Public Land Hunting

Duck Hunting for puddlers like Mallards, Sprig (Pintails), Black ducks, Widgeons, Woodducks, Teal, and other ducks.

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Public Land Hunting

Postby jhrper » Sun Aug 20, 2006 7:00 pm

I mainly hunt public land for ducks in Georgia so we primarily hunt wood ducks and the occasional mallard. Do any of you all have any suggestions for public land hunting? I sometimes wander if using a decoy spread in an area that is pressured is a good idea. Any thoughts?
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Postby Pluckyduck » Sun Aug 20, 2006 8:49 pm

I don't know how it is in Georgia, but living in the land of skybusting yoo hoo's I can tell you this.

Get away from the crowd. Wood ducks flying in the morning round here look like F/A 18's dodging AAA on a run in Baghdad during the first gulf war.

As for the deke's. I have never had good luck in pressured areas. When I have killed ducks, its been with 12 to 14 decoys. I think it had more to do with waiting on the yoo hoo's to get bored, cold, or both and quit.
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Postby Ducksbeus » Mon Aug 21, 2006 6:08 pm

SCOUTING will be the key to finding your " Happy Place"....before some knuckle heads with a case of steel find it. gotta down load maps, make a bunch of phone calls, bug some landowners and wear out some boots. Be out there at sun up the week before season opens to pattern your birds. Stuff ya some inflatable dekes and a call in your back pack and GET R DONE BROTHA :yes: :yes: :yes:

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Postby Cobra » Mon Aug 21, 2006 8:09 pm

Agree with what's said and am basically in the same situation now. Have found being as far away as possible from the AAA, in great cover (even if not one of the best spots) and showing a small relaxed rig gets the best results. Sleeper dekes are a plus. #1 for me is keep your call in your pocket, most are clueless in the use of a call. Simply let them scare the birds over towards me, one soft relaxed quack, if even that, and they often drop their gear and float in. Most on my public waters believe that any bird within 75yds doing less than 70mph is a good/standard shot, not sure if I want them to learn any other call except their full volume, screaching highball - pushes more birds my way.
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Public land

Postby yamaha783 » Mon Aug 21, 2006 8:43 pm

My keys to public land success:
1) SCOUT scout and scout some more. Scout months before, week before, day before and all times in between. Be smarter than the Yahoo's.

2). As mentioned, a simple relaxed spread ideally exactly mimicking what you observed while scouting as far as species and numbers and activity. Special decoys like sleepers, feeders, etc. or alternative species would help in making the spread look different from everyone else.

3) Calling: Very very easy on the mallard call, few quacks, maybe a comeback call. Instead, buy a 6-in-1 whistle and learn to use the heck out of it as needed. Teal peeps, widgeon sounds, mallard drakes, pintail whistling, etc. Learn them all, depending on what species are prevalent in your area. No loud hail calls on the mallard call. (that's what all the yahoo's are doing)

4). Don't tell people of your successes, be discrete and enjoy it!!! Don't post pics and reports on local websites, etc.

05-06 Season 141 ducks in 8 hunts, all on various public land tracts. :thumbsup:
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Postby NDH2OFOWLER » Tue Aug 22, 2006 2:36 am

Alot of good information so far. As mentioned scouting is going to be the first key to success. Reproducing what you see when scouting is vital. If that does not work one thing that can really help is to down size your decoy spread to say a half dozen. Most guys hunt with at least two to four dozen decoys and the ducks get use to seeing this same kind of spread day in and day out. You can also place your decoys as close together as possible. I do this in areas with alot of pressure or when it gets really cold out. Also as mentioned go easy on the calling. Some might raise an eyebrow at this but in high pressure areas sometimes its better to not even call.
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Postby jhrper » Tue Aug 22, 2006 5:41 am

thanks for the advice fellows. I will definitely be downsizing my decoy rig. I have already started scouting, my friends think I'm crazy but we'll see who has bird in hand. I guess I should just keep on looking for that honey hole. Thanks
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Postby quackhunter » Wed Aug 23, 2006 2:34 pm

I do 99% of my hunting on public property. Last year I killed over half of my birds on a heavily hunted WMA just a few miles from town. You know what the trick was? Instead of waiting on land or near shore like the goof balls, I waded out into a willow slough and got to the ducks. I would shoot them on the way out and they would always return that night after hours. You only got one crack and 3 or maybe 4 shots but when you have passing mallards at 20 yds it ain't hard. If you do your work you will get some birds.
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Postby gone winchester » Sat Aug 26, 2006 12:42 pm

one of the best I have is on public land. Most of the time I can be the only one there. everyone says that marsh is shot out of ducks, but what they dont know is that when I hear that there is a full bag limit in the bed of my truck. do your homework and scout around. pay close attention to the little details and youll get amany birds
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