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Ducking Tips


Robhuntandfish

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Already working towards next year.  100% going to be getting into waterfowl at least a few days.   Most likely a time or two in Sept for early geese and then the duck opener mid October weekend and maybe late season after deer.  

So far: 

- got a start of a blind setup I played around with last summer.  Looking to use that and then grab some Avery grass mats for the front

- at the end of the month I get my 30 yr bonus from work and will be buying a semi shotgun and my pump will go to Corey. 

- got a dozen duck decoys all rigged with cord and weights and 15 geese shell decoys (thanks Doebuck!) with some stands for them. 

- got a few boxes of 2s for ducks and need to get a couple boxes of BB for geese

- got the pond picked out and scouted a little already to setup for a cross shot where an E or W wind should work and the rising sun won't be in our eyes. 

- bought a little 8ft boat for $100 since we won't have a retrieve dog.  Going to paint it this summer with a camo pattern.  

- have a duck and a goose call, decoy bags, a lanyard in case we get any, waders (Corey needs to get a pair yet) 

What tips do you have for me?  

Calling...... Should I mostly stay quiet or try some calling.  Esp for a newbie?  I will practice but not great for sure.   I'm thinking prob more calling for geese and less for ducks?   

I am ready to miss a bunch and am ok with that. Hoping to set us up for landing shots rather than passing shots.  But will take what we can get.  

When setting up on the pond in the dark how likely are ducks to come right back?  I plan to have most everything ready to go so we can setup in like 15 minutes.  

I'm figuring a decoy setup in a general U or J formation with a landing zone about 25-40 yards.  

Our place has more black duck and Canadian geese than anything else, at least from watching the last 2 years.  

I've done a good bunch of research but not having done it, that doesn't mean much til it's put to practice.

Thanks for any tips you can pass along.......

Edited by Robhuntandfish

"it's pointless for humans to paint scenes of nature when they can go outside and stand in it"- Ron Swanson

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Haven't hunted geese or ducks in YEAR's!Grew up walking the cut corn field's in the dark at 5 years old with family,great memories..I don't remember a whole lot for ducks but do remember calling as we saw geese in a distance,will wait for someone more experienced to chime in so I know aswell haha.if have the chance it doesn't hurt to sit and watch/listen.even if it's a local fishing spot where geese frequent.see how they react to a flock coming in and mimic that

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4 minutes ago, Doebuck1234 said:

Haven't hunted geese or ducks in YEAR's!Grew up walking the cut corn field's in the dark at 5 years old with family,great memories..I don't remember a whole lot for ducks but do remember calling as we saw geese in a distance,will wait for someone more experienced to chime in so I know aswell haha.if have the chance it doesn't hurt to sit and watch/listen.even if it's a local fishing spot where geese frequent.see how they react to a flock coming in and mimic that

Thats a great idea! 

"it's pointless for humans to paint scenes of nature when they can go outside and stand in it"- Ron Swanson

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Practice calling in the off season as much as you can. Driving to work or when ever you have time. Get a mallard whistle too. Works very well and is probably the easiest call to learn. Bouncing ducks off in the morning is hit or miss. Sometimes they swing back, sometimes they move on to other areas. Typically you don't want to hunt the roost if you can help it though

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52 minutes ago, ATbuckhunter said:

Practice calling in the off season as much as you can. Driving to work or when ever you have time. Get a mallard whistle too. Works very well and is probably the easiest call to learn. Bouncing ducks off in the morning is hit or miss. Sometimes they swing back, sometimes they move on to other areas. Typically you don't want to hunt the roost if you can help it though

Thanks much! Will def look into that whistle.  

Yeah I've been reading about hunting the roost but there is prob our only option and it is loaded all fall.  We are probably only hunting it one weekend in Oct though.   And also prob out there in the area one weekend in Sept for geese.   Hoping it doesn't make it a ghost town after.   There are two ponds.  The other is about 300 yards away.  

"it's pointless for humans to paint scenes of nature when they can go outside and stand in it"- Ron Swanson

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Just now, Robhuntandfish said:

Thanks much! Will def look into that whistle.  

Yeah I've been reading about hunting the roost but there is prob our only option and it is loaded all fall.  We are probably only hunting it one weekend in Oct though.   And also prob out there in the area one weekend in Sept for geese.   Hoping it doesn't make it a ghost town after.   There are two ponds.  The other is about 300 yards away.  

Hunting it once shouldn't make it a ghost town. 

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1 minute ago, ATbuckhunter said:

Hunting it once shouldn't make it a ghost town. 

Great.  I sit in a stand a couple hundred yards away and watch 150-200 black duck and 40-50 geese go in and out of there and it's killing me.  Lol. 

"it's pointless for humans to paint scenes of nature when they can go outside and stand in it"- Ron Swanson

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1 hour ago, Robhuntandfish said:

Great.  I sit in a stand a couple hundred yards away and watch 150-200 black duck and 40-50 geese go in and out of there and it's killing me.  Lol. 

Maybe an invite wouldn't be a bad thing ya know. Haha just kidding. in all seriousness it sounds like a very good spot. Black duck decoys would be the best, but mallards will do. Little tip to save money is to buy some ones old decoys and paint them black. Black ducks are notoriously hard to get into decoy spreads, but I've had good luck with just using 6 decoys and a spinner. My spots get better when the ponds ice up and they head to the rivers. Makes the hunting a little more dangerous though. 

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1 hour ago, ATbuckhunter said:

Maybe an invite wouldn't be a bad thing ya know. Haha just kidding. in all seriousness it sounds like a very good spot. Black duck decoys would be the best, but mallards will do. Little tip to save money is to buy some ones old decoys and paint them black. Black ducks are notoriously hard to get into decoy spreads, but I've had good luck with just using 6 decoys and a spinner. My spots get better when the ponds ice up and they head to the rivers. Makes the hunting a little more dangerous though. 

That would be cool but dunno how the land owner might like it.  Lol

Thanks for the info. 

"it's pointless for humans to paint scenes of nature when they can go outside and stand in it"- Ron Swanson

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20 hours ago, Robhuntandfish said:

Already working towards next year.  100% going to be getting into waterfowl at least a few days.   Most likely a time or two in Sept for early geese and then the duck opener mid October weekend and maybe late season after deer.  

So far: 

- got a start of a blind setup I played around with last summer.  Looking to use that and then grab some Avery grass mats for the front

- at the end of the month I get my 30 yr bonus from work and will be buying a semi shotgun and my pump will go to Corey. 

- got a dozen duck decoys all rigged with cord and weights and 15 geese shell decoys (thanks Doebuck!) with some stands for them. 

- got a few boxes of 2s for ducks and need to get a couple boxes of BB for geese

- got the pond picked out and scouted a little already to setup for a cross shot where an E or W wind should work and the rising sun won't be in our eyes. 

- bought a little 8ft boat for $100 since we won't have a retrieve dog.  Going to paint it this summer with a camo pattern.  

- have a duck and a goose call, decoy bags, a lanyard in case we get any, waders (Corey needs to get a pair yet) 

What tips do you have for me?  

Calling...... Should I mostly stay quiet or try some calling.  Esp for a newbie?  I will practice but not great for sure.   I'm thinking prob more calling for geese and less for ducks?   

I am ready to miss a bunch and am ok with that. Hoping to set us up for landing shots rather than passing shots.  But will take what we can get.  

When setting up on the pond in the dark how likely are ducks to come right back?  I plan to have most everything ready to go so we can setup in like 15 minutes.  

I'm figuring a decoy setup in a general U or J formation with a landing zone about 25-40 yards.  

Our place has more black duck and Canadian geese than anything else, at least from watching the last 2 years.  

I've done a good bunch of research but not having done it, that doesn't mean much til it's put to practice.

Thanks for any tips you can pass along.......

I was a big duck hunter in my teens and early 20s, but when I moved to NJ in my mid twenties, I didn't have many places to hunt ducks.  My buddy's new(ish) farm outside Cooperstown is loaded with ducks and we have big beaver ponds, 11 man-made ponds, and a creek all on the property.  We can jump shoot the ponds which has been a blast and we can set decoys in the big beaver ponds which seems to hold the most promise for mallards.  It's mostly woodies, mallards and a few teal with a mix of mergansers at times.  After reading your post, I'm thinking next about a blind and how we either build or buy one.  I have a large Grumman aluminum canoe I was given that hasn't been used in 27 years, so that sucker will be pressure washed to remove the remaining blue paint and then I will camo paint it and leave it by the one pond on saw horses to set out decoys, retrieve ducks, etc.  We are talking about taking a week off next fall and switching it up between bow hunting deer, turkey hunting, grouse/woodcock/rabbit hunting, and duck hunting (both over decoys and jump shooting).  Toss in some trout fishing and it will be a blast.      

"A sinking fly is closer to Hell" - Anonymous 

 

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43 minutes ago, Bucksnbows said:

I was a big duck hunter in my teens and early 20s, but when I moved to NJ in my mid twenties, I didn't have many places to hunt ducks.  My buddy's new(ish) farm outside Cooperstown is loaded with ducks and we have big beaver ponds, 11 man-made ponds, and a creek all on the property.  We can jump shoot the ponds which has been a blast and we can set decoys in the big beaver ponds which seems to hold the most promise for mallards.  It's mostly woodies, mallards and a few teal with a mix of mergansers at times.  After reading your post, I'm thinking next about a blind and how we either build or buy one.  I have a large Grumman aluminum canoe I was given that hasn't been used in 27 years, so that sucker will be pressure washed to remove the remaining blue paint and then I will camo paint it and leave it by the one pond on saw horses to set out decoys, retrieve ducks, etc.  We are talking about taking a week off next fall and switching it up between bow hunting deer, turkey hunting, grouse/woodcock/rabbit hunting, and duck hunting (both over decoys and jump shooting).  Toss in some trout fishing and it will be a blast.      

What a great plan!   Now that's a week!  Sounds like an amazing spot. 

The one pond I want to setup on mostly is also a beaver pond.  It's on 114 acres that we hunt.  There are 5 ponds but 3 of them are tiny.  Theres 2 that are decent sized. 

That's what I was thinking, mix it up a bit.  Saving the deer hunting everyday til prime time.   

I got 2 cans of Almond color flex seal I am going to paint the inside our boat with them do a camo pattern over it.  Luckily the outside bottom is already green so will just put some camo pattern spray on over it. 

Good luck and let us know how it goes. 

"it's pointless for humans to paint scenes of nature when they can go outside and stand in it"- Ron Swanson

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