Layout boat hunting

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Layout boat hunting

Postby darcher » Sun Nov 18, 2012 4:18 pm

At the risk of being hammered for my feebleness and "turd missions," I have some questions about hunting out of a layout boat for mallards. After I retired from teaching in Florence, I headed to Klamath Falls area of Oregon. I built a layout boat similar to the Mighty Layout Boys, but without the splash back shield. Although I love the design, I made it too heavy for me in terms of dragging and lifting up to the truck bed. (110 pounds.) The few times I used it in Oregon on shallow ponds with tulles, it worked great. I built up a frame for my lab. The actual height from the water to the combing is eleven inches, but with the alum. framing for the dog and me sitting up reached 24-inches. Hunting the East Bay of Flathead Lake is tough because I do not have the strength to drag it over weeds and muck to get to good cover. OK, listen I am not whining about creeping old age, but I do have physical impairments. I have little use of my right shoulder and arm so I have to have my shotgun propped up. Second, I have had two blood clots in both eyes and I have lost about 40% vision. Stop! I am not looking for sympathy or getting flamed. Here is the problem. I can't lay down flat because I can not lift my shotgun very high. I can not pass shot. They have bierds come into the dekes. Second, I have to move my head to scan the horizon. Compounding the problem is that I have been bringing my yellow lab, and he is worse than I am for flashing his face. So, I will leave him behind. Here are my questions to those of you experienced in hunting from a layout boat.

1. Is it possible to bring in mallards out on the mud flats with no cover and without completely laying down in a prone position?
2. What is the highest level I could keep my head up? (I will have some cover over my head.)
3. Is 18 dekes enough?
4. I just never got around to buying a Robo duck. If I get one, how far away from the layout boat should it be?
5. How far away should my dekes be from the boat?
6. If I pulled the layout boat out with a motorized boat, how far away should I anchor the other boat? (Just an idea.)

I'll go back to putting camo on my face. I wear glasses and the masks fogged up my glasses. I am a better duck boat builder than I am a duck hunter, but I need to get back to basics because one never knows how many seasons are left. I hope someone has some advice. My guess is that I will be told I need to lay down flat, quit moving my face, leave the dog home and invest in 100 to 200 bluebill and redhead decoys and move out in the bay. Oh, well...
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Re: Layout boat hunting

Postby wingnutty » Sun Nov 18, 2012 6:18 pm

You won't kill mallards consistantly without having cover over top of yourself, they fly to high and are too wary. You can certainly try and you might kill a few early in the morning, but I've done it and it don't work.
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Re: Layout boat hunting

Postby PTROOFER FTFOWLER » Sun Nov 18, 2012 9:08 pm

Understand I am not wanting to be a wisearse here, but it sounds like, do to your physical ailments you are having a heck of a time lugging around that layout boat. Why do you insist on using the boat? If you want to kill mallards why not knock on a few doors and hunt in a field? Find a good corn field and set up in a ditch row or buy a round bale blind. I spend almost as much time scouting and talking to farmers as I do hunting and have had great success. The past few days there have been a large group of mallards coming off the river and hitting a cornfield that the farmer hasn't picked up the roundbales out of yet. They were using a strip right along a ditch row with chest high grass. There was about a fifty yard strip of the field between a bunch of bales and the ditch. I was apprehensive about setting up in a area that tight but they dropped in there with almost no hesitation.

Buy yourself a dozen full body mallards and a robo duck and kill some damm birds. I love hunting water as much as the next guy, but get a real kick out of mallards hooking in from way up high and dropping into a field spread. Drive out to the field, drop off the stuff and park the truck. Easy for beat up guys, or fat guys like myself. Did some hunting out of a layout while in Deleware last year and I agree it is fun stuff, but a guy's gotta do what a guy's gotta do.
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Re: Layout boat hunting

Postby darcher » Sun Nov 18, 2012 10:14 pm

Thanks guys. In over forty years of duck hunting, I have always hunted out of some type of boat. (See attachment) I have never hunted in a field so the prospect of learning new techniques isn't what holds me back. It is finding fields when I live in Florence. However, I did get an email response and a wake up challenge and I am intrigued. Yeah, it is pretty dumb clinging to old ways when they are not working and I go home with a lot of pain and nothing to show for my efforts. I appreciate the comments. Tomorrow I am going shopping for a Robbo duck. I keep asking hunters that I meet if they really are worth the money, and the response that I get is that they generally work, and when they really work, for what ever reason, you wish that you had two.
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threeduckboats.jpg
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Re: Layout boat hunting

Postby pmahler » Sun Nov 18, 2012 11:06 pm

Buy a baby mojo, cheaper, lighter & work just the same....great for fields but not a fan in H2O. Use a jerk string
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Re: Layout boat hunting

Postby TopWop » Sun Nov 18, 2012 11:18 pm

I've yet to see a field hunter with a mere dozen decoys.

$200.00 for a dozen full bodies
$150.00 for a cheap layout blind
$60.00 to 150.00 for a mojo

Getting the big brush off knocking on doors around Bozeman
Priceless.
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Re: Layout boat hunting

Postby PTROOFER FTFOWLER » Mon Nov 19, 2012 7:31 am

I shot mallard limits six days last week Top, never with more then six mallard decoys. One day was just the goose decoy's, one day was goose decoy's and one spinner other four day's was no goose decoy's, six mallard decoy's and two spinners. I carry three dozen full bodies and two dozen shell mallards in my trailer, just isn't necessary if you are in the right spot.
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Re: Layout boat hunting

Postby HaydenHunter » Mon Nov 19, 2012 8:16 am

darcher, pay no heed to the "turd mission"comment on your other thread. It was from left field. If you can possibly shoot from a layout blind that is the way to go for field hunting. Cram the stubble straps with whatever vegetation surrounds you where you set up and you can nearly disappear.

I ditto the sentiment that spinners work for field hunting. Watch a group of ducks feeding in a field. The birds land and then constantly hopscotch each other to be at the front of the pack. While spinners over water are a hit or miss deal, I think they are very effective in field hunts because they simulate these flying / hopping birds.

We did a field hunt last weekend. Now, we were in a good spot, but with our 60+ full body goose dekes, our 18 fb mallard dekes and four spinners we had everything from pairs of mallards to flocks of 50-75 landing in the dekes. After we limited on ducks and pulled the spinners to focus on geese the mallards were harder to finish. And we tried, just to see if we could. We set our blinds in a row of high volunteer wheat and crammed the stubble straps with the stuff. Three layout blinds were almost impossible to see. Good enough to fool the ducks. :smile:
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Re: Layout boat hunting

Postby phutch30 » Mon Nov 19, 2012 5:10 pm

get the spinner and the layout off ebay. i did and saved a bunch. watch for the end of the season decoy sales. I got my full bodies for 150 a doz and got free bags. Got both my layout pro guides for 130 each and my remote controlled spinner for about 70.

course you could go PTroofers route and rob old laddies outa decoys for pennies on the dollar which was a sweet deal
....its like taking x-lax when you have a bad cough. It wont clear up your lungs, but it sure stops you from coughing
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Re: Layout boat hunting

Postby pmahler » Tue Nov 20, 2012 12:12 am

Shot 7 green last year in a field hunt w/just a spinner & not a single other decoy... When you are on the X you're on the X
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Re: Layout boat hunting

Postby wingnutty » Tue Nov 20, 2012 1:40 pm

I shot 27 cormorants with one shot with only a seagull wind-powered spinner decoy...and it wasn't windy :hammer:
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