well.... ducks of course!!

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well.... ducks of course!!

Postby redeyed » Sat Oct 16, 2004 6:14 pm

guys... I think I'm broken! well I know I'm knocking myself out anyway..
This is my first year of serious duck hunting. I got started late last year and now I'm hooked!
Heres my problem.. I'm hunting from a canoe in the rice on merrymeeting bay. This great lil cove that the ducks seem to be channeled over, I've found that they chose a fairly regular flight pattern over this cove and I've seen some action but not much.. not for lack of ducks I tell ya this place is loaded with them! I just cant get close enough.
I'm using some blind material to conseal the boat but I think I'm getting busted on the approach, I'm using a 12 ga 2 3/4 and I need these ducks in close.
What ducks I am shooting I'm winging them and the kill is almost never clean and I've lost my share of wounded ducks. I'm never happy about this.
I have 4 beat up decoys and I'm looking to get a few more.
How many decoys is enough to be effective? What kind of call should I purchase and how can I get close to them? I saw about a thousand ducks tonight and all but a few were out of range.
Any help would be appreciated!!

Oh yeah I'm hunting with my step son he turns 10 on monday and will be using a 20 ga what load should I buy for him?
Thanks for reading!
do you walk to work or do you take your lunch?
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Postby Dogman » Sun Oct 17, 2004 2:43 pm

First,welcome :welcome: ,now about the ducks.You mentioned getting busted on your approach,what time are you getting into your cove?Are you getting in well before legal time and setting up?If not I would recommend you do.Also,how well is you canoe covered up?This is important since ducks have great vision and can pick out colors or shine from a respectable distance.Same goes for clothing and gear.Eyeglasses can flare birds bigtime,shotgun barrels if they have a shiny blue job will do the same.A camo face net is a great help,keeps birds from seeing the "shine"from your skin.Could you hide the canoe in reeds and set up away from it?A smaller profile is harder for ducks to pick out,if you have to hunt out of the canoe then cover it the best you can.If you have a choice between enough camo cover and too much,go with too much.
You said you shoot a 2 3/4 " 12 gauge.What shot shells are you using?Shot size?If you stay with the 2 3/4 " then I suggest useing the fastest load you can buy in #4 shot.Winchester Drylock/expert are good.Improved cylinder choke and closest possible range will be very effective.
You have 4 beat up dekes,doesn't sound inviting and I doubt the birds will find them any different.Best thing to do is clean them up and paint them.If you don't think you can do a good job don't worry,just get some flat black spray paint,black decoys are just as effective as any other pattern.Walmart sells cans of flat black exterior latex for less than a buck a can.Works great.A dozen dekes is a good number for a pond or lake 2 dozen for bigger water.
Your 10 yr old step son,is he any good with that 20 gauge?Steel shot in a 20 requires a very competent shooter or you're going to shoot holes in the sky or worse,cripple birds.Even bismith in a small gauge needs a good shot shouldering the gun.If he is good then I would suggest using Bismith not steel.Also you should be in charge of the shooting situation.Make sure he shoots only when you are sure he has a good shot.
Calls,start with a double reed,they are more forgiving than single reeds.Practice a whole lot.When birds are coming in,shut up and let them.Know when and when not to call.Most calls have instuctional tapes with them you can use to practice with.One final suggestion, when you can't retrieve the downed bird include it in your bag anyway.While this isn't the law it makes for a good conservation practice and you won't make enemies of other waterfowlers.Eventually you will most likely want a dog.Thats another matter for a different day. :thumbsup: Good luck
My lab is still the best hunting partner there is.
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Thank you for the reply

Postby redeyed » Sun Oct 17, 2004 9:20 pm

You have allot to say and I appreciate it!!! I'm working hard at it and definately need the advise!
My boy is going to be a hard one to train on the shots he can and can't take! he rides my case when I don't sky bust em and it drives me nuts! I know the 20 is too light a gun but well.. see I'm a step dad and his real dad says its a great gun for the job...unfortunatly I'll have to let him see that he just can't reach them way out there and patiance is the best ticket!
He'll catch on I'm sure but this year may be a washout. I'll do my best!
I use winchester super x 2 and 3/4 #2's you say 4's.. well I'll try them out and let you know how I do!
The canoe is a problem I know and I'm not sure what to do with it I'm hunting the rice and when the tide is high I just don't have the cover and the water is too deep to wade it when it's low.. I love it and thats when I have the best advantage but of course the tide is hardly ever on my side and when I hunt the wadeable water the ducks are always out of range Well I really do appreciate the advice and I hope to hear back from you!
do you walk to work or do you take your lunch?
Posts: 63
Joined: Sat Oct 16, 2004 5:52 pm
Location: Maine

Merrymeeting Bay

Postby duckmann » Mon Nov 08, 2004 7:48 am


Been there done that. Hunting from a canoe on Merrymeeting bay is great fun BUT one of the most important considerations isn't decoys or guns its camo. During high tide the rice doesn't offer much cover and if you are there at low tide you better have nothing to do for about 6 hours. :) Several years ago I hunted the bay and only half heartedly camo'd the canoe. . . disaster. . .ducks flared WAY out. . .trust me spend the TIME and do the camo right. Use chicken wire to creat a frame and dried cattails and wild rice for camo.

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