secluded opening. We've hunted small potholes off of the main slough.

Main thing is you want to find a spot with limited access. One year we made a mistake by not scouting the entire slough. Found a spot away from the other hunters on the slough. Only to find out that hunters could walk in behind us from another access point and they sat on a hill behind us and pass shot off of our decoys. Even though these guys were on a hill they were still shooting at birds 100 yards off. We ended up with 3 ducks and a goose. They never pulled a feather. If they'd behaved themselves, they and us would have likely filled out.

Borch

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I gave up on public land on opener about 8 years ago. It can be a nightmare. However after opener or after MEA, public duck hunting can be great!

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Man....I know not much you can do but scout yourself a good area....but I hear ya on the people that sit up behind you on a hill and shoot and ducks flyin to your decoys...has happened to us a couple times. People show up right at 12:00....walk right behind us and sit in the field right next to the slew....pisses ya off!! My fault..their fault...whatever..still makes ya mad!

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Man you guys gotta try to line up some private land. There's not near as many duck hunters as deer hunters, you should be able to find somewhere all to yourself to hunt. I'll probably get up about 4:30, be in my bow stand from 6-8, come in change clothes & get to my spot for ducks at 9. I'll jump shoot anything that might be sitting there & then pitch out 6-12 dekes. Probably will get our woodies & maybe a teal or two, possibly a mallard. Quit by 2 & back in a bow stand by 5.

Aah what a weekend! Hunt ducks 'til 9 or 10 Sunday morning, go in clean birds & watch the Vikes pregame. That Sunday & the two of gun season I won't be making it to church. Might sneak out again after the game for an evening bow hunt, or possibly jumpshoot ducks just before 4.

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I guess that is to be expected on the opener the nice thing about where I hunt by the 2nd weekend people have already quit hunting ducks. By late season there is nobody else in the wildlife area and the migrants are stacking up. When the small potholes freeze it's time to shoot some big canadian mallards and maybe a bull Canvassback. grin.gif

No matter I will still be out from start to Deer season.


FnF

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I used to hunt Sherburne NWR a LOT.

I have not been there in about 5 years. I gave up because it just got too frustating for me personally.
My experience was less than acceptable on too many occasions.
We would get there early, and you could just expect that people are still rowing around well after shooting time, or they set up near you.
I really miss hunting there.... frown.gif

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biglakeba$$ you and me both. . .

I went to St. Cloud State in the early 1990's for college I hunted Sherburne almost every day. Also open the season there a few times. Had some GREAT duck hunts, limits easy, especially on opener. I have not hunted it for many years now. Ya, that place can be hard to hunt and frustrating but it's so big that you could spread out and find some space away from the crowd. Use to see huge flocks of mallards, pintails, teal and widgeon. Hoards of geese as well. Good times!!!!

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Best option to hunt public land is get as far away as possible from the city at least for the first couple weeks, after it starts getting cold there are not nearly as many people out...actually had times where it would have been nice to have a few more people out to kick birds around. Later in the season have had outstanding shooting almost right in the metro.

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FISHANDFOWL,

Just curious as to where you might live that people stop hunting that soon.I'm always on the look out for an open slough smile.gif

------------------
Greg

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It was that way hunting at the Mille Lacs Management area. Used real heavy first weekend. A couple of boats the second weekend. By the third weekend you had the place to your self. If someone did show up they usually left by 8:30 in the morning.

Borch

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I guess I need to go a little farther north.I usually hunt around Braham Rush lake area.ALWAYS a lot of people.

------------------
Greg

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I hunt a WMA opening weekend and im the only one there, Im not geting up till 7 and not geting to the spot till 8, ahhh its good to sleep in.

Ok whats the deal with some people that think since a duck is flying in there direction that duck is coming into there spread, I dont shoot at ducks that are circling someones decoys or are coming into there spread but just because a duck is flying in your direction and some guy 100 yards away shoots at it it doesent meen it was coming into your spread. I got yelled at once for pass shooting a 150 yards away from some guys hunting over decoys, I shot at ducks that went over me, they thought these ducks I was shooting at were "coming into there spread" If a duck is just flying around and isent commited you shouldent get mad.

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Get as far away from the cities as possible. We run into the same group of guys every year and they know what part we are hunting and we know where they are going. It works out OK. it keeps the ducks moving and we get some good shooting in.

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Roosterslayer05,

I'm talking a 100 yards out from them and coming into our decoys(they were 40 yards behind us on a hill). They were on a hill behind us shooting over our heads at ducks that where committed but not in the spread yet. Surely not every one of these ducks would have come all the way in but based on past expereince a large percentage would have. If it had happened once I might have thought there could have been other ducks we didn't see coming in. But it happen 3/4 of the time we had ducks come into the decoys. The only ones that slipped by came in low to the water.

Borch

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Borch that is unreal!!! I would have opened a can of woop @** on those wannabes....

seriously, did you tell them to get lost or what?

S.A.

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If you've hunted at all, you know when ducks are coming into your decoys! And so should anyone else! There is NO excuse for shooting at ducks outside of 35 YARDS! None! Quit trying! All you do is educate all but the one unlucky bird you happened to clip with the lucky BB at 50 yards. It will never happen again! Except the next time some rookie heads out and takes a pot shot at the mile highers when they are circling someone elses decoys. Come on let's show a little restraint this year! 3 1/2" guns are the worst thing that could have happend to water fowling! Have a good, SAFE season!

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CB,

The hunters are still out but the numbers start to drop and by pheasant opener there are few people out hunting ducks. I hunt in western Minnesota. Public land is plentiful but so are the hunters. As anywhere as the temps drop so do the number of people out.

FnF

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Here are 2 specific reasons why I gave up on Public lands. (At least public land anywhere NEAR the Twin Cities)
1. I got blasted in the back of the head by some morons shooting at tweety birds at Carlos. It was close enough, that they drew blood from my ear.
2. At Sherburne, a shore hunter shot a slug through our decoys. Yes, a slug. The ***** must have thought our decoys were real ducks, and wanted to flush them so he could get some high quality 150 yd shots like so many shore hunters out there.

Never again will I hunt public land near town. Kinda sad too, because I live 2 miles from Sherburne. I used to drive almost an hour to go hunt there when I was younger.

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Yes we yelled at them but they just kept doing it. They were hunting over our decoys. They did bail around 3 pm so we had an hour to get a couple more birds. We thought about breaking blind and setting up elsewhere but there were a lot of other hunters out there and didn't want to mess up their hunting as well. We hunted a different slough the next morning.

BLB,

My brother had that happen on two rivers lake last fall. Three guys were shooting shotgun slugs across the lake at his decoys. When he stood up and waved his arms they all bailed into a truck and took off. He tried to get their liscense plate number with his binoculars but wasn't able to. Talk about a bunch of morons.

Borch

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Borch- That would have really pissed me off, my situation was much different then yours.

FishFace- Sorry but you must be a poor shot at long distances, I shoot most of my ducks and all of my geese at or higher than 35 yards and I dont criple many. I pass shot 6 geese while losing none last year, 2 geese while losing one this year, about 14 of the 21 ducks I shot last year was pass shooting, I actually lost more ducks the weekend I brought out decoys and was shooting at birds 20 yards high, that weekend me and a friend lost 2 ducks, the rest of the season I only lost 2 pass shooting. So in a whole season, hunting every weekend I lost 3 ducks, not bad for pass shooting. Favorite shot of the season was a 50 yard plus shot on a goose late season with Tungston, dropped stone dead from probly 60 yards. Who knows, i always seem to overestimate the distance ducks and geese are away but i know you can shoot lots of ducks pass shooting at long range cause iv done it my whole life. I cripled less ducks and shot more than my friend that strictly hunts over decoys. IT works.

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