Looking for a mentor...

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Looking for a mentor...

Postby New2DuckHunting » Wed Jul 11, 2012 4:51 pm

Unless it wasn't obvious by my handle I am new to the sport. I am looking for someone to teach me all they know about duck hunting this season. I grew up in central Arkansas and duck hunting wasn't something my family and friends done...I went on two guided hunts last year and enjoyed the hell out of it. I live in White county not too far from Hurricane so hopefully someone that hunts there regularly wouldn't mind me tagging along. Maybe someone who is getting up in age and can't really hunt safely by themselves any longer or someone who just doesn't have anyone else to hunt with.

I need to know it all down to the basics...how to call, when to call, why to call. What you look for when your scouting...when you start scouting. Where to place decoys and why. I pretty much know nothing about duck hunting other than how to knock a bird out of the sky...I can do that with the best of em.

I'm not what most would consider a douche bag and I am pretty easy going guy. Getting close to my 30's and would like to get to going on my own before my son gets old enough to go so I can take him when he's ready. Not looking for a bunch of free honey holes and ducks...just want to know how to play the game. I don't mind putting in the work...hauling decoys...scouting. Hell I don't even mind paying a little. Buying breakfast after the hunts...gas in the boat...shells...etc.

So...can anybody help?
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Re: Looking for a mentor...

Postby jdr » Thu Jul 12, 2012 7:27 pm

Where you located at?
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Looking for a mentor...

Postby New2DuckHunting » Thu Jul 12, 2012 8:55 pm

Searcy
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Re: Looking for a mentor...

Postby jdr » Mon Jul 16, 2012 9:35 am

Well, I am sort of a newbie myself, only been hunting for 6-7 years, BUT I would start at the AGFC website and browse around for public hunting around your home. I usually don't start scouting until October, but I just basically grab a map and my GPS and start walking the area marking spots that look like they might be good, so come opening day I have some sort of idea where I am going to go, and if someone is already there, I can bug out to the next spot.

As for calling, just get a double reed call from Wal-Mart, and learn to quack with it. Since I have been hunting, being where the ducks are or want to be, and having motion in your decoy spread is more important than calling, but the quacks will help to make it all come together. I usually only call when they are flying away or directly above me, (DON'T LOOK UP!!! use the water as a mirror) and even then I only use soft quacks and a slow feed chatta,followed by some more quacks.

Back to scouting, I usually look for some sort of opening in the tree tops this will give them a place to "fall into" as long as the wind as getting along with me that day, but I can move around that opening if the wind is not be having. Usually the ducks will fly and land into the wind, or what I have seen. So for a decoy placement I will do something like this:

D D
D D D D
<---WIND D D |------------
<---Blowing D D |set up
<---This D | somewhere in this area
<---Way D D |________
D D D D
D D D


Not the best picture, but you get the idea. As for motion I will hook up a jerk rig and throw it in the middle of that opening or off to the side a little bit. In the timber I use anywhere from 8 to 18 decoys, and usually mallards with 2-3 woodie decoys.

This is just stuff I have learned over the past few years, and like you I started out with no idea what the hell to do. Basically I just tried stuff till it started working. I know your in Searcy, so your real close to Hurricane WMA for timber hunting, and its a big enough place you won't be packed in there like sardines. Look it up at AGFC website and get the map and just start scouting.
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Looking for a mentor...

Postby New2DuckHunting » Tue Jul 17, 2012 8:02 pm

jdr wrote:Well, I am sort of a newbie myself, only been hunting for 6-7 years, BUT I would start at the AGFC website and browse around for public hunting around your home. I usually don't start scouting until October, but I just basically grab a map and my GPS and start walking the area marking spots that look like they might be good, so come opening day I have some sort of idea where I am going to go, and if someone is already there, I can bug out to the next spot.

As for calling, just get a double reed call from Wal-Mart, and learn to quack with it. Since I have been hunting, being where the ducks are or want to be, and having motion in your decoy spread is more important than calling, but the quacks will help to make it all come together. I usually only call when they are flying away or directly above me, (DON'T LOOK UP!!! use the water as a mirror) and even then I only use soft quacks and a slow feed chatta,followed by some more quacks.

Back to scouting, I usually look for some sort of opening in the tree tops this will give them a place to "fall into" as long as the wind as getting along with me that day, but I can move around that opening if the wind is not be having. Usually the ducks will fly and land into the wind, or what I have seen. So for a decoy placement I will do something like this:

D D
D D D D
<---WIND D D |------------
<---Blowing D D |set up
<---This D | somewhere in this area
<---Way D D |________
D D D D
D D D


Not the best picture, but you get the idea. As for motion I will hook up a jerk rig and throw it in the middle of that opening or off to the side a little bit. In the timber I use anywhere from 8 to 18 decoys, and usually mallards with 2-3 woodie decoys.

This is just stuff I have learned over the past few years, and like you I started out with no idea what the hell to do. Basically I just tried stuff till it started working. I know your in Searcy, so your real close to Hurricane WMA for timber hunting, and its a big enough place you won't be packed in there like sardines. Look it up at AGFC website and get the map and just start scouting.



Thanks for the pointers.

Hurricane is where I will be doing most of my hunting. It's fairly close to the house so that's where I will start. I'll probably drive over there this weekend just to familiarize myself with the area being that I have never been there. Have you ever hunted there? Do you know if you can walk it when it floods or if it is deep enough a man needs a boat? I have all intentions of buying a boat by then...but just in case I end up not I'm curious if I'll still be able to walk into Atleast some of the area.

Decoy spread makes sense. Thanks for that.
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Re: Looking for a mentor...

Postby jdr » Wed Jul 18, 2012 7:39 am

Nope, never hunted it, only been in there once and it was for off season boat racing.
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Re: Looking for a mentor...

Postby cannon » Wed Jul 18, 2012 3:53 pm

New2DuckHunting wrote:Hurricane is where I will be doing most of my hunting. It's fairly close to the house so that's where I will start. I'll probably drive over there this weekend just to familiarize myself with the area being that I have never been there. Have you ever hunted there? Do you know if you can walk it when it floods or if it is deep enough a man needs a boat? I have all intentions of buying a boat by then...but just in case I end up not I'm curious if I'll still be able to walk into Atleast some of the area.

Decoy spread makes sense. Thanks for that.


Hurricane is a monster. Yes, to hunt out there, unless you know a way into a back side, you'll definitely need a boat, and if you don't know what you're doing or where you're going, a GPS tracking device and a cellphone to call someone who can come get you wouldn't be a bad idea either. Google YouTube videos of the boat races out there in the mornings. Smart newbies don't want anything to do with that.

I hunted Hurricane throughout the '90's, and when the water is right, it can be nice digg's. Dunno that its the best place in the world to cut your teeth, though. I think you're doing the right thing in trying to find someone who'll show you around. Unfortunately, the topography of the place changes dramatically when the water rises, and what you'll be looking at right now (with extraordinarily low water levels) will in NO WAY resemble what you'll see in November if the water is up. I certainly wouldn't venture out there alone in the dark without a boat on my first trip.
Smell that? Smells like sumthin died in here.
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Looking for a mentor...

Postby New2DuckHunting » Wed Jul 18, 2012 5:16 pm

How does go about "finding ducks" or areas that ducks like to use?
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Re: Looking for a mentor...

Postby broutdoors » Wed Jul 18, 2012 5:46 pm

I'm 47 and from Searcy myself. I have been duck hunting since 1980 and hunting Hurricane lake WMA for most of that time. You need a boat if you really want to enjoy hunting that area. I have a 1648 War Eagle with a 40hp. yamaha. You don't have to go that big but i would suggest at least a 1542 with a 25hp. Get a gps and like the other guy said take a cell phone. You want to avoid the boat race at all costs at 4 am. Racing us will turn out very bad for you if you don't know the area. You will find out getting there and getting there fast are two very different things.When the water is up you will enjoy yourself alot more cause the place really opens up for you. Early season the Lakes are hot and later say in mid december the woods start to get good. The lakes will be hell to hunt early because of all the people but be patient and learn the area so if the rain comes you can move into the timber. If you want me to help you out then drop me a Pm and if we get rain I will show you the main trails. I had no help when I started and it took me 3 years to learn my way around the entire area.
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