Seeking words of wisdom

A state with an abundant amount of waterfowl. Share with others your New Jersey duck hunting experiences.

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Seeking words of wisdom

Postby stevez » Wed Nov 15, 2006 7:04 pm

Ok here's the problem. For a few years I have been mainly a goose hunter (and not bad at it) but this year I thought I would expand my horizons to ducks as well. The problem is that I am inexperienced and find ducks to be somewhat smarter than geese.
Today was a typical day for me and I need to change things. I got out there early, set out the dekes and put the blind up on the boat. 15 minutes later, the ducks do come in and a few land between myself and the dekes. Ok I get nervous and miss, my fault, but the problem is always that I never get another group of ducks into my spread the rest of the day. It seems that I get one shot at them first thing and then they go off and tell their friends what happened. A lot of work for a very little bit of shooting.
So my question to the more experienced is....IS THIS NORMAL? Is it maybe too early in the season to expect more? Should I secretly stow-away on a duck boat and see how a seasoned hunter does things? Stick to big slow geese?
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Postby crewchief252 » Thu Nov 16, 2006 5:50 pm

SENT YOU A PM
Just once i would like to hear you scream in pain !....wanna hear me scream in pain? Play some rap music!
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Postby stevez » Thu Nov 16, 2006 6:18 pm

Thanks for the advice!
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Postby mtl_duck » Fri Nov 17, 2006 3:16 pm

now we'll never know what those words of wisdom were... :) what was in the PM?

Its been my experience that geese are much dumber than ducks. They are also larger, slower moving targets. I've never tried decoying them though, ducks can be very picky about coming into decoys. Think about it, if you hear more than one guy calling ducks in the area you're in, or shooting, thats as many sets of decoys out there, including the real thing, that the duck(s) are being enticed with.

I've hunted places that time and again, those bloody ducks fly a particular way, or land in a particular place. No one knows why, they just do. The trick is to be out there in your area long enough to figure out these local oddities; it probably looks a lot different from the air, from the ducks' perspective, and makes sense for them to fly that way. You just got to figure out what works.

I do not know if this is early, or mid season fro New Jersey; back home in Canada this would be mid/late-season, with many of the inland swamps, puddles and ditches already frozen. But it has been warmer than expected for this time of year... ah well :) thats part of the fun.

Good luck! :thumbsup: I'm curious to find out how things go.
duck hunting IS all its quacked-up to be!
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Postby stevez » Fri Nov 17, 2006 3:55 pm

Unpredictable seems to be another word for duck. I was kindly advised that it may be a little early in the season to expect more birds to pass over. I was also advised that the dang things are likely just smarter than I am.
I guess what I am doing is doubting myself. I've gone through 2 boxes of shells shooting at geese but still have the same old dusty box of number 4's I bought last season for ducks.
I think what I should do is try and go out with someone who has been in the game longer than I have and see exactly what they do. If I'm sure I'm playing my best hand, than I can just relax and enjoy the results, or lack of results.
I am taking your advice and sticking to my little cove I found. I plan to figure out those particular birds and maybe then I will will figure out the trick to all this. I am glad goose season is opening tomorrow though...haha.
Well, I'm heading out in the AM......again.
Thanks
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Postby Modified_Choking » Tue Nov 28, 2006 10:17 pm

I agree with mtl_duck in that you have to know (or try to know through constant observation) what they want to do. To add an item to this mix, you have to consider the species as well. Different types of ducks are going to do different things. Consider the following examples:

Black ducks - they prefer to hang out, feed and mate in the small tidal creeks. One word of caution...beware of trying to actually shoot one in such an environment. The reed grass is usually way too thick and the muck too gooey to locate a downed or killed bird unless you have a good retriever.

Bluebills - they will come into large bodies of open water in large rafts. Occassionally, smaller groups (maybe 7 to 15 birds) will peel off at various times in the day for near-shore feeding or whatever else they like to do. Various other factors such as weather seem to affect their affinity to break-off. Clear sunny days seem to deter this behavior but cloudy overcast, rainy or foggy days seem to promote it.

Bottom line on my input...1.) Consider species and 2.) Consider behavior of said species. Which ultimately means you have to be out there enough to learn behavioral patterns. Old-time hunters don't become such in a few seasons - it takes a lifetime. FYI - I'm in season three, I've got a long way to go too.
I'm talkin bout the Lifestyle of the not so rich and famous.
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Postby stevez » Wed Nov 29, 2006 2:38 pm

Well I have taken a couple of ducks finally but have been having a ball with the geese over water. I hunt way too much...just ask the girlfriend
I plan on taking someone up on their very kind offer of a hunt on the raritan bay. I hope to learn the finer points of setting up a duck spread and maybe even calling. My calling is downright bad so I don't do it very much!
I agree with your advice. I need to learn about the ducks I am seeking. I would love to be a more consistent duck hunter!
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