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sachem longrifle

Duck hunting sucks

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sachem longrifle

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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sachem longrifle

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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walleyes-r-us

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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riverrat56

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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hanson

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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pathogen

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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Esoxmn

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

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ChuckN

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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island guy

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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Sartell Angler

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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Eric Wettschreck

No, duck hunting doesn't suck.

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Bushwacker

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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Fish&Fowl

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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doser

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

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sachem longrifle

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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Eric Wettschreck

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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sachem longrifle

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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Eric Wettschreck

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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Roosterslayer05

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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Eric Wettschreck

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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Jackpine Rob

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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HC Eye Hunter

Well put Jackpine.

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Farley

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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Guest

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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