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2013


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Well everyone-

It's a new year with new waterfowl experiences to be had and lessons to be learned. I intend on putting my first video up in this section partly due to comfort level. Later, I will post a few in the Duluth fishing forum as well.

I was just curious if there were any questions or topics that you would like me to touch on during the first session? Calling? decoy placement? blinds? Please feel free to list some topics that you'd like me to talk about, and I'll do my best to answer them accordingly. thanks everyone!

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The first and most obvious question I have is...Who are you? Other than Shane Z, hotspot outdoors specialist who is going to be posting some videos, I have no clue who you are. How about a little background? My first questions would be on early season decoying (puddlers). I have a friend who if given his choice would put out large decoy spreads (more than a dozen) opening week, I am of the less is more mind set.

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Skee- Thanks for the reply and a VERY good topic to start off with! By the end of this week I hope to have a video posted on here and I will make sure to hit the early season hunting tactics topic.

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Awesome! Can't wait to learn how to catch some ducks.

Its easy! Feed them corn out of a metal coffee can all summer. shake can with corn in it as you walk into your garage. When duck enters, close door. At least thats what my grandmother did 30 years ago... whistle

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What does it take to be a prostaffer? Is it the number or size of decals on your truck and trailer? Number of posts on forums? Number of birds killed? Number of days hunted per year? Or just knowing the right people?

What do you get out of it? Is it gear? Discounts? Trips to private land or clubs? The ability to tell people you are prostaff? Are you a better hunter?

And lastly is it worth it? I have always wondered how these relationships work and what is required and given.

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hahaha the first video is awesome IMO.

To answer a few of your questions Feathers Rainen- I do have quite a bit of decals on my trailer wink Really, there are some guys who take their "Pro Staff" title way too seriously. I like to help represent a brand or company that meet my needs and that I know I can trust. DO i know more than the next guy down from me? Heck no. If anything I'd like to pick his brain and learn a thing or two. As far as relationships go...Communication with other staff members and business can be very good or very bad. I've been on both ends, but the people I'm with now are truly amazing.

The biggest benefit I see in being a staff member, is to share your passion with others. For me, it's not the discounts or the right to brag. It's instilling confidence in other's to come up to me and asking me a question or two about waterfowl hunting. It's an awesome feeling seeing the younger generation getting into the sport and loving it just as much as me.

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Builders

lol,, sure is nice and mellow in the bird watching threads... wink

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Just an update on the video situation. I uploaded one today but it's so pixelated and low quality, it's not worth posting. i apologize. Any help on posting youtube videos would be greatly appreciated!

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The more stickers I have on my truck the more ducks I shoot. I'm a pro staff so I'm cool. My mom says I'm cool too!

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How a bout we get this thread back on track with something almost all Minnesotans can do better on in their duck hunting-Calling!

Tip #1 despite the commonly given advice to call at wing tips and tails, I will unequivocally state that calling at a ducks wing tips ( as it is going parallel at a distance) is far far far more productive than calling at a ducks tail as it is going away!

The only time waiting to call at a tail works is on close up stuff when you aren't hidden perfectly.

Keep the tips rolling and maybe we will get off the good "Pro Staff Laugh" we just had and on to some real deal field earned tips that aren't the same old same old magazine or video rehash .

What tips do you all have for us??

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Can't say i've ever caught a duck before... But I do get lucky every now and then and blast a few for the bag.

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I've noticed a lot of people like to call at every duck they see regardless if it's high, low, flying into the spread, away etc.. Don't over call is my tip. Keep it to a minimum.

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Tip version # 3.1

The great overcalling undercalling debate.

Almost all MN duckhunters I have seen/heard under call.

Here is what happens: a duck is within sight to the side of a very large slough or shallow lake. Hunter A sees the duck and thinks maybe I should call but doesn't.-duck has no reaction

Hunter B throws up a well done greeting call that he learned from videos and practice.- duck has no reaction-he puts call down as he doesn't want to look bad with any more calling even though he hits his notes well and comes down the scale well.

Hunter C Throws out a nice greeting call and then another and another-with no reaction from the duck he stops for 5 seconds then throws up another wall of sound-no reaction-he puts the call away but then notices the duck turn a little so he picks up the call and tries again-duck turns a little- then Hunter C stops calling-duck stops coming toward spread.

What would have probably worked is to have hit a nice hard 5 note looked for a reaction and then when it didn't happen lean on the bird(s) with spaced rhythmic non stop calling that differs from the "wall of sound" in that it is a 5-7 note with a consistent spaced "rhythm". Ducks key on sound and can only tell where that sound is coming from if it has space between the notes -"rhythm". When you stop and the duck hasn't seen and been attracted to your decoys or a spinner you will loose the birds.

The above is mistake numero uno and I see it all the time.

Overcalling - might be the guy that has the whole area to himself and starts off a little heavy (not a huge mistake), or someone who calls after the ducks have locked onto there dekes or spinner (not a huge mistake unless you call too hard or aren't well covered) I like to call them all the way in and finish them close.

Most folks never get to the above scenarios of actual overcalling because they already lost the birds by undercalling or the wall of sound-stop wall of sound-stop method.

It seems that the guys with the passive strategy of calling, where they call so the ducks see their dekes or spinner and then shut up generally believe that most people overcall. I recommend they try good aggressive calling as it will put way way more birds on their strap.

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mallardnwalleye-

In my opinion, you did an awesome job describing a common scenario out in the field/water. A callers rhythm or what I like to call cadence can make all the difference on whether or not ducks are going to fully commit, half way commit, or fly on by. Although my description wouldn't have even come close to yours, THIS is exactly what i was hoping for by other posters such as you. Another way of how people see a waterfowl scenario and walking you through it in YOUR eyes.

Awesome job and keep'em coming!!

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Just about everyone over calls in MN. Ducks don't react to calls like they do down south were all these duck hunting videos are made. It doesn't bother me because most people are terrible so they move the ducks my direction by overcalling or just being bad all together. If you hunt water leave your call at home and you will be suprised at your results. Field hunting requires calling but only do it if you know what you are doing. If you have a good spread, are well hid and have done your homework so you are on the X a call will hurt more than it will help. If you do want to blow your call please learn how to identify ducks. I can't tell you how many times I see guys wailing away hail mary calls on their mallard call at divers, woodies, etc. Just about the only time I call over water is when I know a duck has seen my spread but wasn't interested. Sometimes it will turn them around. Goose calling is definitely neccesary but my first advice for a new duck hunter would be to not buy a duck call and invest that money in a quality spread. Use that time that you would have been practicing your duck call to scout new areas via satelitte maps or out on foot. I truely believe most guys would do way better if they just shut up and let the birds work in. I have never had a situation in which I felt someone else was shooting more ducks because they were calling better, in fact usually it is the complete opposite.

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Tip "B" Sorry lost track

I do alot of field hunting and the people that I see out in the fields next to me seem to put the deks down in the same spot in the same pattern every time out.

Don't be afraid to spread the dekes out and try different parts of the field move the decoys around if they don't seem to be finishing.

I saw a group of younger hunters in a field we where hunting together have a flock of ten geese come in. They got three for the next three times out they set up in the same spot with the same spread.

The fourth time out I invited them over and had a nice shoot with them. They both where 17 I told them about mixing there spread and hitting differnet parts of the field... bad thing was next time out they where in the spot I wanted to go to good thing.. they got into them pretty good.

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Just about everyone over calls in MN. Ducks don't react to calls like they do down south were all these duck hunting videos are made. It doesn't bother me because most people are terrible so they move the ducks my direction by overcalling or just being bad all together. If you hunt water leave your call at home and you will be suprised at your results. Field hunting requires calling but only do it if you know what you are doing. If you have a good spread, are well hid and have done your homework so you are on the X a call will hurt more than it will help. If you do want to blow your call please learn how to identify ducks. I can't tell you how many times I see guys wailing away hail mary calls on their mallard call at divers, woodies, etc. Just about the only time I call over water is when I know a duck has seen my spread but wasn't interested. Sometimes it will turn them around. Goose calling is definitely neccesary but my first advice for a new duck hunter would be to not buy a duck call and invest that money in a quality spread. Use that time that you would have been practicing your duck call to scout new areas via satelitte maps or out on foot. I truely believe most guys would do way better if they just shut up and let the birds work in. I have never had a situation in which I felt someone else was shooting more ducks because they were calling better, in fact usually it is the complete opposite.

you said-

"Just about everyone over calls in MN. Ducks don't react to calls like they do down south were all these duck hunting videos are made."

Just about everyone doesn't know how to call in MN. Ducks don't react because people don't know how up here. In general they do know how down there than up here but the ducks are easier to call up here.

I couldn't disagree more with " If you have a good spread, are well hid and have done your homework so you are on the X a call will hurt more than it will help" I can put a duck 15 yds away with a call that would be at 30 or more without. I can put more ducks in my sweet spot faster than not calling.

I'm telling you if you learn the craft of workin birds with a call you'd do much better.

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Tip "B" Sorry lost track

I do alot of field hunting and the people that I see out in the fields next to me seem to put the deks down in the same spot in the same pattern every time out.

Don't be afraid to spread the dekes out and try different parts of the field move the decoys around if they don't seem to be finishing.

I saw a group of younger hunters in a field we where hunting together have a flock of ten geese come in. They got three for the next three times out they set up in the same spot with the same spread.

The fourth time out I invited them over and had a nice shoot with them. They both where 17 I told them about mixing there spread and hitting differnet parts of the field... bad thing was next time out they where in the spot I wanted to go to good thing.. they got into them pretty good.

Nice story and good lesson.

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Living in N. Minnesota where the birds are few far and in between at times compared to the Dakotas,I can vouch for Feathers Rainin. I can't tell you how many times people have asked me if I use a short reed duck call..people around here are still using those giant goose shell layout blinds..no joke. A lot of good waterfowl hunters sneer at young hunters who either A) don't know any better or B) who are still being taught the "Old" way of waterfowl hunting. Don't get me wrong, those tactics work at times and there are still days that ducks come into the decoys while the boat is in the middle of the spread. Although I have only waterfowl hunted for 10 years, it seems to me like the birds keep getting smarter and smarter as the years go on...just my observation.

Believe me, for a good 2-3 years I was one of those guys who refused to help people out. Always laughing at people tooting on their goose flute or struggling on their calls. For the past couple years though, its been very rewarding seeing new hunters emerge and watching people progress on their calls. It does get hard though, when you start inviting new people to your fields only to realize that it became half the cities now. Almost everyone of my spots have been exploited in one way or another, and I'm sure MANY of you can relate to what i just mentioned...Sure your mad as heck but you find new areas to hunt and that's what drives me as each and every year..Like I said This is 2013.It's a new season and it's definitely something to be excited about!

Almost 2,000 people have viewed your posts in < 7 days since it was put up. Topics are only going to get better as more people start posting.

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I'm telling you if you learn the craft of workin birds with a call you'd do much better.

I would consider myself an average caller. However, I hunt with guys who have been duck hunting 30+ years and are excellent callers. One of which has done well in calling competitions. They do not call often when water hunting Minnesota. Scouting and setting up correct is 98% of being successful consistently. Anyone should have no problem killing ducks if they spend some time scouting and know the basics of setting up. Heck I would say scouting to get on the x is more important than calling and decoy sets combined. Some of my best shoots have been over 2-6 decoys with no calling because the ducks wanted to be there and they sat right in my lap.

It sounds like you have been successful with calling but I would be willing to bet a guy who goes out and scouts an area the day before to find the X and hunts with no calls will do better than the best caller in the world who goes out and sits on a random point and thinks he is going to call all the ducks in the swamp over to him.

I do not mind that most people overcall (good or bad) because when most other hunters are wailing away on their kazoos it helps my success. It also provides some good entertainment between volleys.

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it seems to me like the birds keep getting smarter and smarter as the years go on...just my observation.

Not true.

You...maybe...as well as a lot of others...decide to complicate it all. Killing a duck is the same today as it was 30 years ago.

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And those that don't believe you can call ducks right to the gun, should really learn to call ducks. Laying off on callable ducks is just a sign of a mediocre duck caller.

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