The #1 mistake new waterfowlers make?

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The #1 mistake new waterfowlers make?

Postby waveslider » Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:01 am

It was awesome to see so many folks out with the kids taking advantage of the youth hunt this weekend. Conditions were tough in our area (its the first time in my career that I wet-waded duck hunting in my water sandals) but we were able to scratch out a few semi-greenhead drakes and some teal. Even shot a ringneck if you can believe that!

Its obvious that many of the folks participating were not career waterfowlers but were really just looking to get their kids out in the field to which I applaud them.

We all sit and talk about people that can't call or use too many decoys, mojos/not enough mojos, etc. But I have to be honest, I think the one thing that most people just don't get about waterfowling and the one thing that I would try to impress on anyone wanting to take up the sport is: Hide Yourself! Sitting out in the middle of nowhere may get you a few ducks to shoot but I would say even if you own 2 decoys and you can't call worth a lick, if you hide yourself you are so much better off. Even if that mean further away from the water than you would like. If you can get hidden from in front, sides and specifically overhead (the most difficult but also most important) you can shoot ducks.

I was wondering what you all thought: What are your top three tips or most important things you make sure about every hunt. Decoys, Calls, Wind Direction, Spread, Mojo/No Mojo.

In order of importance, these are mine:

1. Hide! We had a saying in Missouri, If you can see the ducks, the ducks can see you.
2. Wind Direction: With some very rare exceptions, I can't hunt with the wind in my face, mostly due to item #1.
3. Splashing decoy: I am a firm believer that if your decoys are sitting on glass with nothing to stir up the water, the ducks simply aren't as willing to commit. Any way I can accomplish it, I want the water stirred up - jerk cord, pulsator, splashing wings, it doesn't matter. We even had a backhoe bring in a load of river rocks to one of our blinds so we had rocks to throw into the decoys once.

What's your three? Lots of things that didn't maeke it to my list but if I was telling someone that was starting out, these are the three that I would tell them to focus on.

Do your three include?
Ultra Realistic Decoys
Comfort (being comfortable - I would have listed as #1 for turkey hunting)
Lots of Decoys
Calling and being a proficient caller
Mojos or spinners, etc
Decoy pattern - J Hook , Gap, Line, etc
Location: Get away from everybody or go where the ducks (and people are)?

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Re: The #1 mistake new waterfowlers make?

Postby cutm Jack » Mon Oct 01, 2012 2:23 pm

1. Scouting
2. Scouting
3. Scouting
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Re: The #1 mistake new waterfowlers make?

Postby FlyFishingFreak » Mon Oct 01, 2012 5:40 pm

1) The most important thing i have learned in the past few years is to be flexible. The place you scouted 2 weeks ago prob isnt going to be the "X". On Sunday I went out with my cousin, we set up where I saw tons of ducks before. We didnt get much action. I watched 2 groups pile into a different pond. We packed up and moved there. More action, but he wasnt able to hit anything. Dont be afraid to move.

2) Try not calling.

3) Be rich and buy a bunch of mojos!
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Re: The #1 mistake new waterfowlers make?

Postby twsnow18 » Mon Oct 01, 2012 5:48 pm

+1 on scouting. if you are not where the birds want to be, you will NOT kill ducks ethically. i heard that a million times when i was a rookie and disreguarded it. well, countless hail calls that season produced practically nothing.
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Re: The #1 mistake new waterfowlers make?

Postby drakz » Mon Oct 01, 2012 8:09 pm

1) crowding a well known hunting hole...for instance my family had a blind built many years ago and one year some young guns decide to make their honey hole around the bend like 70 yards away and they love quacking and honking all day and sky busting and shooting well newbies are the worst at being jackasses...

2)calling....everyone thinks nowdays they have to sound like a competition don't have to...phil robertson said it best " I don't think a real duck could win a competition" you newbies learn how to sound like a duck before you blow your lungs up...

3)hiding....your blind is one of the most important...placement of the blind and how its built is key....
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