Saltwater/brackish marshes for puddle ducks

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

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Saltwater/brackish marshes for puddle ducks

Postby canis » Mon Sep 30, 2013 10:34 pm

I'm relatively new to marsh duck hunting and I would like to know more about hunting them for puddle ducks. This is the main source of water where I live, and I have heard it's not much like hunting lakes or rivers. There's not a whole lot of information on the internet about it, so I wanted to ask you all if you had any tips or advice. Any info on decoy species/spreads or any kind of general info would be appreciated.
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Re: Saltwater/brackish marshes for puddle ducks

Postby Frank Lopez » Tue Oct 01, 2013 12:17 pm

Hi Canis and welcome to DHC. Salt or brackish water for puddlers is not that big a deal. Mostly, you'll be hunting larger water, so you may want a few more decoys than you would on small ponds or lakes. As far as decoy species, stick with the species of birds you typically see. Here on Long Island, there is very little freshwater hunting for ducks. Fortunately, the birds don't seem to mind one bit. We hunt mostly two different ways, from an accessable shoreline or from a boat. When we walk in, we typically carry anywhere between 18 and 36 decoys. I usually carry the larger amount, the reason being that if I have them with me, I can put them out. If I don't, I'm out of luck.

As far as hunting, some serious scouting will pay big dividends. The trick is to be where the birds want to be. We've found that a falling tide is the best tide to hunt. And make sure you account for the tide's rise and drop in rigging your blocks. Up here, we can have a 6 to 8 foot swing, depending on the moon phase, so we're generally running 10 to 12 feet of anchor line. The other thing is the current speed. In areas were the tide runs quick, you need to pay attention to your anchor weight and or design. Muffin tin anchors about 4 to 6 ounces with copper loops work well here, but we've got some really fast currents.

Hope this helps some.

Frank
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Re: Saltwater/brackish marshes for puddle ducks

Postby cluckmeister » Wed Oct 02, 2013 12:32 pm

Canis please look up Quivira National Wildlife Refuge and Cheyenne Bottoms in Kansas, both of them contain salt water and brackish water and both places are major stopping areas for migrating birds
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Re: Saltwater/brackish marshes for puddle ducks

Postby goosehunter64 » Fri Oct 04, 2013 8:46 am

Frank Lopez wrote:Hi Canis and welcome to DHC. Salt or brackish water for puddlers is not that big a deal. Mostly, you'll be hunting larger water, so you may want a few more decoys than you would on small ponds or lakes. As far as decoy species, stick with the species of birds you typically see. Here on Long Island, there is very little freshwater hunting for ducks. Fortunately, the birds don't seem to mind one bit. We hunt mostly two different ways, from an accessable shoreline or from a boat. When we walk in, we typically carry anywhere between 18 and 36 decoys. I usually carry the larger amount, the reason being that if I have them with me, I can put them out. If I don't, I'm out of luck.

As far as hunting, some serious scouting will pay big dividends. The trick is to be where the birds want to be. We've found that a falling tide is the best tide to hunt. And make sure you account for the tide's rise and drop in rigging your blocks. Up here, we can have a 6 to 8 foot swing, depending on the moon phase, so we're generally running 10 to 12 feet of anchor line. The other thing is the current speed. In areas were the tide runs quick, you need to pay attention to your anchor weight and or design. Muffin tin anchors about 4 to 6 ounces with copper loops work well here, but we've got some really fast currents.

Hope this helps some.

Frank

very good info Frank.
If calling at blacks...it's not near as loud and consistant as mallards....then again...sometimes it has to be. I'm sure Frank and I could give you a life time worth of info, and agree and disagree on many of it.
For what works in my region, may not work in his. I was from NB Canada...and I lived along the coast..which basically that;s all we hunted...brackish salt water marshes and rivers....along with small ponds, and fields. Very few freshwater opportunities in my area. We had to travel south central NB to get that.
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