Creek hunting

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

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Creek hunting

Postby Mike657 » Sun Nov 24, 2013 9:29 pm

Any good creek spreads? It seems that when i use a lot of decoys it flares them.
Good Luck in the field-Mike.
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Re: Creek hunting

Postby BBK » Mon Nov 25, 2013 2:26 pm

Then use fewer decoys
Why do I shoot 3.5" for geese? Because they don't make a 4" yet!
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Re: Creek hunting

Postby Mike657 » Wed Nov 27, 2013 11:34 pm

Going creek hunting this weekend putting out 6 mallards,2 GWT, and 4 geese. We also put 6 canada shells with 2 bigfoots on the shore line. This is our most productive spread we use. With lots of the ponds and small lakes frozen here in illinois we should get a shot at some big green heads.
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Re: Creek hunting

Postby B.E.Nelli » Wed Nov 27, 2013 11:59 pm

How wide is this creek? That still sounds like too many decoys. I'd put a pair of geese and 6 ducks total. Make em look natural.
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Re: Creek hunting

Postby Mike657 » Thu Nov 28, 2013 12:59 am

Its pretty wide since its later in the year we will probably ditch the land geese. Thanks for the reply.
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Re: Creek hunting

Postby B.E.Nelli » Thu Nov 28, 2013 1:18 am

Yeah, that sounds like a good plan...gotta make em feel like there is plenty of room for them in the tight quarters. Just a couple geese will be plenty.
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Re: Creek hunting

Postby Mike657 » Thu Nov 28, 2013 1:34 am

Thank you
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Re: Creek hunting

Postby BBK » Thu Nov 28, 2013 8:29 am

IL creeks are what most would call rivers in other states.
Why do I shoot 3.5" for geese? Because they don't make a 4" yet!
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Re: Creek hunting

Postby Mike657 » Thu Nov 28, 2013 8:46 am

We have many shallow rivers by us that are 5o yards wide like the Du Paige. This is a small creek that is about 15 feet wide. thank you for your reply.
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Re: Creek hunting

Postby BBK » Thu Nov 28, 2013 8:52 am

Out in Nebraska, Kansas, ND, SD, I have seen a lot of rivers that were less than 15 foot wide. Our rivers around here (I'm not that far from you) are what they call a major river. I once asked how to retrieve birds on a river and they all told me just put a small minnow seine across it to catch the birds :lol3:

I have a creek just down the road from me that is about that size, it holds birds year around (in the city limits). They sit in groups of 6-8 on the wide shallow creek bends. This creek is a rock bottom in many places, and they absolutely love it there. They walk along the rocks and sit in the shallow water, I've never seen a duck/goose in the deep holes unless one is swimming down through one while I am fishing.

I would suggest about 6 floater mallards right smack in the middle of the creek together as a group, and if you have any exposed rocks I would put a couple fullbody ducks/geese on the rocks. Then If you have any exposed shore around your spot, 3-6 shells put tightly together like they are a resting flock.

That is how the birds always look around here.
Why do I shoot 3.5" for geese? Because they don't make a 4" yet!
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Re: Creek hunting

Postby Mike657 » Thu Nov 28, 2013 10:46 pm

Yea i know what you mean. I've seen the exact same thing with the birds. My uncle shot a hooded merganser in the creek where we hunt. It landed straight in th mallard decoys in 12 inches of water it was kinda funny. thanks for your reply.
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Re: Creek hunting

Postby Mike657 » Sat Nov 30, 2013 4:53 pm

Whent creek hunting today and shot a hen woodie. Thought they usually move very early, but this one was probably a resident.
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Re: Creek hunting

Postby Mugzwump » Mon Dec 02, 2013 11:26 pm

In the creeks I hunt in late season, I go with no more than 6 duck decoys, spread out a bit 2 here, 2 there... On days where I'm feeling lucky I wont put out anything. Most everything else is frozen by the time I head for the creeks and the ducks are going to go looking for whatever open water is available. So really it's just hoping for the right time right place deal again.

Don't find decoys to make much difference in heavy cover anyways... you're only there cuz you've noticed the ducks want to be there too.

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Re: Creek hunting

Postby The_Real_TCIII » Fri Dec 06, 2013 5:47 pm

I'm hunting a creek tomorrow. During the early bow season it was loaded with ducks, since it froze I've seen a lot flying over. Big thaw this week has it open again so I'm hoping ducks are using it.


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Re: Creek hunting

Postby Mugzwump » Fri Dec 06, 2013 6:17 pm

The_Real_TCIII wrote:I'm hunting a creek tomorrow. During the early bow season it was loaded with ducks, since it froze I've seen a lot flying over. Big thaw this week has it open again so I'm hoping ducks are using it.


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I'm on creek duty tomorrow too. My marsh is frozen rock solid with 3" of ice. Where are you located TCIII?

We've got a light thaw in the south of Qc, keeping the creek going for now, if I get a strong wind the ducks will come looking for me there.

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Re: Creek hunting

Postby The_Real_TCIII » Fri Dec 06, 2013 6:32 pm

Western NY


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Re: Creek hunting

Postby Mugzwump » Fri Dec 06, 2013 8:33 pm

I guess you've got close to the same weather as me then... Good luck tomorrow!

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Re: Creek hunting

Postby callinfowl » Sat Dec 07, 2013 4:58 am

If you have moving water, instead of using the front eye on the keel to tie you decoy line .
Tie it off in the center of the keel, which will add a side to side swimming action in the slightest current.
Or you can make a 'River keel" which is a deeper keel that causes the decoy to swim in the slightest current.
Punch River Keel Decoy into Youtube and a video will show you whats up with them. :yes:
Lifes to short to sweat the small crap !
Lighten up and have some fun ,before ya die !

Laugh at yourself and with others!!!!!
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Re: Creek hunting

Postby The_Real_TCIII » Sat Dec 07, 2013 11:15 am

Well I struck out. A huge flock of birds flew over at first light and landed somewhere well upstream, after that a bird here and there up high but nothing came in. I did see a flock of 7 swans that was pretty awesomeImage
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Re: Creek hunting

Postby Mugzwump » Sat Dec 07, 2013 5:25 pm

Nice spot TCIII !

I like it. It's got a good view of the sky. My creek spot is very covered... in a tight "S" bend, so the ducks will come in hot from up or downstream, or they dive bomb from overhead. Makes for some tough shots. I'm the only guy on that creek anyways, so I'll move around a bit, there's about 2 km of it I use, but I have to portage a few log jams.

Well I struck out too... but that's because me and the lady drank a whole bottle of wine and stayed up past bedtime last night... so I spent to morning in bed. :clapping:

Maybe tomorrow, or the day after... It's going down to -14 C here tonight.

I've got a lot more current in my spot, actually sucks to paddle home in it... on the way there it's great! I'll expect to have water till January, last year it didn't freeze at all.

I don't see swans much, that's awesome you got a peek at them.

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Re: Creek hunting

Postby Mike657 » Sun Dec 08, 2013 12:40 am

Well all i can say TCII is that many times ive hunted creeks ive seen crazy things that id rather have seen than got birds. Swans are a very cool sight. I got skunked one time, but got to see a coyote attack one of my teal decoys. Id rather see that than get birds any time. Nice creek by the way I ahve hunted open water and fields, but creek hunting has to be my favorite since you never know what will happen :yes: good luck in the field-Mike
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Re: Creek hunting

Postby The_Real_TCIII » Sun Dec 08, 2013 9:52 am

It was worth the drive for sure. I thought they were snow geese when I first heard them, very odd sound no rhyme or rhythm to it!
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Re: Creek hunting

Postby Mugzwump » Sun Dec 08, 2013 7:24 pm

Well I went out this evening to the creek for the first time this year. Still a lot of ducks in the area though I only had one mallard come in, aside from the flock I spooked when I showed up. I manged to drop him at about 15 yards. I also had a Blue Heron spend a an hour with me, and four Mergansers had lunch in my decoys.

Was a pretty good evening aside from it being freezing cold.

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Re: Creek hunting

Postby Mike657 » Mon Dec 09, 2013 12:25 am

were they hoodies I have a great tip for cooking them, they taste like any other duck if you butterfly them and cook them to 165 degrees. with some light steak seasoning. Maybe with a little red wine in the pan. I have yet to shoot a common or a red breast, but i got a hoodie and mounted it myself. hopefuly somday i can build a whole merganser scene :yes:. good luck in the field. Me you and TClll are the creek guys lol-mike
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Re: Creek hunting

Postby Cold » Mon Dec 09, 2013 7:49 am

Hunted a small creek myself Friday morning, maybe 1/3 the size of the one pictured. Pretty slow all morning, except one point early when a pair came in low, hot, and silent, and did a touch & go in my small spread and were gone before I could even get the gun up. :rolleyes:
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