Are you field hunters crazy?

For those who enjoy duck hunting in the fields, this is the place.

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Are you field hunters crazy?

Postby tredwards » Tue Jul 31, 2012 1:27 pm

What is the story on field ducks. I personally have never hunted ducks in grain fields, always been a water man. I also have only seen ducks feed in fields a time or two, usually during spring breeding season. The old timers seem to think they will not feed in fields during daylight or before everything locks up. Yet I see pics of guys with huge piles shot in a field. What is the story here?
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Re: Are you field hunters crazy?

Postby i_willie12 » Tue Jul 31, 2012 2:52 pm

ducks feed in fields.... Thats the story :thumbsup:

Its nice to not have to wear waders and be dry!! And kill ducks!
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Re: Are you field hunters crazy?

Postby Rick Hall » Tue Jul 31, 2012 3:12 pm

Depends on where you are. Excepting freeze-ups, I've seen ducks feeding in a dry field exactly once since coming to South Louisiana in '83. But where I came from in the north, it was about as common as sunrise to see ducks feeding in dry fields. Probably the same ducks in many cases, just a different set of opportunities for them.
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Re: Are you field hunters crazy?

Postby dakotashooter2 » Tue Jul 31, 2012 3:50 pm

Very common up here to see them feed in fields. I suspect part of the difference may be the food sources themselves. The south being warmer probably offers a higher variety of on water food sources.
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Re: Are you field hunters crazy?

Postby goosehunter64 » Tue Jul 31, 2012 5:34 pm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zAw4KCVfbIg
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
What?? did you just crawl out from underneath this same rock??? :huh: :grooving: :lol3:
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Re: Are you field hunters crazy?

Postby tredwards » Wed Aug 01, 2012 7:16 am

I do not live in the South I live in Iowa. Perhaps I will attempt to field shoot sometime if I know the ducks are pilled up and somewhat educated, becuase very very few people in iowa field hunt ducks. Its just in all the times I have scouted flocks leaving to feed they never seem to end up anywhere, just fly 15 miles north and come back to the refuge. But to know which direction they're heading and to set up between water and destination may be an idea, what do you guys think?
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Re: Are you field hunters crazy?

Postby goodkarmarising » Wed Aug 01, 2012 7:19 am

At least when you're field hunting ducks, you don't have to set out as many deeks as when field hunting snows.
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Re: Are you field hunters crazy?

Postby CutEm214 » Wed Aug 01, 2012 8:06 am

Rick Hall wrote:Depends on where you are. Excepting freeze-ups, I've seen ducks feeding in a dry field exactly once since coming to South Louisiana in '83. But where I came from in the north, it was about as common as sunrise to see ducks feeding in dry fields. Probably the same ducks in many cases, just a different set of opportunities for them.


This has been my experience as well and it has always perplexed me. Same ducks, different habits. The closest we get to hunting "dry" fields for ducks is when they hit the sheet water late in the season.
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Re: Are you field hunters crazy?

Postby tornadochaser » Wed Aug 01, 2012 9:25 am

tredwards wrote:I do not live in the South I live in Iowa. Perhaps I will attempt to field shoot sometime if I know the ducks are pilled up and somewhat educated, becuase very very few people in iowa field hunt ducks. Its just in all the times I have scouted flocks leaving to feed they never seem to end up anywhere, just fly 15 miles north and come back to the refuge. But to know which direction they're heading and to set up between water and destination may be an idea, what do you guys think?


Get under that flight line, set out some honker deeks and a few mojo mallards and have at em!
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Re: Are you field hunters crazy?

Postby Rick Hall » Wed Aug 01, 2012 9:46 am

My northern field hunting days were pre-mojo, and while you could kill a few birds with good calling and a readily visible goose spread, dead-on scouting was paramount to shooting field feeding bunches. If you were on the wrong end of the field they were using, much less the next field over, you were most apt to suffer the frustration of watching them funnel in "just over there".

I'm told, but do not know, using several whirligigs has makes influencing those flights much easier.
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Re: Are you field hunters crazy?

Postby RustyGunz1960 » Wed Aug 01, 2012 12:35 pm

My wife claims I'm crazy for going duck hunting, period! Little does she know I only go out in the freezing pre-dawn because she doesn't.
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Re: Are you field hunters crazy?

Postby dakotashooter2 » Wed Aug 01, 2012 3:44 pm

It also may be a region thing. When I started hunting shooting mallards in the fields was a bonus while you were goose hunting. now they have become a primary target of field hunting. It just may not have becom popularized in your area. Everbody may be so in tune to hunting water that they are not looking for birds elsewhere........
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Are you field hunters crazy?

Postby Luladucks1 » Sat Aug 04, 2012 8:44 pm

In ms they have always had a tendency to stay in water of many sorts. But here in the last couple of years I have noticed them by the thousands hitting dry fields in the real late season. I assume it's strictly based on food here. And just in case u didn't know, a dry field here in January is a real mess. It's not really dry. Just no standing water. But I'll hunt em where they wanna be!
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Re: Are you field hunters crazy?

Postby tenfingergrip » Mon Aug 06, 2012 7:55 am

It's probably dependent on whether or not there is a food source readily available in the fields when the ducks are there. Up north (Canada, ND, etc), the season comes in around Sept 15 and the fall harvest is on, just beginning and/or getting over while the season is in. A typical farming practice, swathing, cuts the wheat/barley and lays it in strips, heads on, for later combining. A duck magnet. Peas are abundant on the ground after combining and are the first crop harvested and are the ducks' favorite.

Also, up north, the ducks are staging for the flight south and rally into huge flocks as they get together for feeding in the morning and afternoon.

The further south you go, the later the season comes in and the flights become broken up, spread out, and smaller. If there is a ready food source in the fields, the ducks will probably feed in the fields, but are not as noticeable as there are not the numbers to catch attention. However, since the grain and stubble have generally been plowed under by the time of the season, the ducks are left to feeding on the water. Probably why you see so a disproportionate number of duck impoundments & waterfowl planting the further south you go.
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Re: Are you field hunters crazy?

Postby CutEm214 » Mon Aug 06, 2012 8:27 am

tenfingergrip wrote:Also, up north, the ducks are staging for the flight south and rally into huge flocks as they get together for feeding in the morning and afternoon.

The further south you go, the later the season comes in and the flights become broken up, spread out, and smaller. If there is a ready food source in the fields, the ducks will probably feed in the fields, but are not as noticeable as there are not the numbers to catch attention. However, since the grain and stubble have generally been plowed under by the time of the season, the ducks are left to feeding on the water. Probably why you see so a disproportionate number of duck impoundments & waterfowl planting the further south you go.


tenfinger - I'll respectfully disagree here, but only because you and I are in very different parts of what we would consider "the south" as far as migration is concerned. In TX and LA we are sitting at the end of the migration route (for the most part), so the birds are accumulating in very large numbers. When we say we don't see ducks feeding in dry fields...its because it doesn't happen. We have tons of ducks and geese down here and the geese will dry feed all day long, but its very difficult to shoot ducks over those spreads if there isn't any water present. Like I said above, it only takes one small rain to put a puddle in a field down here and ducks will land and feed there. Wouldn't touch it the day before, food source/availability is the same. Its almost as if they have made the conscious decision that they won't feed in dry fields once they cross a certain line. It really is strange to me.
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Re: Are you field hunters crazy?

Postby tenfingergrip » Mon Aug 06, 2012 11:20 am

CutEm214 wrote:tenfinger - I'll respectfully disagree here, but only because you and I are in very different parts of what we would consider "the south" .



Then it looks like we're gonna have to get somebody much smarter than both you or I to give us the answer, huh?
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Re: Are you field hunters crazy?

Postby CutEm214 » Mon Aug 06, 2012 12:34 pm

tenfingergrip wrote:
CutEm214 wrote:tenfinger - I'll respectfully disagree here, but only because you and I are in very different parts of what we would consider "the south" .



Then it looks like we're gonna have to get somebody much smarter than both you or I to give us the answer, huh?


I daresay we won't be able to find such a man on here. :biggrin:
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Re: Are you field hunters crazy?

Postby dakotashooter2 » Tue Aug 07, 2012 9:40 am

Temperature may also be a factor. I suspect the temp up her probably effects the quality , quantity and variety of the on water foods more than further south. That may cause the birds to seek out outher high quality nutrition sources. The temperature swings as you get farther south are not as drastic and may not degrade the on water food sources as much and the bird may not need as much food to maintain activity level.
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Re: Are you field hunters crazy?

Postby KAhunter » Wed Aug 08, 2012 6:01 am

I have seen ducks in fields in eastern NC/Va but it isnt very common. Usually it has some sort of water or has been very wet or the birds are using with a goupd of geese. I did see a bunch of ducks pile in with some geese when our impoundment froze up. The geese moved to our cut corn and the ducks followed since they couldnt get into the impoundment. It was neat to watch but havent seen em do that since. I have seen wood ducks come to goose decoys before. Thats kinda neat to see a wood duck land in a field.
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Re: Are you field hunters crazy?

Postby tornadochaser » Wed Aug 08, 2012 9:30 am

Wood ducks are already hitting chopped corn and wheat fields here in SD. Watched a flock of about 15-20 pile into a field I was scouting for geese on sunday.
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Re: Are you field hunters crazy?

Postby honkerhuntin » Sat Aug 18, 2012 5:01 am

in live in NE Oregon and field hunting is my absolute Bread and Butter! i love hunting ducks out of a layout blind and around here we hunt them all season long in wheat and barley fields i would say 80% of my hunts are over dry ground. on opening day last year we limited out in a wheat stubble field. up here its pretty straight forward, ducks rest on the water and eat in the fields.
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Re: Are you field hunters crazy?

Postby sherlockbonez » Mon Aug 20, 2012 6:56 pm

If shooting a limit in half hour while staying dry and driving your truck right to where you hunt is crazy, then yes we are!
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Re: Are you field hunters crazy?

Postby tenfingergrip » Tue Aug 21, 2012 7:21 am

In Saskatchewan, where we go up for a month, several of our farmer friends, who are also duck hunters, ask us to not hunt the water on their farms, only fields. They are of the opinion that the sloughs and lakes are for holding ducks, a resting/roosting place for them, and if hunted there will drive them off. We, of course, respect their wishes gladly. There are not many of them up there, though. Most are of the opinion that waterfowl are pests and should be eradicated. We, of course, respect their wishes gladly!! :thumbsup:
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Re: Are you field hunters crazy?

Postby teamoutlaw » Fri Aug 24, 2012 12:22 pm

in southern ill we set up off the refuge ina pit with around 200 field duck decoys. in a cut bean field. shot ducks everyday of the season. we have 25 mojos on the set. shot a few snows and specks and 1 canada. Those boys we hunt with have been doing it for years consistently killing over 300 in a 5 man pit a season. If i remember I will post some pics of the set up.

you will soon learn after experimenting that mojos tend to work better in the field.
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Re: Are you field hunters crazy?

Postby Pluck-a-duck » Tue Aug 28, 2012 5:34 pm

We hunt in the Mecca of the south,Arkansas, most ppl believe sucks do not feed on dry ground here. This belief is by far the truth. In the south we have more abundance of wet fields and hold more water than most northern states. So yes there will be less ducks hit dry fields. There lazy why not float then walk. Although if you'll watch the thousands upon thousands of geese hitting a dry field there are a many ducks in the flocks also. They congregate with the snows. Up north you have lease geese and ducks crossing paths. In recent years I have also noticed more and more ducks feeding in dry fields by themselves. This is usually later in the season or when a very strong cold front rolls through. In my experience if scouted and planned right dry field hunting in the south can be very productive. Have fun and always do something different than your neighbors youll be surprised what works. Showing the ducks something different pays off more than not.
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