We flat out hammer the pintail out west. I hunt the Columbia River a lot. It is a Big river by anyones definition. I hunt adjacent to large feeding fields and other food areas. Sometimes as far as 2 or 3 miles from them as well. As with all other hunting, scouting is the key. You want to find where the pintails are going to rest after they leave the fields. I look for bays, sub bays inside large bays, or other pockets of protected water that hold the birds. Keep your pintail decoys to a minimum, no more than 12. If you want more mix in widgeon, gadwall, mallard hens, or other species that are common to your area. Keep the pinner decoys separated to orient the birds right into the kill box. I never longline my puddler decoys. If I want to maximize my visibility I run two or three strings of Blue Bill decoys outside my puddler spread. The pinners usually swing in to the opening between the longlines and puddlers and either land or offer a close shot.
Call to them sparingly to get their attention, then put that call away. Once they are swinging into your decoys, just keep your heads low and only one guy looking to call the shot. Done right you can put limits of pinners on the boat every day in big water during the late season when they are most common.
We had days late last year where the 2 pin limit was really annoying. We had 400 pins tornado down into the decoys and sit there for 30 minutes one morning. We had already shot our pinner limit and were waiting for other ducks to come in. The sprig got a big surprise when a couple of mallards came in low and we opened up on them.
Last edited by ScaupHunter
on Wed Jun 26, 2013 4:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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