First time Layout hunting....

Duck hunting for diver species like Canvasbacks, Redheads, Ringnecks, Eiders, Goldeneye and other diver ducks.

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First time Layout hunting....

Postby benelliboomer » Wed Sep 25, 2013 11:36 am

I booked a hunt on NOV. 8 on lake st clair to hunt divers. My girlfriend and I are going. We are both shooting Benelli Nova's, mine in 12 gauge and hers in 20 gauge. What suggestions/tips/any advice for us when we go? Ive never done this before.
What size shot and choke to use? for 12? 20?
Any advice would be helpful.
anything i need to know...
Thanks GUYS!
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Re: First time Layout hunting....

Postby Shade » Wed Sep 25, 2013 2:09 pm

You probably won't want any tighter that a modified choke out of a layout boat. All the videos you have seen don't do it justice. In Most cases the birds are in super close. I would stick with the nova. When hunting, don't be afraid to scunch way down in the layout boat. Yes, is is fun to see the birds working from a way off, but you will know she its time to sit up and shoot. You won't miss out on a shooting opportunity. Dress warm and above all be safe.
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Re: First time Layout hunting....

Postby ScaupHunter » Wed Sep 25, 2013 10:28 pm

Gun lanyard. That way if u drop it overboard you can retrieve it.
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Re: First time Layout hunting....

Postby boney fingers » Thu Sep 26, 2013 8:03 am

Don't quit shooting till until the bird is dead and then shoot it once more. Have fun and be sure to give us lots of details on your hunt, pictures, boat ramp locations, gps coordinates, ect... (St Clair is on my to do list)
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Re: First time Layout hunting....

Postby benelliboomer » Thu Sep 26, 2013 10:22 am

Thanks Guys! ill keep ya updated! I think im in for a new type of hunting than shooting mallards and geese in a field.... :help:
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Re: First time Layout hunting....

Postby Chet » Thu Sep 26, 2013 12:12 pm

Take more shells than you think you need. Shooting a duck while your legs are pinned down in a layout that is bobbing up and down and side to side on the waves takes some getting used to.

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Re: First time Layout hunting....

Postby Shade » Thu Sep 26, 2013 12:53 pm

Chet wrote:Take more shells than you think you need. Shooting a duck while your legs are pinned down in a layout that is bobbing up and down and side to side on the waves takes some getting used to.

Chet


X 2!

And divers are tough as nails and often require multiple rounds.
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Re: First time Layout hunting....

Postby Chet » Thu Sep 26, 2013 1:31 pm

Shade wrote:
Chet wrote:Take more shells than you think you need. Shooting a duck while your legs are pinned down in a layout that is bobbing up and down and side to side on the waves takes some getting used to.

Chet


X 2!

And divers are tough as nails and often require multiple rounds.


True. I am not 100% sure how it works, but a wounded bluebill on the water is nearly bulletproof as far as I can tell. Last year, I had to shoot a wounded drake three times as he swam away from the decoys. :biggrin:

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Re: First time Layout hunting....

Postby boney fingers » Thu Sep 26, 2013 2:17 pm

Chet wrote:
Shade wrote:
Chet wrote:Take more shells than you think you need. Shooting a duck while your legs are pinned down in a layout that is bobbing up and down and side to side on the waves takes some getting used to.

Chet


X 2!

And divers are tough as nails and often require multiple rounds.


True. I am not 100% sure how it works, but a wounded bluebill on the water is nearly bulletproof as far as I can tell. Last year, I had to shoot a wounded drake three times as he swam away from the decoys. :biggrin:

Chet


Three shots aint bad, I know of a couple of guys that exhausted a whole box on a wounded old squaw; basically a duck on the waters kill zone is the size of a Dum Dum lollipop.
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Re: First time Layout hunting....

Postby Chet » Thu Sep 26, 2013 2:31 pm

That must be it. It happens often enough that I actually buy a box of cheaper shells like the Winchester Xperts to use for cripples on the water.

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Re: First time Layout hunting....

Postby Shade » Thu Sep 26, 2013 3:45 pm

Divers sit lower in the water which protects their vitals. And the feathers on their backs are like armor. I have put 6 additional shells in a goldeneye swimming away from me... And then watched it swim away for good out of range and two fast for the dog to catch. Yes, I may need some target practice but I refuse to believe that my aim and spread from any 12 gauge using any 3" shell on a swimming target can be THAT bad. A head shot is almost all you can hope for. Yes, most of time one follow up will do trick, but in the event you get that Kevlar coated diver.... Extra shells will be to your benefit.
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Re: First time Layout hunting....

Postby Nelliboy2 » Sun Sep 29, 2013 8:19 am

I use #3s if they are working in good. Stiff wind I run #1s as they are affected less than #3s. A lot of guys use mod I run kicks full. Up to you. I however reduce my cripple rate with the tighter pattens. I'd suggest having some cheapo 6s with you for cripple swatting. Usually in the tender I can get 20-30 yards away and its lights out.

I'd suggest checking to see if the guide provides a grey jacket. If not bring a light pull over, heck you can get a cheap grey hoodie at goodwill for next to nothing.

Make sure to really limit your movement. The birds can really notice any type of movement. Make sure you keep scanning side to side because they can really sneak up on you.
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