Introduction and Question

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Introduction and Question

Postby jjduck » Sat Jan 04, 2014 7:06 pm

Hey everyone. I'm new to the site and in some ways new to duck hunting. I grew up in eastern North Carolina and hunted and fished with family and friends as a kid. I spent a lot of time in a wood duck swamps in high school and college and occasionally went on duck hunting trips around Mattamuskeet and the Pamlico river with a friend who had land and a boat. After college I got busy with work, marriage and trying to raise a family and my time spent outdoors started to disappear. I have two boys who are now 6 and 8 and the 8 year old has gotten the hunting bug pretty bad. Now that their older, we are starting to be able to spend more time together outside.

In general, as far as hunting is concerned, I have always been the guy that tagged along. I didn't have the land, didn't have the boat or other equipment and always felt like my other buddies had more experience. I was happy following them into the woods and they were happy to have hunting buddy to go along with them.

So, with my boys getting older and my childhood and college hunting buddies scattered to the wind, I now find myself in the position of having to learn this sport on my own (about time, right?). I'm having to figure things out that I never had to figure out before. I've joined a deer/duck club for the upcoming year and I've been spending many afternoons on the public water around Raleigh trying to scout birds, work on identification and to learn as much as I can.

So, I look forward to getting to know everyone on the board and hope to have some good discussions. Thanks in advance for all of the help I know ya'll will provide.

I do have a general question to ask in the hopes of furthering my waterfowl education. I have spent a ton of time on Google earth looking for "ducky" spots near Falls Lake. At least two or three times a week for the past month, I've been driving out there, scoping things out, hiking into backwater areas, etc. I haven't even been carrying a gun...just going out there trying to learn.

I hadn't had much luck until earlier this evening. I had found a good looking spot on Google earth and decided to drive out there. I hiked in and got set about 3:45. Around 4:45 a ton of birds started to fly through this area. From what I could tell, they were mostly Mallards. I probably saw 75-100 ducks. They were all coming from the very back of this cove and flying directly over where I was sitting. They were all on the exact same flight path in groups of 2 to 6. Occasionally there would be a group of 8 to 10. This lasted for about 30 to 40 minutes until I couldn't see anymore. So, like said, they were coming out of the back of this cove/swamp, flying over me (I was about 300 yards from the very back) and then continuing on this same flight path out toward the main lake. In ya'lls opinion, what were those birds doing? Were they loafing / feeding in the back of that place and then flying out somewhere on the main lake to roost at dusk? If that's the case, what's the best way to hunt these birds if I decided to go back to this spot next week? Can I expect them to be back in the same area at the same time? How about in the mornings....would they come back early in the day. Any general advice is appreciated. I'm just trying to understand what I saw and figure out the best way to hunt the spot. Sorry for the long first post. Thanks guys!
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Re: Introduction and Question

Postby wstober » Sat Jan 04, 2014 7:26 pm

First welcome to the zoo.

Second Your Hosed! With the forecast the next couple of days those birds will be gone by Monday morning. Yes the birds could have been either feeding or loafing (missing to many details to be sure) but considering a large number of birds migrate at night, my bet is you were sitting next to a rest stop for a group passing through. Especially with the weather that is hitting the nation. The good news is you now have a spot that you know birds will use. The hard part is being there at the right time. The only way to know for sure is to set up and hunt it.

Good luck!
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Re: Introduction and Question

Postby berudd » Sat Jan 04, 2014 7:53 pm

Welcome. I have to be a Debbie Downer and point out that it is very unlikely that you are the only guy that knows about that spot. There are few, if any, hidden gems left around Falls. So, if you go you'll probably have plenty of company. Not sure how this cold snap will affect us. It won't be long enough to freeze up the lakes but the backwater likely will. Maybe if it is brief enough the birds will hang around. Good luck!
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Re: Introduction and Question

Postby EastBound&Down » Sun Jan 05, 2014 5:05 am

Welcome and thanks for the intro :welcome:
Next week is going to be tough around the shallow areas for puddle ducks due to we should have a lot of ice. But find the open water areas and you will find the ducks.
In a normal weather pattern, from what you described above I would go back into the cove where you saw the birds coming from and be set up for them at LST. Pack light and be mobile cause the first couple of groups are going to spell out what/where the birds wanna be/do that morning. Use the trip as a scouting / hunting trip and if you have to pack and move 100yds in the morning and loose 30mins of hunting then so be it. It can make the difference between just watching to burning some powder. Those mallards might be coming first thing in the morning or they could be trickling in later around 10-11 and just using it as a resting area. You want know to you go. Use no more than 6 decoys, attach a few to a jerk string, leave your mallard call at home,hide yourself like a ninja, and at most lightly use a mallard drake 6n1 whistle. Good luck if you get after them.
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Re: Introduction and Question

Postby duk-cmdr » Tue Jan 07, 2014 10:51 am

EastBound&Down wrote:hide yourself like a ninja


I like this :beer:
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Re: Introduction and Question

Postby EastBound&Down » Tue Jan 07, 2014 1:41 pm

duk-cmdr wrote:
EastBound&Down wrote:hide yourself like a ninja


I like this :beer:

It always urks me when I bring some guys hunting and they sit infront of the brush or even worse knock the brush down for which they claim needed to be done so they can shoot. I always reply that you will never get the chance to shoot if the ducks see you first. I always worry about hiding first and shooting secondary. If you are hidden properely, then shooting hovering mallards over the decoys still should be easy through the brush.
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