Another Newbie

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Another Newbie

Postby timpy » Fri Jan 04, 2013 8:06 am

Hi everyone, my name is Tim and I live in Pittsburgh. I am originally from Armstrong county but I moved here with my wife when we finished college. I have been hunting since I was 12 but this is my first year hunting waterfowl. I wanted to expand the available seasons open to hunt, and since I buy a stamp for doves, I figured why not try waterfowl too. I have gone out about 10 ties this season since November and I am already hooked on it.

I have been trying to scout around here but most places close are private or are a half hour or farther, which makes it difficult. I have spent the last few years finding places for deer, turkey, pheasant and grouse, but this is a new challenge. I did hit some state parks and small lots with water and I was able to get two mallard drakes this season.

Since I just started I don't have a lot of equipment yet. I do have a Canada and a Mallard call that I got fro Christmas. I use a Mossberg 835 Ulti-mag and my English Springer Daisy. She is a great dog and she is a fantastic little flusher and retriever that can and will hunt anything that I need her to. I am hoping to get a dozen decoys of Canadas and Ducks for next season as well as a layout blind.

I wanted to sign up here because I thought it would be really nice to meet others in the state that enjoy the same things I do and I could really use your knowledge on the subject. All of my old hunting buddies live more than an hour away so if anyone wants to come hunting or let me tag along, that would be great.

Nice meeting everyone and I look forward to knocking down some birds with you!
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Re: Another Newbie

Postby vincentpa » Fri Jan 04, 2013 8:36 am

Welcome.

Unfortunately, if you live in the city, mostly every spot is a half hour or more away. It takes me 15 minutes just to get out of the city or sometimes an hour to drive 15 miles. This fact makes scouting very difficult not only because the time it takes to get to spots but also because it's dark already after you get home from work.

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Re: Another Newbie

Postby timpy » Fri Jan 04, 2013 8:47 am

I figured that how it would be and that is fine. I don't live right in the city, I live in one of the suburbs just outside of it btu I figured I'd be doing some driving. I have been hitting raccoon creek, but it never seems to have much on it and I thought that I would use the nasty weather to see if more were pushed to the bigger water, but it was frozen solid. My next spot of big water that I can think of is Morraine state park, but it is an hour away.

Does anyone hunt along the rivers? I see activity there all the time and one day I got ballsy and just went down there and popped two shots at a group of mallards. I asked permission of the business that I was closest to and I was in the valley, over train tracks and at least 150 yards from the nearest house. I know there is no way that my shot is going to carry across the river there and hit the coke plant on the other side. I still get nervous doing it though.
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Re: Another Newbie

Postby drod » Fri Jan 04, 2013 12:49 pm

I've hunted one of the rivers a few times with a buddy in his spot in January. Unless you can find a local creek that holds ducks and isn't locked up, the rivers are really your best for ducks this time of year with ponds and lakes locked up in ice.

It was a little unsettling the first time I hunted with him, having buildings on the other side of the river. PA law in regards to historically navigable waterways opens up a lot of opportunities on the rivers around here. If you can access the river through private property that you have permission to be on, or from a public access point, you're good to go. Stay within the normal high water mark and stay out of safety zones.
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Re: Another Newbie

Postby moke909 » Fri Jan 04, 2013 7:02 pm

Welcome to the forum,

While I do not post a lot on here, i plan to get more involved in the near future. Just a quick heads up on Moraine, do not bother going up there. It is frozen solid all the way across. I was up that way for work today and there were guys drilling holes for ice fishing! It is supposed to warm up next week but the season ends soon so i am thinking Moraine is done for the year. The rivers can be really good at times but they are also very dangerous when high and its windy....so just be safe. Good luck the rest of the season!
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Re: Another Newbie

Postby timpy » Fri Jan 04, 2013 7:53 pm

Thanks for the intel on Morraine, I have decided to hunt the Ohio river tomorrow morning. I plan to get out there just before dawn to get in position and wait on them. If anyone is near Pittsburgh and is interested in coming let me know!
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Re: Another Newbie

Postby don novicki » Sat Jan 05, 2013 5:08 am

Welcome Timpy. If you ever get up here into Erie County let me know. We will find the one duck that is in Erie County and slay it together. Seriously though now that you are hooked , don't get caught up in having the latest and greatest of everything because it's usually not needed and you will go broke changing gear and equipment every season. Again if you plan on coming up this way next season let me know and maybe we can kill a few together......
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Re: Another Newbie

Postby timpy » Sat Jan 05, 2013 7:35 pm

Sounds good, I'll be sure to take you up on that Don.

So today was a bust. I was on the wrong side of the Ohio apparently. I had two divers in the deep water, a blackhead out with them and 15 geese on the opposite bank. I thought I saw a break in the fencing by the plant on the other side of the river where the geese kept pouring through so it looks lie a Sunday scouting mission.
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Re: Another Newbie

Postby don taylor » Mon Jan 07, 2013 6:50 am

That's pretty cool, you've been at this since November and you're picking up lingo like 'blackhead' and can ID them at a distance. That's pretty impressive.

You're going to have to head out further than raccoon creek to be consistant.

When it comes to shooting on the river, your shot cannot enter a safety zone of any building, even one across the river. Shot can fly 250 yards, plus a 150 yard safety zone means the closest building needs to be well over 400 yards away and you need to be cautious when shooting anywhere in or near the city. Make your shots up and down the rivers, not a cross them.

As a general rule, we don't discuss specific locations. There is nothing to be gained by you in naming the creek or lake you plan on going to. Many people will read this and if you alert people to you success andd location, you're only doing yourself a diservice.
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Re: Another Newbie

Postby don taylor » Mon Jan 07, 2013 6:52 am

Oh, and welcome to DHC and try to make our Delta meeting. The best way to connect with people here and to make a hunting buddy is doing it in person with a handshake.
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Re: Another Newbie

Postby timpy » Mon Jan 07, 2013 12:21 pm

I like to hit the river just because it is close and if I have an hour or so to spare in the day I can head down there.

I was considering coming to that meeting, but I have a conflict during that time. I did check out Delta's website though and it looks worthwhile to me so once Christmas is paid for then I am thinking about a 50 buck membership.

I can understand why spots aren't shared freely, same is true for any wild game, especially if you think you've found a honey hole.

Thanks for the welcome Don.
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Re: Another Newbie

Postby timpy » Thu Jan 10, 2013 11:47 pm

I have found a neat little spot and am going to go out this Saturday before dawn. I would love to get a bird before the season is out. If anyone is interested in coming along or wouldn't mind me and my dog coming with you please let me know. I guess this is the last hoorah and then I can do more research and hit the geese in February.
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Re: Another Newbie

Postby Vizsla Gus » Sat Jan 12, 2013 4:25 pm

How did your spot produce? The morning looked like a bust, but birds were moving. [album][/album]
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Re: Another Newbie

Postby timpy » Sat Jan 12, 2013 9:49 pm

It ended up being a great place to be, but I came up empty handed anyway. I arrived at dawn and set up along the shore in a shallow cove. The other side of the water was about 175 yards out. Almost right away there was activity and ducks were flying across the water. I had 2 flocks of geese come in as well. I had a few mallards come in pretty close and they landed the cove area. I took a shot on a drake and hit him, but we was able to make it to the other shore with the rest of the group. I don't really know how he did. I checked the spot and I had feathers there and his flight was labored, but he didn't drop. I think I need different loads.

The rest of the day was a real bust because the other shore was extremely active all day but since I don't own decoys yet every duck that would come through would see the group on the other shore and hang out with them. The same was true for the geese. They landed on the other side and would respond to my calls, but didn't swim across. The other shore was private property and I couldn't find the owner so I spent the rest of the day hoping a bird would check out my side of the water, but that never happened.

Total count for the day was 68 geese, 15 mallards, 8 divers, and 2 mystery ducks that were lightening quick and flew just above the water. What I have learned during my first season is that I need a kayak, decoys, and probably 3 1/2 inch loads instead of 3 inch number 4's.
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Re: Another Newbie

Postby Wobbling Wings Waterfowling » Sun Jan 13, 2013 7:59 am

Ehh 3 1/2" is overated in my opinion. Pick up some 3" #2 Kents... They should do ya some good!
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Re: Another Newbie

Postby timpy » Tue Jan 15, 2013 12:52 pm

I have been using 3" Kent Fasteel #4's and I thought they would have more punch. I haven't patterned those loads yet, although I really should have, but I hunt doves a lot so I know how to hit birds. I really think it is the loads, I will try the #2's though
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Re: Another Newbie

Postby Wobbling Wings Waterfowling » Tue Jan 15, 2013 1:07 pm

#4's are on the small side late in the yr for these big ducks. I use 4a early in the seaons when there teal and woodies around. Now that the blacks, mallards, divers of all sorts and such are around I go heavier. I think itl do ya some good buddie. Goodluck!
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Re: Another Newbie

Postby timpy » Tue Jan 15, 2013 1:18 pm

Thanks for the tip. If the number 4's are too light for mallards then I assume that I will need 2's or larger for geese in the next couple weeks correct?
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