WE NEED MORE PUBLIC WETLANDS!!!

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WE NEED MORE PUBLIC WETLANDS!!!

Postby Craxty » Sat Oct 15, 2011 6:21 pm

I realize that this is not a news flash to you all, but man, I got skunked. Pulled up to a spot I had picked out for weeks. Checked it out no less than 15 to 20 times, at all different times each day: morning, afternoon and evening. Never saw a SOUL there but ducks were'a flyin'. I show up early this morning with what I thought was a good safe margin given it's public and a fair allowance for my naïveté, and when I roll in all I see is trucks. For a minute I held out hope that it was deer hunters. My headlights took a quick pass across the line only to reveal DU stickers! I just turned around and went home.

[this is where you guys give a good chuckle to yourself]

I tried for a couple private places that I "scoogled" but I wasn't given permission.

It sucks to be green.

I hope you guys had a good one. Post some great pics. I thought for sure I would have my first green head today! Here is looking forward to tomorrow!
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Re: WE NEED MORE PUBLIC WETLANDS!!!

Postby ohio mike » Sat Oct 15, 2011 9:35 pm

This is Ohio,find a spot and wait . One of the good things about a lot of people is they keep the birds moving. If your in a out of the way spot it will get you some shooting especially with local birds.Oh yea I agree we need more public wetlands. Hang in there a lot of guys are gone after the first week or so.
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Re: WE NEED MORE PUBLIC WETLANDS!!!

Postby Craxty » Sun Oct 16, 2011 7:20 am

Thanks Mike.

After that first week are the birds already skittish? Do all the local birds get blasted and then all you have are migratory? I noticed that the birds favored this one spot on this marsh/large pond and every time I scouted it they were there, sometimes 10-20 green heads and woodies. If someone was shooting in your spot in the AM is it fair to assume birds will return there in the PM or are they spooked at that point or should I just wait for this first week to be over?
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Re: WE NEED MORE PUBLIC WETLANDS!!!

Postby HNTFSH » Sun Oct 16, 2011 11:45 am

Craxty wrote:Thanks Mike.

After that first week are the birds already skittish? Do all the local birds get blasted and then all you have are migratory? I noticed that the birds favored this one spot on this marsh/large pond and every time I scouted it they were there, sometimes 10-20 green heads and woodies. If someone was shooting in your spot in the AM is it fair to assume birds will return there in the PM or are they spooked at that point or should I just wait for this first week to be over?


Too many factors for all that. Plan A, Plan B and Plan C. Going out and being there is what teaches you what you need to know.

You should never return home!!!!!!!! :hammer: :hammer: You learned absolutely NOTHING! :hammer: :yes:

You can't kill birds sitting on your couch (believe that is Barta). :lol3:
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Re: WE NEED MORE PUBLIC WETLANDS!!!

Postby ohio mike » Sun Oct 16, 2011 11:05 pm

Craxty wrote:Thanks Mike.

After that first week are the birds already skittish? Do all the local birds get blasted and then all you have are migratory? I noticed that the birds favored this one spot on this marsh/large pond and every time I scouted it they were there, sometimes 10-20 green heads and woodies. If someone was shooting in your spot in the AM is it fair to assume birds will return there in the PM or are they spooked at that point or should I just wait for this first week to be over?


Most guys pack up and leave about noon. And yea the birds will come back in the evening, at least for the first few days unless they've been hammered real bad. A lot of the time if you can squeeze a hunt in during the middle of the week everything will be as it should be and you will do ok. Hang in there and keep hunting,like HNTFSH said you can't kill birds on the couch. Thats one of the good things about having a dog,somebody to talk to when things get slow if you hunt by yourself. Woodies are by nature a shy bird but like to roost in the same place every night,although they may not come in until after shooting time once pressured. If your there at nightfall unload your gun and watch its cool. Don't always need to kill to have fun and you'll know if its gonna be good in the morning. Keep us posted. By the way if you get a woodie pluck it and roast it. I like onion and garlic powder with a little sage. Best eating of all the ducks in my opinion. Cans are overrated.
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Re: WE NEED MORE PUBLIC WETLANDS!!!

Postby ohiopaul » Mon Oct 17, 2011 9:12 am

Craxty,

You must have been hunting somewhere that i was near 14 trucks at my plan A spot, got lucky on my Plan B and hung in there and another group joined with me and had a good hunt, If you every want to get out PM me warning i am new to duck hunting and also to Ohio but i do enjoy getting out.

Mike i think i may try that recipe i shot a few of them woodies this weekend.
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Re: WE NEED MORE PUBLIC WETLANDS!!!

Postby HNTFSH » Mon Oct 17, 2011 9:25 am

I helped put a friend on a spot for the opener (public land) by asking him to walk it a few days before and verify the water, etc. He did - so Bravo. It's a spot that requires a little effort to get to but not terrible. 3 ponds.

He got there early and saw 11 trucks. He walked back anyway. NOBODY was on any of 'em. Everyone was hunting the obvious.

He clocked two Woodies and was out at 10:00.

We were out on public land last evening. There was nobody. Saturday morning openers on public land is the most likely chance to see the most folks. I'll bet Saturday evening there were 30% as many people.
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Re: WE NEED MORE PUBLIC WETLANDS!!!

Postby Craxty » Mon Oct 17, 2011 7:13 pm

I admit I got intimidated. First off, I didn't have a reasonably local "plan B." That was my first mistake. The thing that gets me is that this hole is not very big and to see all the trucks I had no idea what to do. Are you just supposed to find an open spot not near anyone in the pitch dark? I don't want to hunt 10 feet from some guy. Plus I don't have a dog so I need to have walked through that area of the marsh to know I can navigate it in the dark. Sometimes I step in there when I can see the bottom and I'll sink 4 feet. I'm not going to put the smack on a bird and not be able to retrieve it. So unless I've really checked it out I'm not doing it. I can guarantee I probably picked the "obvious" spots and I got burnt. I'm learning though.

I'm sure it's just like Ohio Pheasant hunting. I go opening day and get a couple of birds. There is always an army out. Last couple years I've gone the day after and had the place to myself. Fewer birds obviously but it was more memorable walking the fields in peace and I still manage to find some birds with no dog. Opening day is perhaps overrated. I always enjoy myself when it's me and the birds. I'd like to think I've got the place to myself. Delusional I realize.

It reminds me of Salt Fork and early muzzle loader. Every time I've been there it's like I'm in Iraq. It's warfare.

To tell you the truth. I'll drive 1 or 2 hours to go to a refuge that has a lottery. I take the risk of not getting pulled but i tell you what... if you do get pulled it's about as real as it gets. Nothing like having 25 acres of marsh to yourself. To me it's worth the gamble. Sitting with 25 guys on 8 acres somehow diminishes it. I'm all about harvesting birds but I love the whole experience and the harvest is only part of it.
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Re: WE NEED MORE PUBLIC WETLANDS!!!

Postby HNTFSH » Tue Oct 18, 2011 7:08 am

Craxty wrote:I admit I got intimidated. First off, I didn't have a reasonably local "plan B." That was my first mistake. The thing that gets me is that this hole is not very big and to see all the trucks I had no idea what to do. Are you just supposed to find an open spot not near anyone in the pitch dark? I don't want to hunt 10 feet from some guy. Plus I don't have a dog so I need to have walked through that area of the marsh to know I can navigate it in the dark. Sometimes I step in there when I can see the bottom and I'll sink 4 feet. I'm not going to put the smack on a bird and not be able to retrieve it. So unless I've really checked it out I'm not doing it. I can guarantee I probably picked the "obvious" spots and I got burnt. I'm learning though.

I'm sure it's just like Ohio Pheasant hunting. I go opening day and get a couple of birds. There is always an army out. Last couple years I've gone the day after and had the place to myself. Fewer birds obviously but it was more memorable walking the fields in peace and I still manage to find some birds with no dog. Opening day is perhaps overrated. I always enjoy myself when it's me and the birds. I'd like to think I've got the place to myself. Delusional I realize.

It reminds me of Salt Fork and early muzzle loader. Every time I've been there it's like I'm in Iraq. It's warfare.

To tell you the truth. I'll drive 1 or 2 hours to go to a refuge that has a lottery. I take the risk of not getting pulled but i tell you what... if you do get pulled it's about as real as it gets. Nothing like having 25 acres of marsh to yourself. To me it's worth the gamble. Sitting with 25 guys on 8 acres somehow diminishes it. I'm all about harvesting birds but I love the whole experience and the harvest is only part of it.


I'm only pushing because I think you're getting closer. :thumbsup: Mike's right - Pressure will drop off AND think outside the box of 'when' you go - if you have some flexibility on a weekend. A lot of guys want to watch football or be in sports bars so Saturday morning is the only time they go out. I get some pretty nice hunts walking in and setting up at 3:00 pm and hunting till sunset.

Don't think I'll hunt the crowds either, in fact...it is rare someone is around at all much less on my patch of water - opening day morning being what it is - I'd skip it unless I had a real out-of-the-way spot. If there's a parking lot - it ain't out-of-the-way. :lol3:

Solo hunters have a big advantage. You don't need as much cover to hide, as big a spot, and you can be as mobile as you want. You only need to have a few birds drop in to have an excellent day. Those may well be the birds that were shot of larger parcels. You also only need 1/2 dozen dekes in your pack and maybe a mojo. Two ducks going home is a good day in central Ohio.

I look at stuff all year, not just a month before the duck season. Lowlands and flood areas are easy to spot and while they're dry in July...you can do the math for their potential with a wet fall. If you stick with the obvious...so has everyone else.

I quit doing that early black powder season for all the same reasons and bought a crossbow. I'll muzzle load hunt those few days in January or during deer gun if on private property. If IU really want a deer - I'll crossbow hunt beginning September through October.

The pheasant release the same - everybody and their brother is out (it's in the frickin' newspaper for God's sake :lol3: ). As you said - a few days after or even later in the day the crowds thin out. It's made to keep license sales up for the guys who want an easy bird. And that IS the masses. While I haven't hunted those areas in a few years...the benefit of a dog trained for it means I can work a field for about 20 minutes and tell if that was a release spot or not. If not - move to another till you find the birds.

It's really a thinking mans game for birds in Central Ohio. Time, location, opportunity, multiple plans in the event plan A doesn't work out. Sometimes plan B works out better. :lol3: It's really how smart you work not how hard - and that comes with experience being out there with some trial and error, plenty of hunts seeing nothing and thinking about/doing something about it year round.

I know two wild pheasant public spots that have been very productive for me the last two years got replanted with beans this year. Nesting & hunting cover reduced by 90%. Knowing that ahead of time means I won't show up and find out on the opener. BUT...as other who DO pull up at sunrise to hunt it - and then shift to another spot in a hurry...I'll go back late in the day if needed and hunt the remaining cover.

Lastly - as Mike also said - A well trained dog gets you through a lot and frankly increases all your opportunity 10 fold. I wouldn't put near as much effort into it and would be about 20% as successful without a dog. I'd still be a rabbit and deer hunter.

Sorry for the diatribe. I am just encouraging you if you really want to be successful hunting birds - you can be but you'll have to think on things differently and adapt. Many people can't or don't want to. It's a priority thing.
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Re: WE NEED MORE PUBLIC WETLANDS!!!

Postby Chance » Wed Oct 19, 2011 5:54 am

Craxty, at least now you know you've got to get to that spot real early. I have a first split spot on public land that I was at around 3:00AM last year. Still didn't stop some Delta Bravo (DB) from setting up 50 yards from me but I got to pick the spot. I'm passing on the opener this year to take my son deer hunting. He turned 6 this past weekend and when asked if he liked his presents he looked at mom and said I really just want to go hunting with dad, yeah it was pre-planned. Mom eventually gave the nod on a deer hunt on the family farm.

Now, Sunday through Wednesday I'll be in the marsh with the pup. HNTFSH and OhioMike have both mentioned the benefit of a good dog, which I don't have but he'll keep me company and if one drops on his head he may find it.

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