Creek hunting

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

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Re: Creek hunting

Postby Mugzwump » Mon Dec 09, 2013 11:13 am

They were Common Mergs. I won't shoot 'em, though I have shot them thinking they were something else. Lol.. if I started shooting mergs I'd have my limit nearly every day I hunt, and be back home doing dishes or laundry by 9am! Not fun.

I don't eat them due to them having the highest concentration of contaminants found in commonly eaten waterfowl. I'm sure for the most part that concentration is very low, but I try to keep that in mind on what I bring to the table. Same goes for fish, I wont eat a large predatory fish that comes from water with a large population or industry nearby. But I know people who do eat them, and they haven't grown any extra body parts... so... I'm probably just paranoid.

I'll post up some picks I took of them in a bit.

Mugz.
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Re: Creek hunting

Postby BBK » Mon Dec 09, 2013 11:58 am

Mergs are a different limit than ducks
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Re: Creek hunting

Postby Mugzwump » Mon Dec 09, 2013 3:09 pm

BBK wrote:Mergs are a different limit than ducks



Here in Quebec, Canada, Mergs are all in the same bag. 6 ducks daily, 18 possession. 20 snowgeeese, 5 canada's daily, no possession limit on geese. I'm creeping up to my possession limit on ducks, I'll either have to hand some of 'em over to some family, or start eating. :yes:

Did really crap on geese this fall... Just had some really bad luck, got tail feather soup more than once this year. Gotta have bad years to make good years I guess. I'm hoping to bag a few more in the creek before the season ends in less than two weeks, but we're getting 10 cm of snow tonight, then down to -18 Thursday and more snow... it's looking grim for late season hunting. I've never hunting ducks while wearing snowshoes and I don't intend on starting anytime soon.

Mugz.



Not sure how to put up photo's... though the ones of the birds didn't come through so well on account of the sun glaring the lens.
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Re: Creek hunting

Postby Mike657 » Mon Dec 09, 2013 5:02 pm

U are right about the mergansers. I have never shot/eaten one befor. I know what u mean about fish in lots of illinois lakes you are only allowed to eat only 1 pike a week and one muskie a month, but who eats muskie :yes: . We are allowed 6 ducks here in northern illinois, 2 canada geese we are allowed 5 mergansers they have their own bag limit.
Good Luck in the field-Mike.
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Re: Creek hunting

Postby BBK » Mon Dec 09, 2013 6:16 pm

Mugzwump wrote:
BBK wrote:Mergs are a different limit than ducks



Here in Quebec, Canada, Mergs are all in the same bag. 6 ducks daily, 18 possession. 20 snowgeeese, 5 canada's daily, no possession limit on geese. I'm creeping up to my possession limit on ducks, I'll either have to hand some of 'em over to some family, or start eating. :yes:

Did really crap on geese this fall... Just had some really bad luck, got tail feather soup more than once this year. Gotta have bad years to make good years I guess. I'm hoping to bag a few more in the creek before the season ends in less than two weeks, but we're getting 10 cm of snow tonight, then down to -18 Thursday and more snow... it's looking grim for late season hunting. I've never hunting ducks while wearing snowshoes and I don't intend on starting anytime soon.

Mugz.



Not sure how to put up photo's... though the ones of the birds didn't come through so well on account of the sun glaring the lens.


Woops, my bad.. I thought you were the guy who started the thread who was from Illinois. Didn't even look at the usernames.
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Re: Creek hunting

Postby Mike657 » Tue Dec 10, 2013 1:45 pm

I meant i have not shot/eaten a common merganser. Where i hunt we dont get a very high number of common mergansers. We do get alot of hooded mergansers i've shot a couple of them and ate them all, but mounted a nice drake.
Good Luck in the field-Mike.
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Re: Creek hunting

Postby Mugzwump » Tue Dec 10, 2013 5:28 pm

Mike657 wrote:I meant i have not shot/eaten a common merganser. Where i hunt we dont get a very high number of common mergansers. We do get alot of hooded mergansers i've shot a couple of them and ate them all, but mounted a nice drake.


Yea, we get ALOT of merganser around here. The hoodies look a bit like ringnecks and scaup so they tend to get blasted by mistake. The commons look just like mallards when the come right at you in low light, only to flare off and show their colours by the time its too late. I've learned to wait that extra second now. The commons are not shy at all as most people let them be. They'll have a party in your decoys if you don't move around too much. Nice looking birds though.



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Re: Creek hunting

Postby Mike657 » Tue Dec 10, 2013 7:24 pm

On a couple of occasions we had grebes spend the morning in our decoys. Hoodies do often look alot like other divers. Like in the early mornings when they first land in your spread. If its dark and they land coming at you their bellies look like wood ducks. Sorry to change the subject, but do you ever put different kinds of ducks in your creek spreads. Thank you-Mike.
Good Luck in the field-Mike.
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Re: Creek hunting

Postby Mugzwump » Tue Dec 10, 2013 10:43 pm

I only hunt the creek once the lakes have frozen over. There are a few rivers that stay open most years, and there are some mallards that tough it out, using the open water to stay warm, and they are the most abundant duck in the late season, so I normally only use mallard decoys in the creek. I sometimes put two full body or shell Canada geese on shore, and no more than 6 mallards. I think any decoy type will work for most ducks... they don't seem to care really as long as its some kind of duck or goose. I also sit within 10 or 15 feet from my decoys. I feel this is important, as the ducks will see the deocys, thinking they are safe, and will focus on the rest of the creek for a landing zone and any danger. Right next to the decoys is where they think it's safe and occupied, so they wont look too hard there, where you are. I've had mallards land in the pool, and shot at them, only to have them bug out right over my decoys and me giving me another shot. It makes for a tricky set up because the ducks will land away from you, so you really gotta think about which end they come from, where they'll land and how you'll shoot 'em. But sitting up close to the deocys is a must in tight quarters. They wont swing around either, where there isn't enough room for them to do circles over your decoys checking you out. If they're coming in, they'll dive bomb the landing, and you wanna hit 'em right as they touch the water. Best thing is don't move till they stick their feet out.

In the lake I use 3-4 dozen mallards, 1 dozen teal and 1 dozen scaup. I spread them out quite a bit, scaup at one end and the rest kinda all along the shore over about 150 feet. I leave a hollow where I sit... a bit closer to the Scaup. Usually brings the ducks right over me on the first pass, they'll see the huge group from far and cup over where the hollow is looking for a landing. works well for all kinds.
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Re: Creek hunting

Postby Mike657 » Tue Dec 10, 2013 11:22 pm

What works best for me in creeks is 6 mallards,2 teal or 2 wood ducks depending on time of the year,4 floating geese. On the shore i pute 4 shell canada geese and 2 bigfoots. As the season goes on and the lakes start to freeze I add 4 mallards to the other bank. this spread has produced real well for me. Alot of the ducks we get are the ones that typically sit in a raft down the crick of about 3 dozen birds in the late season. They swim up to us its pretty funny.

When it comes to lake hunting we use about 1 dozen mallards 18 geese 6 ringnecks 2 woodies 2 teal and in the late season a floating mojo.
Good Luck in the field-Mike.
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Re: Creek hunting

Postby Mike657 » Sun Dec 15, 2013 12:22 am

We went creek hunting today and got a huge late-season drake mallard. Red legs, and a baseball sized head. After opening the creek back up with a sledgehammer in the morning,to the winter storm blizzard we thought we would get skunked for sure. We were talking and we heard quacking so we were looking for this bird. My friend looked down on the ice and him and the duck both just looked at eachother then he took off then fell back down. :lol3:.
Good Luck in the field-Mike.
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Re: Creek hunting

Postby The_Real_TCIII » Sat Dec 21, 2013 11:42 am

This thaw and heavy rain will have made a huge mess of my spot, I'll ride out there Friday and see what's what. Late season opens Saturday
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Re: Creek hunting

Postby Mike657 » Sat Dec 21, 2013 1:12 pm

Our duck season closed last week sadly. So next time ill be out there will probably be around August to brush it.
Good Luck in the field-Mike.
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Re: Creek hunting

Postby jedijon » Sun Dec 22, 2013 9:52 pm

My creek is about 30 ft wide, I use 6 to 20 decoys, all mallard and teal, put 'em in a few bunches. They're just a few feet apart - usually blocking the creek just in front of me. Hooded merganser, teal, pintail, shoveler and a few mallard come in. All nearly first light.
10 Teal, 6 Mallard, 5 Shoveler, 4 Pintail, 3 Coot, 1 Widgeon, 1 Bufflehead, 1 Canadian Goose, 1 Hooded Merganser
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Re: Creek hunting

Postby Mike657 » Mon Dec 23, 2013 3:17 am

Sounds like a very cool setup. Put out any goose decoys? -Mike
Good Luck in the field-Mike.
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Re: Creek hunting

Postby The_Real_TCIII » Sat Dec 28, 2013 8:08 am

Slow morning but it beats workingImageImage
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Re: Creek hunting

Postby Mike657 » Sun Dec 29, 2013 3:43 pm

Nice setup and perfect greenhead.
Good Luck in the field-Mike.
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Re: Creek hunting

Postby delrod » Tue Dec 31, 2013 2:50 pm

I throw out 3-4 mallards and 2-3 wood ducks at the small creek that I hunt in the late season. I find that a lot of ducks use these when the larger places start getting a lot of pressure. I will also put a few geese shells on the bank on the bend because they use it to loaf around on a bunch. Creeks can provide some awesome hunt.
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Re: Creek hunting

Postby The_Real_TCIII » Wed Jan 01, 2014 11:00 pm

That creek will be froze solid this weekend, is it worth a trip down there to try and open up a hole? I'm new at this so any advice would be appreciated


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Re: Creek hunting

Postby Mike657 » Wed Jan 01, 2014 11:09 pm

During the last weekend of duck season we had to open up our creek, and it was worth it. We harvested alot of birds. If you are up for a little bit of work go for it. Once you get started it will go kinda fast. Make sure you bring a sledgehammer. Make sure you leave enough room for the ducks to land even if that means you have to downsize your spread. Good Luck in the field-Mike.
Good Luck in the field-Mike.
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Re: Creek hunting

Postby Mike657 » Wed Jan 01, 2014 11:16 pm

Also, make sure it is safe enough to do. Venture where you know it is shallow enough to walk. Even if it is only a foot deep bring a pair of retractible ice picks or any kind just in case. While minnow seining in the summer right at my hunting spot I fell in a mud whole higher than my waders. Good Luck in the field-Mike.
Good Luck in the field-Mike.
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Re: Creek hunting

Postby The_Real_TCIII » Wed Jan 01, 2014 11:17 pm

Thank you Mike I appreciate it!


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Re: Creek hunting

Postby Mike657 » Wed Jan 01, 2014 11:20 pm

Dont mention it anything for a fellow creek hunter :lol3:. Good Luck in the field-Mike.
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Re: Creek hunting

Postby Mike657 » Mon Jan 06, 2014 4:13 am

Our creek is officialy solid ice. duck is closed here anyway.
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