winter hunting questions

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winter hunting questions

Postby jake001 » Mon Dec 10, 2012 5:44 pm

Ok, so ive been wondering about tactics, and places to hunt once the swamps all freeze up. I hear constantly about how well the hunting is post freeze, and am excited to see how it is. But despite all the thought and research put into where or how, I'm drawing a blank. I would think warm moving water places or fields. I sadly don't know anyone with a field and bein my first year into this, don't know what to look for, for warm water. Any advice or tips would be nice. Not asking for ur special spot, and once everything actually freezes ill scout for that situation.
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Re: winter hunting questions

Postby one8sevenn » Mon Dec 10, 2012 8:42 pm

Find an area with open water. See if the ducks are there in the evening.

In the winter, ducks will wait until the ice thaws a little bit to fly.

Snowy days are always a good time.

Last year I had blue bird days and I got slammed at 1 pm with flock after flock of mallards.

The geese typically hit the fields and come back to the marsh in the afternoon.

The key is to find open water that the ducks use and load up as many decoys as you possibly can and hunt that spot all day.
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Re: winter hunting questions

Postby jake001 » Mon Dec 10, 2012 9:53 pm

Would it be worthwhile to make ur own open water? Day prior or morning of break up the ice and setup on? I've also heard of doing this, and setting decoys on the edge of the ice as well. Any opinions on this? Really excited for the challenge. Especially with the season goin as good as its been.
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Re: winter hunting questions

Postby Wack em', stack em', pack em' » Mon Dec 10, 2012 10:24 pm

Jake, I have hunted both ways you two are talking about. Breakin' ice always does the trick if you are in an area where there are ducks around. I personally have a spot down here with some boys that flows into another body of water, hardly ever freezes... it's good. Count on me ;)
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Re: winter hunting questions

Postby wanapasaki » Mon Dec 10, 2012 10:31 pm

Go talk to anyone at your local dfg or blm office about any hot springs along the river in your neck of the woods. Lots of times, when ponds and lakes freeze over, hot springs become the perfect pit stop for waterfowl. I also like hunting coves off the river, as the usually receive enough flow to keep them from freezing up. Last but not least, look for small strands of land or islands in the river, that you are capable of walking out to and even past it, in case you down a bird further. Lots of birds like to post up on and around these pieces of land to catch a break during their long navigation. Make sure your using deeks
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Re: winter hunting questions

Postby one8sevenn » Tue Dec 11, 2012 4:06 pm

If you are where the ducks want to be, you'll have a good time.
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Re: winter hunting questions

Postby jake001 » Tue Dec 11, 2012 4:27 pm

Thanks for the advice. Should be a good time either way.
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Re: winter hunting questions

Postby richyrich307 » Tue Dec 11, 2012 6:12 pm

Should your calling change at all when the freeze really hits and you are hunting those honey holes, aggressive or soft or does it just depend on the ducks and the day?
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Re: winter hunting questions

Postby MountainGreenhead » Tue Dec 11, 2012 8:59 pm

I hunted a reservoir this morning that is 98% iced up. (limit of ducks and 1 goose) Look for the spots on bodies of water where a creek or canal enters and you will kill birds. The area I hunted was about 300 yards long by 50 wide of ice free water. The trick is to make the decoys look natural and "resting." These areas are not feeding spots usually, they are more daytime stop for ducks and geese. Hide well and call soft, most of the birds will come in silent.
If you can find a creek or river near you that is holding birds, SCOUT it well. Most of the time you can be 100 yards off the right spot and just watch mallards drop on it all day. If you put yourself in the spot you have seen birds using, most of your shots will be 20 yards and closer.
Good luck and always put extra clothes in the vehicle. A winter morning wader fill-up can wreck your day real fast. :crying:
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Re: winter hunting questions

Postby wanapasaki » Tue Dec 11, 2012 9:24 pm

richyrich307 wrote:Should your calling change at all when the freeze really hits and you are hunting those honey holes, aggressive or soft or does it just depend on the ducks and the day?


IMO calling on cold days should be calm and light. Are you more active when your cold or warm? If it's warmer outside, above freezing (32F and up) I will be more agressive when I call. If you listen to teal in the cold, their chirps have a lot more base almost like it could come from a wigeon and less frequent. When its warm, they chirp high pitched and ALOT. So if your planning on hunting a cold day, I usually stick with very FEW quacks and more quacking on a warmer day. Hope this helps. Good luck!
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Re: winter hunting questions

Postby one8sevenn » Tue Dec 11, 2012 11:43 pm

Two Calls - Mallard Drake and a Soft Quack.
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Re: winter hunting questions

Postby JuniorPre 360 » Tue Dec 11, 2012 11:51 pm

I have had some good luck using a 5 tone greeting call.
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Last edited by JuniorPre 360 on Wed Dec 12, 2012 11:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: winter hunting questions

Postby richyrich307 » Wed Dec 12, 2012 9:06 am

Good info here guys. It is much appreciated. Thank you.
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