First time waterfowl hunter needs help/suggestions

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First time waterfowl hunter needs help/suggestions

Postby frakus » Tue Sep 08, 2009 1:27 pm

Hello, my name is Jason and I am looking forward to this season.

This will be my first duck hunting trip and I am looking forward to a lifetime of good hunts.

I am an avid dove and quail hunter yet have not ever tried any waterfowl. Until recently, I have never found myself in a position to hunt waterfowl. Our family has purchased a cabin near Show Low which we now use for all family events. I was told that people often hunt duck in Show Low near the lakes and ponds.

I have looked throughout the forum and I have read as much as I could, however I still feel I am missing quite a bit.

Since this is going to be our first duck hunt (my brother and 2 cousins) we are a little concerned that it will be unsuccessful.

Do you have any hints or suggestions for the Show Low area, either 3A,3B, or 3C?

We do not have a dog or a boat but will have waders. Is there a certain time of the season which is best? We are completely new to waterfowl hunting, so even the basics such as firing over water (not a concern with dove or quail), is it better to wait to see if a flock tries to land or shoot whilst in flight etc...

These are "newbie" questions so I would appreciate any and all info.

We are all avid hunters (elk, deer and javelina) but have never attempted waterfowl.
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Re: First time waterfowl hunter needs help/suggestions

Postby dead drakes » Tue Sep 08, 2009 5:23 pm

For starters, waterfowl have excellent eye sight, and your not hiding from a couple ,like deer or turkey, usually your hiding from several pairs of eyes flying over you looking for any flaw! Concelment,, you have got to blend in with natural cover ,saw grass , timber , the list goes on & on, you need to always hunt with the wind comuing from behind you or side to side. Ducks and Geese use the wind to help them contol their landing, Rule of thumb;; they will always lite into the wind!! So take this into concideration when settin up ,, another thing , don't set up where the sun will blind you! It rises in the east and sets in the west! As far as decoys go, a mojo mallard is lethal,, ya'll got to have one,, always use more drakes than hens because they have more color, so they will be more noticable from birds above! Get cha a call and practice the basics,,, the quack, and the feeder call is what I started out with! Alot of people have problems with the feeder call, get cha one of those how to tapes!! Man there is so much to this great sport I could go on and on and on! You're gonna be hooked after you call in your first greenhead! The day my children where born& the first duck I ever called in . !!! Those two days are locked in my mind forever! Good Luck! Let me know how things go for ya'll!! Hunt Hard,, but,, Kepp it Safe!! dead drakes.......... and welcome to a great sport :welcome:
Should we bury him Joesy? Naw the buzzards and the worms gotta eat to !
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Re: First time waterfowl hunter needs help/suggestions

Postby duckninja » Wed Sep 09, 2009 5:48 pm

If you have waders, try Jaques marsh. It is a man made waterfowl hunting area and most of it can be waded. There is a lot of good cover and plenty of ducks and is fairly close to Show Low. Another man made area is Pintail Lake, havent hunted it, but I have heard it is pretty good. Mexican Hay Lake is accessible with waders, but not much cover. Plenty of ducks though. Crescent Lake has a lot of ducks on it, but you will need a boat. Look around for cattle ponds, I have seen a lot of ducks and geese on them and they are fun to jump shoot. Most of all, just have fun. Dont take it too seriously at first, that will come as your addiction grows stronger and takes over your life. :banana: :banana:
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Re: First time waterfowl hunter needs help/suggestions

Postby Naturegirl » Wed Oct 07, 2009 4:18 pm

Most of the lakes are deeper than waders. I would strongly suggest getting a float tube or even a plain black truck tube because you will need to be able to retrieve your ducks. It will be hard to only shoot over land or where you know it is shallow. Knowing you will be up north, I would also invest in good warm waders.

Read, read, and read. Read about setting up spreads with wind directions, etc. Make sure you have a nice open landing zone for the ducks in your spread. After your first hunt, you will probably have lots of questions to ask here. Be still and blend into your surroundings. If you don't get anything on your first outing, keep trying. Some days things go right and some days they don't.
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Re: First time waterfowl hunter needs help/suggestions

Postby assateague » Wed Oct 07, 2009 5:51 pm

I've been duck hunting for a while, but I just moved to Arizona, and I feel like I may as well have never hunted before! Don't feel bad- I almost wish I could be in your position! I was spoiled with the birds back east on the Chesapeake, and I feel like I'll never be able to figure it out here!Best of luck- hopefully we'll both figure it out!
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Re: First time waterfowl hunter needs help/suggestions

Postby rcdinaz » Tue Nov 17, 2009 11:32 pm

We just hunted Show Low last weekend and there are far too many places to list. All of the area around Pintail lake and the habitat project in that area which consists of a bunch of tanks and marshes have ducks. Get a topo map of the area and you will quickly see the tanks surrounding Pintail (north of the airport). Half of them can be waded the other half are too deep; but are easily navigated with a float tube, canoe, or small boat. When you look at the map you can also get a really good idea of where you should see the ducks coming from as they tend to work across the different tanks until they decide to head further south.

My calling is horrible as I am a newbie but it works most often well enough to turn them around at least to take a look and see why the decoys sound as if they are dying a horrible death :thumbsup: Good advice you were given on paying attention to the wind. I wasted a whole day by setting up the decoys on the wrong end of the lake last week only to watch a few hundred birds land at the opposite end after looking at our decoys. Good news is you only make that mistake once!

Jut head out and relax and eventually you will get shots. I take a pair of bino's with me and some days do as much duck watching as I do shooting. Up on the rim there are bald eagles that work the lakes along with antelope, deer, and elk so there are plenty of ways to enjoy yourself if the birds aren't flying.
One of the greatest skills you can develop is the ability to ignore those that annoy you...
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