Alright guys ill try making this as short as I can. I appologize if I write a novel here
Well yesterday morning I had my first real experience of actually going out just for divers. And now Im obsessed. It was so much more fast paced that hunting marshes and cornfields. I was hunting on the biggest lake in the state (besides the great lakes of superior and michigan) and I know plenty of guys layout hunt out here but we just dont have the funds for that kind of set up. Now the rules on this lake are:
Open Water Hunting (S): no person may hunt waterfowl in open
water from, or with the aid of, any blind including any boat, canoe,
raft, contrivance, or similar device except from:
2. Big Green Lake and Great Lakes Area: blinds in open waters
of Big Green Lake in Green Lake County, Lake Superior, Lake
Michigan, and Green Bay if beyond 500 feet of any lake or bay
shoreline. Blinds do not have to be anchored in these areas.
3. Lake Winnebago and Petenwell Flowage: blinds in open waters
of Lake Winnebago and Petenwell flowage (north of state highway
21 and south of state highway 73) if located more than 1,000 feet
from any shoreline, including islands, provided blinds are securely
The following methods of hunting waterfowl are legal:
• hunting from a boat, blind, or similar devices when in compliance
with all of the following:
- some part of the boat or blind is within 3 feet of naturally
occurring emergent vegetation (live or dead▲) that is rooted to
- this vegetation provides at least 50% concealment of the hunter,
boat, and blind when viewed from at least 1 direction, and
- the vegetation extends above the water’s surface to a height at or
above the sides of any boat being used for hunting.
▲ Dead stumps and dead trees in the water do not constitute a natural
growth of vegetation for the purpose of this rule.
So heres where my questions come into play. Yesterday we walked out to the spot and sat in the water with a little 35x35 yard island (which is privately owned by someone who we dont have permission from and he has blinds on the island but he wasnt there so we sat in the water right on the edge of the actual island) at our back, that broke up our outline and it seemed the birds never noticed us. The island is about 150 yards from shore so we got our decoys out into the lake a good ways and could still wade out 200yds into the lake past our decoys before the 3-3.5' drops off to around 6 foot.
But, say I wanted to hunt a few miles up or down the shoreline and I dont have the convenience of an island breaking my silouette up? My duck boat is an otter stealth 1200...we brought it along just to haul the decoys out and them took it back to the boat launch until we were done. We never even got in the boat, just pulled,pushed it along. If I wanted to use it as a blind I would have to be 1,000 feet from shore and that may be pushing it as far as depth goes depending which direction i follow the shoreline as the 6 ft contour line is fairly close to shore the further south i go. Its currently all cattailed up and blends in awesome in marshes but im not so sure wut it would look like to passing ducks when a "floating bog" is within 15 yards of the decoys in the lake...any thoughts? Could I possibly just sit in it like it is now that close to the decoys? I actually would prefer to just stand behind the boat but idk. What if i painted it that blue/grey color that the layout boys paint their boats and take the cattails off? Could I get away with actually laying in it/standing behind it? I think it sits too high in the water for that to work. Or could I just bring some of my goose floaters along and put them a little behind and to the side of the diver decoys and them sit in them (without the boat at all. i can sit on my knees and keep pretty close to the surface of the water.)
If I brought the boat along I would only go when its calm out and I would have to use the boat to go get my birds, it does have a motor on it and im very comfortable with the stability of this boat, but a bird is still not worth my life. I walleye fish all summer out there in an 18' lund and have gotten my butt handed to me many times in tournaments from the waves and I have the utmost respect for the lake and know how nasty she can get. If I could sit amongst the decoys/goose decoys without the boat at all i could walk aways out to get the birds because i wouldnt have to set up that far from shore.
Again I appologize for making this so long, so if you dont like it just dont read it and then you dont have to leave a nasty comment. I am just honestly looking for some tips about a completely new game to me. Ive hunted puddlers for over 11 years now and this diver stuff is like i just found a whole new sport and it wont be the same thing ive been doin the past 11+ years and add some new life to my duck hunting. ANY tips, suggestions, warnings, ideas would be greatly appreciated!!
Thanks guys and gals,