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sachem longrifle

Duck hunting sucks

48 posts in this topic

I used to hunt in the 70's and even during the drought of the 80's and 90's and seen way more ducks. i finally gve it up 5 years ago. Empty skies, more homes on lakes and drained ponds. I remember fish lake used to have so many ducks late in the fall you could here them feeding in the dark of the morning(near duluth). What a sad state of affairs. They might as well drain the rest. The politicians will allow it anyways

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I hate ranting but there was this field outside of twig that was hidden in the woods and had a small pond that connected to the White pine river and it was always good for a few ducks. I drove up to it this summer and there were houses. All i have is the memories. i would love to take it up again. I have a lab that is trained but no birds. Pitiful

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You must be in the wrong part of the state. Down around the Northfield area (35 miles south of Twin Cities), I am pounding them. I have 19 ducks in 5 trips out - if I could shoot better, I would have 20....

Good luck!

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I'm sure it's not what it used to be, but we're scratching it out down here, I just picked it up last year so I have nothing to compare it to but so far I think it's been pretty dang good hunting. If I go out and shoot 2 birds that plenty, just shot my first limit ever this morning, probally my favorite hunt so far, every duck we shot decoyed great and the shooting was above average for the two of us.

Ended with 7 teal and a woodie for 2 guys, filled by 8:30, ya I know teal aren't mallards or bills but we got in some shooting and got to watch some birds work our spreads.

My point is that there are ducks around it just takes a little more work than it used to to get them.

Wood duck numbers are through the roof in my part of the state this year and they have provided some great pass shooting on otherwise fruitless days. So far this year for the 3 guys I hunt with most often we have bagged 22 ducks in 3 days of hunting together.

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Duck hunting sucks? Not so sure I'd say that.

This year has been pretty good so far.

Opening weekend was 2 Mallards, 3 Blue Wing Teal, 5 Ring Necks, and 2 Geese. (3 guys)

This morning was 3 Ring Necks, 1 Canvasback, and 1 Goose. (Just me)

If I count the geese from the early season, we're up to 14 ducks & 6 geese.

With what I saw leaving the slough this morning, tomorrow morning should be pretty good as well.

I think the weatherman has a lot more to do with the ducks we've been seeing over the last few years than the politicians. If it doesn't get cold, the ducks won't come down from Canada.

The Canada Goose population is currently through the roof. There are freakin' geese everywhere!

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If I were to hunt where I hunted as a young 'un, it would most certainly be slow. Almost all the potholes have been drained. But I don't believe the overall duck population is decimated, they just go where the environment meets their needs. There are still a lot of excellent places where a person can have outstanding duck hunting. It would be nice to gain back some of the potholes we used to have, but the legislature handcuffs the DNR with the amount of funding they will provide to meet that end. The DNR hasn't given up, they have a 50 year plan in place to add another million acres of wetlands. 50 years? Yes, that's how they have to do it with the money available to them. 50 years is a long time, but it's better than doing nothing. I won't give up on duck hunting, a long time ago I learned to appreciate hunting for what it is. A time to enjoy nature, teach my kids about the outdoors and sportsman's ethics, and that killing a limit of ducks isn't how the success of an outing is measured. Bringing home a few birds is great, but for me it is a bonus.

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This has been my best season in two or three years.

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Best season for me too. Geese are thick and ducks are too, but it does seem you can't always depend on the old honey holes...gotta drive and hike to find the birds. grin.gif

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I don't think it sucks as the shooting is only part of the equation. I can feel your frustrations however. Some posts state good hunting, even in my home county. However, I've not seen numbers of ducks on a consistant basis. Certain areas hold ducks but for sure not a large area as of days of old. I do my scouting, put tons of miles on and still can't find a place to hunt. I'm not as able anymore to access some of the public areas I used to. Getting older and have some physical limitations. I've hunted 6 days in Ottertail County this season and have not shot a duck. I've friends that hunt close to me who have done well. So even with hard work, scouting, knocking on doors it is hard to hunt without connections or enough money to lease or buy something. I bet I've knocked on dozens of doors the past few months and got one OK.

I'll still hunt as I love a slough at sunrise. Those of you who see lots of ducks...good for you! Not everyone is as fortunate.

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nobody is disputing that duck numbers / habitat aren't what they were in the '70s

that said, you're pure doom-and-gloom if you think for a minute that great hunting opportunities aren't available out there for the MN duckhunter.

seems to me that you don't have the love for the sport that many of us do.

SA/wdw

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No, duck hunting doesn't suck.

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This has been by far the best first two weeks of any season I have hunted in the 15 season I have hunted. I have been doing a lot more scouting than normal and I think that is the reason. It takes time to find the birds, but they are around and in good numbers. Definitely hasn't sucked for me and I leave for ND on Thursday so things are only going to get better and better. grin.gif

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Well said Sartell. Being only 20 I have nothing to compare my hunting experiences to from "back in the good ol' days." I've listened to dad tell stories about hunting Lake of the Woods and Rainy and how they used to just pick out greenheads and take turns to make the hunt last longer. I would love to be able to have some hunts like that, but there isn't anything short of armageddon that's keeping me out of the duck blind as long as I'm able to do so.

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Really sucked for me yesterday with that NW wind.Bro. and I shot our limits.

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I have noticed that alot of guys posting here seem to be from the west or south part of Minnesota. Maybe its different there but it has definetely plummeted in the Duluth area.

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I could go out every day and never shoot a duck and still be of the opinion that duck hunting does not suck.

Bagging a couple of quackers is just an added bonus.

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Quote:

I could go out every day and never shoot a duck and still be of the opinion that duck hunting does not suck.

Bagging a couple of quackers is just an added bonus.


well, based on that i could go out water buffalo hunting everyday and say just being out there is good enough. If i go duck hunting again, i want to shoot some ducks. I know that sounds shallow, but for the money it costs to go, I still want to get some

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Have fun in Africa. Don't forget the camera and bug spray and you may want to get your shots updated.

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Well Im 19 And when i was 11 I saw way more ducks where i hunt then i do now. When i was 12 years old one weekend There was close to 30,000 mallerds around where i hunt. It was like a cloud of birds all day. They flew from morning till evning! It was like you see on the videos in canada. Well I havent even seen 1/3rd of that amount of birds around in the last 5 years on the best duck huntin day i had. I hunted 32 days of the season last year and only baged 26 ducks!! I meen i have seen the decline in the hunting from when i was younger and im only 19!! How sad is that! Our duck huntin is going donwhill fella's if you want to believe it or not its happening and if we sit by and do nothing it will only get worse.

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Thanks for the sermon, I've been out a few more times than you have.

Nobody said the waterfowl numbers are the same, pretty much everybody is saying "Duck hunting doesn't suck."

What are you doing to stop the downhill slide?

If it's really that important to ya, get out and actually hunt them. There are good duck numbers in MN for those that are willing to work to get them.

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Ran into my friend the fish cop yesterday afternoon, and we sat in his truck and shot the breeze for awhile, talking about partridge and ducks and moose and all things hunting and fishing.

I've been hunting the same part of the state for over 40 years, and my friend was asking my opinion about the duck situation. Simply stated, our ducks are in trouble. In the Arrowhead region, there is plenty of water, plenty of quiet resting areas such as beaver ponds and rivers and smaller lakes, plenty of wild rice and other food, plenty of everything but ducks.

My friend has been puddling around the same area for roughly 20 years, and he was curious if my observations tracked with what he is seeing both in the field and while checking hunters.

Sadly, we concluded that whatever is happening with the duck numbers, we have a real problem - and the worst of it is that in the area we are talking about, there appears to be no obvious habitat issues or other easy-to-spot reasons for the dramatic declines. Wild rice beds and flooded timber areas that used to hold literally thousands of ducks still have ducks - but a guy really has to work to scratch out a few. I scout - of course I scout! But when scouting is reduced to simply finding the small pockets of ducks still remaining, I get concerned.

Mallard numbers in my area are way down. It doesn't matter how far you travel or how hard you work, the numbers simply aren't there. One thing that stood out for both of us was how few hunters there were in the traditional areas. This guy spends his days checking hunters and fishermen and other outdoors types, and he is not seeing much in the way of successful duck hunters.

Anectdotal? Yes it is anectdotal - but two experienced guys running around the same area and reaching the same conclusions has a bit of weight.

I will continue to hunt. My lab deserves the work, and I truly enjoy getting out. More ducks would be a good thing.

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Well put Jackpine.

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Dont know the answer to the duck problem up north. I dont think anyone does. And even if you know why the ducks arent around what can you do to reverse the trend? Yeah, you can add more ponds, fields, wild rice, etc... whatever it is that they need, it will take years to get back to even. Hopefully it's just a short time thing where the ducks just arent there, not for any particular reason other than they just never showed up so maybee next year you'll have more locals up there to begin with, but once the migration gets into full swing it really doesnt matter where you are, there will be ducks, maybee not in your little honey holes, but out on the lakes at least, you just got to time it right and with a little luck and some crack shooting, bagging a few ducks shouldnt be a problem.

I havent been seeing much latley, at least during scouting times, and I really havent been shooting much either, but I'm going out every night this week to try and bag some woodies before this cold snap. If I dont even shoot a one, it's still worth my time to try, you'll never whack that fat ol' drake woodie sitting on an internet board complaining.

So I guess I would say that the duck situation in the north east sucks, but not duck hunting altogether. Would you go on a F150 board and say F150's suck, or go on a fantasy football board and say that F.F. sucks? Sure if you want to stir the pot, but what good will that do?

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Duck hunting sucks... better quit! (Didnt I say that before? grin.gif)

The *hunting sucks* intellect is usually the reason why many individuals in heavily hunted areas are skybusting by 8:00 a.m. and very few birds are decoyed after that. I guess they just figure thy have to shoot at something because they are there? They dont think its screwing up other peoples hunting experience.

Do your scouting, get there early if its a more hunted location, get a choice area.. and get some shooting in.

Duck hunting sucks? NO

Duck callers on the other hand shocked.gif

Why is it on popular public water there will be 1 hunting party for every 2.5 acres.. at least 2 people in each boat.. and every hunter has 3 different calls to blow the loudest hail calls there ever was when a flock is in sight of the lake(and often a 747). So if its 100 acre body of water, we have 25 duck callers all blowing a hail call. Somehow it just doesnt sound very realistic.. and its tough for them to come in when people are blasting when the birds are 120 yards in the air.

Duck hunting doesnt suck.. inexperieced, or inconsiderate duck hunters on the other hand crazy.gif

If you dont enjoy the hunting expeience... find a new hobby and leave hunting for us who enjoy it!

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    • SkunkedAgain

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    • SkunkedAgain

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    • BSLNORTH

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    • Musky hunter 82

      Posted

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      20160925_164858.jpg

      20160925_164902.jpg



  • Posts

    • Rick
      Driving a scenic route through a state forest is a great way to view fall color, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.   Finland State Forest “Routes through hilly or rugged areas dominated by deciduous trees tend to have the best mix of color,” said Jennifer Teegarden, DNR forestry outreach specialist. “And the dark green needles of conifers accent the yellow, orange and red leaves of deciduous trees in mixed forest.” Here are a few state forests routes to consider: Late September Finland State Forest heading northeast along County Road 7 from Finland. Early October Bowstring and Blackduck state forests along state Highway 46 between Deer River and Northome. Pillsbury State Forest along Beauty Lake Forest Road between County Road 77 and County Road 1. St. Croix and Nemadji state forests loop. From Interstate 35, take exit #183 and head east on state Highway 48. Head north on County Road 24. Head east on County Road 24. At Markville, head north on County Road 31. Head west on Park Forest Road. At Kerrick, head south on state Highway 23 to Interstate 35 exit #195. Mid-October Richard J. Dorer Memorial Hardwood State Forest has two good options. Along Zumbro Bottoms Road off of state Highway 60 southwest of Wabasha. Along state Highway 16 between Interstate 90 and state Highway 26. Visit www.mndnr.gov/stateforests for information about visiting a state forest and additional scenic routes. Entrance into a state forest is free. State forest campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis for $14 a night. Visit the Minnesota state parks and trails Fall Color Finder at www.mndnr.gov/fall_colors to find areas in Minnesota with peak fall color. The Fall Color Finder is updated every Thursday through the end of October. Discuss below - to view set the hook here.
    • Rick
      A southeastern Minnesota stream reflects brilliantly colored leaves in fall – until the splash of a trout on the end of an angler’s line breaks the surface. Anglers can enjoy scenes like these now through a variety of fall trout fishing opportunities.   “Fall is a beautiful time to experience trout fishing in streams in southeastern Minnesota,” said Brian Nerbonne, stream habitat consultant with the Department of Natural Resources. “Anglers are fewer, the scenery can be awe inspiring and fishing can be quite good.” In most of the state, trout fishing is open until Friday, Sept. 30. However, anglers can make a longer go at it in southeastern Minnesota streams. Catch-and-release trout fishing is open through Saturday, Oct. 15, on streams in the southeastern Minnesota counties of Dodge, Fillmore, Goodhue, Houston, Mower, Olmsted, Wabasha and Winona. In these counties, fishing then reopens for a winter catch-and-release season that runs Sunday, Jan. 1, to Friday, April 14, 2017. For even more fishing, anglers who want to trout fish all year long can do so in streams in Beaver Creek Valley, Forestville and Whitewater state parks, whether through a catch-and-release or harvest season depending on the time of year. “If you think trout are hard to catch in winter, consider the research over the last year that shows trout continue to feed heavily in winter,” Nerbonne said. “Different teams of researchers found trout with anywhere from 30 to more than 100 prey items in their stomachs, depending on the study.” Vaughn Snook, Lanesboro assistant area fisheries supervisor, said numbers of brown trout longer than 12 inches are at record highs or close to it on some trout streams in southeastern Minnesota. “Now is the time to take advantage of those great fish. Numbers of young trout look good for coming years,” Snook said. Reports of anglers using hopper patterns (grasshopper imitating flies) have been good in areas thick with grass. Grasshoppers will become active, and thus more likely to fall into the stream, as the sun warms their bodies in the afternoon. Blue-winged olive hatches (try using no. 20-22 olive mayfly) will be seen until the first frost, sometimes even after. Because both brown trout and brook trout become aggressive in the fall, closer to their spawning time, anglers should also consider presenting streamers (minnow imitating flies) in deep runs and pools. “Numerous brown trout over 20 inches have been reportedly caught by anglers already this late summer and fall period,” Snook said. Minnesota has 3,817 miles of designated trout streams, plus 2,699 miles of designated trout stream tributaries. In 2015, the state’s five coldwater hatcheries produced 1.7 million fingerlings, yearlings and adult fish for stocking in 75 streams and 158 lakes – roughly 201 tons of fish. Last year, 106,463 anglers purchased a validation required to fish for trout, an all-time high. However, fewer anglers tend to fish in the fall. Anglers fishing on designated trout waters must have a trout stamp in addition to an angling license. Maps showing trout fishing locations in southern Minnesota, as well as other information on trout fishing, can be found at www.mndnr.gov/fishing/trout_streams. Discuss below - to view set the hook here.
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      Hunters who were not chosen in the lottery to receive an antlerless deer permit can obtain one of 12 surplus antlerless permits for deer permit area 260, which covers the northwest corner of Minnesota and borders North Dakota and Manitoba.  Permits will be available starting 5 p.m. Monday, Oct. 3, on a first come, first served basis, anywhere DNR licenses are sold, or online on the buy a license page. Both residents and nonresidents can purchase these permits but must first purchase a firearms or muzzleloader deer license. Permits purchased online will be mailed. Orders by telephone will not be accepted. In lottery deer areas, including permit area 260, firearm and muzzleloader license holders who intend to take an antlerless deer must possess an antlerless permit; otherwise, they are restricted to hunting bucks. The total bag limit for deer in lottery areas is one deer per year. To stay informed about the deer management and other important deer-related topics visit the deer page and to receive updates via email, consider subscribing to the Deer Notes email list by entering an email address at the bottom of the page. The DNR works to protect and maintain Minnesota’s white-tailed deer. The deer population, which varies in density from place to place and year to year, is dependent on adequate habitat and directly influenced by the severity of winter weather. Deer are ecologically, socially and economically important in a state where hunting and wildlife watching generate more than $1.3 billion in annual economic impacts. Discuss below - to view set the hook here.
    • Rick
      Pheasant hunting can put food on the table, supports grassland conservation and is a fun sport that doesn’t require a lot of specialized or expensive equipment. Once you’ve identified some areas you might hunt – the hunting usually takes place in grasslands or frozen wetlands – there are a few things to consider to make the most of time in the field once the Minnesota pheasant season opens on Saturday, Oct. 15. Here are some tips from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Regulations handbook and hunting license
      A small game license and pheasant stamp are required. Hunting regulations are covered in the 2016 Minnesota Hunting and Trapping Regulations Handbook. Licenses are available at the buy a license page  or in person at any DNR license vendor, and handbooks are also available there or online at the hunting regulations page. Hunting licenses are also available by phone, any time, by calling 888-665-4236. Don’t forget a $3 Walk-In Access validation, so you can hunt another 23,000-plus acres of private land. Maps
      Scouting an area will increase your odds of finding pheasants and good maps will help your efforts. Visit the wildlife management areas page for free online, interactive maps that identify wildlife management areas and Walk-In Access areas. Combined, these programs provide over 400,000 acres of public hunting land in Minnesota’s farmland zone. A local plat book may also come in handy to identify specific pieces of land. Shotgun and shells
      The best shotgun is one you are comfortable with. The style or gauge isn’t nearly as important as your ability to use it. Since pheasants are fairly tough birds, choose a load such as 4 or 5 shot and limit your shooting distances to 40 yards or less. This will result in fewer wounded birds. Nontoxic shot is required on federal land and many hunters prefer to use it any time they’re in the field. Blaze orange
      Minnesota pheasant hunters are required to wear at least one visible article of clothing above the waist that is blaze orange. This could be a hat, jacket or hunting vest. Consider that the more blaze orange you wear, the more visible you’ll be to other hunters. Good footwear  
      Pheasant hunting involves lots of walking on uneven terrain. Good quality, above-the-ankle shoes or boots will provide comfort and support for a day in the field. Since crossing creeks and marshy areas is common, many hunters prefer waterproof boots. Layered clothing
      Cool fall mornings often turn into sunny, warm afternoons. Layered clothing will prepare you for a variety of weather conditions. Long sleeves and gloves will help keep you from getting scratched up when moving through tall grass, cattails or woody cover. Hunting chaps or brush pants are an option to protect your legs and keep you dry on mornings when the grass is wet. Eye and ear protection
      Any time you use a firearm, protect your eyes and ears. Sunglasses and foam ear plugs provide basic protection. More expensive options include coated, colored, high impact lenses and digital hearing aids that enhance some sounds while protecting ears from loud noises. A good dog
      A dog is not required to hunt pheasants, but a good hunting dog will be a companion in the field and increase chances to harvest and recover birds. Be aware that owning a hunting dog is a year-round commitment of care and training. Be sure you’re willing to invest significant time and energy before taking on the responsibility of a dog. Refreshments
      Be sure to carry at least two bottles of water in the field and have jugs of water at your vehicle. Water your dog and yourself, often. Bring snacks to keep your energy level up and consider canine energy bars for your dog. Finally, grassland habitat is the key to supporting pheasant populations, and much work remains to improve pheasant habitat in Minnesota. The grasslands that support pheasants have multiple important benefits for people, other wildlife, pollinators, water quality and local economies. To learn more about pheasant hunting, as well as about what the DNR and partner organizations are doing to improve pheasant habitat, visit the pheasant page. Discuss below - to view set the hook here.
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      Minnesotans who would like to serve on committees that review how the Department of Natural Resources spends Game and Fish Fund dollars are welcome to submit an application by Monday, Oct. 10.  The DNR is seeking at least 12 people to serve on the Fisheries Oversight and Wildlife Oversight committees. Appointees will be responsible for reviewing the agency’s annual Game and Fish Fund Report in detail and, following discussions with agency leaders and others, write a report on the findings of this review. About half of the current members’ terms expire on Wednesday, Dec. 14, and are subject to this open application. The two committees are comprised of members identified through a self-nomination process. Those who want to serve on the committees should have a strong interest in natural resource management and how it is funded. DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr will appoint committee members for three-year terms. Applications are being accepted online until Oct. 10. Though not well known, Minnesota’s Game and Fish Fund is the fiscal foundation for much of the state’s core natural resource management functions. Upwards of $95 million a year is deposited into this fund from hunting and fishing license sales, federal excise taxes on hunting and fishing equipment and related items, and a portion of a sales tax equivalent on state lottery tickets. The dollars that flow into this fund pay for the fish, wildlife, enforcement, and ecological management that support 48,000 jobs in Minnesota’s outdoor recreation and hospitality business. Interested applicants can learn more by reviewing past Game and Fish Fund reports on the game and fish oversight page. Discuss below - to view set the hook here.