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Author Topic: School Me on Duck/Goose Hunting  (Read 1082 times)

Offline gallion_t

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School Me on Duck/Goose Hunting
« on: January 18, 2018, 02:50:13 PM »
For several years I have been wanting to get into waterfowl hunting. Outside of jump shooting them off of ponds or rivers while out scouting or pheasant hunting I have never really taken the time to learn or do it. That is until this Christmas. I was gifted money to go towards a guided duck hunt with the hopes of learning a lot and determining if I really enjoyed it. Of course I had a blast and am now hooked. Though I learned a lot about how to set up, how the ducks move, a bit of calling technique and what to look for when they start coming in there is still a lot to learn. I've done some research on different techniques for setting up decoys and watched plenty of videos on youtube about calling (my coworkers gave me funny looks when they realized I was listening to duck calling through my headphones) but there is only so much you can learn from videos.

When I started getting interested a couple years ago I picked up 18 floating mallard decoys, a feeder shaker call, Buck Gardner double Nasty, Haydel DR-85, and a Buck Gardner Canada Hammer goose call.

With my hunt being out of layout blinds over mostly goose decoys I have been researching those quite a bit. What does everyone like as far as decoys for a spread? Full Body, shells, socks, combo of all? Is there a whole lot of difference in layout blinds or does it come down more to personal preference?

With the season wrapping up I am hoping to pick up some stuff on closeout sales and watch craigslist and offerup for some good deals before next season.

Any tips on gear to keep an eye out for, videos or articles that really helped your learning curve or just info in general would be very helpful and very much appreciated. One thing I will hopefully have going for me next season is a buddy that does a lot of duck hunting down in California is moving back to Washington so I should be able to get out with him a couple times and learn some tricks that way.

Thanks

Travis 

Offline WSU

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Re: School Me on Duck/Goose Hunting
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2018, 03:00:03 PM »
The number one most important thing is having a good location.  You need to hunt where the birds already want to be.  Scouting is key to that.  Everything else is not as important.

Offline Special T

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Re: School Me on Duck/Goose Hunting
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2018, 03:09:23 PM »
There is a triangle of sucessful hunting. 1The first and most heavily weighted point is location. Absolute duck assins find the X and hunt there. Scouting A LOT plays into this.
2 Presentation. Everything from the how's and why's of decoys, calling, and anything else that says "Hey Baby, Over Hear!"
3Conceilment kind of camo, blind, blind location, mask, face paint, lack of motion.. etc.

You can really choke on #2&3 IF your on the X. If your not on the X like most of us, you have to work harder on the other stuff.  Visiting potential hunting areas just after the season during day light makes setup the first time in the dark much easier. 2c

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Offline gallion_t

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Re: School Me on Duck/Goose Hunting
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2018, 03:10:07 PM »
The number one most important thing is having a good location.  You need to hunt where the birds already want to be.  Scouting is key to that.  Everything else is not as important.

Talking with the guide it sounded like they would move around to different fields every day or two based on if there was feed or pressure. What about for water? Do they tend to go back to the same ponds/coves/river sections after they are done feeding or does that change on a day to day basis? If so what factors will get them to move?

Offline eastsidemallard74

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Re: School Me on Duck/Goose Hunting
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2018, 03:26:38 PM »
They roost in same water ways, as long as people don't bump them, or it's open water. Their migrating though so as it gets colder in the area they move south. Day of a nasty storm , birds will usually find shelter(at least over here) and hunker.
Is it waterfowl season yet..............

Offline KopperBuck

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Re: School Me on Duck/Goose Hunting
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2018, 03:33:28 PM »
Talking with the guide it sounded like they would move around to different fields every day or two based on if there was feed or pressure. What about for water? Do they tend to go back to the same ponds/coves/river sections after they are done feeding or does that change on a day to day basis? If so what factors will get them to move?

Pressure and weather are your biggest contributors to change. You'll find with water, especially, that historically some places are always going to produce better than others. It may not be every time, but generally speaking.

The key here is to figure out why or why not... wind direction, moisture, temp, cover, easy access for other hunters, close to feed/sanctuary. How's it been the last couple days, the last week, etc?

Every day you're out there you should be trying to put a pattern together. I learn just as much on days we don't do well compared to when we smash them.

Oh ya... SCOUT. That's your easiest route for killing birds, as others have mentioned. I think your hide is more important than decoys or calling.

Offline Buckewe

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Re: School Me on Duck/Goose Hunting
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2018, 03:53:57 PM »
The biggest part is just getting out and not getting discouraged if you don't shoot anything. Listen to the hp outdoors waterfowl podcast. There is a ton of really good info to be had on there.
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Offline Badhabit

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Re: School Me on Duck/Goose Hunting
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2018, 04:35:09 PM »
Find a Chapter of Washington Waterfowl Association. Join, go out on some their events. Typical things like clean ups and wood duck boxes maybe duck/goose banding. The guys that love the sport and give back are the guys in WWA. Show some of them you're not looking for a freebie and they'll probably share some of their experiences with you. I'm a dryside hunter and typically travel 100 miles one way to get into the action.

Offline BD1

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Re: School Me on Duck/Goose Hunting
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2018, 06:27:59 PM »
I'm a lake Stevens/Everett guy who has been hunting around here for 30+ years. I would be happy to give you some ideas. I am not an expert duck assassin but have fun hunting. Shoot me a pm in the next month or so and we can meet up for a beer and birds conference.
Mike...BD1

Offline gallion_t

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Re: School Me on Duck/Goose Hunting
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2018, 07:18:21 PM »
I'm a lake Stevens/Everett guy who has been hunting around here for 30+ years. I would be happy to give you some ideas. I am not an expert duck assassin but have fun hunting. Shoot me a pm in the next month or so and we can meet up for a beer and birds conference.
Mike...BD1

Thanks for the great offer BD1 but I have actually moved and am no longer in the Everett area.

Offline lokidog

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Re: School Me on Duck/Goose Hunting
« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2018, 10:36:37 PM »
Hey BD1, I'm hoping to learn that area better with our move to Sultan. Not a newbie, but new to the area if your offer is open?

Ed

Offline CP

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Re: School Me on Duck/Goose Hunting
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2018, 06:43:36 AM »
You still have a week left in the season.  Get out somewhere and just watch the birds.  Take your shotgun with you.  You will learn more in the field than on the keyboard.


Offline BD1

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Re: School Me on Duck/Goose Hunting
« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2018, 10:12:28 AM »
Hey BD1, I'm hoping to learn that area better with our move to Sultan. Not a newbie, but new to the area if your offer is open?

Ed

Of course  :tup:
I see you have Decatur listed...ever run into the Bell family?

Offline lokidog

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Re: School Me on Duck/Goose Hunting
« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2018, 11:50:52 AM »
Hey BD1, I'm hoping to learn that area better with our move to Sultan. Not a newbie, but new to the area if your offer is open?

Ed

Of course  :tup:
I see you have Decatur listed...ever run into the Bell family?

Decatur Northwest?  I painted their house a few years ago and need to do some deck repair work this spring.