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Thread: Starting Duck Hunting

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    Senior Member Henlee's Avatar
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    Default Starting Duck Hunting

    I have been wanting to start out duck hunting. What would any of you recommend as far as equipment and starting advice.
    During break time at obedience school, two dogs were talking.
    One said to the other..."The thing I hate about obedience school is you learn ALL this stuff you will never use in the real world."

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    Senior Member HNTFSH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Henlee View Post
    I have been wanting to start out duck hunting. What would any of you recommend as far as equipment and starting advice.
    Might help to know where you are located but also what YOU think you need.
    We shoot dogs with a Canon

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    Henlee,
    Your question really lacks information as to what your duck hunting aspirations include. For pass shooting mallards, you can get away with a shotgun, camo clothing, and some waders. For coastal shooting for divers, you may need a huge rig of specie specific decoys, a tender boad, and a layout boat, in addition to ammo, safety related equipment for the boats, trailer to haul the boat, truck to haul trailer, . . . Guess what I am saying is you need to be more specific as "duck hunting" means different things to different people.

    Waterfowling has been an obsession / way of life for me for over 43 years, and I have a vast array of equipment, all of which gets used very frequently.

    Irishwhistler

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    Senior Member Raymond Little's Avatar
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    Trust Fund
    "Character is doing the right thing when nobody is watching"....J.C. Watts

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    Good set of waders. I hunt in oklahoma and kansas and am prettt comfy with 3mm. However if your in kansas or north I would go with 5mm. I carry a remington 870 super mag pump. You can pick one up for less than 400. Decoys and a call or two. Coat, absolutely the most important piece of equipment, I would splurge on the coat

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    Senior Member copterdoc's Avatar
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    The same as dog training. Find somebody that knows what they are doing, and tag along with them.

    Eventually, you'll wind up with all the junk in your truck.

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    Senior Member Henlee's Avatar
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    Thanks for the feedback so far. I live in Michigan and don't have friends that duck hunt. I have talked to some duck hunters and they have a boat and a large spread, I have dropped hints to be invited but no luck so far. ha ha. I am not ready to make that large investment yet however. I have heard of people walking up ducks along water edges, but I would have no idea how to go about that. I have bought a half dozen decoys at a garage sale and call with DVD that I have practiced with. I have heard of people float hunting with a canoe along rivers also which I was interested in. I have a canoe and waders also. I guess I am asking if I can assemble any of this into a duck hunt and if not what else I should buy. I didn't grow up in the sport and it is pretty unfamiliar aside from what I have seen on TV.
    During break time at obedience school, two dogs were talking.
    One said to the other..."The thing I hate about obedience school is you learn ALL this stuff you will never use in the real world."

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    Senior Member Henlee's Avatar
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    Just to put it out there. I am totally green at water fowling. I am looking for the right questions to ask as much as the answers to them. My hunting experience is mostly upland hunting for pheasant and grouse.
    During break time at obedience school, two dogs were talking.
    One said to the other..."The thing I hate about obedience school is you learn ALL this stuff you will never use in the real world."

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    Senior Member thelast2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Henlee View Post
    I have been wanting to start out duck hunting. What would any of you recommend as far as equipment and starting advice.
    Find a spot where ducks are frequently seen by yourself as you hunt observe direction and time of day birds are flying in and out. Might try searching around to see the areas they are moving to and from. A descent shotgun doesn't need to be an autoloader but needs to be reliable. Get a dozen GHG Hotbuy Mallard Decoys they are relatively cheap, you will need to get weights of some kind also. Every decoy spread will benefit with a motion decoy such as a Lucky duck or a Mojo to help attract the ducks. A duck call that you can make sounds with that actually sounds like a duck. Might try getting one with the instructional DVD's(Zink, Buck Gardener or some other) An atlas of your local area with topo maps to help you find locations. Then just get out and get your legs under you and doing some recon. Might not see much the first couple of times out. But with some leg work coupled with talking to people you meet when you are out on your expeditions should yield results. As time goes on and you become more expierenced you will need more gear and as others have said a trust fund might be needed if you get addicted to the pursuit of the feathered critters. Good Luck.
    Last edited by thelast2; 11-10-2013 at 03:47 AM.
    Jesse

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    Senior Member HNTFSH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Henlee View Post
    Thanks for the feedback so far. I live in Michigan and don't have friends that duck hunt. I have talked to some duck hunters and they have a boat and a large spread, I have dropped hints to be invited but no luck so far. ha ha. I am not ready to make that large investment yet however. I have heard of people walking up ducks along water edges, but I would have no idea how to go about that. I have bought a half dozen decoys at a garage sale and call with DVD that I have practiced with. I have heard of people float hunting with a canoe along rivers also which I was interested in. I have a canoe and waders also. I guess I am asking if I can assemble any of this into a duck hunt and if not what else I should buy. I didn't grow up in the sport and it is pretty unfamiliar aside from what I have seen on TV.
    Might sound a cop-out answer but I'd suggest just going out and doing it. You'll figure it out. Count on early non-success but the small wins teach.

    As far as the big boat and spread guys...a hint won't do it. Offering to buy lunch and fill up the gas tanks might. Bring something to the party and ask the guy for a shot when he's short a man or wants to get out on a quick hunt and could use some help.

    Float hunting is tough. Who is going to have a truck at the other end downstream? And the cripples in a current are hard to get. Plus...it's easy to spend a day just pushing birds downstream. It ain't easy paddling and shooting - my experience has been sneaking along the contours of shoreline hoping there's a few birds around the corner in an eddy.

    Your best bet IMO is finding small pot holes/ponds in good locations with your 6 dekes and hunt those. Don't call much if at all. Swamp stools can help. Movement kills.

    Spend all year locating areas others don't know about and are off the beaten track. But still look potentially productive based on nearby rivers, lakes and feed.

    And whatever you do - don't tell anyone else.

    It's hard work, takes time and money. There is no instant success duck hunting. May well takes several years of not much success to start becoming successful.

    And FWIW - don't be a newbie that: talks too much, talks with their hands, moves around too much, can't sit still when birds are working, gawks up at birds circling, blows a terrible call at the wrong time, can't shoot very well, brings a terrible dog, can't get up early enough to be at the spot (set-up) 60 minutes ahead of shooting light or doesn't put any effort into finding new spots and asking for permission to hunt private property.

    Back to the top - go and learn. I am far prouder of a single duck that I take earning it than a limit someone else should get credit for in the efforts.

    Takes a lot of time.
    We shoot dogs with a Canon

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