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Duck and Goose hunting tips

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Thought it would be a good idea to have one thread that contains duck hunting tips from the waterfowlers that post here.


I plan to keep it active and hope that all the duck and goose hunters will provide their tips here as they think of them.


Here is the first of what will hopefully will be many of them:


Have tranferred these from the old board.:P


Jim / ICM



When you are hunting over a spread of decoys, if there are coots present, don't shoot them. Let them swim into your spread as this is a confidence builder for other game ducks.....




Tie a block of styrofoam inside your decoy bag. This will keep it afloat in case it slips out of your grasp after you empty it.


They sink you know....




Last year towards the end of regular goose season in Oklahoma I had better luck using smaller spreads of darks mixed with a few whites, with a snow roto goose to add movement.


Good post Bennie. I agree that as the season gets later, use fewer decoys as the birds get decoy shy.




Put your motion duck nearer to you than your other decoys (and off to the side). While you're calling the movement from the motion decoy will distract the duck's attention away from you. Motion ducks - roboducks - work too!!!! If you don't have one, get one.


When hunting flooded timber if there is no wind, stand near a tree and kick the water with your foot to make ripples. This will give your decoys some movement and will make approaching ducks think there are feeding ducks there. Just don't get busted doing it!





Hey ICM... my daddy taught me one, many years ago...








Glad to know you learned at least one thing - I've been trying to teach you for the past month how to shoot half a dove........ and you still haven't learned....


It's not that I'm not trying....

I just can't make up my mind... which half of the dove I'm suposed to shoot!

Them sombiches fly too fast!



When hunting from a boat or a blind, always determine BEFORE any shooting is done, who calls for the group to shoot and what the limits of barrel swing are. Also determine whether you ALL stand or ALL sit while shooting. Mixed standing and sitting is really unsafe......


Barrel swing limits are also important as a barrel firing too close to the guy next to you is not only very unsafe, it will cause some serious hearing loss and consternation on his part!



Look for an abundance of feathers in the area when scouting for that next duck hunting honeyhole.


Ducks leave these 'calling cards' when they frequent an area.






I could write a book with all my unproven opinions on this. But the biggest thing I see that frustrates me, especially when hunting with others is that MOTION FLARES BIRDS! Sounds simple, but the caller should be moving his hand and everyone else in the blind should be still as a statue. That fancy camoflage don't do anything if you are doing the bobble head doll dance or waving your gun around. This is a good reason why total concealment in a blind is better than being exposed, you can get away with some movement because you are screened from the ducks.


One more: on bluebird days, try to eliminate your shadow, its like wearing a neon sign if you are cammoed up but still casting a big shadow on the water or the ground.








Absolutely correct Do - I was duck hunting several years ago and was calling teal in. They were coming in just like you see on TV. I had my teal whistle in my mouth and let it drop out in anticipation of shooting when the teal were about 60 or 80 yards out and coming right at me.


As soon as the whistle dropped, they turned 90 degrees and got out of there. It was like watching a Corvette hitting an exit ramp......Everyone talks about geese and turkeys having good eyesight - ducks don't do too badly either.......Boy - did I learn a lesson that day!





Getting out to the hunting spot is a hassle. Trying to carry everything requires proper planning. Have a sling for your gun and put as much stuff on your back as possible.


I have a headlamp for walking to and from truck and especially for putting out decoys first thing. A headlamp is much better than a flashlight. It frees up one hand and you don't have to fiddle with it. (I had a friend that kidded me about my headlamp until he dropped his flashlight in the water - guess who got the last laugh!)



On cold (sub-freezing) mornings, keep your duck call inside your jacket to keep it warm in order to avoid having the reed freeze up on you.



When a flock is coming in, don’t shoot the first duck that comes in. Let that first duck commit, and then shoot the trailing ducks.


When you shoot the first duck, the ones that are trailing have a better chance of flaring and getting out of range faster.


Shoot the trailing ducks first, then the lead ducks and instead of having one good shot, you may have two or three good shots....




One great way to bring the ducks in is to get a 50 pound sack of corn and a sack of rice. Pour it out where you are gunna hunt and then...... NOT!!!!!!


But seriously now, one bit of advice I can give you....


If you are traveling a long distance to go hunting (a certain reservoir, marsh, etc.) make sure the water is the same depth as when you scouted it. When water changes the ducks change and if the water has gone down in a lake you may not have water where you were planning to hunt or you may not be able to get to the spot you wanted to hunt.



Ducks can pinpoint where sounds are coming from pretty well.


Therefore when you lay your decoys out, put one small group near your blind so they think your calling is coming from that small group.


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If you have it, take the shot.


I constantly still make the mistake of trying to get the perfect shot. Its either optimism or too much egotism (hey I am a great caller! I can bring him into the deacs!), but if it / they are in range, don't wait to take the shot. Especially with pintails or teal. Chances are if they don't initially come into the spread, then they probably won't.


Take it if you've got it...... Otherwise you'll probably see their butts as they're heading out of town......

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I was watching TV this morning and one of the programs had Eli Haydel as its guest on a SW Louisiana duck hunt. He has duck hunted all his life and needless to say, he really knows his stuff.


Some of the tips he offered this morning had to do with hunting on 'bluebird days'. He said he would rather hunt on days when it is bright outside because you have the opportunity to hide in the shadows; that on overcast days there are no shadows to hide in.


He also said that ducks that have been shot at a lot will leave their roost later in the morning when they can see better (something I had never even thought about - am usually out there before first light.. and will remain to do so.)


Man was he good callling them in too - could not make out which Haydel call he was using but it was an acrylic call and sounded really sweet.....


He has forgotten more about duck hunting that I will ever know. Hope to see him on other duck hunting programs - I learned some things from him today. :wub:

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