New to Waterfowl

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Re: New to Waterfowl

Postby kbooger » Fri Feb 07, 2014 11:00 pm

zee-unit wrote:
Another question - how on earth do you guys last during the offseason? I am not even a seasoned hunter and I am DYING.


I work a lot at least right now. But I really want to get into carving foam decoys. Last year I painted and flocked a bunch in the offseason.

I think there is a duck hunters anonymous group in the cities somewhere :lol3:
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Re: New to Waterfowl

Postby zee-unit » Sat Feb 08, 2014 8:57 am

Haha - I have been watching tons of informational stuff on Youtube and TV, shopping (longingly) for things I can't afford for hunting, and trying to read up on everything I can to learn.

But man...offseason is LONG!
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Re: New to Waterfowl

Postby chevyobsession » Sat Feb 08, 2014 12:28 pm

Yes you will get tired. This past season I was working 12 days on 2 days off. I was putting 70-80hrs a week. I still got up at 3:45 my weekends off to hunt. My wife said I wasn't allowed to complain about being tired.

For calls, like I said my most expensive call is like $28. I have no less than half dozen duck calls both single and double reeds. Doubles are easier to use and generally softer, singles are more versatile and you can make them screaming loud. My lanyard currently hangs on my rear view mirror and has a custom wood call from a buddy, a Buck Gardner open water single reed, and a Buck Gardner workin' man Gray ghost.

As stated it takes years to get sweet boats and decoy spreads. All my gear is from craigslist or was on scale. My decoys are used and abused with chipped paint and scars from steel shot.

That got long. Basically don't listen to the ads and the pro staffers you see in videos who say you need the best most realistic stuff. The key is scout, scout, scout.

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Re: New to Waterfowl

Postby beretta24 » Sat Feb 08, 2014 2:25 pm

:welcome:
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Re: New to Waterfowl

Postby Woodrow03 » Sat Feb 08, 2014 4:24 pm

Quit now before you go broke.
:lol:

I recommend a Zink Power hen and power clucker combo pack.

Duck call is double reed and very easy to call along with the goose call.

I started on them. 45$ for both. I have a few 150$ calls and I will tell you I always go back to these two calls.

Welcome once again and enjoy the new habit you will need to goto rehab to quit.

Find what works best for you, keep and open mind, think outside the box on every hunt, go further, and scout all the time.

Its hard ice season and I find myself scouting while on the ice
"If you are going to win any battle you have to do one thing. You have to make the mind run the body. Never let the body tell the mind what to do. The body is never tired if the mind is not tired."
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Re: New to Waterfowl

Postby hillbilly.. » Sat Feb 08, 2014 6:00 pm

How you scout when theres ice and no ducks???
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Re: New to Waterfowl

Postby StuStiltman » Sat Feb 08, 2014 6:25 pm

My guess is by checking out the lakes for spots that look like they may hold ducks. I do that while crappie fishing in the spring. Places where crappies spawn sometimes are also good hunting spots
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Re: New to Waterfowl

Postby beretta24 » Sat Feb 08, 2014 6:35 pm

Woodrow03 wrote:Quit now before you go broke.
:lol:

I recommend a Zink Power hen and power clucker combo pack.

Duck call is double reed and very easy to call along with the goose call.

I started on them. 45$ for both. I have a few 150$ calls and I will tell you I always go back to these two calls.

Welcome once again and enjoy the new habit you will need to goto rehab to quit.

Find what works best for you, keep and open mind, think outside the box on every hunt, go further, and scout all the time.

Its hard ice season and I find myself scouting while on the ice

Get back to your wife and kid :hammer:
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Re: New to Waterfowl

Postby xrated » Sun Feb 09, 2014 4:40 pm

You get used to being tired during duck season, but man does it feel good that first weekend of sleeping until 6!!!!


I can't give call advice as I am 30 and still haven't really learned...so my advice is find hunting buds who can work a call. Then all you need to worry about is shooting!!!! But I am in the same boat as you now and needing to learn.

Gear, I was big into hunting as a kid and stopped for 7 or 8 years with college, work and a family. Picked back up this year. We built our decoys up by getting 6 or so for birthdays, etc. Buying used or getting stuff from people who upgraded. Took time but now we have a pretty good bunch or dekes.

Of course getting back into it this year and trying goose hunting and some different styles of duck hunting I see again how spendy gear, etc can be. Classified adds and the Cabelas bargain cave are good resources!

Good luck and welcome.
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Re: New to Waterfowl

Postby zee-unit » Mon Feb 10, 2014 10:49 am

I hear you there. The sad part is that I don't really have any friends that are into hunting. The ones that do are a few hours away in my hometown, and I don't get to see them much.

I have one good friend here in the cities that has a similar story to mine (almost identical actually). So we are both learning together. Though probably not the best way to learn, we are learning a lot from failure and trying to ween any information we can off of hunters that we know personally. I am working on a few connections for this next fall. It should only get better from here!

And as far as used gear, that is what I am all about. I LOVE finding deals on craigslist, forums, etc. I don't think I own anything in my hunting arsenal that is new (besides ammo). Plenty of guys upgrade to new things every year, and I am happy to take their year old stuff as a severe discount. Oh, and Christmas and birthdays have helped....so I guess I do have some new things.

Can't wit to get a decent call in my hands and start practicing every day!
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Re: New to Waterfowl

Postby goldfish » Mon Feb 10, 2014 1:24 pm

Don't be afraid to get the cheapest decoy in the sale, and paint it to be what you want. I've got storm front mallards that make pretty decent ringnecks and golden eyes. I went elaborate on the paint, and did them 6 at a time (do one layer on the 6, let that dry, do the next layer, etc) which took me probably 2 hours not counting drying time. I'll be doing more this summer with the dozen storm fronts I got this Christmas


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Re: New to Waterfowl

Postby zee-unit » Mon Feb 10, 2014 4:12 pm

That's good advice. It would give me something to be excited about during the offseason, too.
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Re: New to Waterfowl

Postby xrated » Mon Feb 10, 2014 4:38 pm

Nothing wrong with learning from failure. Pretty sure we failed a ton as kids, but after 15 years I don't recall most of the mess ups, and I still am very good at screwing up!
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Re: New to Waterfowl

Postby chasing the GREEN » Mon Feb 10, 2014 6:15 pm

I am a bit of a high end call junky, I know I don't need to use them but its kinda my collection fix. That being said as far as lower priced calls, I love my old RNT Quackhead. Even with a bunch of high end calls on my lanyard, ill still pull that one out if my go to calls are freezing up. Just my 2 cents. As for goose, I would definitely start out with a short reed and just put the time into it. they can take a bit to get going on, but I personally think they sound a lot better than flutes. again, my two cents others have different opinions and it all will boil down to your personal preference once you get more into it. Who ever said to test out as many as you can is right on, that way you can get a feel for what you like and don't like. just remember it takes practice to get there and keep sharp on it.
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Re: New to Waterfowl

Postby Ducks22 » Mon Feb 10, 2014 6:58 pm

Read most of the previous posts and all I can say is buy the best you can afford. As far as a duck call goes join DU right now and get an acrylic buck Gardner duck call. Actually a pretty decent call and get some good reading for a year. Goose call definitely go with a short reed buy it now and you may have it down by the season starts, not going to throw brands out they all blow well with enough practice. Watch videos and listen to CDs, and then learn as much as you can from a seasoned water fowler.As far as decoys buy good ones. Buy 1 good dozen instead of 3 crappy ones which the paint chips and need to replace after a year or two. Good luck and keep the questions coming lots of great info on here
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Re: New to Waterfowl

Postby chevyobsession » Mon Feb 10, 2014 7:45 pm

Before this year I was able to make basic honks and clicks with a short reed. I watched a video series on you tube and it walked me step by step how to work a short reed call. It's done by field proven calls. I'm not a pro now but I can definitely hear myself getting better. Best videos I have watched.

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Re: New to Waterfowl

Postby chasing the GREEN » Tue Feb 11, 2014 6:35 am

Yea if you don't have a buddy who is solid to teach you, youtube can be your best friend. just make sure the guy making the video knows what he is talking about. there are some on there that are not what you want to learn off of, but there are some that are great to pick up tricks from
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Re: New to Waterfowl

Postby xrated » Tue Feb 11, 2014 11:10 am

Which guys on youtube are good though?

Seems in my searching I always end up with competition videos over calling to kill
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Re: New to Waterfowl

Postby beretta24 » Tue Feb 11, 2014 11:19 am

Shawn Stahl is good. His Honker Talk video is pretty solid for a start.
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Re: New to Waterfowl

Postby goldfish » Tue Feb 11, 2014 2:48 pm

These two you guys listed are where I'd start for geese (Shawn Stahl and Field Proven Calls). As for ducks, I have never looked at videos because I learned way back when how to call, but I know that delta waterfowl has some good "when to" videos but they don't really show you how to call, it's more when to use this call vs. when to use that call.

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Re: New to Waterfowl

Postby Ducks22 » Tue Feb 11, 2014 3:40 pm

I will second Shawn Stahl he is good and in detail. Ducks I have an old Bernie Boyle cd which is great. Just learn the basics it all you really need. A quack and cluck here and there is what I use most of the time. Yes my calls are always in the truck and I blow on them almost daily but I am a little anal on my calling.
Learning to call is good but learning when not to call will be even better for you and that will only come with a little time in the field.
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Re: New to Waterfowl

Postby zee-unit » Tue Feb 11, 2014 4:27 pm

Cool. I will definitely look these guys up once I have my calls. Thanks guys!
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Re: New to Waterfowl

Postby chasing the GREEN » Thu Feb 13, 2014 6:30 pm

I think what Ducks said about learning when not to call is huge on mn public land. Out in SD I usually hammer on my call like no other and it turns them. That game plan on my MN spots is the exact opposite - almost always turns them away. Timing your calls seems to work better around mn at least in my experience ( talking mostly on ducks more so than honkers)
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Re: New to Waterfowl

Postby StuStiltman » Thu Feb 13, 2014 7:23 pm

This is a very fun topic, and there has been some great advice. It kind of woke this place up.
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Re: New to Waterfowl

Postby zee-unit » Thu Feb 13, 2014 8:38 pm

There definitely has been some great advice - and for the middle of winter, this place is awesome!

So on Minnesota public land...is it best to just not call at all? I need to do some research and watch YouTube, but I like hearing from you guys more. When is it appropriate to call? I realize it can be a little different every time...but are there some general guidelines to follow on when or when not to call?
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