New to NH and duck hunting

If you are a migratory bird hunter, share your New Hampshire duck hunting tactics here.

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New to NH and duck hunting

Postby bs6440 » Sun Nov 03, 2013 9:45 am

I just moved to NH (Dover area) from a state where hunting is not all that welcomed. I am trying to learn about duck hunting but can't find guides, etc. Do any of you have any recommendations? How did you learn to duck hunt? Thanks in advance.
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Re: New to NH and duck hunting

Postby JustinNH » Sun Nov 03, 2013 2:22 pm

Welcome to the forum and to NH!

I don't really hear about waterfowl guides in NH. I am sure there are some, but ME, MA, RI all seem to have more on that front. There may be some sea duck guides, but as with above, most are not in NH.

As you know, NH is pretty hunter friendly, but we are far from the duck capital of the flyway. Lots of spots to hunt but scouting (and lots of scouting) is what helps.

I am self taught. My dad/grandfather taught me fishing but waterfowling is 100% me. Reading the forums helps, but going out and trying things is the only real way. Hours on google earth scouting spots, hours driving and gallons of gas scouting. It pays off.... sometimes... :beer:
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Re: New to NH and duck hunting

Postby bs6440 » Sun Nov 03, 2013 7:02 pm

Fair enough. Any advice on decoy (which brands), rigging advice, etc. Looking to learn from other's mistakes and experiences
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Re: New to NH and duck hunting

Postby JustinNH » Sun Nov 03, 2013 8:00 pm

I have had just as much luck with cheap decoys compared to mid range ones, so it depends on how much ypu want to spend. I have had good luck with mojos too.

decoy weights depends on where you hunt. 4 oz works fine most of the time. I like the strap weights.

Bring decoys for the what you have been seeing there AND what you expect. I can't tell you how many times I left or forgot goose decoys only to have them come by that morning.
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Re: New to NH and duck hunting

Postby Rise and Shine Retrievers » Mon Nov 04, 2013 8:01 am

I like a decoy that I can move/rotate the head on, it changes up the look of the spread a bit. Woodies, Blacks, Mallards & Geese. How much do you want to spend? A Mojo and a jerk string complete the set up. A bunch of plastic "posers" with their heads upright/alert all in the same position, is not very invited to late season birds.

If you're in Dover you'll be hunting some tidal waters. You'll get stuck in the mud at low tide more than a few times before you'll figure it out. That's just part of the game. Everyone thinks salt water when the coast is mentioned. There are some nice fresh water ponds, etc, in the coastal zone as well. Scouting is key.

I had a friend get me started, then I got a dog, joined the local retriever club, and the rest is history.
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Re: New to NH and duck hunting

Postby bs6440 » Mon Nov 04, 2013 9:26 am

Thanks guys for the advise. I am sure I will have many other questions going forward. I have breathable waders for fly fishing. I see that most duck hunters use 5mm neoprene with attached boots. What are you throughts?
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Re: New to NH and duck hunting

Postby Rise and Shine Retrievers » Mon Nov 04, 2013 10:52 am

[quoteI see that most duck hunters use 5mm neoprene with attached boots. What are you throughts?][/quote]

Cabela's 5 mm, 1600 grams of thinsulate, can't be beat for late season.
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Re: New to NH and duck hunting

Postby JustinNH » Mon Nov 04, 2013 11:28 am

Maybe early October I wish I had thin waders, but from now til the end, I am happy with my neoprene. I wear them even when I don't plan to get out of the boat.
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Re: New to NH and duck hunting

Postby Bunker » Mon Nov 04, 2013 1:33 pm

JustinNH wrote:Maybe early October I wish I had thin waders, but from now til the end, I am happy with my neoprene. I wear them even when I don't plan to get out of the boat.


I bought the 5mm 800 grams and wear shorts and a hoodie for early season which is plenty warm enough. Then come later in the season put on a couple of layers and am good to go whether I am getting in and outta a boat or not or even walkin in and out they are awesome! And hey you never know when you may need to wade after a decoy that gets hooked by an iceberg!!!


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Re: New to NH and duck hunting

Postby bs6440 » Tue Nov 05, 2013 5:53 pm

Thanks for the advice. I think I will go with the 1600 neoprene from Cabelas. If it is warmer outside I can always where my fishing waders. What are you guys using for guns. I have a Mossy 500 (12g) set up for turkey hunting and picked up a Stoeger M3500, and a trap gun. i imagine the Stoeger is the one I will use. Any recommendations for ammo: Fast steel, etc?
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Re: New to NH and duck hunting

Postby JustinNH » Wed Nov 06, 2013 6:09 am

I use the stoeger 2000. Let me know how you like the 3500.

I normally shoot black cloud 3" 3s. But shoot expert 3" 4's when shooting sometimes. Not picky with what I shoot, as long as it is over 1500fps since that is what I am used to.
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Re: New to NH and duck hunting

Postby Bunker » Wed Nov 06, 2013 7:27 am

I'm a beretta guy so no help on the guns.

I do like the fasteel #2's in 3". They do 1560 and do the job pretty well. They are only $13-14 bucks a box depending on where you get em.


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Re: New to NH and duck hunting

Postby Rise and Shine Retrievers » Wed Nov 06, 2013 8:29 am

I've been shooting a lot of Black Cloud (4, 3, & 2) the last few years with good success through a Remington 11-87. Either Imp or Mod choke.
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Re: New to NH and duck hunting

Postby NHDuckHunter » Fri Nov 08, 2013 9:12 am

You'll be fine in your breathable waders. Neoprene waders are no warmer than breathables, its all a myth.
Where you may get cold is your feet. That depends on the size of your boot and if you can fit a larger boot on those waders with warmer socks.
As far as decoys, go to the decoy forum and look around, there are some good cheap decoys, and some crap expensive decoys.
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Re: New to NH and duck hunting

Postby pkdontwanna » Thu May 15, 2014 8:56 am

I'm in the same boat. New to all of this, and the area (seacoast). The dad was kinda into it when I was growing up but I coulda cared less. Now here I am, starting late in the game. No pun intended!
Anyways, I don't expect anyone to give out their secret spots or anything, but I guess I don't really know for sure what's OK around here (again, seacoast/southeastern nh) and what isn't. My hometown area was pretty lenient--lots of private landowners who told my dad to go for it. Seems like that's not the case around here so much. So basically trying to "get my ducks in a row "for next season. Ha! Yep I'm a cornball. :grooving:
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Re: New to NH and duck hunting

Postby WhatDuck » Thu May 15, 2014 9:53 am

I guess there are a bunch of us new to NH waterfowling. I've been researching on the NH DNR website and they recommend using the Delorme Atlas. I just picked it up from Amazon for $18 and they have all kinds of public land information with the available species. The DNR has the same maps and information available for free on their website, but it's nice to have it all in one book.

It does seem, however, that NH is pretty hunter friendly. I haven't been out asking for permission yet, but it should be easier than IL... Has anyone else had experience with this?
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Re: New to NH and duck hunting

Postby JustinNH » Thu May 15, 2014 1:46 pm

Both of you- welcome to the forum! :welcome:

Plenty of spots here in NH open to hunting, just not a lot of ducks at most of them haha

Seacoast does have some spots closed to hunting, which is best to contact fish and game directly to get the spots closed. For whatever reason, they don't make it super easy without contacting them.

Google earth is a good source to check out :beer:
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Re: New to NH and duck hunting

Postby pkdontwanna » Thu May 15, 2014 3:07 pm

Thx everyone! I'll take your advice and try both methods.
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