New to duck hunting, looking to get educated

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New to duck hunting, looking to get educated

Postby SRanger » Wed Jul 24, 2013 1:58 pm

Good Afternoon Everybody,

I'm posting this so that I can get information on finding the best source of education pertaining to duck/fowl hunting. I'm an avid large game hunter and am looking to broaden my hunting options by learning archery & fowl. After reviewing some posts on this forum it seems there are things I need to get educated about before grabbing my shotgun and just driving to a spot to shot. What I'm looking for are places, literature, classes, etc... on where to find good, reliable, accurate, & ethical information on fowl hunting.

What I'm looking for are rules and guidelines for locations where fowl hunting can be done. Information on what kind of gear (aside from firearms) would be needed, retrieval dog or not, blind, calls, etc... Tips & tricks for scouting, what habitat/environment to look for.

Thank you for any information provided.
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Re: New to duck hunting, looking to get educated

Postby troutbum43 » Sat Jul 27, 2013 3:35 pm

Duck Hunting Starter Kit:

Clothes- These should all last you 4+ seasons, rather than buying cheap and replacing every year
Under Armour Cold Gear bottom and top
Knee high wading socks from Cabelas-otherwise your socks will be getting bunched up or pulled of in your waders, very annoying.
Good Waterproof Jacket (you can spend a lot of money here, and it may be worth it. Recommend buying factory second jacket from cascadedirect.net, great jackets windproof and breathable but without the bulk of most waterfowl jackets, lots of cost savings buying the seconds)
Waders with lug soles, Neporene or Breathable. If hunting in NM its gets cold here, I would get 5mm neoprene.
Camo Beanie
Facemask
Gloves-I have neoprene and some windproof- use neoprene when setting and retrieving dekes so your hands dont get cold.

Calls
Wingsetter 6 in 1 whistle call- Easy to learn, can imitate teal, pintail, mallard, wigeon all on one call. You can decoy plenty of ducks without a mallard call, those take a lot more practice and you will scare away many more ducks than you decoy when in the learning phase.

Decoys
1 dozen teal, 4 drake pintail and a motion decoy. You can hunt anywhere with this set up and its easy to carry with one man.

Best way to start: Find some public waterfowl areas, try to join up with experienced hunters, or watch what other hunters do. Duck hunting can be tough to learn on your own without a mentor, but I would focus on scouting and setting up small spreads. Hunting in the afternoons is more low key, fewer people, less flashlight wars, more chances to work birds. I usually use a basic variation of the "J" or "U" spread when setting decoys. DuckUnlimited.org has a lot of information including videos on how to set decoys, scout, call etc, I would start there. Learn how birds want to set up in to decoys, ducks will always land in to the wind.

Biggest rookie mistakes: Moving around when birds are working (ducks have great eyesight), not covering your face and looking up when ducks are working (again ducks have great eyesight) and trying to win a mallard calling contest instead of trying to get ducks to decoy (ducks know what bad calling sounds like and will leave your area right quick). If you have a good set up calling is not always necessary, and that wingsetter whistle is deadly. Build natural blinds with materials at hands, the goal is to break up your outline, not build a house. Dogs are awesome but add a whole nother dimension, I waited until I was pretty experienced at duck hunting before I added that in. Good luck!
Conserve, promote, protect and enhance...then harvest!
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