Novice Gear

Share you waterfowl hunting gear tips and questions here. Including blinds, camo, clothing, etc... For decoys and calls, please see the other appropriate forums for that type of genre, Thanks.

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Novice Gear

Postby TWP » Fri Dec 10, 2004 1:02 pm

Hey Guys,

I am new to duck and goose hunting (started this year with the help of a couple friends) but grew up on a ranch and have hunted everything else possible, varmits, deer, dove, quail, pheasant, etc. So I have a lot of gear for hunting mounted up over the years. However, I don't have anything for duck hunting. I was curious to see what you all thought about what I should start out with. I have a shotgun and am getting all my camo together. But what kind of decoys, calls, blinds, etc should I look into buying. I will be hunting puddle ducks and will have to be mobile being in the Texas Panhandle. My biggest question right now is what kind of calls should I get and how is the best way to learn (pester another hunter, CDs, DVDs...) to call effectively.

Thanks guys this is my first post and I'm looking forward to lots and lots of good info in the future by joining this awesome forum.
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Postby donell67 » Fri Dec 10, 2004 6:44 pm

for a beginner i would just go to walmart and get outfitted. they have quite few different calls,decoys,shells,calling cds, etc. you can get setup cheap there also.
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Postby h2ofwlr » Sat Dec 11, 2004 10:22 pm

I'm not sure what kind of cover you are hunting in--but match the blind material to it.

I'd stay with basic calls for know like Haydels, etc... As for learning--get a VHS tape or DVD as hand position is important--especially for Short Reed Goose calls. And yes learning from a skilled hunter is also agood way to learn.

decoy preferances are typically regional, so ask the guys in Tx and OK what you like to use.
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Postby Giv'em3 » Mon Dec 13, 2004 8:56 pm

Hey twp, welcome to duck hunting. :welcome: First off, I would like to say you are on the right track, asking questions. I'm from Kentucky but I have hunted your area. I hunt about one hour south of Amarillo. Your in a good spot for puddle ducks. Second off, for your area you will need no more than a dozen mallard decoys, and maybe a couple canadian floaters for attraction.

For a blind. I have hunted many times down there by hiding behind tumble weeds ( you must tie them down-they will blow away, hence the name). If you want a cheap laydown blind go with the Kelly's Powerblind $100. I prefer the Finisher $200 or Final approach alittle more $. You should have no problem with natural cover to put in the blind. But don't forget to spread mud all over the blind. IT takes off the shine of the material and helps in blending.

As far as a duck call. The best thing to do is buy a cheap double reed maybe even a duck commander call, But for your area as flat as it is you need one with good volume. Sound in texas carries about ten feet.LOL I just purchased the take'm six DVD and it comes with an instructional DVD on how to blow. Good DVD, highly recommend. If you are going with experienced hunters then ask them for help on calling and practice ,practice, practice.

Tell me if this is helping you and I will continue. If not good luck. :thumbsup:
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Postby hawkdog » Mon Dec 13, 2004 10:22 pm

Greenhead Gear makes nice plastic hollowbody dekes. They are relatively cheap too. Try cabelas.com or mackpw.com and you can compare different brands.

I'm a mobile hunter and most of the time I just use natural cover instead of blinds. I hunt a lot of marshy areas and advantage wetlands camo blends in very well. Just try to set up in available cover and keep your entire body camoed, including face and hands. Also, don't move when ducks are around of course.

There are a lot of quality calls for novice hunters. The doulbe reeds are easier to learn, but they don't produce different tones like a single reed. Hunter's Specialties and Primos (the wench is my favorite) are both decent brands that are inexpensive. They both sell videos that should make learning easy providing you practice. I practice in the car on the way to and from work. :yes:

Good Luck!
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Thanks Guys

Postby TWP » Tue Dec 14, 2004 1:33 pm

Wow!!! I'm really glad I posted now because you all have been a huge help! I will most definitely be looking into some Primos single reeds and maybe a couple other ones. I also think I may have a good lead on decoys now as well. I'm really getting fired up about all of this and can't wait to be able to go out on my own without having to bug one of my buddies to go out.

If any of you guys have any other ideas or maybe tricks that you think I should use please feel free to give any advice you think might help. I'm like a sponge and everything is being soaked up and hopefully used correctly. But I guess screwing up is just part of the learning process.

Give'em3, where did you go hunting at? We have been pond hunting around Shallowater, but most of the ducks are staying furhter north around Plainview due to the amount of rain we have had this year. Keep on with the advice, it really helps to have someone who knows the area and cover helping me out.
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Postby 98ramtough » Tue Dec 14, 2004 1:35 pm

If you have not so shallow pockets, I would strongly suggest hiring a guide and going with him at least once. You will learn so much in such little time for like $200. You will learn more in half a day with a guide then you will learn on your own in a few years.....


That is if you don't hunt with some good guys already. I never did this, but if I was just starting, it would be a smart way to get good...


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Postby macdaddy » Tue Dec 14, 2004 1:43 pm

& keep an eye out for things in the old brown or "W.W. II" camo - they're cheap & blend in anywhere. If Wal - mart in your area has waterfowl items, then load up there. Check Cabela's now & LL Bean. Discounts should be starting.
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Postby Giv'em3 » Thu Dec 16, 2004 1:22 am

Twp, I have hunted from Plainfiew to Muleshoe to Hereford and all the tanks in between. :toofunny: This is an annual trip we make every Christmas. This is my 13th year to get to go.

A good way to learn to blow a duck call is to go to a feed lot pond and listen to the ducks and try to mimic them. You don't have to be perfect but you should learn the correct rythm and cadences. I would suggest a double reed call to start off with. Once you learn that you can move to bigger and better things.

Glad to hear about all the rain this year. I watch your weather as much as I do mine in Kentucky. Sounds Like all the tanks are full of water. That should spread the birds out a bit. I just hope everything isn't froze solid by the time we get there, Dec.24th :getdown:

Have you been seeing many birds and what kind? Mallards, teal, pintails, Geese.

When we hunt down there we use one dozen mallard deks, one dozen greenwing teal deks, two dozen goose floaters for attention getters, and if we need to about 60 big feet full bodys. It all depends on the size of the tank and how many birds we have been seeing on it.

I guess that's it for now. Good luck and shoot strait. :thumbsup:
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Lots of Birds

Postby TWP » Tue Dec 21, 2004 9:37 am

Give'em3,

There are lots of birds right now, but the hard part is having them come to you. We hunted a perfect spot the other day with a huge reed plot right behind the pond. However, it was froze and we had to bust ice. But we still had a good hunt with lots of teal, some mallards, and quite a few pintails. Geese are eveywhere right now, and a few floaters should work very nicely for you to get a couple honkers also. Good luck on the hunting and be safe with that ice. wet feet=cold feet
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Postby Giv'em3 » Wed Dec 22, 2004 3:27 am

Thanks TWP, We are leaving to come down friday Morning. Good to hear about birds. Glad you killed some. How's the duck calling going for ya?
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Postby REDLEGGER » Wed Dec 22, 2004 4:04 am

good waders are a must cheap ones will cost you more in the long run. single reed calls are the easiest to blow. only need 3 word to blow a duck call wick, ticket and kack and alot of practice practice practice. a face mask is very handy too. ducks have good eye sight. :thumbsup: "take a kid hunting you will never regret it"
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Great Hunt

Postby TWP » Thu Dec 23, 2004 9:03 pm

Hey Guys,

Again, thanks for all the help? Giv'em 3, I hope everything works out for you on Friday. I just did a little pond hunting in Coleman, TX of all places and we blasted birds and should of been done in 45 minutes but do to poor shooting took a little longer (it's always the gun's fault right?) What CDs would all of you suggest for my calling? So I can practice going to school and coming from work. Thanks Guys.
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Postby lonewolf » Thu Dec 23, 2004 10:10 pm

Twp, I also am a Texas resident down in the Rio Grande valley, and I am glad to see you get started. As far as decoys go I would get a dozen mallard, pintail, wigeon, and green-wing teal. You do not have to put them all out at once. I take five or six drakes of each species and three or four hens of each species. That makes up one bag for me. As far as calls go you need to get a whistle so you can make pintail, wigeon, and teal sounds. You can also do a mallard drake grunt whith one. As for a mallard call any one will do to start. If you can, buy one that comes with an instructional cd/tape. Once purchased the best way to learn is to blow your call while you drive around. When it comes to getting on the ducks the best thing you can do, is to scout. Everything can be great and perfect, but if the ducks do not want to come to that particular spot then you will not have them at all. I hope you have a great season, because we are having a good season down here.
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