River Hunting

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

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River Hunting

Postby Mallyard » Thu Jun 16, 2005 9:37 am

Allright, I've only hunted on a river once and we shot 1 green head. I know some of these rivers here in Kansas can hold the mallards when everything else is froze up.
The thing is I don't know how to scout a river. Do you need a boat?
So what I'm askin ya'll is how do I go bout hunting ducks on a river... Thanks,

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Postby donell67 » Thu Jun 16, 2005 12:32 pm

i hunt a river alot. yeah, i would say you need a boat, if it has any size to it.
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River hunting

Postby MattM1 » Thu Jun 16, 2005 4:36 pm

Hey mallyard,

I mostly hunt rivers but the typical colorado rivers I hunt may be only 10-40 yards wide and mosty of them can be waded across. So we may me talkin about different rivers. But rivers do holds lots of ducks and geese and are definately worth a shot. As far as scouting, go in the mornings and evenings and check the surrounding areas for feeding areas or larger bodies of water they may be using. They usually rest on rivers on their way to or from other areas (fields or lakes). The rivers I now hunt are almost always productive but it took me 3 seasons to figure out how the ducks worked them. Good luck !!!!

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Postby SCoutdoorsman » Fri Jun 17, 2005 7:06 am

Mainly by boat for the most part. Its those secret boat ramps you like to find our some land that comes close to the rivers edge you can access to have a close look and be undetected.
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Postby 870 » Fri Jun 17, 2005 10:07 pm

You definitely need a boat. The next thing to consider is the motor, trim/tilt is a must, you’ll find your self in short water, and it comes in handy.

I’ve watched guys scout the wrong way, what I mean is, they pull into a bay, or weed beds, or points and jump the ducks they plan on hunting the next day. At times that can’t be helped on small rivers, I understand.

The secretes to scouting on rivers are 1 don’t be seen. 2 don’t appear to be a threat. That’s what a lot of guys do, they appear to be a threat and get to close and jump the ducks.

You know where I’m going, find, if don’t already have a good set of binoculars If you have to be seen, slide in, glass them, then ease out. Then put the SMACK DOWN on them the next time you hunt. :salude:
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Postby labman45 » Sun Jun 19, 2005 4:29 pm

I hunt rivers all the time but i dont use a boat because the river i hunt u can wade across and i get access to it through a woods.
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Postby take EM' close » Sun Jun 19, 2005 10:12 pm

I'm with everyone else on both opinions...if it's wadeable....wade out but if it's deep then I would use a boat.

Another thing is that on the river, there isn't usually a lot of places were there is food because of different currents and what not so if you find a nice pile of ducks and geese sitting at an area....and I mean it has to be 150-200 geese or ducks sitting there....you can jump them then setup and wait....they will be back because of the food supply. If they have been resting and feeding there to the point they don't have to go to a field every morning then they will be back. We jumped around 400 geese and about 200 ducks off our river once out of surprise and just set out about 5 geese shells and around 6-8 duck floaters which was all we had. We had ducks and geese piling in on us in about 10 mins after we jumped them! :yes:
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Postby AlaskaRedneK » Mon Jun 20, 2005 1:24 am

Hey Mallyard,
From the looks of it, it sounds like we are gunna both be lookin for a jonboat pretty soon.... :thumbsup:

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Postby ol' yeller » Tue Jun 21, 2005 11:18 pm

I hunt 2 rivers 50+ days a year. I'm not sure what size of rivers you're hunting up there, but around here (unless you can access a bunch of land) you definitely need a boat. A 7 mile trip one way every morning is not uncommon. One day the ducks may be 1 mile away from the ramp or 8. It's nearly impossible to get access to that much land here.
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Postby H-2-O-FOWL » Wed Jun 22, 2005 9:17 am

I hunt a river after everything else freezes. I scouted this river while squirell hunting . I sat there and watched ducks fly in left and right didn't see any squirells. Ducks and geese will normaly use a bend in the river to hole up in . I will walk on shore by the river and sneak up on the bends, then jump shoot them when they fly over the land .If I spook them and don't get a shot i will them hide and wait 15 minutes and get them when they come back. I have found that the ducks will ussaully fly off the river the same way every time I spook them so I try to get where they fly off the river. Doing this involves a lot of walking sometimes I go 1/4 mile or more out of my way to get in the spot I want to be in when the ducks come off the river.
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Postby Mallyard » Wed Jun 22, 2005 1:06 pm

thanks guys for all the info.. I'm talking small rivers like 10 to 40 yards wide.. I know there are some deep holes in these rivers though. I guess I'm going to need to win the lottery so I can get all my stuff ( truck, and accident) paid off so I can buy a small john boat. Agian thanks for all the info.

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Postby quackerbacker » Sun Jun 26, 2005 3:08 pm

I hunt Rivers here in Oregon without a boat. You can use one but the river is small enough to wade. I dont really decoy them I pass shoot or jump them. We get many teal in the cold months when everything is froze up.
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Postby duckman1106 » Tue Jun 28, 2005 3:26 am

The rivers can be good if you don't have any marshes or flooded fields to hunt. However, when everything gets frozen up, the rivers can be incredible. Basicly, find a place with some good flow that isn't frozen up. Shallow water can be good places to find ducks who want some food (I've found snails in some of the small river mallards I've shot in Southwest MO) If some of the deeper holes or pools with less flow are open, that could be a good place to hunt too.
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Postby whitefeather » Sat Jul 23, 2005 8:58 pm

duckman1106 wrote:The rivers can be good if you don't have any marshes or flooded fields to hunt. However, when everything gets frozen up, the rivers can be incredible. Basicly, find a place with some good flow that isn't frozen up. Shallow water can be good places to find ducks who want some food (I've found snails in some of the small river mallards I've shot in Southwest MO) If some of the deeper holes or pools with less flow are open, that could be a good place to hunt too.


Excellent advice. Spoken like a true duck and goose killer :thumbsup:
I hunt a certain lake that has a smaller river next to it. The river has birds that migrate down it but they tend to land/roost on ponds and the lake during the warmer period of the season. As soon as the lake is covered with ice everyone quits hunting because the birds leave. The funny thing is that there are still a lot of ducks that are using this small river. Nobody hunts it. We smashed the ducks and geese late in the season for the last couple of years doing this and noone is the wiser :cool: .
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Postby KCDuckMaster » Sat Jul 30, 2005 1:25 pm

I hunt the Missouri River around the Kansas City area. I would say a boat is nice although I dont use one. I am lucky enough that our property butts up next to a power plant. So I just set up next to the plant. And that is some of the best duck or goose hunting there is. When everything is frozen or the waters really cold I just set up next to the warm water discharge from the plant and the ducks and geese just flock there.
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Postby kiwismakebetterhunters » Sat Jul 30, 2005 9:17 pm

May be different over there but here I just stalk the edges of rivers or set up decoys in a backwater close to shore. I knew a guy who every opening used to sit under a riverbridge with a dog without a gun and picked up any ducks floating down that hunters where unable to retrieve! Hed hav his limit by 10 am!!!!
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Postby Benelli Slinger » Tue Aug 02, 2005 1:11 am

i just find a channel of the river, thats 6-12 inches deep, and looks like a good spot, toss my deeks out, stick the mojo in, and wait...alot of my hunting is done alone, and on the go in a new spot...my old man is a pheasant hunter he doesnt care for waterfowl. i had to buy all my deeks and often times drive myself to my hunting destination and hunt alone :)
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Postby Cupped-n-Committed » Thu Aug 04, 2005 6:18 am

I like to hunt little creeks without a boat or the large Potomac near me with a boat. I put the boat near a dead fall or island to hide the boat and the dekes in 1' to 2' of water. My son got a kick out of me Sunday Morning when we were fishing and two hens went flying right into the deadfall area I used as a blind last year. I was banging on the boat yelling "bang, bang, dead duck!". :mrgreen:
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Postby Riverjumper » Wed Oct 05, 2005 7:05 pm

you def dont need a boat in KS. I hike the Arkansas 4 days a week. I know where ducks will be sitting, and just jump em. They get up move up river, and I get more at the next bend. Where in KS are you at? I am looking for more guys to hunt with this year.
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Postby Mattquack » Mon Oct 10, 2005 6:48 pm

kiwismakebetterlovers wrote:May be different over there but here I just stalk the edges of rivers or set up decoys in a backwater close to shore. I knew a guy who every opening used to sit under a riverbridge with a dog without a gun and picked up any ducks floating down that hunters where unable to retrieve! Hed hav his limit by 10 am!!!!


:toofunny: That's hilarious!!! I love it!
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Postby dead duck » Fri Oct 21, 2005 8:08 pm

Here in oklahoma the river is not the number 1 spot that comes to mind but it has produced ducks. the best hunting i have done is jump'n that's nice if you have high banks and alot of cover to say low. it can really change a bad day of hunting.(you can jump the river after the moring hunt ) I lived in ogden Ut. for awhile and the rivers were the place to be in late season for mallards and green wings
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Postby big_countryks » Sat Oct 22, 2005 6:35 am

Gotta chime in here...Don't need a boat here in Kansas for most rivers. Like someone else said, I hunt off the Arkansas and can wade downriver to my spot. Also been on the Big Blue river near Ft. Riley/Manhattan area and had to drag my boat most of the time because river was too shallow. There were some deep spots though, so if you plan on wading a certain river, be sure to check it out a couple of times so that you know where these deeps spots are...where abouts in Kansas are you Mallyard? I may be willing to suggest some spots for ya.
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river hunting

Postby goosetalk » Fri Nov 11, 2005 2:22 pm

A boat is neccessary, even if you can wade across it. Unless you have a really good dog, many birds will be hard to reach as they float down the river. Also, many have drop offs that can leave you very wet. As for scouting, take a boat out and examine the river, where is it shallow, where is it deep, are there isalnds, are there back water sloughs. All of these features will attract certain ducks so they are key features to look for.
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river hunting

Postby goosetalk » Fri Nov 11, 2005 2:24 pm

Oh ya, a canoe is a very good choice for shallow rivers.
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Postby Get'em » Fri Nov 11, 2005 3:24 pm

up here in Montana i hunt almost all rivers from the Gallatan, Yellowstone and the missouri and i just use waders and a couple doz of dekes. Once i get set up i usually walk up the river and look for ducks to jump shoot. Usually around 9:30 or so once i jump them and walk a while i head back to the dekes were they usually will be waiting for me to jump them agian.
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