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waterfowlerjm

Where ducks Land on water

11 posts in this topic

I hunted the other day on a wma in southwest MN. The winds blew a constant 20-25 miles an hour all day. I hunted the down wind side of the lake, but most of the ducks flew on the up wind side of the lake. Does anyone have a tip about where ducks land on water? How do I choose what side of a lake would be best?

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I would say you want to set up with the wind at your back when you are looking out on the pond. I think it's easier for the ducks to take off and land into the wind. This is just a general rule of thumb I go by, sometimes it's not possible to do so. I always leave a gap between two groups of dekes so they can land into the wind right in the middle. They dont always land there but when they do, those shots cant get much easier.

But I guess for some ponds there are probably areas that are better than others no matter what direction the wind is comming from, your best option is to sit on the pond one day to see where they are landing, then the next set up there, that has brought me the best results.

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You want to be on the upwind side of the lake such that when hunting, the wind is at your back and not in your face. Ducks and geese land and take off going into the wind almost always. They will also prefer the calmer water which is the upwind side of a body of water, but if they've been worked over and shot at heavily, they will tend to sit out in the middle among whitecaps.

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I hunted the downwind side of the lake in a pocket with the wind at my back. The wind and waves were probably worse there however. Thanks for the advice.

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I like the wind at my back for a couple different reasons.

1. In November the wind in your face can be darn cold.

2. Ducks like to land into the wind. With the wind at your back they will be cupped right in front of ya.

3. The water will be calmer and on windy days (last weekend) they will be looking for a calmer place to set down.

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Hunting a cross wind is a good idea as well.

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I set up with the wind at my back for the same reasons that all the other guys do. Ducks decoy better, because the ducks will be coming right at you and landing. We had a setup on Sunday with the wind directly at our back, none of our shots were more than twenty yards. With the wind at your back it also takes the ducks a few seconds longer to back pedal away from danger, giving you more of a chance for that double or triple.

Cross winds can be hunted, but I don't like them if there is wind like there was this weekend. The ducks tend to move a little quicker than usual with a wind gusting to 45 mph at their back!

Ducks will look to find the calmer water, setting up in the calmer water with the wind at your back is your ideal setup.

Good Luck Hunting!

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Wind blowing away from you at a 45* angle is the best set-up.

If the ducks are flying straight into the wind then they won't be looking right at your decoys and your blind at the same time. They also dont mind landing in a cross wind.

I like cross winds more then straight from behind you. If the ducks are landing in a certain area on the pond/lake many times that is where they will go regardless of the wind. Scouting preseason is the best way to learn a pond/lake. Hunting presure will sometimes have an effect on where the ducks land. You never know how many hunters will be out there so I hunt where they like it when nobody is around.

When ducks come in they look to their favorite spots on the lake/pond before they look elsewhere. Ducks do like calm water but unless you are hunting a bigger lake with some whitecaps it doesnt make any difference.

If you get hunting channels on T.V. check out how the guides set up the decoys and blind. Pay attention to what kind of shots they are setting up for. Look at which direction the decoys are pointing in relationship to their blinds. You rarely ever see ducks flying straight into them when they shoot. It is always a crossing or angled shot coming in. Everyone has there own personal preference.

Good Luck

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I witnessed the 45 degree angle thing this past sunday. I set up with the wind at my back, by the time the dekes were out and I situated the boat..the wind change from sw to nw...now its was right at my left shoulder. Well, I though great now my setup is all wrong, well I became "that guy", almost all of the flocks worked my decoys and for once other hunters got to see me drop birds instead of the other way around. Experience filed and will be used in the future. Live and learn.

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Excellent! I'm going out this afternoon for the evening. The ducks are really moving with this weather. Lots of shooting this morning. We can here it from inside the house! laugh.gif

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Another option I've used with success the last couple of years is on a medium size slough when there is a strong wind I'll set my decoys on the calm side and sit on the other side of the slough. This way you really never get busted because the birds aren't looking at you and they end up swinging right over the top of you almost hanging in place from the strong wind.

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  • Posts

    • Ya I think my dog would want to go after them he gets really excited around other dogs. That's why I will never hunt him without his e collar because I know I can stop him in his tracks with it. My dog likes to hunt close and I never let him push out way in front of me so at least I have eyes on him at all time and can give him the command to come to me if I see a wolf. I always keep a slip lead with me as well so I can put that on him and not have my hand tide up reaching down holding on his collar.

      I had a couple run in with wolves last year in the Longville/Remer area but that was just with me on foot with no dog.

      The one thing that gets me is "Only agents of the government are authorized to take wolves if pets or livestock are threatened, attacked or killed" 

      I don't think I could just stand there and watch my dog die.

      Anyway did you hunt a different area? Any birds I have only been out once in the mille lacs area and didn't see any. Going to Nemadji this weekend and should see some.

       

    • smalliehunter

      Posted

      A friend and I will also be up chasing smallmouth this weekend!!!

    • slammer

      Posted

      Add Sallie to the list.

    • BlackArrow1

      Posted

      Went up north of Tofte last weekend camping/looking for a few grouse and to see the fall colors. Was in the region of the grade and 600 road. Pulled off on a walk only trail to run my lab and see if I could kick a few. Anyhow, my lab sits and barks like hell with anticipation at me every time I'm getting the gun out and getting ready to hunt her. So for about 5 minutes she's harassing me loud barking with excitement. We start walking down the trail maybe 50 yards and I see all this brown commotion jumping around ahead of us about 75 yards. At first I think we startled some deer. Then one came out full on the trail and stood watching me/dog. They were timber wolves. That one slunk off in the woods and another came out and just sat there looking at us for about a minute or so. When I noticed they were wolves I grabbed the dog by the caller. They seemed interested in my dog. Her barking must have drew them in. They ran off after looking us over a bit. I turned around and left that spot to avoid any issues. I'm thinking that maybe some younger bird dogs would be enticed to chase after wolves that show this kind of interest in them. In my opinion that would be bad and a dog may not come back alive, given their boldness and interest in my dog. It was fun seeing them, but we didn't just walk up and surprise them, they were coming to see the barking dog. Just curious? Maybe. Looking for an easy meal, maybe. I'm just putting this out there to inform bird hunters up there what I saw, so they can be aware if they have dogs. And no they were not coyotes. 

    • ANYFISH2

      Posted

      Made it out yesterday evening, SAW 4 deer. The same small buck and 3 does.  They sure seemed skittish with the wind.

      For the fact I am getting very few daytime pics of any deer, I am at lest seeing a few every sit.

    • delcecchi

      Posted

      The crescent and south switch meet all the criteria, except for boat access.   And they even usually have some sort of craft beer on tap, like surly furious etc. 

      The only place near the lake that has upscale food that I am aware of is the casino.    We try to get to the wilderness grill for lunch a time or two.   And daughter and husband will sometimes go there on date night while they are up, although the pull to the east is less now that the quilt shop in tower shut down. 

    • I am going up this weekend with a few buddies and the plan is to fish hard...will post back and let ya know if we find anything.

    • cabin040

      Posted

      Was up for the week of Sept 10-17th.  First day spent on East and West Fox lake and we did well on bass, crappie and northerns.  Second day was very slow fishing.  Spent one day on Kego and did well on bass and norhterns.  Hit Mitchel twice and did well on sunfish and bass.  A few nice crappies in the mix as well.  Went to Little Boy for a day of walleye fishing, and it was very slow.  1 walleye and 1 smallmouth bass.  Great week of fishing on a few new lakes.  A very nice area to explore.

      1 person likes this
    • Cliff Wagenbach

      Posted

      The trees are turning color fast now! Seems to gain color by the hour now!

      Cliff

    • 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

      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.



  • Posts

    • ZachD
      Ya I think my dog would want to go after them he gets really excited around other dogs. That's why I will never hunt him without his e collar because I know I can stop him in his tracks with it. My dog likes to hunt close and I never let him push out way in front of me so at least I have eyes on him at all time and can give him the command to come to me if I see a wolf. I always keep a slip lead with me as well so I can put that on him and not have my hand tide up reaching down holding on his collar. I had a couple run in with wolves last year in the Longville/Remer area but that was just with me on foot with no dog. The one thing that gets me is "Only agents of the government are authorized to take wolves if pets or livestock are threatened, attacked or killed"  I don't think I could just stand there and watch my dog die. Anyway did you hunt a different area? Any birds I have only been out once in the mille lacs area and didn't see any. Going to Nemadji this weekend and should see some.  
    • smalliehunter
      A friend and I will also be up chasing smallmouth this weekend!!!
    • slammer
      Add Sallie to the list.
    • BlackArrow1
      Went up north of Tofte last weekend camping/looking for a few grouse and to see the fall colors. Was in the region of the grade and 600 road. Pulled off on a walk only trail to run my lab and see if I could kick a few. Anyhow, my lab sits and barks like hell with anticipation at me every time I'm getting the gun out and getting ready to hunt her. So for about 5 minutes she's harassing me loud barking with excitement. We start walking down the trail maybe 50 yards and I see all this brown commotion jumping around ahead of us about 75 yards. At first I think we startled some deer. Then one came out full on the trail and stood watching me/dog. They were timber wolves. That one slunk off in the woods and another came out and just sat there looking at us for about a minute or so. When I noticed they were wolves I grabbed the dog by the caller. They seemed interested in my dog. Her barking must have drew them in. They ran off after looking us over a bit. I turned around and left that spot to avoid any issues. I'm thinking that maybe some younger bird dogs would be enticed to chase after wolves that show this kind of interest in them. In my opinion that would be bad and a dog may not come back alive, given their boldness and interest in my dog. It was fun seeing them, but we didn't just walk up and surprise them, they were coming to see the barking dog. Just curious? Maybe. Looking for an easy meal, maybe. I'm just putting this out there to inform bird hunters up there what I saw, so they can be aware if they have dogs. And no they were not coyotes. 
    • ANYFISH2
      Made it out yesterday evening, SAW 4 deer. The same small buck and 3 does.  They sure seemed skittish with the wind. For the fact I am getting very few daytime pics of any deer, I am at lest seeing a few every sit.