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Thread: First Outing and Duck

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    12

    First Outing and Duck

    After doing a bunch of research and acquiring all of the gear I thought I needed I headed out for my first ever duck hunt last weekend. It is a day Iíll never forget and really showed how much there is still to learn and figure out.

    I rolled into the area around 1pm in the afternoon as it was my first time to the area and I wanted to be able to scope it out, get set up and hint without ruining anyoneís morning shoot. I also donít have a boat or dog so I needed to make sure I set up somewhere where I could retrieve any ducks with a pair of chest waders. After getting the lay of the land I was in my makeshift blind with 6 mallard decoys out by 2pm. In no time at all ducks were soaring past. I was able to grab their attention with some calls but all of the ducks were very weary and kept flaring or deciding my spread wasnít for them. What a rush seeing birds change their dorexrion to come scope out the decoys. It was like buck fever I got to experience over and over again. After an hour or so I noticed that a small group of ducks had swam in to the bay I was sitting on and heading straight for my decoys. Once they were within range I stood up and jumped them and took my first mallard drake about 5 feet off the water. I canít remember the last time excited, I must have looked like a retriever running out of the blind with a huge grin on my face. I canít wait to get out again this weekend to hone my skills.

    I do have a couple of questions though. Based on what I experienced I feel like my cover down low was good enough but the ducks must have been able to see my from the air. How close do you sit to your decoys? My farthest was probably only 15 yards away with the closest being around 5. How are you hiding yourselves to make it difficult to be spotted from above. I was somewhat tucked into a dogwood. The wind was directly at my back with the birds coming in straight at me. Is it better to set up so the birds want to land perpendicular to where you are facing so you arenít in their direct line of site?

    All the advice helps!

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    VI
    Posts
    2,610

    Re: First Outing and Duck

    Quote Originally Posted by Kuiper View Post
    After doing a bunch of research and acquiring all of the gear I thought I needed I headed out for my first ever duck hunt last weekend. It is a day I’ll never forget and really showed how much there is still to learn and figure out.

    I rolled into the area around 1pm in the afternoon as it was my first time to the area and I wanted to be able to scope it out, get set up and hint without ruining anyone’s morning shoot. I also don’t have a boat or dog so I needed to make sure I set up somewhere where I could retrieve any ducks with a pair of chest waders. After getting the lay of the land I was in my makeshift blind with 6 mallard decoys out by 2pm. In no time at all ducks were soaring past. I was able to grab their attention with some calls but all of the ducks were very weary and kept flaring or deciding my spread wasn’t for them. What a rush seeing birds change their dorexrion to come scope out the decoys. It was like buck fever I got to experience over and over again. After an hour or so I noticed that a small group of ducks had swam in to the bay I was sitting on and heading straight for my decoys. Once they were within range I stood up and jumped them and took my first mallard drake about 5 feet off the water. I can’t remember the last time excited, I must have looked like a retriever running out of the blind with a huge grin on my face. I can’t wait to get out again this weekend to hone my skills.

    I do have a couple of questions though. Based on what I experienced I feel like my cover down low was good enough but the ducks must have been able to see my from the air. How close do you sit to your decoys? My farthest was probably only 15 yards away with the closest being around 5. How are you hiding yourselves to make it difficult to be spotted from above. I was somewhat tucked into a dogwood. The wind was directly at my back with the birds coming in straight at me. Is it better to set up so the birds want to land perpendicular to where you are facing so you aren’t in their direct line of site?

    All the advice helps!
    Ideally you want the wind at your back but anything besides in your face will work. I have no idea where you are hunting but reading your story it sounds like public land somewhere. IF you can set up against a tree or a hedgerow. IF that's not possible then just don't move when the birds are near you and especially over you. Don't call when they are over you either as they will look for the noise and find you. Lastly, i usually put my closest decoy 20 yards ish away from me and my furthest 20-35ish.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bear Brawler View Post
    Just lob a couple loaded mouse traps at em like you're playing horse shoes. More humane than bouncing darts off them.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Posts
    800

    Re: First Outing and Duck

    Nothing to add except:

    * if they're already scoping your spread out, don't call. Call if they don't look like they are interested
    * don't move. Follow them with your eyes, otherwise keep your body as still as possible
    * don't forget to cover your face. Use paint, veil or keep your head behind the blind. Your hands also can give you away so wear gloves. Basically any bit of skin can really stand out. Next time you see other hunters ask yourself what is the first thing you notice (besides those who aren't even bothering wearing camo or getting low). It's their face and hands.
    * if something is not working, change it up. Nothing is keeping you from rearranging your decoys, changing your position or packing up and moving besides your level of effort
    * still ducks might bring them in but motion convinces them that it is real. Investigate jerk rigs.

    All in all. You had a good day. Any day with a bird or opportunities is a success. Welcome to the addiction.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Pitt Meadows
    Posts
    575

    Re: First Outing and Duck

    Layout blind might help too, to ensure better concealment. Everything else stated above though is what I would say as well. No movement. No skin. Don't look up at them. Don't call if coming in already. Call to get attention. They have good eye sight and will circle above, so be aware of how you look from above.
    CWTF Member
    BCWF Member

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    260

    Re: First Outing and Duck

    I agree above upper opinions what those guys said. I would like to add if new at duck calling better to call less at close distances. I just used a soft chuckle when the ducks are close not a loud hen mallard quack. Another option is try getting a pintail whistle call. I set my decoys up to 45 yards never close especially late in season. Wary group of mallards either circle couple of times or never blink a eye at the decoys. Have more luck picking off loner mallard coming to the spread.

    I would invited some newbies but I am currently full guys whom wanted to hunted with me. Maybe next season.
    "Nothing kills a Deere faster than Magnum .....CaseIH."

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    langley
    Posts
    3,485

    Re: First Outing and Duck

    Cmon Sako what’s one more… pick me !!

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    12

    Re: First Outing and Duck

    Thanks for all of the info everyone! I went out again last weekend, I didn’t bring anything home but learned a lot. By calling less I had many more ducks come in closer however it was much more difficult to conceal myself where they were hanging out and all but one flared. One hen mallard plopped down into the decoys but the way I had my makeshift blind set up it was at a terrible angle and when I went to readjust myself for the shot she spooked. I think a layout blind is in my future.

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