smitty14 wrote:Hello Prairie bell,
I just joined this site, too. I am originally from PA and didn't grow up in the hunting world at all, but found out I love shooting. I'm trying to get into hunting (particularly duck) and wondering if you had any suggestions, as apparently you went the same route.
Hi smitty - welcome to the site and the world of waterfowling! In my experience duck hunting was the hardest world to break into - mostly because I didn't know very many people who hunted waterfowl and the ones I did know were pretty cliquey. There aren't many women and what I found is that most people a) didn't take me seriously or b) thought I was slumming for dates. I think I've proved them all wrong.
I don't know much about your part of the country, but I would try to get in with some conservation groups - Pheasants Forever, Delta Waterfowl, Ducks Unlimited... you might call one of the regional reps and ask if they have any youth/women/beginning hunter workshops. Another good resource is the local hunters education instructors, they usually know everyone and can give you a heads up if there are special hunts or classes coming up. BOW is great, too. I guess the #1 thing for me was getting out and meeting people who are active in the sport. I spent my first couple of seasons on my own, and I will always have an appreciation for the solo hunt... but there's something to be said about the social aspect of waterfowling and I learned a lot faster from watching others! :) Oh - and even if you can't be in the blind... get yourself a good pair of binoculars and watch the ducks! You'll have a head start on duck ID and behavior.. plus, its fun!
Feel free to shoot me a PM and I'll give you my email if you ever want to pick my brain -- and if you come through my neck of the woods, we can try to get you on some birds.