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waterfowlerjm

Where ducks Land on water

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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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