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Want to start waterfowl hunting

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Want to start waterfowl hunting

Old 01-02-2016, 07:58 AM
  #1  
Spike
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Default Want to start waterfowl hunting

I would like some info on getting into waterfowl hunting. I already have a 20 gauge and 12 gauge shot gun so which one is better to use? I've been shooting clay pigeons trying to get use to shooting out of the sky. I was online yesterday and found what I think is a killer deal on a waterfowl hunting set up so I went and bought it so I now have two boats set up for hunting and 4-5 dozen decoys. Anything else I need or any pointers on getting me started? I plan on being ready to hunt them next year
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Old 01-02-2016, 08:16 AM
  #2  
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Well, the shotgun is up to you. Which one do you shoot better? Start with that. As for the decoys, I seldom hunt with more than a dozen. Often time far fewer, in any at all. Too many can spook ducks and they wont get close enough. 35 yards is about the max I prefer to shoot at for ducks. The next thing to consider is open water, and access to it. Keeping in mind that not all water is the same. Hunt where the ducks are. That could be flooded rice, or corn fields. Or it might be millet fields or flooded oaks. Or it might be that beautiful PRIVATE pond next door.
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Old 01-02-2016, 09:04 AM
  #3  
Spike
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So can I scout for them all year long?
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Old 01-02-2016, 09:31 AM
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Join DU or Delta Waterfowl or both and start hanging around with waterfowl hunters ask questions, perhaps get invited on a hunt with seasoned duck hunters.. There is a lot to learn, you should learn how to call and there are different calls for different ducks. In addition, you must learn to identify ducks in the air before you pull the trigger, different species have different bag limits and different seasons. Waterfowl hunting involves much more then buying a shotgun boat and some decoys and you evolve into it. You don't want to be shooting things you can't shoot or too many of those with lower bag limits. Waterfowl are protected by both state and federal laws so you want to know what you are doing. It will take time, you will not be a good waterfowler overnight.
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Old 01-02-2016, 12:08 PM
  #5  
Nontypical Buck
 
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Originally Posted by Daniel72 View Post
So can I scout for them all year long?
Sure, but what you see today may not be there tomorrow or for another 360 days.
Like oldtimer said, talk to local hunters and get to know the rules first.
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Old 01-07-2016, 03:36 AM
  #6  
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Like OldTimer and Sconny said to talk to local hunters and see what they say and learn the rules BEFORE going out instead of getting a piece of paper and a date to learn from later!! I would recommend get to know some of them and just see if you may be able to hunt with them a few times to get to know the ropes before adventuring out on your own.
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Old 01-11-2016, 11:55 AM
  #7  
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Some additional pointers:

-A retriever will help out A LOT.

-Get in some practice wearing the jackets or clothes you plan on duck hunting in. Busting clays in a t-shirt is different than busting at ducks in a duck jacket.

-Find a PFD that you can shoot in while wearing, and if the water's deeper than your armpits, wear it! Cool points don't matter if you're drowned.

Last edited by JoeA; 01-11-2016 at 11:57 AM. Reason: fixed a typo
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Old 01-11-2016, 12:22 PM
  #8  
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Good advise, an addition, if you are going to be hunting from a boat, either seated or standing, practice shooting at clays while in a boat in the position you will be hunting in. I used to shoot out of a Barnegat Bay sneak box boat. The boat is decked over with an open cockpit where you sat inside the boat facing the stern, they only have about 8 inches or less of freeboard, and you shot from a sitting position with your legs stretched out in front of you, We practiced shooting clays out of those boats each year prior to the season.
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Old 01-28-2016, 08:13 AM
  #9  
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I loved going for waterfowl when I had a good dog. I hunted the Susquehanna river here in PA where boat access is limited near the 'good' spots and a dog was a necessity. I went the gauntlet of shotguns up to the big Mag 10. But years of experience proved good calling and an sweet handling 12 or even a 20 gauge is all you needed. As for the decoys, the other poster is correct. Unlike geese that like a lot of company, you can get by with only a few dekes. I've gone just carrying 4-6 with me just to give the birds confidence when coming in. I had my best success in small coves with calm water on the lee side of the river sitting in a natural blind on shore.
Some of my best hunting memories involve duck hunting with friends or family. But most of all I really miss that chocolate female lab. I swear that dog could read my mind.
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Old 02-09-2016, 10:56 AM
  #10  
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I hunt in Missouri, which is in the Mississippi River Flight path. Know crop rotation plays a big part in your hunting success as well, because what is corn and wheat last year, might be beans next year. Ducks are a bit easier to track and scout due to food sources and water flow. This past season rivers were up and flooding, which was bad for hunters, but the ducks loved it. Geese prefer corn and wheat while traveling South in the early parts of winter and on into late, but when they begin their journey back North, they seem to pick out bean fields, because they provide the needed energy to make it back North.

A good set of waders, and practice your calling as well. Don't pick a call that works well for your buddy, find a call that works well for you. When you do happen to see geese or ducks while out-and-about, stop and listen to how they communicate, and what calls they use.

With all the information you have now, you should be able to get a good start.

Oh, BTW, my recommendations to anyone first trying waterfowling remember this, Geese in the field where you have a better chance of being dry, but Ducks in the Marsh if you don't mind being on, or in, the water
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