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HeavyDluxe

Waterfowl Hunting Newbie

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I've been interested in trying waterfowl hunting for a couple years... A couple summers ago, the local game warden was telling me that the backwaters of the little pond close to my house was actually a great spot for it - but my father's death made it so I'm just now coming back around to the idea.

I'm a n00b at this, and having a bit of a hard time finding other waterfowl hunters in the area to perhaps hang around with and learn.  

Can anyone recommend a couple solid books on waterfowl hunting that someone like me should be reading?  I've got some amazon bucks to spend, and am a heavy-duty book reader anyway.  Would love any titles you guys have that might get me on the way.

 

Looking to hunt out of my fishing kayak (a WS Ride 115) in Vermont, if that matters for your tip-giving abilities.

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I can't recommend any books as I'm not an avid reader of anything other than the newspaper and some outdoor magazines.  I have been waterfowling for 15 years.  The most important item you can do to be successful at it is scout ahead of time.  Ducks are migratory so they can be there and gone in a day.  Find them the day before you plan on hunting and set up in the dark with some decoys and wait the next morning.  Don't over call, just do some minimal calling.  Make sure that you are well hidden in camo or natural cover because birds can see well and a flock has many sets of eyes.  Best conditions are overcast, rainy, and or windy.  Sunny bluebird skies makes for a poor hunt.  Good luck to ya.

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If you get into it, get ready to spend a lot of money.  I've been waterfowl hunting my entire life in the duck hunting capitol of the world (Stuttgart, Arkansas).  They can be difficult at times, but if you scout out the day before like the previous poster said, you can set up a small group of decoys early the next morning before sun up and have a decent shot.  There is so much to learn, it would be difficult to go through it all.  Sorry, I don't know any books because I've learned from mentors my whole life.  I can give a few tips though.  

1. Make sure you have the right equipment for your hunt - a good pair of insulated waters goes a long way on a cold morning in the water.  Having good thermal under layers helps a lot too.  

2. Make sure you have the right shotgun and shells.  A 12 gauge that can handle at least 3" shells and a good basic shell is the Winchester Drylok 3" 4's (although some people like to use 2's or bigger).  

3. Safety, Safety, Safety - I've never hunted from a kayak, but I have from boats and inner tubes.  Falling in cold water is a lot different from falling in during the warmer fishing months, try to be as careful as possible.  We typically use at least a jon boat when going out to a hunting hole.  It is always preferable to hunt with a friend, the buddy system has saved many a life in the woods.  Hypothermia is no joke.  

4. A good basic decoy setup pattern is two groups, one on either side of your hole, with space in the middle for the ducks to land.  Once you get this down, you can work on more advanced setups and movement decoys.  

5. Calling - less is more, all you really need is to work on a good feed call and a short quack to get their attention, then just shut up and let them come in.  Of course, this depends on which type of duck you are targeting.  

6. Local laws - read them and know them well.  Most states require a State Duck Stamp, Federal Migratory Bird Stamp, a license and a "HIP" card.  The HIP is a free card you fill out that gives them survey information on your previous years harvest (even if it is zero, most states require it to be filled out and proof that you filled it out to be carried with you).  

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@Hog Basser being I'm in Southwest Louisiana I might argue over "duck hunting capital"!

Seriously the above advice should be followed to the letter.

I've hunted out of a pirouge & if ya aint never shot a 3" magnum gun while standing in a narrow boat ya may wanna practice before you're miles from the launch!

Another tip would be confidence decoys, see attached link.

http://www.ducks.org/hunting/decoys/the-facts-about-confidence-decoys

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On 10/1/2016 at 8:02 AM, Catt said:

@Hog Basser being I'm in Southwest Louisiana I might argue over "duck hunting capital"!

Seriously the above advice should be followed to the letter.

I've hunted out of a pirouge & if ya aint never shot a 3" magnum gun while standing in a narrow boat ya may wanna practice before you're miles from the launch!

Another tip would be confidence decoys, see attached link.

http://www.ducks.org/hunting/decoys/the-facts-about-confidence-decoys

Ha, I don't make the claim, but I sure believe it after hunting there my entire life.  I've had many an amazing morning where we couldn't keep the ducks out of our hole.  And there's nothing like hunting flooded green timber!  

bae6f76e7abce8ee24e474b59bedcda0.jpg

IMG_9011.JPG

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Yea but can you duck hunt, goose hunt, & bass fish out of the same blind?

p1323446164.gif

catchoftheday.jpg

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2 hours ago, Catt said:

Yea but can you duck hunt, goose hunt, & bass fish out of the same blind?

p1323446164.gif

catchoftheday.jpg

Ha, that's excellent!  As a matter of fact I can, I just can't lug all my hunting and fishing gear out at the same time so I have to go back in the afternoon to hit the fish!  

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7 minutes ago, Hog Basser said:

Ha, that's excellent!  As a matter of fact I can, I just can't lug all my hunting and fishing gear out at the same time so I have to go back in the afternoon to hit the fish!  

Only gear I have to put in the boat is a shotgun, shells, rod-n-reel, & tackle box. I can drive to the blind by boat on the marsh side or by truck on the rice field side.

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33 minutes ago, Catt said:

Only gear I have to put in the boat is a shotgun, shells, rod-n-reel, & tackle box. I can drive to the blind by boat on the marsh side or by truck on the rice field side.

In my spot, I have to load all my gear in one boat, cross the bayou, unload the gear and load it on a Ranger.  Then unload again in a smaller jon boat after a quick ride, cross another small lake and unload again.  I'm usually taking decoys, a dog (which makes it really tough), gun, shells, blind bag and other hunters in small boats.  No room for the fishing stuff.  Plus, I'm too busy shooting ducks to pick up a rod n reel anyway!  

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Nope!

Decoys go out early & stay out all season, building the spread up & moving it around.

Our blinds allow us to drive the boat into cover & step into the blind. The blind can be closed & locked so every thing but guns stay in the blind. The rice field blinds we drive up on a 4-wheeler or side by side.

We are done hunting by 9:30-10 & then it bass or Red fishing! 

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10 hours ago, Catt said:

Nope!

Decoys go out early & stay out all season, building the spread up & moving it around.

Our blinds allow us to drive the boat into cover & step into the blind. The blind can be closed & locked so every thing but guns stay in the blind. The rice field blinds we drive up on a 4-wheeler or side by side.

We are done hunting by 9:30-10 & then it bass or Red fishing! 

We usually finish hunting around 8:30 or 9 (earlier on the good mornings), go back and have a big breakfast at the lodge, then have the whole afternoon to fish and watch football.  We hunt too many different blinds to leave everything there.  Some of our decoy spreads stay out, but we like to pick most up after each hunt.  

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Y'all killing me!

I wanna go but gotta wait!   

@HeavyDluxe didn't mean to still your thread!

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Yeah, sorry for hijacking the thread @HeavyDluxe, guess I'm just getting excited for duck season to roll around! 

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@Hog Basser and @Catt, you can easily make it up to me.

In exchange for the threadjack, why don't you make each make one, serious post re: the best advice you would give a newbie re: duck hunting.  Doesn't have to be long, but drop some knowledge on me.

Thanks! :)  Without your threadjack, it was a dead thread anyway. 

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On 9/20/2016 at 4:10 PM, Hog Basser said:

If you get into it, get ready to spend a lot of money.  I've been waterfowl hunting my entire life in the duck hunting capitol of the world (Stuttgart, Arkansas).  They can be difficult at times, but if you scout out the day before like the previous poster said, you can set up a small group of decoys early the next morning before sun up and have a decent shot.  There is so much to learn, it would be difficult to go through it all.  Sorry, I don't know any books because I've learned from mentors my whole life.  I can give a few tips though.  

1. Make sure you have the right equipment for your hunt - a good pair of insulated waters goes a long way on a cold morning in the water.  Having good thermal under layers helps a lot too.  

2. Make sure you have the right shotgun and shells.  A 12 gauge that can handle at least 3" shells and a good basic shell is the Winchester Drylok 3" 4's (although some people like to use 2's or bigger).  

3. Safety, Safety, Safety - I've never hunted from a kayak, but I have from boats and inner tubes.  Falling in cold water is a lot different from falling in during the warmer fishing months, try to be as careful as possible.  We typically use at least a jon boat when going out to a hunting hole.  It is always preferable to hunt with a friend, the buddy system has saved many a life in the woods.  Hypothermia is no joke.  

4. A good basic decoy setup pattern is two groups, one on either side of your hole, with space in the middle for the ducks to land.  Once you get this down, you can work on more advanced setups and movement decoys.  

5. Calling - less is more, all you really need is to work on a good feed call and a short quack to get their attention, then just shut up and let them come in.  Of course, this depends on which type of duck you are targeting.  

6. Local laws - read them and know them well.  Most states require a State Duck Stamp, Federal Migratory Bird Stamp, a license and a "HIP" card.  The HIP is a free card you fill out that gives them survey information on your previous years harvest (even if it is zero, most states require it to be filled out and proof that you filled it out to be carried with you).  

Done! ;)

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More advice: Get involved with Ducks Unlimited if they have a chapter in your area.  If nothing else, you will meet other hunters at their annual banquet and auction.  There's a ton of info out there, but nothing replaces the experience.  When hunting public lands, make sure you check local regulations to see if it is okay to hunt there and if there are any special regulations to that specific area.  

If you really want to get some good experience before embarking on your own, see if there are any guides near you and go with a guide for your first time or two.  I don't know if it exists where you are, but if not, maybe take a trip to a place that does commercial guided hunting like Stuttgart, AR.  Get a group of friends together (even if they aren't serious, they will still have fun) and book a hunt.  Most outfits in Stuttgart will provide food, lodging, transportation to/from hunting spots and game processing as part of their fee.  You just need to show up with the proper gear.  If this is an option, PM me and I will recommend a few.  

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