big water pintails?

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

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big water pintails?

Postby ducking&diving » Wed Jun 19, 2013 2:15 pm

when I say big water I really mean rivers and marshes that are near or adjacent to croplands. any secret to getting pintails to commit in these places versus flooded corn impoundments? spread would likely have divers and maybe geese in it. anyone ever put sprigs on longlines?
Springing Flying Fish are good practice in the off season
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Re: big water pintails?

Postby beretta24 » Wed Jun 19, 2013 2:28 pm

ducking&diving wrote:when I say big water I really mean rivers and marshes that are near or adjacent to croplands. any secret to getting pintails to commit in these places versus flooded corn impoundments? spread would likely have divers and maybe geese in it. anyone ever put sprigs on longlines?

Ask assateague....I hear he's got a good setup for them. He'd probably even let ya shoot them for him.

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Re: big water pintails?

Postby aunt betty » Wed Jun 19, 2013 3:15 pm

ducking&diving wrote:when I say big water I really mean rivers and marshes that are near or adjacent to croplands. any secret to getting pintails to commit in these places versus flooded corn impoundments? spread would likely have divers and maybe geese in it. anyone ever put sprigs on longlines?
Pintails are difficult to call and get them to land. If they get even close once...SHOOT!
They are like the ballerinas of ducks. Complete and total mastery of the sky. Beautiful to watch in flight and I bet that's why AT misses. :wink:
They are sneaky and very cautious. That's been my observations in my limited hunts on that species. Ask the guys in the California forum this question!!!
West coast has way more sprigs.
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Re: big water pintails?

Postby ScaupHunter » Wed Jun 19, 2013 4:50 pm

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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Re: big water pintails?

Postby Rick Hall » Wed Jun 19, 2013 5:49 pm

Our Louisiana pintails are generally easier to toll to bigger, more open marsh holes than small potholes. (Easiest in large expanses of wide open flooded fields.) And I find it easier to break their flight with mallard type calling than whistling, particularly high pitched, squeaky, squawky calling, as with most non mallards. Our pins are very apt to hang out with geese, and frequently drop in to investigate when we're calling specks, so some of us make that our "go-to" for late season pintails. Might very well be that yours would react similarly to Canada calling.
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Re: big water pintails?

Postby yamaha783 » Thu Jun 20, 2013 7:44 am

Any of you find the rolled/trilled pintail whistle to be regularly effective? I've yet to see a group (or single/pair for that matter) of pins swing to a whistle, granted I don't get every day chances at them.
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Re: big water pintails?

Postby COYOTE JLR » Thu Jun 20, 2013 8:13 am

I'm far from an expert on this, but in my experience, I wouldn't want to have my pintail decoys too far away. I've only been doing smaller set ups with a few pinnie deeks at the far outside corner of my spread, which gets them to land right in the middle of my shooting lane, but they're cautious and land a ways out. For where I was hunting, 35 yards was about as far from me as I could get away with setting up my pintail decoys.
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Re: big water pintails?

Postby beretta24 » Thu Jun 20, 2013 5:53 pm

yamaha783 wrote:Any of you find the rolled/trilled pintail whistle to be regularly effective? I've yet to see a group (or single/pair for that matter) of pins swing to a whistle, granted I don't get every day chances at them.

They work imo
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Re: big water pintails?

Postby ScaupHunter » Wed Jun 26, 2013 4:38 pm

Pintail / widgeon / teal often raft up together or close together in my area. You can call for any of them and get pintail to respond. I most often start with pintail calls, switch to widgeon calling as they close, then put the call down and let them finish on their own. I always hunt pintail decoys close to my widgeon decoys so the calling matches up with what I have on the water.
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Re: big water pintails?

Postby Sgtstadanko707 » Sun Jun 30, 2013 3:12 pm

aunt betty wrote:
ducking&diving wrote:when I say big water I really mean rivers and marshes that are near or adjacent to croplands. any secret to getting pintails to commit in these places versus flooded corn impoundments? spread would likely have divers and maybe geese in it. anyone ever put sprigs on longlines?
Pintails are difficult to call and get them to land. If they get even close once...SHOOT!
They are like the ballerinas of ducks. Complete and total mastery of the sky. Beautiful to watch in flight and I bet that's why AT misses. :wink:
They are sneaky and very cautious. That's been my observations in my limited hunts on that species. Ask the guys in the California forum this question!!!
West coast has way more sprigs.


They are thick out here. Ca. You will get you sprig limit 90% of the time. They are the easiest birds to get to commit for us out here. Its like they know you can only shot 2 of them. We shoot our 2 and just watch them pile in. It's pretty cool
To watch. It's just takes a few feeder calls and a couple whistles and they are feet first in the face. I wish we could get the mallards like that.
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Re: big water pintails?

Postby Sgtstadanko707 » Sun Jun 30, 2013 3:20 pm

beretta24 wrote:
yamaha783 wrote:Any of you find the rolled/trilled pintail whistle to be regularly effective? I've yet to see a group (or single/pair for that matter) of pins swing to a whistle, granted I don't get every day chances at them.

They work imo


They are a must for pintail but not in the first month of the season. Once the migration starts whistle away.
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Number of birds- who cares.
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