Identification

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Identification

Postby Lcso61 » Thu Dec 13, 2012 11:25 pm

This is my first year hunting ducks and was wanting to know what kind of ducks are most common in southern Ohio. I have been going scouting religiously and often encounter mallards and wood ducks, I have these down pat, but sometimes I will encounter other types and am having a hard time figuring out what they are. I thought maybe if there was a list of the kind of ducks I would most likely encounter it would be easier to identify. So far I have refrained from shooting anything I can not positively identify but even with different apps and such I cant figure some of them out because the picture shown is shown sitting idle in the water and not screaming by at 30mph like the ones I see. I only know 1 other person who duck hunts and he just blasts everything that comes by so he is no help. Any help would be appreciated since I am learning this on my own.
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Identification

Postby Botiz630 » Fri Dec 14, 2012 7:49 am

First, I want to commend you for having the restraint to not shoot at something you can't identify. I know that can be tough, especially for a new hunter. Good for you.

Secondly, there are tons of resources online to help you learn how to ID ducks on the wing. Try Delta's website, they have quizzes you can take where they show ducks in all different manner of poses and positions. I'm sure DU probably has something similar on their website.

Google images is your friend, create your own journals of different species that you can use as flip charts. After that it is just going to take some time afield, you'll eventually pick it up once you have spent enough time watching live ducks.
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Re: Identification

Postby OHIODUCKA5 » Fri Dec 14, 2012 10:05 am

http://www.ducks.org/hunting/waterfowl-id

this one helped me alot and like tits said delta you'll see teal and the ocassional pintail black ducks (maybe) good luck
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Re: Identification

Postby Lcso61 » Fri Dec 14, 2012 5:14 pm

Those helped a bit. I think the other ones I have been mainly seeing are Gadwalls? Do we even get those? They are a plain looking brown bodied and headed, both sexes, and about half have some white on the underside of their wings about halfway out, I assume these are the males, and have a bluish grey bill. Ohio's limit wording is kind of confusing. If these are in fact Gadwall can I kill my limit of 6 on them or none at all since they are not specifically listed. And trust me, passing up unknown birds sucks, but for now I am trying to watch them closely as opposed to shoot them and try to figure out what they are. I never get mallards or wood ducks which I can identify to come in lol and so far this year my grand total is 2 hooded mergs, which taste horrible I might add.
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Re: Identification

Postby Botiz630 » Fri Dec 14, 2012 5:29 pm

Lcso61 wrote:Those helped a bit. I think the other ones I have been mainly seeing are Gadwalls? Do we even get those? They are a plain looking brown bodied and headed, both sexes, and about half have some white on the underside of their wings about halfway out, I assume these are the males, and have a bluish grey bill. Ohio's limit wording is kind of confusing. If these are in fact Gadwall can I kill my limit of 6 on them or none at all since they are not specifically listed. And trust me, passing up unknown birds sucks, but for now I am trying to watch them closely as opposed to shoot them and try to figure out what they are. I never get mallards or wood ducks which I can identify to come in lol and so far this year my grand total is 2 hooded mergs, which taste horrible I might add.


You're doing fine. :thumbsup:

As for the regulations, if a particular species does not have a specific limit called out in the regulations booklet, than you are allowed to fill your bag limit with them.

Also, if the ducks you are seeing have bluish grey bills, they are not Gadwall. Gadwall drakes have solid black bills and the hen's bills are mostly black with a bit of orange around the edges.
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Re: Identification

Postby Lcso61 » Fri Dec 14, 2012 5:39 pm

Hmm, well back to square one then. Guess I will just have to wait to get a better look at one. I just hate the idea of shooting something to see what it is, seems to be an easy way to end up with a hefty fine. Maybe next time I will get one closer. Are there like a handfull of ducks that I would see primarily, I understand anything is possible, but maybe starting by comparing what I see to a few likely candidates as opposed to looking at dozens of pictures of ducks I will probably never see would be more effecient.
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Re: Identification

Postby Botiz630 » Fri Dec 14, 2012 7:12 pm

Lcso61 wrote:Hmm, well back to square one then. Guess I will just have to wait to get a better look at one. I just hate the idea of shooting something to see what it is, seems to be an easy way to end up with a hefty fine. Maybe next time I will get one closer. Are there like a handfull of ducks that I would see primarily, I understand anything is possible, but maybe starting by comparing what I see to a few likely candidates as opposed to looking at dozens of pictures of ducks I will probably never see would be more effecient.


Shooting first and identifying later is no good, it can get you in trouble with Mr. Green Jeans and it's generally poor form. Part of hunting is respecting the game, and that doesn't include shooting at something you can't identify. I was serious when I said "good job" on being able to hold off on that stuff.

As for what is normal, I'm not sure where in Ohio you are but Mallards, Wood Ducks, and Gadwalls will probably be more common. If you are up by the lake you'll see some divers too. You never know though, I've seen all kinds of different ducks out there.
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Re: Identification

Postby ThePro » Fri Dec 14, 2012 11:11 pm

Hey man could be a female widgon also its good u want to identify thats grate but the best way to learn is to kill find confirm what they are and learn from the hunt- I have been duck hunting 12 yrs and I am still not perfect any one who tells u they are are lyin so just learn something from every hunt and enjoy man happyhunting merry christmas
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Re: Identification

Postby ohio mike » Fri Dec 14, 2012 11:57 pm

Ruddys have a blue grey bill. Small ,brown with a cheek patch. You can shoot 6.
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Re: Identification

Postby Lcso61 » Sat Dec 15, 2012 1:54 am

I live in the southern part of the state. Got into this whole sport by accident. Got a lab pup and then thought this would be something fun to do since duck is about the only thing I dont hunt. I didnt get him for this, just kind of an afterthought since he learned all his obedience in a few weeks and was looking for other stuff to teach him. Since he is still a pup I thought I would learn the ropes this year and then take him out next season but its looking like neither one of us will have a clue. I just hope I make it through the learning curve without any fines or jail time.
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Re: Identification

Postby Apoc » Sun Dec 16, 2012 11:28 pm

I am new as well and missed some birds erly in the season because I didnt know what they were. I was told that the first bird is free. You can shoot anything as long as you are sure it is a duck. After that you can ID it and decide if you have somthing you are only aloud to have one of. Id much rather know exactly what im shooting but im lerning this way prety good.
13 Doves
2 Woodys
2 Gadwall
1 GW Teal
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Re: Identification

Postby Lcso61 » Mon Dec 17, 2012 7:40 pm

Apoc wrote:I am new as well and missed some birds erly in the season because I didnt know what they were. I was told that the first bird is free. You can shoot anything as long as you are sure it is a duck. After that you can ID it and decide if you have somthing you are only aloud to have one of. Id much rather know exactly what im shooting but im lerning this way prety good.

I never really thought about it like that but it would work. As long as whatever it was is a duck. Seeing them flying and then getting to examine it close up should help me put the two together pretty quickly.
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Re: Identification

Postby Botiz630 » Mon Dec 17, 2012 9:00 pm

That's not always the case, some years we have restrictions on certain species. This year you'd be all right but sometimes you aren't allowed to shoot particular species at all. Just make sure you're familiar with the regulations booklet and you'll be fine.
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Re: Identification

Postby HNTFSH » Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:45 am

Good thread! :thumbsup: Bird ID is toughest at first light too, especially on an over cast day and a group swarms into dekes all looking the same!

In central Ohio (not big water) think I've only shot:

Mallards, a lot
Shovelers, a few
Wood Ducks, many
Blue wing Teal, early season many
Green Wing Teal, just a few
Black Duck, a couple
Gadwall ,several
Canada Geese, no others

If something 'different' was flying amongst the birds I'd probably pop it cause odds are pretty high it has a limit of at least one although would do my best to ID or guess first! :lol3:
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Re: Identification

Postby Lcso61 » Tue Dec 18, 2012 2:09 pm

Hope I am right because I have been trying so hard to avoid something like this. Had a flock of five, 3 were hen mallards but two appeared to be very dark, almost black, mallards so I thought they were black ducks and killed one of each type. After retrieving them they looked WAY more similar than they did in the air but I still think the dark one is a black duck given that the blue on the speculum has no white trim top or bottom. Also now wonder if it could be a mottled. Either way the second is 50% darker than the first, including its bill and feet. I took some really nice comparitve pics but can not figure out how to load them.
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Re: Identification

Postby HNTFSH » Tue Dec 18, 2012 3:27 pm

Post the dark one.

open a free photobucket account, upload pic and once uploaded, copy the IMG tag (url) and post it (copy/paste). It will show as an image.

Blackducks aren't particularly common so the odds are always Hen mallards.
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Re: Identification

Postby HNTFSH » Tue Dec 18, 2012 4:39 pm

Image
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Re: Identification

Postby Lcso61 » Tue Dec 18, 2012 4:54 pm

http://s1292.beta.photobucket.com/user/ ... y/?src=wap

Thats the best I could do, I really dont think thats how its done but its the best I could do. I know squat about computers.
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Re: Identification

Postby HNTFSH » Tue Dec 18, 2012 4:59 pm

Copy and paste the URL from the IMG tag like you did the wrong URL. I gave you a picture of it.
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Re: Identification

Postby Botiz630 » Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:08 pm

Lcso61 wrote:Hope I am right because I have been trying so hard to avoid something like this. Had a flock of five, 3 were hen mallards but two appeared to be very dark, almost black, mallards so I thought they were black ducks and killed one of each type. After retrieving them they looked WAY more similar than they did in the air but I still think the dark one is a black duck given that the blue on the speculum has no white trim top or bottom. Also now wonder if it could be a mottled. Either way the second is 50% darker than the first, including its bill and feet. I took some really nice comparitve pics but can not figure out how to load them.


Can you email me the pics? I'd be happy to post them up for you. Let me know and I'll send you an email address.
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Re: Identification

Postby Botiz630 » Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:29 pm

HNTFSH wrote:Blackducks aren't particularly common so the odds are always Hen mallards.


I think this is the only Ohio Black Duck I've seen. Little brother was lucky enough to get one on a farm pond we used to have permission to hunt. A house sits where the pond used to be now. :no: :no:
pic01221.JPG
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Re: Identification

Postby Lcso61 » Tue Dec 18, 2012 11:19 pm

I think I may have figured it out, if not I think someone else will for me.
Image
Image
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Re: Identification

Postby Botiz630 » Wed Dec 19, 2012 5:11 pm

Hey, glad you got the pictures up. I'd say you've got a Black Duck there.
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Re: Identification

Postby sc83 » Wed Dec 19, 2012 7:16 pm

Yeah, that is a black and a hen mallard. congrats
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Re: Identification

Postby Lcso61 » Wed Dec 19, 2012 8:14 pm

Thanks, I was a little concerned after recovering them because they looked so similar. In flight they looked drastically different, but I guess their differences are pretty subtle. This was my first succesful duck hunt, got a woody too, and am just really glad I didnt do something stupid like bust 2 hen mallards.
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