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Author Topic: Opinions on attracting waterfowl on public land  (Read 2451 times)

Offline Jarredhs

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Opinions on attracting waterfowl on public land
« on: September 06, 2023, 03:10:28 PM »
When hunting on public land like the tide flats, Can you pull birds away from the x or the fields they are heading for using large decoy spreads, motion, and calling? Or do you just need to be on the x or in the flight path and the decoys, calling, and motion are just for finishing the he birds where you want them? Like if you see the ducks headed away from you and across the bay can you actually convince them to come over?  I ask because Iíve gotten a lot better at duck hunting but I swear that if you arenít on the x or at least near where they want to be it doesnít matter the spread, calling or amount of waving you do with a goose flag, they are headed to where they wanna be. Is this hold true for you or do you have experience pulling birds that are across the bay to you? Public land only for this.

Offline mburrows

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Re: Opinions on attracting waterfowl on public land
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2023, 04:47:43 PM »
Iíve noticed the same thing and tried everything to pull ducks that are headed to the ďxĒ when I wasnít on it. You may pull a random single or smaller groups here and there but if thereís a group with a pre determined destination in mind it seems impossible to coax them my way.

Offline ducks4days

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Re: Opinions on attracting waterfowl on public land
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2023, 05:13:58 PM »
Ive killed a *censored* load of birds in the tidal flats. You can traffic them off of the X, especially when the tide is coming in and they are circling around or bouncing between spots. If you know what you are doing regarding calling, motion, setup, hide, and decoy spreads, you can do it about 10% of the time. For about 50% of that 10%, if the rest of the flock doesnt follow the breakers the birds will chicken out and leave to join back up with the flock.

So your odds are optimistically about 5%, which means you either need to get on the X or play numbers and traffic areas that are holding a ton of birds.
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Offline Stein

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Re: Opinions on attracting waterfowl on public land
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2023, 06:47:49 PM »
From my experience it depends greatly on what is going on.  If there is sheet water everywhere, good luck.  If it's dry and you have some water of any sort, much better odds.

Offline fowl smacker

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Re: Opinions on attracting waterfowl on public land
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2023, 08:07:45 PM »
I've called many birds off their flight path hunting tidal flats.  At least to the point where they'll come give you a fly by or 4.  Like stated above if there are flooded fields EVERYWHERE good luck.  Some birds are on a string to their destination no matter what.

Offline Stein

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Re: Opinions on attracting waterfowl on public land
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2023, 08:59:58 PM »
The big plus of salt water is sometimes there are 20k birds out there and you don't need too many to be curious to make for a good hunt.

Offline metlhead

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Re: Opinions on attracting waterfowl on public land
« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2023, 10:39:54 AM »
I mostly hunt the salt. So long as I am directly in their path fro A to B, I will pull ducks down and have them decoy. Off track by 100yds and watch them carry on.

Offline h2ofowlr

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Re: Opinions on attracting waterfowl on public land
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2023, 09:20:55 PM »
The challenge with the salt around here is people set up so close to you.  You think you have some birds coming in and someone skybusts at them on the swing.  Been set up and had people hide 30 yards off the decoy spread and try shooting at the birds coming in.  Get's just dumb in Skagit County at times.
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Offline Jarredhs

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Re: Opinions on attracting waterfowl on public land
« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2023, 04:27:41 PM »
The challenge with the salt around here is people set up so close to you.  You think you have some birds coming in and someone skybusts at them on the swing.  Been set up and had people hide 30 yards off the decoy spread and try shooting at the birds coming in.  Get's just dumb in Skagit County at times.

Opening day at big ditch had this exact thing happen this past year. Went out setup early well before light just to be surrounded by first light

Offline Kola16

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Re: Opinions on attracting waterfowl on public land
« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2023, 01:47:13 PM »
The challenge with the salt around here is people set up so close to you.  You think you have some birds coming in and someone skybusts at them on the swing.  Been set up and had people hide 30 yards off the decoy spread and try shooting at the birds coming in.  Get's just dumb in Skagit County at times.
Opening day at big ditch had this exact thing happen this past year. Went out setup early well before light just to be surrounded by first light
That happens every year there. 1 year I was shot and it was so close it drew blood. A hole s set up on me right before shooting light, claimed to not know I was there even though I had already shot a couple ducks. I'm lucky I'm not blind.
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Offline metlhead

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Re: Opinions on attracting waterfowl on public land
« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2023, 03:19:07 PM »
If folks set up anywhere near, and do not know you are there, then I believe the fault lies in you. A gunshot can come from anywhere. Keep lights on and use your voice to convey a two way conversation that leaves no doubt.

Offline Kola16

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Re: Opinions on attracting waterfowl on public land
« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2023, 11:34:53 AM »
If folks set up anywhere near, and do not know you are there, then I believe the fault lies in you. A gunshot can come from anywhere. Keep lights on and use your voice to convey a two way conversation that leaves no doubt.
This is beyond arrogant.
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 metlhead

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Re: Opinions on attracting waterfowl on public land
« Reply #12 on: September 17, 2023, 10:00:47 PM »
Arrogant, because you let somone set up close by, did not make positive they knew you were quietly hiding there first, and expected them to know? Grow some and announce your stand.

Offline GWP

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Re: Opinions on attracting waterfowl on public land
« Reply #13 on: September 18, 2023, 10:25:47 AM »
There is a small spot in EWa that is remote and difficult to get in to that nearly always produces. Room enough for one group or person.
I walked the 2 miles in, set up, and as it was getting dawn I heard something below, down from me. Thought it was waterfowl right by the shore and kept watching for movement. Saw a 'ring' in the water and heard a 'ploop'. Oh, Oh. I know THAT sound!
Listened intently and heard very subdued speaking. Well crap! I was surprised as they were not in the best location, I was.
Dog and I left as quietly and as quickly as we could.
Doubt they ever knew I was there, but I would guess they would have if I had shot!
Sound carries so well off of water I have never, as a habit, made noise once I am set up. If I use a light it is VERY dim and tiny.
Going to try salt next year in the boat and I imagine with tides/waves I can get away with a bit more noise. Salt is going to be new to me, so 'you are welcome' if I end up pushing critters your way!

As far as attracting waterfowl, my experience is the same as some of the others have stated. If you are close to X, on rare occasion you can get them to come to you, but if you are off of X much, toss a line in the water. It will probably be as productive and you will not waste a morning.
UNLESS there are others hunting the same area.
Then the critters will be looking for another spot once they get spooked.
I have had had a fair amount of success with just a few decoys being in a fairly good secondary spot close by and not calling at all.
Good luck!
Cuterebra are NOT cute!

Offline metlhead

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Re: Opinions on attracting waterfowl on public land
« Reply #14 on: September 18, 2023, 12:56:49 PM »
For waterfowling there is no need to be quiet and hidden before shooting light unless you intend to blast birds that are already set. We all know the great flight of clueless birds six minutes before shooting light. In areas that are guarnteed to have other people, please be seen and heard early for safety and courtesy

Offline GOcougsHunter

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Re: Opinions on attracting waterfowl on public land
« Reply #15 on: September 18, 2023, 01:12:12 PM »
Quite a few years ago, we were hunting from a small island in the middle of a decent sized lake in EWA.  We were setting up at o'dark thirty on a cloudy early morning.  We set up our blinds and such and as we were throwing out decoys, another group came up in their boat and explained that they had intended to hunt that very spot and that they had left all of their blind making materials and decoys in an area about 150 feet from where we set up, the day before.  Needless to say, they were pissed, but I explained that there is no way we could have seen their gear and that we had already been setting our 100+ decoys.  They grabbed their gear/decoys and  set up about 200 yds away on another point and they shot at most of the ducks coming into our spread.   It was a learning experience for my then 9 yr old son on ethics and hunter behavior.  And to answer the OP question, we always seem to do better when we have the maximum amount of decoys out.  >150 seems to at least keep public land ducks interested.  Might be overkill, but it seems to work for us.
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Offline 300rum

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Re: Opinions on attracting waterfowl on public land
« Reply #16 on: September 18, 2023, 01:21:41 PM »
The joys of duck hunting!!  Been going on for years.  That's why I don't hunt public land.

It's always "the other guy" who sets up close to someone and sky busts ruining an innocent guys day. 

Proverbs 17:1 

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Re: Opinions on attracting waterfowl on public land
« Reply #17 on: September 18, 2023, 02:27:10 PM »
Arrogant, because you let somone set up close by, did not make positive they knew you were quietly hiding there first, and expected them to know? Grow some and announce your stand.
Arrogant because you assumed literally everything when all you have to go on is two short sentences on a forum board. You assumed I had no light, but I always have a strobe light when I set out decoys. You assumed they couldn't hear my voice, but they most certainly could since I was out giving commands to my dog retrieving ducks, and when I told them they shot me, they said, "sorry didn't know you were there" and B-lined it for their vehicle, leaving their crappy inflatable decoys. When they walked in, I heard them say something along the lines of, "We'll just put our decoys here. Somebody is right down there." They knew I was there, they just didn't want to find their own spot. I didn't care that they were hunting so close to me, I can share birds. That is not the issue.

When you pull the trigger, you are responsible for what comes out of your gun. Why don't you tell all the families that were killed by hunters that it was their dead relatives fault for not making themselves aware to the perfectly ethical hunters who shoot other people? Metlhead is a very fitting name.
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 hdshot

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Re: Opinions on attracting waterfowl on public land
« Reply #18 on: September 18, 2023, 05:26:14 PM »
Arrogant, because you let somone set up close by, did not make positive they knew you were quietly hiding there first, and expected them to know? Grow some and announce your stand.
Arrogant because you assumed literally everything when all you have to go on is two short sentences on a forum board. You assumed I had no light, but I always have a strobe light when I set out decoys. You assumed they couldn't hear my voice, but they most certainly could since I was out giving commands to my dog retrieving ducks, and when I told them they shot me, they said, "sorry didn't know you were there" and B-lined it for their vehicle, leaving their crappy inflatable decoys. When they walked in, I heard them say something along the lines of, "We'll just put our decoys here. Somebody is right down there." They knew I was there, they just didn't want to find their own spot. I didn't care that they were hunting so close to me, I can share birds. That is not the issue.

When you pull the trigger, you are responsible for what comes out of your gun. Why don't you tell all the families that were killed by hunters that it was their dead relatives fault for not making themselves aware to the perfectly ethical hunters who shoot other people? Metlhead is a very fitting name.

Letís just calm down and remember a triple 7 is still missing out there with now a f 35! Lol
Don't read my post if facts hurt your feeling.

Offline GWP

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Re: Opinions on attracting waterfowl on public land
« Reply #19 on: September 18, 2023, 05:46:11 PM »
Since non tox shot happened, I am VERY hesitant about possession of a bird unless I know I am the one that shot it.
Same with the groups of people I have hunted with. I will provide them with premium non tox if need be. Had one fellow say ďI still use lead shotĒ.
Not if you are hunting with me!
That kind of trouble and time taken away from hunting because of dealing with the mess caused by it if you get checked? Yeah, do not need that, even if it isnít me using it.
Cuterebra are NOT cute!

 


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