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ole matty

rules about hens??

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ole matty

i was reading waterfowl books on hen i was confusing abt limit on hen.. i know u can only have one mallard hen but is that apply to other species as well?

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jbell1981

No, the one hen limit only applies to mallards.

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poutpro

Anyone else been having a hard time distinguishing the hens from the young drakes this time of year. Its almost impossible when they are flying. Any tips for ID?

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jbell1981

Yeah its hard every year at this time. The only thing you can do it look for the green heads and a white belly without brown specs. I know we past on a lot of drakes that were to close to call or didn't realize it was a drake until it already went by.

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poutpro

Yeah its hard to hunt mallards this time of year. Once you shoot one hen, you almost have to wait for an older drake to come by with a distinguishable green head.

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browndog

I know they taste the same as drakes, the dog fetches them up like drakes, you can shoot one a day, but I don't by choice(applicable to all species of duck).

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iamgmc

SOUNDS WEIRD BUT SET UP YOUR SPREAD WITH THE SUN AND WIND AT YOUR BACK SOUTHEAST WIND WORKS BEST.THE AREODESCENT GREEN WILL SHINE THOUGH AS WELL AS THE WHITE BREAST.cLOUDY DAYS ARE TOUGH FOR US ALL.

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Guest

unless there is really good light it can be very tough. They do look considerably different at close range.

If your not sure, dont shoot. Drakes dont have bright orange bills either, but that doesnt always stand out.

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hanson

Quote:

SOUNDS WEIRD BUT SET UP YOUR SPREAD WITH THE SUN AND WIND AT YOUR BACK SOUTHEAST WIND WORKS BEST.


That doesn't sound weird, that sounds like a great setup and one that we try to use every time out. It depends on the wind however, but we always try to face away from the sun in the morning. The birds can spot you in the blind alot easier when the sun is glaring on your setup. With the sun behind you, your blind and hunters turn into a big shadow.

We shot 2 drake mallards this weekend that were youngsters (eclipse) as well. The first two flew by and decided they both were hens dropping the first one. Kind of a bonus that it turned up with a scraggly green head and a yellow bill. 2nd drake mallard was the same story. Now knowing that we could take 3 hen mallards, I dropped the next loner that came into the decoys thinking she was a hen but was surprised again as it was a ratty looking drake.

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FarByondDrivn

I'm with the rest of you. I have a bad eye and it is really hard for me to discern the difference between the hen and the drake. I almost have to let them go by a time or two or wait for them to committ which doesn't happen nearly as often as I would like!

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walleyewacker

I have only hunted fields so far and it has been a battle. There has been times that we have had to let them land or hang up right in front of us to really tell. Looking at the chest has been tough because some of the hens have a big contrast as well. We have only been able to shoot one obvious bird out of the majority of flocks. I absolutly agree with not shooting hens as much as physically possible but I think that the one hen mallard or can or pintail is really pushing it in SD. I say that because with that there are going to be plenty of hens laying in the weeds from too many oops'. Its tough right now for experienced hunters much less guys that dont get out as much, and its pretty hard to distiguish much at a half hour before sunrise if they are not sitting in the decoys. I am all for the idea behind the rule and not that I ever would but there is going to be some waste because of it.

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Nova

They are tough to tell, but I use the green on the head with the sun at your back or looking at the chest. Even the tough to tell ones have a line on their chest. If your not sure don't shoot obviously, but if we all take a little more time and maybe pass on a few questionable ones we could really be helping our population get back to where it should be. As with all ducks shoot the drakes and leave the egg layers for the years to come.

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kc0myy

I am trying not to shoot hens. The mallard hen and also other hens do all for work to rasing the ducklings. Also drakes out number hens too. If you want to help with the duck problem let the hens fly.

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poutpro

We had some that even when they were down it was hard to tell. We had to look really closely at the beaks. There wasn't 1 green feather on their heads, but there was some green on the bill.

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riverrat56

We try to shoot only drakes of any species, did pretty good on woodies this weekend, 5 outta 6, 3 were big drakes, and the hen was taken out of a group of 4 ducks that came out of no where so it was just kind of quick shooting. Mallards we were only 1 for 3 but jump shooting is alot harder to tell drakes from hens.

For the most part though we try to pick out only drakes, but if I shoot a hen so be it.

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