Nice day in the marsh!

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Nice day in the marsh!

Postby O2Fsh » Sat Jan 05, 2013 7:03 pm

Into the local marsh well before shooting light. Got to a promising spot, set out the spread, settled in and began the wait. Managed a nice, fat mallard just after shooting light. Fell so close to the boat it splashed mud on me.

Later, something interesting happened. A heron flew into my spread, settled in, and began working the edges of the marsh. Within 2-3 minutes ducks were buzzing by,circling, starting to decoy....then flare just out of range. Before the heron (and after good lighting), no ducks were interested in anything my spread had to offer; other the original fly-byes in the EARLY morning light.

After the heron left, I waded 25-30 yards from my layout boat to see if I could see what was flaring them. Realized then, that my camo grass was several shades too light. Hand mowed several small islands and covered my boat in local grass to alleviate that issue. Unfortunately, I recognized the problem too late in the day.

Poor camo choice on my part aside, I am now positive that confidence decoys have a place in my spread. Adding one ASAP.

Managed to kill, and loose (looked for a good long while) another mallard while pulling in my spread.

O2Fsh
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Re: Nice day in the marsh!

Postby toolmaker » Sat Jan 05, 2013 7:58 pm

i doubt it was the grass.... we give ducks too much credit...

they certainly have good eyes... i think it is boat shapes and movement......faces turning to see where the ducks are.....flat water in the decoys!.....if you think about the shore...it is full of junk most times...white platic 5 gallon buckets , hunks of blue foam, old lawn chairs, ect ect.... none of that scares ducks....

human movement , fussing with your gun, reflections of shiny stuff flashing light when you move.....scares ducks

plus now they are looking for things out of place..

if you dont have meovement in your decoys , and or killer calling...then pare down your spread and put out less ducks...

5- 6 when the water is flat...dont move!!!

I dont usually hunt large spreads for puddlers, but did last week with i went with another guy on his boat with his rig. he could call great and he set a larger spread....one day we had two great callers....and the boat is stealth all the way.....a little wind great calling, set the birds at ease.....

i am sure his grass didnt match the hatch perfectly.....doesnt have to I dont think


good hunting


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Re: Nice day in the marsh!

Postby O2Fsh » Sun Jan 06, 2013 7:28 am

Thanks Tool! I appreciate the sharing of wisdom. I am positive you've mentioned the exact problem. I do my very best to keep that list of no-no's to a minimum. However, I am sure things get by me.

I keep a small spread. NEVER more than 15 decoys and they are all in good shape, mostly cork with a few (4-5) plastic skimmers mixed in. Next year, all cork! I typically run a bilge-butt, or one of my homemade splashing feeders. Not yesterday though.

I have no idea if my calling is any good. I typically don't call.....unless I am positive they're going to pass me up anyway. Then, a high ball and I shut up again.

Yesterday's wind was off and on.

My boat shape is negligible (I think) as I put it against the banks or between an island/tussock and a broken off point. I find that it makes my boat disappear in that small opening. I have a "blanket of grass" I stay under until I have to shoot. Only my face is out and I wear a custom hat I camo with local grass. (basically it is my old boonie hat with some netting attached, grassed up- almost cape-like) I am beginning to think it may be my glasses(?). I try my darnedest to not move my head too much... in fact, I bet I miss so many birds because I only really look out in front of me using my peripheral vision to scan what is coming in from the sides.

I stayed put through the dropping tide until high tide came back in. Lots of birds in the area as I could hear others blasting away.

I was just happy to be in the marsh hunting! This broken shoulder made it impossible to hunt. I took out the gut from AL on the 28th with no intention of shooting, and didn't. This was my first hunt of this season...figured I had to go before I go back to work on Monday. I am glad I did! I have enough duck breast for some red-neck pancetta. I could use a little more, but this will get us by.

Again, thanks for the positive feedback! I agree this is what this board's purpose is.

Let's hunt sometime? Otherwise, I'll see you in the marshes!

O2Fsh


P.S. What is your view on confidence/security decoys?
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Re: Nice day in the marsh!

Postby sbeIICT » Sun Jan 06, 2013 1:35 pm

O2Fsh wrote:Thanks Tool!

I have no idea if my calling is any good. I typically don't call.....unless I am positive they're going to pass me up anyway. Then, a high ball and I shut up again.

Yesterday's wind was off and on.

Only my face is out and I wear a custom hat I camo with local grass. (basically it is my old boonie hat with some netting attached, grassed up- almost cape-like) I am beginning to think it may be my glasses(?).

P.S. What is your view on confidence/security decoys?


I'd say if you can get a basic hen quack down and a short feed chatter that would help you out. Call at wingtips and their butts.

If you wear a big ole' hat with netting attached any movement of your head will only be magnified, especially since you said your head is the only part of your visible. Move your eyes to follow ducks not your head.

Swan, Herons, coots. Just is easier though to carry a few Canada decoys and Im pretty sure swans and Canadas dont mix...
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