What do you do for Cover?

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

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What do you do for Cover?

Postby Jse5019 » Mon Dec 02, 2013 5:51 pm

My buddy and I are both 100% brand new to coastal duck hunting. This year will be the first time we both head to the shore to try our luck at hunting ducks and brant. We plan to start out hunting the CZ near Barnegat in Forsythe Unit B. My question is what do you guys do for cover? We will probably use kayaks to get in there because his 14' v-hull couldn't make it very far in when we were down to do some scouting earlier this year. Just looking for suggestions to maximize our chances of success. Thanks!
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Re: What do you do for Cover?

Postby FowlHooked » Mon Dec 02, 2013 6:48 pm

Lay down n sit still!
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Re: What do you do for Cover?

Postby mr.green » Tue Dec 03, 2013 9:03 am

I hunt out of a canoe and use a grassed cover over the canoe. I use an old net and attach to the canoe in front of me. Then I use the net to zip tie grass on. I guess you could use this theory and just create a blanket that lays over you. As for the back, I constructed a small frame out of PVC that goes over the height of my head. I attach netting to the frame and the back of my canoe. Then grass that netting. This way when I sit back, the frame allows me to put my head under the frame with grass hanging over and slip my legs under the cover in the front. The frame acts sort of like the splash guards on a sneak box. Sorry of the description is difficult to follow. Good luck, don't forget the life jacket and careful with winds.
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Re: What do you do for Cover?

Postby duk_hunter155 » Tue Dec 03, 2013 4:12 pm

To a large extent it depends on the weather. If Weather conditions are right, and that is not very often, all you really need to do is sit still and you can shoot blacks, pintail, and mallards. Divers like scaup its all about the decoy set up, buffies and merganzers are pass shots. Brant again its having brant decoys, and you don't need more than 10 of those and lots of calling, also be where the brant normally are.

On clear days you really need to be well hidden or they just won't come into range and rarely set their wings.
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Re: What do you do for Cover?

Postby Jse5019 » Tue Dec 03, 2013 6:38 pm

Can you sit along the bank in the grass or does everyone stay in the boat? Please excuse my ignorance. Just never had experience at the shore and we don't personally know anyone who does.
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Re: What do you do for Cover?

Postby LeakyBoot » Tue Dec 03, 2013 7:36 pm

Yes, you can hide along the bank if the grass is tall enough. Also, when the tide is lower you can sit on a cushion in the muck on the bank. Ain't pretty but it can work. Trick is to make sure your shoulders and head don't stick up to far above the meadow.
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Re: What do you do for Cover?

Postby papageno » Tue Dec 03, 2013 8:22 pm

Hunting the elusive jersey blackduck on the salt marsh is a challenging proposition. They see almost any anomaly in the marsh. Folks have their cover tricks, but it is best to find a spot with some natural cover. Hard thing to find. the jersey balckie is also afraid of water decoys. I like to use fullbod blackies in the middle of an open marsh with no floaters while hiding in a lone groundsel bush. A lot of effort for one duck.
Sitting on the bay shore for divers is no real problem... A sheet of grass mat on a wire mesh will do. You have to hide the boat better than yourself. Brant come in high but wont scare easy, while Diver tnd to be low fliers, so pull your boat around a corner, into a ditch or a couple of hundred yards away from you and cover it.
Hunting from a shoretied Popup blind works wel, too.
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Re: What do you do for Cover?

Postby syoung_1854 » Wed Dec 04, 2013 2:43 pm

Papageno, can't believe you hit on those blacks hanging out up in the marsh. We noticed a bunch last weekend up in the grass, not on water, and wondered if that was odd - sounds like its pretty typical. Also had a few spy our mojo and come over to check out our water spread of mixed deeks (mallards, blacks and divers).

As for hiding, I hate hunting from the boat in the marsh if I have option to stash it and hunker down in reeds/grass/mud - natural cover always beats the best boat blind you can haul out there with you.
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Re: What do you do for Cover?

Postby papageno » Wed Dec 04, 2013 5:27 pm

Yeah, Ive seen several times when lots of blackies are just walking around and none are swimming. im up in maine hunting salt marah blackies and all the marsh ponds are frozen... They just land in the marsh, on the ice and walk around.

i think blackies are incredibly decoy wary... It may be that more that then them seeing your hide and it makes them nervous. I just hunted them with good success by putting my decoys behind me about 35 yds and lie in a pond box. They approach the decoys and gently flare.... But this waythey take the turn straight ovehead. If you put the decoys in frontof you, they would flare out of range.
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Re: What do you do for Cover?

Postby duk_hunter155 » Mon Dec 09, 2013 8:50 am

Re Black ducks

I like to hunt blacks in Tuckerton marsh out at the end of 7 bridges road. Two years ago we were hunting out in the bay all morning got nothing but frozen toes and fingers so we moved out of the bay into a canal and set up close to the launch ramp (ha ha dirt ramp). In a half hour 7 of us shot 7 black ducks we could not keep them away from our spinner. We hunted out of two boats tied together, high profile, heads sticking up and they couldn't care less they just wanted in.

Other times you can lie flat on the ground covered in grass and they wont come near you all depends on the weather as I said earlier.
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Re: What do you do for Cover?

Postby papageno » Mon Dec 09, 2013 1:19 pm

In cold years, there is often a late season push of new northern blackies into the area. They are not wary, and behave like they have never been shot at. It could be those birds.... i have encountered them in Maryland, too.
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Re: What do you do for Cover?

Postby duk_hunter155 » Mon Dec 09, 2013 3:47 pm

I think you are right about those blacks not being Jersey blacks, the pothole marsh blacks are the wariest of them all, they can see you walking the marsh two hundred yards before you get near them and take off.
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Re: What do you do for Cover?

Postby papageno » Mon Dec 09, 2013 7:14 pm

I think they either, or both, hear you and smell you coming. The only chance you have to jump them is low tide with a better than 15 knot wind in your face.
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Re: What do you do for Cover?

Postby tool box » Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:12 pm

If you want to shoot buffles just sit on the bank,
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Re: What do you do for Cover?

Postby RustyGunz1960 » Tue Dec 10, 2013 9:05 am

duk_hunter155 wrote:Re Black ducks

I like to hunt blacks in Tuckerton marsh out at the end of 7 bridges road. Two years ago we were hunting out in the bay all morning got nothing but frozen toes and fingers so we moved out of the bay into a canal and set up close to the launch ramp (ha ha dirt ramp). In a half hour 7 of us shot 7 black ducks we could not keep them away from our spinner. We hunted out of two boats tied together, high profile, heads sticking up and they couldn't care less they just wanted in.

Other times you can lie flat on the ground covered in grass and they wont come near you all depends on the weather as I said earlier.



This has been my experience as well. When conditions are right you can do everything wrong and still get ducks. You can also be totally hidden, have realistic decoys and have birds flare without landing. Just keep at it and the great days will make the others worthwhile.
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Re: What do you do for Cover?

Postby Jse5019 » Fri Dec 13, 2013 5:19 am

Thanks for all of the info everyone. I think we are heading down in two weeks to check some things out!
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