Duck hunting advice for a beginner

seeth07

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Oct 14, 2016
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Markesan, WI
Use smaller shot than you think. Early season, 4-6 for ducks and 2s for geese. Late season, 2-4 for ducks and 2-bb for geese. And don't be shy about ammo being expensive. Spending a little more on ammo and having less cripples is worth it. Thread isn't about debating what ammo to use, enough of that on here already.
 

nick87

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Dec 12, 2014
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Northern Illinois
Use smaller shot than you think. Early season, 4-6 for ducks and 2s for geese. Late season, 2-4 for ducks and 2-bb for geese. And don't be shy about ammo being expensive. Spending a little more on ammo and having less cripples is worth it. Thread isn't about debating what ammo to use, enough of that on here already.
To add to that finding the right choke/ammo combination is money well spent imo.
 

seeth07

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To add to that finding the right choke/ammo combination is money well spent imo.
Same concept with shot size for choke too. I run imp cyl early and by late season it's usually a steel shot full. Add a choke size if geese are the main target
 

corndog1

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Jul 4, 2017
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Bozeman Mt
Location is key and once you have your spot for a hunt these are the things that help me out.

I like a cross wind but the wind at my back works also.

Avoid wind in your face

Hide and be still

Most decoys up wind

Early season the ducks will key in on your spinner decoy.

If ducks are flaring they most likely see you.

Just like any other hunting the more you go the more you know.

Have Fun!
 

nick87

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Dec 12, 2014
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7,125
Location
Northern Illinois
Location is key and once you have your spot for a hunt these are the things that help me out.

I like a cross wind but the wind at my back works also.

Avoid wind in your face

Hide and be still

Most decoys up wind

Early season the ducks will key in on your spinner decoy.

If ducks are flaring they most likely see you.

Just like any other hunting the more you go the more you know.

Have Fun!
Solid advice there.
 

Duckdude10

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Aug 2, 2022
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Just wondering if anyone had any advice for someone who's attempting their first North Dakota public land solo duck hunt? I've been scouting and have some good ideas where they'll be if nothing drastically changes come September. However, I will attempting this with 6 decoys, maybe a MOJO or two, no dog and boat to retrieve ducks so if they don't fall where I can walk, I'll be waiting for the wind to blow them into shore. I went waterfowl hunting last year so I am not walking into this completely blind but any help on locations, decoy placements, calling, and/or any other advice would be greatly helpful. Thanks in advance!
We have used a kayak before. Just cover it with burlap or spray paint it camo. You don’t need an expensive one if you are just using it to retrieve. Sometimes we get in our kayaks and sit in the reeds with makeshifts blinds. You’ll be able to access parts of the lake/pond you couldn’t otherwise
 

AlaskaHunter

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Jan 20, 2017
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interior Alaska
Waterfowl get shot at and scared sometimes on a daily basis...
usually from a rectangular object in the landscape.

A good hide should not be an obvious rectangular blind, the lower the profile the better.

Laying out in a jet sled the hunter profile is below the vegetation and with another sled the dog
can sit behind the hunter so no muzzle blast to damage the dog's hearing.

 

R.K.

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Jan 24, 2017
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MT
We have used a kayak before. Just cover it with burlap or spray paint it camo. You don’t need an expensive one if you are just using it to retrieve. Sometimes we get in our kayaks and sit in the reeds with makeshifts blinds. You’ll be able to access parts of the lake/pond you couldn’t otherwise
Make sure it's a stable kayak- I used to do this in my Future Beach, but would never even consider a SunDolphin- they could be used for log-rolling contests.

Use smaller shot than you think. Early season, 4-6 for ducks and 2s for geese. Late season, 2-4 for ducks and 2-bb for geese. And don't be shy about ammo being expensive. Spending a little more on ammo and having less cripples is worth it. Thread isn't about debating what ammo to use, enough of that on here already.

I would add that steel shot sheds velocity incredibly fast, and pretty much every "hypersonic" load is going about the same speed as the regular stuff after 30 yards. Your biggest benefit is going with a larger payload to increase pattern density- I mostly shoot 1.25 oz #4 shot at mallards, and prefer #6 for teal. (Side note- #6 in a full choke does wonders on geese if you shoot them in the head- high pattern density, folds them like a turkey).


Oh- and last but not least- get a second job to start paying for this habit you're about to start.
 

Four22

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Apr 2, 2016
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504
Location
Ohio
Get the biggest thermos for coffee you can find.

The coffee decoy always brings them in.

Joking aside, a small boat is a must. It’s amazing how quickly the wind can blow a dead bird, not to mention chasing a crippled duck.
 

OntarioHunter

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Sep 11, 2020
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Fixed it for you.
Sorry. I forget he is in the States. DU in Canada is a different and more reputable outfit. I haven't had anything to do with US DU since the Cox Kennedy affair. However, I still think it might be good place for him to connect with a member. He can go to banquets etc without becoming a member.
 

OntarioHunter

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Sep 11, 2020
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it just adds up, between my western hunting trips, local duck hunting, duck boat, and training a duck dog. my wife wants to shoot me every fall.
Well, there is always the alternative bar scene. She should be thankful you're in the field keeping healthy rather than making a fool of yourself and the relationship at some tavern.
 

Nicoli7153

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Sep 9, 2021
Messages
100
Well, there is always the alternative bar scene. She should be thankful you're in the field keeping healthy rather than making a fool of yourself and the relationship at some tavern.
You got that right!!!! All hunting and fishing is a better alternative to hanging around in some bar
 

crock239

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Sep 18, 2012
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687
Location
Iowa
When you've done all the above and ducks still won't decoy...stand outside the blind in plain view and unzip or drop your waders to relieve yourself (preferably with shotgun well out of reach)...

...ducks will IMMEDIATELY buzz the decoys even on a bluebird day.
 

ridn9high

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Joined
Oct 19, 2017
Messages
94
Location
Oklahoma
You want motion in your spread. We always have a jerk string and a couple pulsators on our hunts. You can make your own jerk string very easily

Like already mentioned, make sure you are concealed and hidden. The biggest mistake guys have is not having a good blind. When the birds are flaring, it’s either your decoy spread or you aren’t hidden good enough.

If the birds are not coming into your spread, but landing 2-300 yards away. Grab a couple decoys and move where they are wanting to land. I’ve some hunts that were saved by doing this. Nothing more frustrating than watching birds land

Sometimes less is more, especially later in the season. This goes for calling and decoys numbers. Late in the year 4-12 decoys work really well as the birds have seen every type of spread from September and throughout season.
 

kansasdad

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Jul 30, 2011
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5,811
Location
Wichita
When you've done all the above and ducks still won't decoy...stand outside the blind in plain view and unzip or drop your waders to relieve yourself (preferably with shotgun well out of reach)...

...ducks will IMMEDIATELY buzz the decoys even on a bluebird day.
We call it “doing something random and stupid”. It doesn’t work often for me, but when friend Bob does his random and stupid thing, here they come.
 

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