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Author Topic: Please criticize my duck hunt!  (Read 6186 times)

Offline metlhead

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Re: Please criticize my duck hunt!
« Reply #15 on: December 06, 2021, 08:54:50 AM »
This blind that is in the field, whar does it look like? By now birds are wary of any structure. All the camo is no good if the blind just sticks up. Pop ups are useless in an open field. Your only bet is to reduce your size, and that means going lower. Never comfortable and always dirty. If you can dig, do it. If not, lay down blinds or just you laying on the ground. I hunt pressured birds on public land and consistently kill limits because I have reduced myself to a 2'x2' natural screen. The ground is mostly barren mudflat except for occasioal tufts of grass. That is what I have become. I've learned which direction shootable birds come from, and ignore the rest. An agricultural field should have plenty of options if you become creative.

Offline salish

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Re: Please criticize my duck hunt!
« Reply #16 on: December 06, 2021, 12:04:12 PM »
As an upland hunter who is also a wannabe duck hunter, I am paying really close attention to this thread. I'm also in Seattle, so this thread is very interesting.

Offline Odell

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Re: Please criticize my duck hunt!
« Reply #17 on: December 06, 2021, 02:21:32 PM »
I'm not great at calling so take this for what it's worth:

This is advice for learning to call--
If ducks are coming and committed as a beginner don't touch your call. Don't move, be ready to shoot. (Knowing when to shoot is a skill hard learned. The timing, knowing if its the best shot you can get or if they are going to circle again...sometimes it's impossible but you will only learn this through trial and error)

If ducks are flying high and headed elsewhere, calling can't (often) hurt and once in a while you might just turn one. That said, listen to ducks, listen to duck calling media and try to actually sound like a duck. Don't just blow it like a horn, but use it as an opportunity to get better

Regarding shooting: Practice mounting your shotgun at home with it unloaded until its one fluid motion. Get that stock on your cheek and in the right spot on your shoulder with ease. This combined with knowing when to shoot will kill you a lot more ducks

Make sure your gun isn't getting tangled in brush blind, laying sideways, have it where you can grab it and be on your feet (or seat) shooting quickly and easily.

Pick one bird and kill it. I was consistently shooting behind birds at first. I had a process to fix my errors...CHEEK, BEAK, BOOM. Get the stock tight against my cheek because I was lifting my head, swing through the bird from behind it to its beak, once I see the beak (focus) make it go boom. Safety off at that point is a good idea as you learned :)  There are lots of moving parts in that moment, learn to do it in one fluid motion and you will kill birds. If you keep missing 90% odds that you are behind it so increase lead.

Don't aim. If you are used to rifle shooting with one eye closed and lining up sights (beads) you are doing it wrong. Both eyes open (IMO) and a fluid motion and let your brain and process determine the lead

Decoys-- One of the more fun parts in my opinion but patterns work best with wind. You can then block them from going where you don't want and leave a spot for where you want them. With little to no wind and a dozen decoys I would have very loose groups of 2-3 decoys scattered on either side of me

Camo--Not nearly as important as staying still. With a well brushed blind you can wear pink as long as you don't move

I miss duck hunting. It's been a few years for me

what in the wild wild world of sports???

Offline 2MANY

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Re: Please criticize my duck hunt!
« Reply #18 on: December 06, 2021, 02:57:15 PM »
If I were you I would get up and walk out in the middle of my decoys like I'm picking up.

Works every time.

Offline Stein

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Re: Please criticize my duck hunt!
« Reply #19 on: December 06, 2021, 03:14:37 PM »
If I were you I would get up and walk out in the middle of my decoys like I'm picking up.

Works every time.

Yup, or as my son says put out a peecoy.

Offline gaddy

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Re: Please criticize my duck hunt!
« Reply #20 on: December 06, 2021, 03:30:01 PM »
A thought. I never hunted fields much, mostly over water. But what I did during any scouting was look at the birds in an unpressured environment. I would check out refuges etc prior to season. Where they weren't pressured. Listen to them, what calls are you hearing naturally, you can't just start blaring at them. They want to hear whats natural. Watch how they pattern. How do they group up. How do they come in to whats on the water. How big are the groups on the water their coming into. Remember that these ducks have seen it all. I found that not calling with the right set up helped my harvest rates.
Did the same for geese.
I actually (over water) started setting up for geese with minimal duck deke's and increased my duck harvest.
I also quit going out at 3 am. Started the afternoon shift when everyone else was gone. Not the big bunches of birds but enough moving around to have fun and not have the competition.
It really got easier for me when I quit doing what everyone else did and watched the birds and what they did.
Where do they like to be, How do they naturally group on the water (not prescribed patterns of deke's) are they scattered or in a funnel ?
Good luck!!   It's all about the adventure and learning as you go. Have fun and keep it simple.

Offline shootem

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Re: Please criticize my duck hunt!
« Reply #21 on: December 07, 2021, 12:14:06 AM »
Birds like to land into the wind. The wind should be at your back. If your blind was was facing east with an east wind than it would have been in your face. I always try to avoid that.

Offline Special T

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Re: Please criticize my duck hunt!
« Reply #22 on: December 07, 2021, 08:13:42 AM »
Birds like to land into the wind. The wind should be at your back. If your blind was was facing east with an east wind than it would have been in your face. I always try to avoid that.

I'm gonna disagree with the wind at you back comment. If you do that they will be looking right at you. The only time I think that works is when you are facing north and the sunshine helps conceal you. And or the decoys are on the far side of the pond and the landing zone is between you and the decoys
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 metlhead

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Re: Please criticize my duck hunt!
« Reply #23 on: December 07, 2021, 08:24:31 AM »
Best scenario is most often a crosswind with blocks on the upwind side. As far as the birds landing, unless you have a heavy gale, they can land from any direction, only needing a few feet to spin and lite.

Offline PaulM

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Re: Please criticize my duck hunt!
« Reply #24 on: December 07, 2021, 10:05:41 AM »
Great topic. I would suggest getting help in person. The WWA has a mentor program that pairs new hunters with experienced waterfowlers for a minimum 2 hunt commitment. Its a steep learning curve and experienced hunters will help bring up your success with new skills.

Offline spadebit

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Re: Please criticize my duck hunt!
« Reply #25 on: December 07, 2021, 10:36:02 AM »
The way you analyzed your hunt is a sign you're going to be eventually successful. 
Being on the X is obviously the best way to get them, but unrealistic for public hunting at times. 
Besides what others mentioned, get some different species in your decoys, gadwall, wigeon, coots, or other divers.  It gives confidence to them and not many hunters run more than species or two of decoys.  Standing out can often be best, especially late season.
Dont call at birds who are on "a mission" youll learn what that means a lot of times by how high they are flying.  Just leave them alone and only call or move your jerk rig to birds that are within range. 
Youll often find singles or doubles looking for smaller groups of ducks to be with.  Calling will take time, but keep at it and practice while your driving or at a stop light as often as possible. 
I generally hunt with 12 to 16 decoys, a jerk rig, and place ducks as natural as possible on the water.  Set up a kill hole, but for puddle ducks my biggest mistake was making a J hook for example look too perfect as in a line.  Change it up when it is slow and see what works.  And dont call loud when theyre close, especially on a calm day with no wind.  It takes time to get into a rhythm, but keep after it.
 

Offline Kola16

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Re: Please criticize my duck hunt!
« Reply #26 on: December 07, 2021, 12:18:42 PM »
Great topic. I would suggest getting help in person. The WWA has a mentor program that pairs new hunters with experienced waterfowlers for a minimum 2 hunt commitment. Its a steep learning curve and experienced hunters will help bring up your success with new skills.
This is by far the best advice on here. An experienced hunter in the field will teach you the most.
Being on the X is obviously the best way to get them, but unrealistic for public hunting at times. 

Besides what others mentioned, get some different species in your decoys, gadwall, wigeon, coots, or other divers.  It gives confidence to them and not many hunters run more than species or two of decoys.  Standing out can often be best, especially late season.
I disagree with the X comment. I only hunt public land, and find that diligent scouting puts you on the X on public land ALWAYS.

Also to the OP,  when you do decide to get more decoys, get the other species along with mallards that you are seeing in the area you hunt. Being in W. WA, that will be the wigeons, pintails, teal, and whatever diver species you want. Gadwalls are not very prevalent over here. I wouldn't get coots either, but that is a whole other argument :chuckle:

Wigeons are a good one since wigeons like wigeon decoys. Even a box of 6 wigeons will make a huge difference.
If guns kill people...then pencils misspell words, cars make people drive drunk, and spoons made Rosie O'Donnell fat!

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Offline Stein

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Re: Please criticize my duck hunt!
« Reply #27 on: December 07, 2021, 12:31:04 PM »
Depends on what part of the state you are in.  Getting on the X in Skagit county on public land is a whole different can of beans than in more rural parts of the state.

Offline Kola16

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Re: Please criticize my duck hunt!
« Reply #28 on: December 07, 2021, 12:49:18 PM »
It doesn't matter what part of the state you live in. Your hunting license covers the entire 71k square miles.
If guns kill people...then pencils misspell words, cars make people drive drunk, and spoons made Rosie O'Donnell fat!

"God is great, beer is good, and people are crazy!"   -Billy Currington

Offline Stein

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Re: Please criticize my duck hunt!
« Reply #29 on: December 07, 2021, 01:03:11 PM »
True, but it's not realistic or even possible to scout the entire state every week.  For the majority of waterfowl hunting, I would guess people shoot pretty close to their house with maybe one or two trips somewhere else if they are lucky.

It's kind of like saying the guy in Dayton could easily go crabbing a couple times a week.

In my mind, that's the very cool thing about waterfowl, most people can hunt pretty local.

 


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