new spot etiquette

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new spot etiquette

Postby winterwolfes » Fri Oct 20, 2006 8:50 am

I am a new hunter. This year will be my first year hunting on my own. I hunted the last 2 years with some other who showed me the ropes a little and worked with me to train my dog. They hunted areas where you needed a boat to access. I am no longer hunting with them and I have been spending some time scouting the last couple of weekends. I found a lake by my house with plenty of ducks flying into it. There were only a handfull of access points and each could only hold one hunter. some of the spots had spent shells lying on the shore line which didn't look too old, maybe from septemeber goose. A couple of the other spots had orange ribbon tied to branches at the entrances.

I am assuming there have been guys hunting this lake for some time now and I will be a newbie coming in. What's the etiquette for this type of situation? I don't have a clue and I don't want to do something stupid tomorrow on opening day for the south zone. Is it sort of a first come first serve thing or if someone has been hunting a spot for a few years now will they be upset with me for getting in there? what do I do if I walked up to a point and some one is there already? Not too many places to shoot at this lake.
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Postby tapera » Fri Oct 20, 2006 4:11 pm

public land is public. nice of you to be sensitive; i wish more people were like you. but if you get there first, then the spot is yours. you could be nice and offer to let someone join you if they walk up afterwards, but just because someone was there yesterday or last week doesn't give them any more right than you today. if you get there and someone's already in the hole, tough luck--unless they offer you to hunt with them. personally i wouldn't get close enough to hear the offer because if you're close enough to hear them ask you something, then you're close enough to screw them up. (what they ask in that situation won't often be a nice question...) if your spot is occupied, you can very well set up in another spot, but whatever you do, don't a) walk through their dekes (or even within 200 yards of their dekes)--i know this sounds obvious, but people do it--or b) put your own spread out anywhere within 200 yards. it's better if you stay farther away, but in many states the standard law while waterfowling is that you must remain at LEAST 200 yards. if there's no other place the ducks want in, lie on the levee, pour a cup of coffee, and watch the hunters; you'll probably learn something. finally, if your friend showed you the spot last year, you should call him before you hunt it, just to have good manners. it's public, yes, and neither of you own it, but if it was shown to you, you should just say you're going there, and would he like to come along. that way he won't think you're stealing his spot. good luck--you're obviously a nice guy or you wouldn't be asking that question, so you'll be fine.
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Postby winterwolfes » Fri Oct 20, 2006 5:37 pm

thanks for the great response. good advice. it never occured to me to hang out and just watch if i can't get a spot. but great idea. if anything i could learn a couple of things and maybe meet some of the guys afterward. Thanks.
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Postby crewchief252 » Fri Oct 20, 2006 5:39 pm

I pretty much agree with everything Tapera said, Public means public. As far as the orange markers, that sounds more like survey marks, which is even more ominous, probably means when you come back next year there will be a development there, and what ever ducks may still be there are used to being fed and protected by squirrel petters. As long as you use common sense and some courtesy, you shouldn't have any problems. I hunt Spruce run often, and alot of times a few of us will get there around the same time and we always ask each other where each was planning to go, and we pretty much all abide by 1st come, 1st serve, i have never had a problem, i have even had a few give up the spot they wanted just because i had my son with me, and they want the kid to have a good hunt, and you know the old saying, what goes around , comes around, you show some courtesy, most times you will get it back.
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