How do you tell them apart??

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How do you tell them apart??

Postby Apoc » Sun Oct 30, 2011 1:09 am

I’m thinking about getting into duck hunting next year so iv been going out and watching them as they migrate this fall. here in Ohio there is a list of how many birds you can bag by species. I looked them up online but many look very similar. iv been dove hunting and realize some of this just comes with time but id hate to cross jonny law on my first trip out. any tips would be helpful.

Ohio
DAILY BAG LIMITS
• Ducks: Daily bag limit of 6 ducks not to include more than 4 mallards (only 1 of which may be a hen), 3 wood
ducks, 1 black duck, 2 redheads, 2 scaup (bluebill), 1 canvasback, 1 mottled duck, or 2 pintails.
• Mergansers: Daily bag limit of 5, not to include more than 2 hooded mergansers.
• Coots: Daily bag limit of 15.
• Geese: Daily bag limit of 2 Canada geese, 10 light geese (snows, blues, or Ross’), 2 white‑fronted geese, and 1 brant.




I know mallards and Canada geese and think I could spot a pintails and wood duck. that’s about it. saw some small brown ducks today at a local lake. they would dive under to feed but didn’t seem to have any markings. to small for mallard hens I think.
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Re: How do you tell them apart??

Postby aunt betty » Sun Oct 30, 2011 12:01 pm

Oh boy. To just go it alone is tough. How do I know? I did it.

Better off finding a buddy or two who has more experience. Pay a guide if necessary.

Try to avoid shooting brown ducks because if you don't know what you're doing it could turn into a hen canvasback or something out of season when you pick it up.

Pick a couple species known to be in your area and concentrate on shooting those. Learn what they look like and where they hang out. What do they eat? All this kind of information helps give a hunter an educated guess as to where to begin looking for ducks.

Learn the calls they make and the sounds they make as well.

The way to tell ducks apart is quite easy and complicated at the same time. At long distances the cadence of the wingbeats gives a clue. Are they big or small? Faster wingbeats are smaller ducks. Do they fly in a line? Or in a tight little bunch? Do they jockey constantly for position or fly in rigid formation?

What shape is the bill? What color? What color are its feet? Head color? What color is it's chest? The bars on the wings are also a big clue as to what species the duck is. You have to look and see all this stuff quickly and decide if it is one you want to shoot.

ID'ing ducks is something we have to deal with. I really like shooting wood ducks, mallards, pintails, gadwalls, teal, red heads, cans and a couple others but try to avoid some of the less tasty varieties. Greenheads is what I really love to shoot the most.
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Re: How do you tell them apart??

Postby alanwebfoot » Sun Oct 30, 2011 12:42 pm

there are particulars in color patterns that will tell you quicker what is what ,rather than small little details ,in other words white on the wing widgeon ,,sqared tail woodduck ,redhead black bill can,, redhead bluebill redhead,grebes have small chicken like ''bills'' so do coots ,your'e allowed 15 coots a day but grebes are protected ,grebes are brown coots like coal are black,you'd be suprised how time seems to stand still when some birds drop in you can pick out drakes from hens or species apart,,concentrate on ONE bird at a time you'll see him clearly,,,go to ducks unlimited and ''play'' their duck ID games there are several its free and if you mess up ,nobody consficates your shotgun or fines you.
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Re: How do you tell them apart??

Postby ctdeathfrombelow » Tue Nov 01, 2011 2:45 pm

I was fortunate enough to go to a high school that had a natural resources class and one year we had waterfowl ID.You dont need a class to learn, but it DOES help. Some states have waterfowl ID courses offered for free. Or you can learn online, DU has a waterfowl ID quiz and pictures. But there are several ways to identify all types of birds especialy waterfowl. First is obviously the color but depending on the species and time of year that may be hard. Next would be size, a Mallard is not the same size as a Teal for example. Next would be shape. While a pintail is flying you can notice the long tail feathers where as on a Wood duck you will notice the teardrop head and proportionately shorter neck than other ducks. Another way is speed and flight formation. For example Teal fly fast and eraticly and a mallrd will fly in straighter lines and maintain altitude. Sound during flight also helps. And finally know what birds are in the same area as you.
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Re: How do you tell them apart??

Postby Apoc » Wed Nov 02, 2011 6:19 pm

Thanks for the help. Think im gonna try to find a book to help. Iv been watching for different kinds of water foul on my way home from work. I drive through a good size DNR wetlands habitat on my way home. Iv been asking everyone I know if they know anyone who hunts water foul for a few years but no one seems to. So I gave up and going alone next year if I have to.
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