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Author Topic: Please criticize my duck hunt!  (Read 6286 times)

Offline AL WORRELLS KID

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Re: Please criticize my duck hunt!
« Reply #30 on: December 07, 2021, 01:36:57 PM »
Always be sensitive to your Dog's feelings, someday you may be sharing his house.
When he was young, I told Dale Jr. that hunting and racing are a lot alike. Holding that steering wheel and holding that rifle both mean you better be responsible.Ē ó Dale Earnhardt

Offline ctwiggs1

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Re: Please criticize my duck hunt!
« Reply #31 on: December 07, 2021, 01:38:47 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.

Skagit is a perfect example for your point.  I've sat in fields surrounded by duck-loaded fields and had nothing come in. 

I've also sat had limits in the first 30 minutes.

Skagit is tricky.

Offline Kola16

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Re: Please criticize my duck hunt!
« Reply #32 on: December 07, 2021, 03:11:07 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.
Well you don't have to scout the entire state, just till you find the X. I have almost always found an X on the westside. With duck hunting you get out what you put in. Scouting is as necessary with duck hunting as it is with deer, elk, bear, or turkey.

What's the nearest place from Seattle to duck hunt anyway? Stanwood? 15 minutes north is Skagit. Another 35 minutes is Whatcom. There will be an X on public land at any point in time at least in 1 of those places. All within 2 hours of Seattle that is not a drive to complain about. The drive to my favorite duck blind is 3 hours.

Speaking of, some have mentioned that the blind is key and they are right. Here is a picture of one I built with the foldout opened for shooting and closed for hiding. Notice how the surrounding vegetation in the background is much taller than the dugout blind. I could use more vegetation on the blind too...
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Offline Stein

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Re: Please criticize my duck hunt!
« Reply #33 on: December 07, 2021, 04:16:58 PM »
I'm not arguing that scouting isn't helpful, it certainly is.  I'm simply trying to add some reality so people starting out have realistic expectations.

If you don't have a boat, there are a finite number of sites all on the WDFW website and all available to anyone with OnX, Basemap or whatever which is pretty much everyone.  The sites are highly competitive and often very difficult to get in where you want once you find the birds.  Some of them are reservation only which requires predicting the "x" two weeks in advance and being very lucky on the mouse click.  FFTH sites are often plugged with people camping at the site well before the 4am time.  Others are only open certain days.  Many have fixed blinds you must hunt out of.

You can certainly get out, have multiple backup plans and shoot some ducks, but if you only have access to public I'm not sure there are many people on the x 100% of their hunts.  The fact is the birds know real quick where the public blinds are and you're going to need perfect conditions for those blinds to be on the x - fresh birds, right amount of water, right wind and a big chunk of luck.

From my experience, public land hunting is a combination of scouting, luck, right place right time, pass shooting, some decoying and a combination of limits, skunks and everything in between.

If a guy is shooting limits of feet down birds on the x 90%+ of the time all on public land, my hat's off to them for sure.  I'm sure there are a few of them out there just like there are a few guys that kill 6x6 or better elk every year on a general permit.

Offline metlhead

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Re: Please criticize my duck hunt!
« Reply #34 on: December 07, 2021, 07:03:45 PM »
Public waterways offer incredible hunting, and yes, one can consistently do very well on them. If it is managed by WDFW, avoid it just like the birds. A boat is your key to access the tremendous amount of great areas available. Probably take a bit of driving also. A four hour round trip driving is very worth a great hunt. Also beats sitting for wasted hours close to home where everyone else but the birds sits. Birds are here, in large numbers, and readily available to anyone putting forth some effort.

Offline Kola16

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Re: Please criticize my duck hunt!
« Reply #35 on: December 07, 2021, 07:26:33 PM »
I didn't read where the OP didn't have a boat. I would make a suggestion to the OP to put a small boat or a cheap beater kayak on the "X"-mas ;) list. Sooooo much more land to access with either of those 2 things and much easier to avoid the crowds and conceal.

If it gives the OP hope, I never shot a duck when I started hunting till probably the tenth outing. 15 years later, and I cannot remember a single hunt where I didn't come home with at least 1 duck. The more effort you put into learning how to duck hunt and finding new areas, the closer you will get to never coming up skunked again. Judging from your first post, you will reach that mark waaaaaaaaaaay before I ever did :chuckle:
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 jamesfromseattle

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Re: Please criticize my duck hunt!
« Reply #36 on: December 07, 2021, 11:20:22 PM »
Thanks again for all the input. Tons of great info from everyone. I donít have a duck boatójust a fishing boat that isnít a great platform for a blind. Iím not opposed to getting something in the future but am trying to keep it simple for now.

At least in western Washington I havenít seen that many places Iíd be comfortable hunting in a kayak. Maybe I just need to grow a pair, but most of the shooting Iíve heard has been coming from open water or tidal rivers with strong currents. But Iíll be on the lookout for places accessible in a small boatómaybe Iím just overlooking spots.

Been focusing in Snohomish and Skagit County. There are some well known spots a little closer but they appear to be too well known and/or be pheasant release sites. To the south of me it looks like theyíre some good public options in a small boat. East of the mountains appears to have a lot of options for a small boat or kayak.

Offline Kola16

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Re: Please criticize my duck hunt!
« Reply #37 on: December 08, 2021, 12:14:19 AM »
You're overlooking spots. There are a lot of very safe places for little fishing boats. Numurous lakes, protected tidal flats, tidal backwaters, etc. Places you'll never see a wave bigger than a foot on the windiest days. You don't have to hunt out of the boat, you just use it to get to places.
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 Pac_NW

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Re: Please criticize my duck hunt!
« Reply #38 on: December 08, 2021, 11:20:55 AM »
ójust a fishing boat that isnít a great platform for a blind.

Going to shorten your quote James, but a boat doesn't have to be your blind, just get you to a spot. I've hunted numerous options on the west side, and never once hunted from my  boat. If you think the boat will stand out, throw some of the cheap burlap over it to conceal it a bit or have it about 300 yards from your hunting spot. You'll do just fine and it opens up more spots for you

Offline h3x0ctb1n

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Re: Please criticize my duck hunt!
« Reply #39 on: December 18, 2021, 02:50:39 PM »
Thanks for the OP for starting the thread and everyone that's contributed feedback! I'm in the same boat as the OP, trying to figure out this waterfowl game solo, what gear I might need and where I can go. The comments here have been helpful. Joined the WWA in the hopes of learning more over time and connecting with other hunters. The vast amount of... stuff out there makes it seem daunting, good advice here on keeping it simple and focusing on one piece at a time.

Offline jamesfromseattle

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Re: Please criticize my duck hunt!
« Reply #40 on: December 20, 2021, 01:30:15 PM »
Been continuing to struggle...hit a few different hunt by reservation and register to hunt spots in the last couple weeks. I focused on the Stanwood area for a couple days because its a comfortable half day trip for me, but I just haven't seen many ducks around there. Also spent another day further north and saw plenty of ducks but not where I could get close to them.

A lot of folks politely suggested that the reservation/register blinds aren't the best way to get it done consistently, and after beating my head against the wall for a while I'm ready to accept that.

I also acquired an old canoe, but I'm a little nervous about using it. I'd like to scout things out in the daylight before hunting out of it, but I probably only have a couple more days I'll be able to get out this season. I may just hold off on using the canoe until next year and scout some canoe-spots later winter when I've got a little more free time.

I've spent plenty of time on the saltwater and a fair amount of time on whitewater, which has taught me that water may not seem scary then all of a sudden is. I'm a little gun-shy with the canoe because I really haven't spent any time in a boat in an estuary/bay front environment. The mud in the estuaries freaks me out a little, but I guess it shouldn't as long as I'm careful with the tides and currents. And the bay-fronts are probably a no go in the canoe because canoes and wind are not friends.

I think I may try to get a guided hunt in if I can this year. Any recommendations for guides on the west side? I really can't find much in the way of west side guides online, but perhaps there are some that don't advertise.

Offline Kola16

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Re: Please criticize my duck hunt!
« Reply #41 on: December 20, 2021, 10:54:42 PM »
The quality hunt places are most definitely not the way to go. There are a few that are indeed good at times, but beings that there are 100's, that's not saying much. To find the good ones, you have to scout, and that's not aloud. Your best bet is to hit lakes up north with your canoe, or hit the bays up north with the jon boat.

Get out as much as you can! Learn something every time you go out, even if it's that that particular spot is a no go. Did you do any scouting at spots you are aloud to hunt at?
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 jamesfromseattle

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Re: Please criticize my duck hunt!
« Reply #42 on: December 21, 2021, 09:34:55 AM »
The quality hunt places are most definitely not the way to go. There are a few that are indeed good at times, but beings that there are 100's, that's not saying much. To find the good ones, you have to scout, and that's not aloud. Your best bet is to hit lakes up north with your canoe, or hit the bays up north with the jon boat.

Get out as much as you can! Learn something every time you go out, even if it's that that particular spot is a no go. Did you do any scouting at spots you are aloud to hunt at?

Thanks for the input. I did a little scouting--mostly on the macro level (i.e. this zip code holds birds). It has been tougher to do on the micro level (i.e. this specific field holds birds) because as you mentioned, scouting isn't allowed. There are two WDFW private land fields I've seen from the road that look great, but I've never been the first one there. Kind of feels like combat fishing where you catch fish if you're standing on the right rock, but everyone else knows that too. Definitely coming around to the boat.... Boat = not needing to fight over the good rock to stand on.

Offline Stein

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Re: Please criticize my duck hunt!
« Reply #43 on: December 21, 2021, 09:55:08 AM »
I would try focusing on a specific area and trying that to either develop a place or then move on.  Scouting two counties in a morning isn't very effective as most of the inland places (quality sites) are good hunting for an hour or so after legal light.  Big water places can have birds moving longer during the day.  As you noticed, the FFTH sites that hold birds are pretty close to impossible to get into as there are rule breakers and WDFW does little to nothing to enforce the rules.

Also be careful about parking, there are several places where your truck is not safe.  The further from Everett you get the better in my experience.


Offline Kola16

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Re: Please criticize my duck hunt!
« Reply #44 on: December 21, 2021, 09:50:29 PM »
I would try focusing on a specific area and trying that to either develop a place or then move on.  Scouting two counties in a morning isn't very effective as most of the inland places (quality sites) are good hunting for an hour or so after legal light.  Big water places can have birds moving longer during the day.
^^^ This

OP have you made a jerk string yet? A jerk string is very important and critical with a small spread. Jerk on it a bunch when the ducks aren't looking or far away, but stop jerking when they are close and looking. As if you were 15 and your mom....nevermind I think you get the point...On calm days I would rather hunt over 6 decoys on 2 jerk strings (3 on each), than I would over 5 dozen motionless decoys. Ducks see the movement of the dekes and the ripples on the water from the sky way better than calm water stagnant decoys. Or at least they are drawn to it better.
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

 


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