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Author Topic: Is Pass shooting on public land a bad thing? Can I do better?  (Read 2517 times)

Offline Jarredhs

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Is Pass shooting on public land a bad thing? Can I do better?
« on: October 19, 2021, 09:10:39 PM »
FIRST TIME DUCK HUNTER.
I went out on my first duck hunt and got a few ducks by just pass shooting in a zone where ducks were filtered into after others would either spook them or when they were just passing through from area to area. I went out initially with decoys and calls but ended up ditching the idea when I realized I wasn’t good enough to work the ducks into decoys, and with so much shooting going on everywhere was unsure it would even matter…  I WAS FAR BEHIND AND AWAY from everyone else and Though everything seemed fine, I found out on the internet today that pass shooting apparently ruins others hunt by causing more ducks to keep flying and leave the area rather than turn back to others calls or decoys. But the ducks I didn’t shoot at because they were either to far or fast  for a novice kept going on past me to other areas without hesitation to calls from others far away. So am I messing it up for others if I pass shoot? And also how can I decoy ducks if the ducks are spooked form the sounds of shots from everyone else? Also any other info on  unspoken rules of public duck land hunting would be great.

Offline Stein

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Re: Is Pass shooting on public land a bad thing? Can I do better?
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2021, 09:34:14 PM »
The difference between pass shooting and skybusting in my mind is whether you are regularly hitting and killing them or not.  If you are on one of the big public areas in Snoho/Skagit area, it's pretty much a free for all.  Sure, skybusting moves the ducks around but they will eventually fly by someone else.

If you are taking shots at reasonable distances I wouldn't worry about it.  If you are taking 75 yard shots and going 1/25, there might be some frustrated people around.  Likewise, if you are in an area with only one or two other groups it's usually assumed to be more gentlemanly although not always.

If it's on state land, it's usually a 15 shell limit so that controls skybusting for those observing the rule.

Offline Jarredhs

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Re: Is Pass shooting on public land a bad thing? Can I do better?
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2021, 08:21:49 AM »
Do you think there is any point in decoying ducks when there is say two groups already shooting? I know I need a lot of practice before success but is there a point in trying on public land with others?

Offline steeleywhopper

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Re: Is Pass shooting on public land a bad thing? Can I do better?
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2021, 08:27:39 AM »
Do you think there is any point in decoying ducks when there is say two groups already shooting? I know I need a lot of practice before success but is there a point in trying on public land with others?

I have had amazing days with only 5 or 6 decoys out and not calling at all when others have 50 to 100 dekes and are flaring birds with their calling.

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Re: Is Pass shooting on public land a bad thing? Can I do better?
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2021, 08:29:06 AM »
The two things I will say as far as pass shooting goes in my mind to think about is the distance of shots you are taking and if the birds truly are just passing by. Sky busting or shooting beyond your lethal range is never a good idea. I do know and have hunted with guys who shoot farther than I will but they consistently fold birds at that distance so I don't consider it sky busting. The other aspect has to do with knowing the difference between shooting passing birds and shooting at birds that are working another guy's spread. There is nothing "illegal" about doing the latter but it is more of the ethical thing to do. I have not shot at plenty of birds that I could have hit because I knew they were being worked by another group.
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Offline hunterednate

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Re: Is Pass shooting on public land a bad thing? Can I do better?
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2021, 08:31:24 AM »
Do you think there is any point in decoying ducks when there is say two groups already shooting? I know I need a lot of practice before success but is there a point in trying on public land with others?

I'm with Stein on this. If you find a spot where you're consistently killing ducks by pass shooting...more power to you. If you're just shooting, then it's time to adjust.

Keep in mind that the opening weekend is always a zoo. If you can get back to that same spot on a weekday later in the season, you'll probably have a much better chance at decoying/calling birds without other hunters messing things up.

Offline Basinguy

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Re: Is Pass shooting on public land a bad thing? Can I do better?
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2021, 08:40:18 AM »
We call them drivebyes. We setup on points on purpose just to get these birds. It's way more fun and way harder to get them, which is why we like it

Offline Stein

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Re: Is Pass shooting on public land a bad thing? Can I do better?
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2021, 08:47:24 AM »
Do you think there is any point in decoying ducks when there is say two groups already shooting? I know I need a lot of practice before success but is there a point in trying on public land with others?

I always try to decoy them.  Whether they want to decoy or not is more up to the duck.  Pretty quickly here they will know where all the public land blinds are and then will not readily decoy for the most part.  As new birds move into the area, you will be able to better decoy them, so it all depends on where you are and if the birds you have coming know you are there or not.

You can usually tell by their behavior if you have any chance at decoying or at least taking a slow pass close.

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Re: Is Pass shooting on public land a bad thing? Can I do better?
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2021, 09:38:11 AM »
We were just about done picking up decoys on a canal once, and a flock of mallards was heading up the canal, pretty high, but not unreasonable, straight on with no intention of circling. As trained, my boys moved to a bush and took a knee, while I sneaked back under a tree. As they approached, maybe 45yd, I smoothly shuffle stepped out and pulled up... I heard my older son say, "No way. Dad?!?!" BOOM! Duck folded immediately! Son said, "Whaaaat!! Whaaaat!!" as the duck hissed to the ground 20 ft from him and bounced with a loud THUMP! He stared in disbelief, then he said, "Oh yeah, you have the 3 and a Halfs!" (I was going to argue shooting skill and trajectory vs payload with his 3"inchers, but I just left it be!)
« Last Edit: October 21, 2021, 10:42:26 AM by rainshadow1 »
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Offline Badhabit

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Re: Is Pass shooting on public land a bad thing? Can I do better?
« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2021, 10:33:11 AM »
If you think you are skybusting then you probably are. On the other hand I've hunted McNary and have been accused of "skybusting" after shooting a triple that flared off about 25 yds above me. Crazies in the next bliind went ballistic and screamed at me and my buddy that we were shooting them tall. It was golden when one of them with his shotgun in his hands threatened to bodily harm us. I let him know he just committed a crime and they better leave before LEO gets to him. Final note, most hunters do not have a clue how tall the birds are when they are 200 yds away from you and the birds are 30 above you, they will tell you the bird were 100 yds up. But that's my opinion. They No clue whatsoever.
The Europeans love pass shooting birds. They have those huge pheasant and grouse drives.

Offline Special T

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Re: Is Pass shooting on public land a bad thing? Can I do better?
« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2021, 10:40:25 AM »
I have a couple of suggestions. 
1 keep a journal. Write down all weather conditions.  Your location and your observations about the birds and where they are traveling.
2 keep you decoy bag light.  My best hunts were with 2 mallards 2 Teal decoys for 2 guys.  I notice lots of small groups of birds in all kinds of weird locations. I dont think they are out of place.
3 learn how to quack. When I was taught that was the first thing i had to learn to do really well. Soft quack. Never seems to have an inappropriate time to use and will take you time before you can do it great.  Later in the season a soft quack is almost exclusively what I use.
4 polish your barrel and pattern it at difference yardages. The below picture represents the diminishing nature of a shot shell. As a component of this learn how to tell distance. If you dont have a good dog those shot cripples wil sail off to become eagle food.

5 JOIN the Washington Waterfowlers Association depending on where you live near Snohomish  the Seattle chapter meets at Kemore, and the NW chapter meets at Twin City Sportsmen Club in Stanwood.  Meetings practice shooting and mentorship.
In archery we have something like the way of the superior man. When the archer misses the center of the target, he turns round and seeks for the cause of his failure in himself. 

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Offline JBG

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Re: Is Pass shooting on public land a bad thing? Can I do better?
« Reply #11 on: October 20, 2021, 11:24:34 AM »
Its not bad per se but it adds to the amount of shooting that you were complaining about that caused your decoy set up to not work.  Like others have said join WWA, and if you arent killing birds pass shooting try decoying them.  On public land and even private land with other hunters on other fields shots will flare birds.  However you will find your moment to decoy birds when others dont shoot.  People hunting around you may flare some birds but it also keeps them from rafting up.

Offline Curly

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Re: Is Pass shooting on public land a bad thing? Can I do better?
« Reply #12 on: October 20, 2021, 11:43:44 AM »
I have a couple of suggestions. 
1 keep a journal. Write down all weather conditions.  Your location and your observations about the birds and where they are traveling.
2 keep you decoy bag light.  My best hunts were with 2 mallards 2 Teal decoys for 2 guys.  I notice lots of small groups of birds in all kinds of weird locations. I dont think they are out of place.
3 learn how to quack. When I was taught, that was the first thing i had to learn to do really well. Soft quack. Never seems to have an inappropriate time to use and will take you time before you can do it great.  Later in the season a soft quack is almost exclusively what I use.
4 polish your barrel and pattern it at difference yardages. The below picture represents the diminishing nature of a shot shell. As a component of this learn how to tell distance. If you don't have a good dog those shot cripples will sail off to become eagle food.

5 JOIN the Washington Waterfowlers Association.  Depending on where you live near Snohomish the Seattle chapter meets at Kenmore, and the NW chapter meets at Twin City Sportsmen Club in Stanwood.  Meetings practice shooting and mentor-ship.

That poster is based on #5 shot.  I'm assuming that is lead shot........is that right?  You don't usually see #5 steel but #5 lead is what I used back in the day and it was great.
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Offline Special T

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Re: Is Pass shooting on public land a bad thing? Can I do better?
« Reply #13 on: October 20, 2021, 12:38:21 PM »
I have a couple of suggestions. 
1 keep a journal. Write down all weather conditions.  Your location and your observations about the birds and where they are traveling.
2 keep you decoy bag light.  My best hunts were with 2 mallards 2 Teal decoys for 2 guys.  I notice lots of small groups of birds in all kinds of weird locations. I dont think they are out of place.
3 learn how to quack. When I was taught, that was the first thing i had to learn to do really well. Soft quack. Never seems to have an inappropriate time to use and will take you time before you can do it great.  Later in the season a soft quack is almost exclusively what I use.
4 polish your barrel and pattern it at difference yardages. The below picture represents the diminishing nature of a shot shell. As a component of this learn how to tell distance. If you don't have a good dog those shot cripples will sail off to become eagle food.

5 JOIN the Washington Waterfowlers Association.  Depending on where you live near Snohomish the Seattle chapter meets at Kenmore, and the NW chapter meets at Twin City Sportsmen Club in Stanwood.  Meetings practice shooting and mentor-ship.

That poster is based on #5 shot.  I'm assuming that is lead shot........is that right?  You don't usually see #5 steel but #5 lead is what I used back in the day and it was great.

I was taught the rule of thumb was go up 2shot sizes for steel.

I also recognise this was likely lead 2 3/4"shells. The point is the same. Distance from the bird reduces effectiveness exponentially.
In archery we have something like the way of the superior man. When the archer misses the center of the target, he turns round and seeks for the cause of his failure in himself. 

Confucius

Offline Curly

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Re: Is Pass shooting on public land a bad thing? Can I do better?
« Reply #14 on: October 20, 2021, 12:51:47 PM »
I have a couple of suggestions. 
1 keep a journal. Write down all weather conditions.  Your location and your observations about the birds and where they are traveling.
2 keep you decoy bag light.  My best hunts were with 2 mallards 2 Teal decoys for 2 guys.  I notice lots of small groups of birds in all kinds of weird locations. I dont think they are out of place.
3 learn how to quack. When I was taught, that was the first thing i had to learn to do really well. Soft quack. Never seems to have an inappropriate time to use and will take you time before you can do it great.  Later in the season a soft quack is almost exclusively what I use.
4 polish your barrel and pattern it at difference yardages. The below picture represents the diminishing nature of a shot shell. As a component of this learn how to tell distance. If you don't have a good dog those shot cripples will sail off to become eagle food.

5 JOIN the Washington Waterfowlers Association.  Depending on where you live near Snohomish the Seattle chapter meets at Kenmore, and the NW chapter meets at Twin City Sportsmen Club in Stanwood.  Meetings practice shooting and mentor-ship.

That poster is based on #5 shot.  I'm assuming that is lead shot........is that right?  You don't usually see #5 steel but #5 lead is what I used back in the day and it was great.

I was taught the rule of thumb was go up 2shot sizes for steel.

I also recognise this was likely lead 2 3/4"shells. The point is the same. Distance from the bird reduces effectiveness exponentially.

Right, I just wanted to clarify for those that might be new to duck hunting.  #5 lead and full choke was a good combo back in the day.
May I always be the kind of person my dog thinks I am.

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Offline Stein

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Re: Is Pass shooting on public land a bad thing? Can I do better?
« Reply #15 on: October 20, 2021, 01:04:58 PM »
During my first couple seasons, I used to pack around a cheap laser rangefinder to gauge how far overhead birds were flying.  The first couple times I ranged snows I was pretty shocked how far away they really were.  After looking at ducks all day the bigger birds seemed much closer.

It also helps a lot if you are 20-30 yards from your decoys, pretty easy to pace that off.  If you set them in the dark and aren't paying attention I find they are usually closer than you think when the sun comes up which hurts your ability to fool them into decoying.

Most importantly, get a good hide.  I really need to work on that one more, I invested in a few things this year to help make better hides.

Offline GWP

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Re: Is Pass shooting on public land a bad thing? Can I do better?
« Reply #16 on: October 20, 2021, 06:06:30 PM »
My wife and I mainly use/used to jump shoot or pass shoot unless we were taking a break from ‘hiking with a shotgun’. We each carried one decoy. We would stop by a pond, toss out the two decoys, little or no calling at all, eat lunch, and would OFTEN have birds drop in.
We use/used premium (Hevi Shot, Bismuth or Tungsten) shot ONLY, and can shoot like lead used to with all of them.
Killed a wounded goose at 70 yards with #2 Hevi Shot. It is heavier than lead. The guy we were with was amazed. He used steel.
Yes it costs more. Yes it works better.
If you only get 15 shots, wouldn’t you rather increase your odds on those?
If you find the right area, and are not too close to other hunters, pass shooting can be great. Hiking a distance is usually the key.
An easy way to judge if they are close enough is “if you can see it’s eyeball, you are good.”
« Last Edit: October 20, 2021, 06:13:02 PM by GWP »

Online metlhead

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Re: Is Pass shooting on public land a bad thing? Can I do better?
« Reply #17 on: October 20, 2021, 06:17:59 PM »
If the shots are legit, bang away. You have every right. Definitely look around to hook up with folks that have been hunting for awhile. Feet down in the decoys is addictive, and not difficult to have with time in the field.

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Re: Is Pass shooting on public land a bad thing? Can I do better?
« Reply #18 on: October 26, 2021, 03:15:38 PM »
When I lived in Washington I did pass shooting & jump shooting a lot. If they’re in a range you can knock them down, shoot ‘em. You have as much right to be hunting how you like on public land  as anyone else.

Offline Guzman

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Re: Is Pass shooting on public land a bad thing? Can I do better?
« Reply #19 on: October 29, 2021, 09:38:47 AM »
This is complicated one. Yes you can shoot away. You can shoot just to shoot. You can set up 30 yards from people at most areas. You can put your decoys out at shooting time.

Deer hunting a person can go out and shoot at 10 deer. Maybe shoot a few in the legs. Blow a few horns off. You can also sight your rifle in opening morning of deer season at a popular area. That is legal to do.

In terms of ethical you have a huge grey area. I would say if you are dropping a bird out of a flock every opportunity you are ethical. That is my 2 cents. If there are 4 of you and you are dropping and retrieving 3 birds a flock that is ethical. If you are shooting and things aren’t falling you are probably just wounding birds which I would say probably isn’t ethical.

Then you get into the subject of common courtesy for everyone else. This is a huge grey area and will very greatly accross the state. For instance along the dike at skagit my understanding is no one will care. If you are by yourself and no one is within miles no one will care. If you are on private property no one will care. Some high density areas on the east side of the mountains blatant pass shooting is very frowned upon in many areas. Some of these areas there are 20 other groups in the area. Every time you shoot everyone else has to sit and wait 10 or so minutes until the birds settle back down even a mile away. They might be working birds and every time they start to get birds close a pass shooter may scare them all off and they are going to start to get frustrated. Now if you are dropping birds every time no one will say anything. But if it is just shooting they aren’t going to be very happy. And like I said this will vary a ton from area to area on what is acceptable.

Offline dilleytech

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Re: Is Pass shooting on public land a bad thing? Can I do better?
« Reply #20 on: November 01, 2021, 05:46:57 PM »
I have a couple of suggestions. 
1 keep a journal. Write down all weather conditions.  Your location and your observations about the birds and where they are traveling.
2 keep you decoy bag light.  My best hunts were with 2 mallards 2 Teal decoys for 2 guys.  I notice lots of small groups of birds in all kinds of weird locations. I dont think they are out of place.
3 learn how to quack. When I was taught that was the first thing i had to learn to do really well. Soft quack. Never seems to have an inappropriate time to use and will take you time before you can do it great.  Later in the season a soft quack is almost exclusively what I use.
4 polish your barrel and pattern it at difference yardages. The below picture represents the diminishing nature of a shot shell. As a component of this learn how to tell distance. If you dont have a good dog those shot cripples wil sail off to become eagle food.

5 JOIN the Washington Waterfowlers Association depending on where you live near Snohomish  the Seattle chapter meets at Kemore, and the NW chapter meets at Twin City Sportsmen Club in Stanwood.  Meetings practice shooting and mentorship.

That poster is a old outdated joke lol. 20% at 50? Lol no.

So is pass shooting bad? Depends if your surrounded by people trying to decoy you better make sure you are going to kill the duck that your shooting at. Personally I find a lot more pleasure from shooting a duck30-50 yards over head then fluttering over the decoys. And I’m very affective at these ranges. But if I’m around other decoying people I will keep my over head range to sub 30. Is shooting 30 yards overhead sky busting? I don’t think so. Is it bad if they are 60 plus and you suck so bad at decoying your shooting anyway then yes that is bad. Sit down. And be patient. If the hunting isn’t good learn from what you did wrong and pick a different spot next time. I recommend a small quality spread like 6-12 decoys with a pull string to get started. Specially in calm conditions. Nothing looks worse then a large spread on a calm day.

 


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