$75.00 ticket at Sauvies Island yesterday :-(

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$75.00 ticket at Sauvies Island yesterday :-(

Postby JimboPDX » Sat Nov 26, 2005 11:22 am

Ok boys,

Many of you know this is my first season of duck hunting. So far I have hunted 6 times and 4 out of six have been by my self. My shooting is getting much better, my calling is getting better (still sounds like a kazoo though...lol), and as a result, my overall experience and success is greater.

I noticed that the last few times hunting, I was missing easy shots and was bummed out. I had changed to a new brand of shells (Kent Faststeel 3 inch #2’s) and didn’t pattern my shotgun. So I went out and patterned it and saw it was a bit too spread out. After putting in a full choke, it was much better.

Armed with my new confidence from a well patterned shotgun, yesterday was my best day yet (except for the boo-boo and resulting ticket...more on that in a moment) as the weather was crappy....ahhh...ummm...I mean great duck hunting weather...lol! I hunted Dead Willow and man-o-man where the birds everywhere.

I folded a gw teal with my first shot and then another duck soon afterwards. Took another gw teal and finally another duck. So at this point I was really excited as I was able to sneak away from my family for a ½ day of hunting and within 3 hours I shot 4 ducks. I was feeling on top of the world as It was the first time I hunted by myself and had some decent success. All the pieces were starting to fall into place!

I am checking out at the eastside check station and proudly tell the lady at the counter 2 gw teal and 2 wigon. She asked to see the birds and came out to my rig. That’s when she told me they weren’t wigon but hen pintails. I just felt horrible! My heart sank right there! I felt so stupid not to mention embarrassed as there were a dozen guys hanging around hoping to get into a blind. All the ODFW folks were nice about it. She called the state trooper who talked to me a bit and gave me a citation for over harvest. He went lightly on me and set the bail for $75.00.

I fully realize it is my responsibility to learn my quarry and be a responsible and ethical sportsman. I have the booklet one of the eastside checkout guys discreetly gave me and I will read it cover to cover and reread it and then again.

Ok boys, here is what I need from you all. What is the best way to learn the markings and characteristics of ducks and to identify one from the other on the wing? Are there any good tools (books, videos) that help a newbie distinguish one duck from the other as they are screaming in to deeks at mach 2 while my heart is pumping adrenaline and I’m loving every minute of sitting in mud, water, and the freezing cold? I don’t want to ruin another day of hunting by being an uneducated hunter. Your comments (positive and negative) are welcome.

Last edited by JimboPDX on Sat Nov 26, 2005 10:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby tonynchessie » Sat Nov 26, 2005 7:45 pm

Hey Jimbo,
I am new to hunting Oregon and have never seen the amount of pintail as we have here. They were a rarety to say the least. Last Sunday my buddy and I had a couple come straight into the spread, no hesitation at all. We jumped up two shots two kills. After retreiving the ducks I was a little disappointeed to find out that it was a pair of pintail, nice Drake though. After that we had to really watch our shots. We where actually standing out of our blind and had to wave our hands to get the pintail to flare off our dekes. So to make a long story short, if they come in to easy they are probably pintail. Friday I had four come within 10 yards of me as I was fixing a couple tangled dekes. Just my 2 pennies, but if anyone else replies. I was wondering if they will thin out or do they stay around. Either way I'm gunna be a lot more weary of my shots.
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Thanks for the tip Tony

Postby JimboPDX » Sat Nov 26, 2005 10:16 pm


Thanks for the info! It sure is a bummer to make a mistake like that. All I can do is try and learn from the folks at DHC like you who are willing to reply and more days in the duck blind!

Once again, thanks a bunch!
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Postby tstrong » Sat Nov 26, 2005 10:58 pm

They will fly into the dekes all day. I have had few guys approach me and ask if I wanted or needed a sprig because they dropped 2 with one shot. Sprig drakes are easy but the hen will give you some problems - I try not to shoot hens but on slow days sometimes that's all you get.
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Postby Swamp Puppy » Sun Nov 27, 2005 10:31 am

Jimbo - don't beat yourself up about it. It was an honest mistake and you didn't try to hide it like so many others do.

a couple of identifiers that will help (hopefully). these are the things i look for on birds when sorting pinnys out from the rest.

Pintail Hen - long neck..slender body..narrow wings. Look at the breast...it is the best in flight ID'er aside from neck length. for me, the breast is easier to ID than neck length in a lot of cases. Pintail hens have an all brown body. head to tail..they are all one color.

Widgeon Hen - short neck..fatter body. here is the giveaway on the Widg. they have a white belly later in the season. (like now) on the early season birds it is hard to tell, but from now on the widgeon should have a white patch that is easy to spot.

as always...if you're not sure it's ok (though hard sometimes...) to pass. i've missed a few widgeon that i wasn't 100% on and it usually costs me some gief from my hunting buddies for passing on it, but at the end of the day i usually don't regret it and we still get our birds.

good luck!! glad to hear about the good hunt. if it makes you feel any better, the first duck i ever shot at SI was made more memorable with a 75 dollar ticket for shooting 7 minutes early. lol.
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Postby Burger » Mon Nov 28, 2005 10:10 pm

You really need to get a LeMaster Book. Check out Macks Prairie Wings for a book by Richard LeMaster. It is a waterproof and FOOL proof way to identify waterfowl. I just moved to the NorthWest and it is amazing the variety here. Good Luck.
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Postby threemuch » Wed Nov 30, 2005 12:59 pm

That stinks about the hen pinnys. I have confuse those with mallard hens but never wigeon. Neck length is the dead giveaway. As Ed said, they are skinnier and thinner winged than mallard hens, plus have dark bills/feet. The way they decoy can help too, wigeon are generally much less wary than pintail. Pintail will often circle your deeks 4-5 times before committing. If a wigeon is coming in, it's once around at most.

Another good thing to do is hunt with a partner or two, this give some margin for error on pintail. If you shoot two, I usually have a spoonie I can trade you! We try to lay off them entirely especially when there is only one or two slots left on the pintail limit for the group. Extra eyes means more chance of a positive ID before the shot too.
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Postby Dalros » Wed Nov 30, 2005 7:40 pm

Bummer about the ticket Jimbo. All the guys understand and it will take time to figure the game out, but keep at it :smile: .

Remember that post I thru up on Nov. 17? If not - check it out. I was trying to warn/inform everbody...
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Postby BrotherWolf » Wed Nov 30, 2005 7:44 pm

Hey Jim so this is were ya hang out.... It was Nice meeting ya sunday.

Its better to be honest about it then to try and hide it. It all comes in Time and it happpens to the best of us. Besides if ya would have came over with us sunday we would have show ya what a bull sprig looks like. at 15 yards
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You guys are the bomb!

Postby JimboPDX » Thu Dec 01, 2005 10:45 am

Thank you all for the help and guidence! I am blowen away by how helpful folks have been! I have printed out a few of the replys and put it in a ziplock bag to but in my blind bucket. See you out in the mud and water!

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no good but OK

Postby goosecaller dude » Fri Dec 02, 2005 1:54 am

hey I have been hunting for 25 yrs and now we need to worry about the birds we shoot remember you can only shoot one pin but we do need to push them out of our dekes because there is a shortage of them last week I had 27 pins in my dekes and used them as live dekes till a mallard flew in. so the best thing is if your not sure don't shoot and watch and learn how they fly even if you don't shoot all day at least you will learn. the other thing is, don't kill hens, :thumbsup: only shoot color ( males).
good hunting :salude:
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