I came from a hunting family, but all my family hunted was deer and small game. When I graduated high school and went to Penn State, I met a few friends who were trying to get into it also. Now, I admit, I started out without decoys, waders, calls, or a place to hunt. I just went around to some swamps near my grandmas farm in jeans and a sweat shirt and sat there and pass shot ducks, and occasionally jump shot some. No waders or boat or dog, I had to wet wade in PA in December for my dead birds. Then I watched some shows on tv and said, Im going to try this decoy thing. So I progressed to hunting a public lake that just had buffies and the occasional diver on it over some mallard decoys, with the cheapest neoprenes I could afford, and a camo hoodie. No calls, just sat there and every once in a while got lucky enough to have some come in. Then I bought my first cheap $20 duck call and started kazooing at ducks(this is about 4 seasons in at this point). Then I met Lefty on here about my 5th season in, along with some other friends and weve been learning from our mistakes, making friends, teaching youths, angering wives, and emptying bank accounts since. You wont become a successful waterfowler over one season, dont expect to. I have learned more about duck hunting on days that I never killed anything, than days when I limited out. Its a game of scouting, adapting to conditions, learning to read birds behavior mid-hunt, learning how to set decoys and when to call and when not to. I could write you a text book on waterfowling, but without being afield living it, none of it will make sense. Get out there and try what you think would work. Take note when something does work, and take note when birds run the other way from you.
1. Scouting is the most imporant thing. You can have the most expensive decoys and calls, but they wont help you if youre sitting in a field with no birds for miles.
2. Dont be afraid to ask permission from a landowner. The worst thing they can say is no... or as I learned this year, sick their dogs on you to tear off your family jewels...
3. Unless you were that lucky winner of the mega millions on Tuesday, you'll never be able to afford everything youll need to hunt every situation. Make friends with other waterfowlers that have something to bring to the table. Decoys, dogs, boats, and spots are the 4 biggest things you can contribute to a waterfowl crew.
4. Never be afraid to try a new tactic. When late season comes around and birds are smart, 90% of hunters are all doing the same old spread and calling in the same spots. Its the 10% being different that will kill their limits
5.Dont be discouraged if you dont shoot anything. There are lots of people that go out, enjoy the sunrise, and as long as they see some ducks off in the distance and they aren't at work- then it was a good hunt.
Youre welcome to PM me anytime if you want to ask any other questions. Im out in western MD so I dont get down your way much. Good luck!
does having multiple screen names on a forum and having a conversation with yourself make you an extra special rock star hunter?