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getting into duck hunting

Old 02-15-2009, 12:01 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2007
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Default getting into duck hunting

i've never been duck hunting but i have a friend who wants me to go along with him. so i purchased a shotgun nothing fancy a remington 870 synthetic 12 ga, about as cheap as you can get, but i love my remington 700 CDL so i figured this shotgun would be decent enough. anyway i bought a full choke and it came with a modified choke.

i'm a total novice say take the question with a grain of salt, but if i remember a full choke is for turkey hunting and shooting lead, and the modified choke is better for waterfowl and you must use steel. I'm also going to on a few turkey hunts this year that's why i bought the full choke. also should I get a sling put on the shotgun? not sure what the consensus is on that.

also (a little late now) but is this shotgun a good choice? i know the benelli's are nice but i wanted to buy american and this one was quite a bit cheaper. i loved the break action double barrell shotguns but they were out of my price range, they were beautiful though.

anyway anything i need to know before my first duck hunt? can i bring my dog (chocolate lab)? don't most labradors go along with a hunt instinctively almost? or is there extensive training?

again excuse my dumb questions but i didn't see an FAQ. Thanks again.
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Old 02-15-2009, 12:16 PM
Fork Horn
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 104
Default RE: getting into duck hunting

The modified choke is your better option, or even and improved, this is debated. The full probably cannot have steel go through it, so you are correct.
I would suggest a sling, it helps for a odd number of things, and makes it a whole lot easier in my opinion.
I know a lot of people who love that shotgun. I love my Benelli Nova, argumentatively the easiest gun to clean because of the way it's made, so I think it personally is the best gun, but your 870 should do great too.
On your duck hunt, remember a few things:
[ul][*]Don't sky bust them. Let them work to the decoys. When you sky bust them you tick off other hunters if your hunting public land, it's just some common courtesy.[*]Use good camouflage, and hide your face. Stay still at all times, and I've heard some people even say keep your face down to keep it from reflecting. I've had luck with wearing the hood of your coat on b/c it breaks up the movement of your head.[*]Focus on the first shot. Don't just sling your shot, but focus the first one. Trust me, they are tough to hit.[*]Keep to 40 yard shots and in, and to some that is a far shot, it just depends on who you are with. This is the most effective range.[*]For shot size, I use #2 size steel shot on ducks. But many use anything from #4 to bb's.
[/ul]Bringing your dog probably won't work if she has never had to fetch anything before. It just depends on your dog, but if you've never trained her it won't work. Sorry. There is some extensive training you should do, and some basics, but that's a whole other thread.

Good luck! Have fun! You'll soon be addicted to ducks when they are feet first!
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Old 02-18-2009, 08:04 PM
Typical Buck
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Corning, NY
Posts: 806
Default RE: getting into duck hunting

To add to that good info, regarding your dog. If you havent worked him in around gunfire the right way, he could become gun shy in a hurry. Also you should do as much reading as you can find on the net regarding dog training and put in the time in the off season. ducks.org has some good stuff. If it were me inviting you, Id tell ya to leave the dog home for now. Btw be careful, waterfowling is alot of fun and can get addicting. You've been warned!
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Old 02-19-2009, 10:48 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Location: Winnipeg Manitoba Canada
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Default RE: getting into duck hunting

Mulvany, I`m impressed with your advice. Best I`ve seen in a long time. Only difference I see is I am starting to like the "Improved Modified". Worked real good for me last year, mostly on geese.

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Old 02-20-2009, 05:57 AM
Fork Horn
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 104
Default RE: getting into duck hunting

Thanks rbduck. I love me some waterfowl, and I've learned a lot from this site and some other forums. It's because of these sites that we become better hunters in my opinion.
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Old 12-12-2009, 12:05 AM
Join Date: Dec 2009
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Things started off well enough. I rolled out of the warm bed at about 0300, made a pot of coffee, and by about 0345, I took off on a largely empty freeway. I made great time, and actually rolled into the “sweat line” before the gates opened. I had time to organize my shells, dig my calls out from under the seat, and make sure the rest of my gear was in order. This is usually a high-speed, rushed fiasco at the last minute, and almost always ends in my finding myself in the marsh at shooting time without some important piece of equipment.

This hunt was also a little different in that I would be working with a new dog, Cyrus, the black lab I bought for Kat last Christmas. This would be his first duck hunt, and only his third time in the field at all. Since Sundays are generally pretty slow hunts, I figured it would be a good opportunity to introduce him to the marsh, without the excitement of fast and furious action. He’s a natural hunter, and I was feeling pretty good about the coming day.
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