Do you keep records

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Do you keep records

Postby EcatMagoo » Wed Nov 14, 2012 2:17 pm

A few years back I started a spread sheet on google docs. I log every hunt, species harvested, lost birds, shooting percentage, a
Birds per hunt,weather, etc.

Just curious as to how many of you guys keep formal records and what format you use. I'm kind of looking for a more polished system for keeping records.
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Re: Do you keep records

Postby dklaus1201 » Wed Nov 14, 2012 2:41 pm

i have a spreadsheet that i keep track of shots per bird and i use the DU journal app for all the rest of the stuff like conditions, location, etc. its OK and lets you save photos too.
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Re: Do you keep records

Postby FowlPwrcat » Wed Nov 14, 2012 3:07 pm

i keep track. Had done the spreadsheet. I just moved to the DU app. Im happy with it
Retrieves for 2011-12 Season: 57
Retrieves for 2012-13 Season: 67
Retrieves for 2013-14 Season: 171
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Re: Do you keep records

Postby TBS » Wed Nov 14, 2012 3:34 pm

I keep paper records such as the Ducks Unlimited hardback journal. I tell a short story describing the hunt and conditions. I then paste a photo of the hunt on the opposite page. I hope someday my children and grandchildren will get a kick out of looking through the pages and reading the stories.
http://product.half.ebay.com/The-Waterf ... 85&tg=info




Here is another journal I've used, but I prefer the DU hardback.
http://www.valleywaterfowlhunting.com/p ... l-journal/
IF I AGREED WITH YOU, WE'D BOTH BE WRONG.
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Re: Do you keep records

Postby Thedozer » Wed Nov 14, 2012 5:21 pm

I just stared one this year. I'm just using paper with the conditions,where we hunted, species etc. I'm mainly doing it to keep track of how many birds my dog has picked up and if he made a good or long blind. I wish I would of started one 11 years ago.
Good enough for the girls I date.
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Re: Do you keep records

Postby dippinsteve » Thu Nov 15, 2012 2:10 pm

Nope... I just go hunt.
2012 stats
Doves = 4
Teal =
Duck=
Goose=
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Re: Do you keep records

Postby sarjrr » Thu Nov 15, 2012 2:34 pm

I started keeping track 4 years ago using excel spreadsheet. I log date, place, shots fired, number of birds taken, and species of birds taken. I can track number of birds (and what type) year to year as well as shells per bird. Some hunts from the last couple years I can remember every minute, but some I only have the written record and dont remember much of the hunt itself at all. Cool thing is my kids started hunting 3 years ago, and I have logged their hunts too. As they get older and do their own log (hopefully) they will realize there is a record of every bird they have ever taken.
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Re: Do you keep records

Postby mudpack » Thu Nov 15, 2012 4:36 pm

I've kept a log of every hunt since 1990. I use a diary format. I take a tiny digital voice recorder on the hunt and record every duck brought down. I also record memorable details. I can go back and relive every hunt, every duck, during the off season.
Here's Monday's entry: (DOW is short for Dead On the Water)

Nov 12 18° clear calm. I wake up at 5AM, decide to go hunting.  I go alone to ________________, walk south to Skull Blind. Shoot time is 6:35, I pull in and park at about 6:40. Water is up about 3-4 inches from Saturday’s rain. There are also several new beaver dams between the put-in and the dam at Skull; two major, 3-4 minor. _______ has changed, much new phragmites and willows on the bank. No sign of recent human use anywhere! 7:10, I arrive at the blind (which is just a low pile of branches now), jumping 4 GW teal off the beaver pond. Don’t even have shells in the gun when a good flock of silent Canadas fly over me at about 40 yards….. Wishing I’d brought my new marsh seat, while I’m kneeling in the tall bulrush and willows on the north side of the water. Shooting 3”/3’s. Hide the sled in the willows, and cover it with the camo netting.
7:15 I’m trying to find my facemask, when swhooosh…about 8 wigeon and shovelers come in from the left, over the three mallard decoys right in front of me, and land to the right. I stand up, they jump.
1 shot – DOW. 2 shot – DOW. 3 shot – miss. The first one was a wigeon drake, the second one when I pick it up is a wigeon drake (imm). Sweet. Never did find the facemask. 
7:16 I'm reloading when two teal plunk down to my left. I stand, they jump. 1 shot – DOW…it’s feet up on the left. GW teal hen. I’m halfway to a limit, and I just got here! (and Rick didn’t want to come……!) I watch many flocks of geese…all three species….fly mostly from the east to the south. These are all 100yds up, though.
7:41 I’m standing up, looking for a flock of geese when I spot a bunch of ducks dropping from the east (left) into the hole. They come in FAST, like teal, and just like the first bunch, drop over the decoys and are landing to the right. About 15 wigeon! 1 shot – DOW. 2 shot – DOW to the right. I go pick up a nice wigeon drake (imm) and another nice wigeon drake (imm). I need one more….
But it doesn’t come. Did have a pair of mallards circle high several times, then fade off to the south and disappear behind the trees. Light westerly breeze and beautiful day. Clear water. So nice.
Pick up at 9:00 and walk back to the truck. I didn’t see any more ducks on the walk back, but saw several larger flocks during the hunt, all off to the east. Get back to the truck to find my facemask in my jacket’s pocket (where I’d looked three times!) and my marsh seat in the bottom of the sled. 
Shot six shells (and found the two I’d lost last time, in my left wader boot)
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Re: Do you keep records

Postby EcatMagoo » Thu Nov 15, 2012 8:31 pm

Thank you so much for sharing that mud pack. Would you be willing to share more of them? I loved reading that
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Re: Do you keep records

Postby 007 » Fri Nov 16, 2012 6:35 am

Ecat - great thread, thank you. My dad and I have kept records since 1994. Nothing fancy, just paper/pencil on mini-calendars. All I record is number and types of ducks harvested (have to retrieve them or we do not count them obviously). I keep a running tally going and then at the end of the season I usually figure ducks per hunt average, numbers of mallards, GW teal, gadwall, etc. When we have really memorable hunts I put a star by those and something about them - I give them names like, "The Majestic" or "The Bird Nest" lol. Then I write those hunts up into a full narrative and mail them to my dad - he loves that. If I shoot 5 mallard drakes, then I write "yahtzee" out to the side of the calendar entry. If we shoot 10 mallard drakes, that's "double yahtzee." (rare!). We eat everything that we kill, he shoots shovellers, ring-necks and buffleheads - I typically don't. Well, shovellers maybe :wink: ...

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Re: Do you keep records

Postby mudpack » Mon Nov 19, 2012 9:30 am

Okay, here's from Friday:
(CCC is short for Cool/Clear/Calm)

Nov 16 Friday 25.7° CCC. Tom B., his cousin Don, and I go to _________ and walk down to Skull.
Up at 4, leave at 5, shoot time is 6:31AM. It’s a 45 minute walk from the truck to the blind. We’re ready with about 5 minutes to spare…. Dead calm. I put out my jerk string and am shooting various odds and ends of shells.
6:40 Two greenheads come from behind, are landing in front of T and D, who are to my right. They knock them both down, but one escapes in the dark. Good sign.
6:50 I spot a single coming from the south, high. It comes right in, cupped and dropping from the left right over the decoys. 1 shot – DOW on my right, out about 10 yards. “Good shot!” from T. It’s a mallard drake.
7:40 A mallard hen and a teal swing around the area, then drop in, in front of T & D. They knock the suzie down, I sluice it twice. Tom is in the middle, getting it when a bird comes low over my decoys from the left. No time to think, just pull the trigger on it… 1 shot – miss. 2 shot – cartwheels it into the water on my right. A small, but prime wigeon drake. Tom’s Benelli won’t fire; clicks but won’t go off, so I loan him my gun. He is grateful, but keeps working on his gun until it fires, then gives my Browning back to me.
8:00 A mallard drake makes several passes over/around us. Its last pass is from the right, up about 20 yards, right over my decoys. 1 shot – miss. 2 shot – DOW on my left. A prime mallard drake!
8:27 I’m just sitting there, enjoying the place, and suddenly there’s a mallard drake 30 yards up over my decoys, from the right and curving away! One shot – dead on the far bank, by a little willow. I walk over and can’t find it for a minute (it was 3 yards further than I thought). A fat mallard drake.
We have several pairs and singles…all mallards…give us looks, but don’t come in. At 9:30, we decide to give it until 9:45, then pick up. At 9:40 a pair of high mallards is working us, when they are joined by a flock of about 20 more. This flock works and works, sometimes high, sometimes at 40 yards. Finally, they cup up from the right and drop in…10 yards on the other side of Tom and Don. A pair drift closer to them and they open up. Tom’s gun fires once then the hull sticks in the chamber. Don drops the hen. I shoot three times at the drake but can’t knock it down (should have been shooting my normal loads!). Not counting sluicing (4) their birds, I fire 9 shells. Most enjoyable.


I would enjoy reading some of you guy's records.
Last edited by mudpack on Wed Nov 21, 2012 12:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Do you keep records

Postby Kansie Pansie » Wed Nov 21, 2012 10:56 am

Good thread Ecat. Thanks for sharing mudpack. I'll have to consider the voice recorder.
I check in on the forum every so often and enjoy reading some of the threads. Below is a clip from the teal opener.
This MS Word journal is updated after every outdoor activity (dove, duck, deer, bass, crappie, flathead, pheasant, shed hunting, fly fishing, taxidermy, bands certs, bowfishing, turkey, etc.). I even throw in some game recipes or pretty much anything that I might want to look back on. After 3 years, it is currently 150 pages long broken down into years, starting with dove season and ending with flathead fishing. I even recorded my hunting background (with my dad as a youngster) and back-logged every hunt I could remember, this was fairly easy since I had pictures of most of them and didn't really start to hunt until I was 16 (currently mid-20s). 90% of the logs will contain a picture. The file is then converted to .pdf (to make the file smaller.) and saved to google drive. Which can be opened with the google drive app on the phone. Nobody has read the journal except me. There will come a day for that; possibly 10 or 20 years from now.

Several photos are taken of each activity and filed by type of game and date.

Along with the journal and pictures, I keep an Excel log containing date, location, hunters, # of birds, species of birds. This is only used for waterfowl. It is also saved to google drive and sharred (option on google drive) with a friend. After spring snow goose season the log is also placed into the journal.


Cutting through the air, a group of teal sounds like a jet engine. It is quite possibly my favorite sound. A teal is thought to be one of the fastest ducks; however, they have a typical flight speed of 30mph. Several ducks fly 40-50mph and a red breasted merganser was clocked at 100mph while being pursued by an airplane. Teal may not be the fastest ducks, but they sure are hard to hit. The size of a teal makes them appear to be flying at supersonic speeds and the erratic flight makes it difficult to draw a bead on them.
Joe was setting up the layout blinds and I was setting out the decoy spread when we heard the first group screaming just above our heads. It was barely light enough to see the silhouettes of a large group of teal against the grey sky. We typically do not hunt during teal season for lack of birds, but Joe had spotted 50 teal on _______ pond across the road from us. _______ pond has proven to be a roost, which the birds leave right about legal shooting time to cruise other ponds, including ours. Finally, after waiting 6 months we were water fowlers again. There was excitement in the air as we sunk into the concealment of our blinds. “Two minutes” Joe said, in reference to the legal shooting time for the morning. It was 6:28. I prayed “Dear Lord, we thank you for sharing your glorious nature and abundant wildlife, grant us wisdom and respect in the pursuit and keep us humble in the harvest, amen”. We were setup in the west cove of _______. Looking to the east we could see a group of birds flying against the pale-lit sky. I could hear the clinking of the calls on Joe’s lanyard as he reached for his teal whistle. “Not yet bud” I suggested. They would come in low and we would not be able to see them against the dark hillside in front of us. After a few minutes about 20 birds flew low into the spread. We unloaded! As suspected, we could not see well until the birds broke above the horizon. It was a disappointment. Our first four shells were fired aimlessly through the group and into the darkness of the water and land. Once they climbed, we could single out a bird and we dropped one bird each with our final shell. I immediately looked back to the water searching for one more downed bird. I noticed the water was still rippling around one of my new wigeon decoys. Yep, my new decoy was full of 3 shot. We later had a single come in which Joe took. This was followed by my single and then a pair. We managed to bag 6 birds by 7:30. They were all hen blue-wing teal. Joe and I needed 2 more birds to fill a limit. We talked about trying to pick out 2 nice drakes to finish the morning. After 30 unsuccessful minutes we decided to pack up; in hope that we did not scare every teal in the country. As we headed out the gate we decided to check some of the surrounding ponds. There were still about 50 teal on ______ pond. I glassed the birds and could not find one drake. I was stumped. We headed home and cleaned the birds. I was, later, thinking about the situation when I realized that I have never seen a drake blue-wing until they come back north in the spring. And that is when the light bulb came on. How could I be so ignorant?
After a quick Google search I verified my suspicion. Though we shoot several Green Winged Teal sporting breeding plumage in November and even December, Blue-wing teal migrate through my specific area in September and October. They keep their eclipse plumage until late December or January. By that time they should be in their wintering grounds of Texas or Mexico where they will molt and grow their breeding plumage before traveling back north to the breeding grounds. I went to the shop to inspect the carcasses. Sure enough, half of the birds had a row of white feathers between the blue and green feathers of the wings. These were the drakes. I realized that I would most likely never shoot a Blue Winged Teal in full breeding plumage. Though utterly disappointed, I was glad that the mystery was solved.
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Re: Do you keep records

Postby mudpack » Wed Nov 21, 2012 12:59 pm

Good reading, Pansie, and good information in there for those who didn't know how to tell drake BW from hens. :thumbsup:
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Re: Do you keep records

Postby wanapasaki » Wed Nov 21, 2012 1:09 pm

See my signature? That's how I log it for a season.
Give a man a duck... Feed him for a day... Teach him to fowl hunt... Feed him for a lifetime...Teach him in your spot... Learn to hunt a different spot....
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Re: Do you keep records

Postby LongTom » Thu Nov 22, 2012 11:17 pm

All I keep are the invoices from Rogers Sporting Goods on the orders of five cases or more of shotshells I order at one time.
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Re: Do you keep records

Postby dukhntr » Fri Nov 23, 2012 7:47 pm

This is a pretty sweet thread! Keep em up! I keep a small log, but not near as detailed as your guys! Keep at it! :clapping:
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Re: Do you keep records

Postby mudpack » Mon Nov 26, 2012 6:31 pm

Today's log included putting one American Black Duck in the bag. Other than that, there wasn't much to tell, so I won't bore you.... :thumbsup:
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Re: Do you keep records

Postby duckdozer » Tue Nov 27, 2012 7:22 am

mudpack wrote:Today's log included putting one American Black Duck in the bag. Other than that, there wasn't much to tell, so I won't bore you.... :thumbsup:


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Re: Do you keep records

Postby KSRedleg » Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:48 am

I've gone thru several iterations over the past 30 years. Started out with a notebook where I'd simply write down the date, time of day, location, name of hunters and bag. Some years later I created some log sheets in excel with boxes for the above as well as blind type, decoys used, comments on the weather, and number of shots. I'd fill those out and put them in a 3 ring binder. A few more years and I added an area for comments/notes about the hunt and started putting in pictures of people, ducks, blinds, etc.

The great thing about my log books for me is that it always reminds me that today isn't always the worst and the past was always the greatest. Helps keep me grounded. The other great thing is that no matter what you put into it (as long as you're honest), it will grow in value to you as the years go by.

So looking in my logbook, I can tell you that on December 8th, 1993 in Neosho county, my Dad and I hunted from 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM and killed 3 Mallards and a Blackduck on 8 shots. The weather was partly cloudy and warm with a south wind. Used a downed tree as a blind and had 16 mallard decoys out.
So far this year.....
10 Blonds
20 Brunettes
6 Redheads

;)
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Re: Do you keep records

Postby EcatMagoo » Tue Nov 27, 2012 4:30 pm

mudpack wrote:Today's log included putting one American Black Duck in the bag. Other than that, there wasn't much to tell, so I won't bore you.... :thumbsup:

Beauty!!!
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Re: Do you keep records

Postby CBRS » Tue Dec 04, 2012 10:46 pm

I think logs/journals are as valuable as decoys, guns or calls.
I started keeping one about 10 years ago up in Alaska and after a couple of years I could literally predict the best hunting dates.
Granted, when you are 150 miles from the artic circle the weather is alot more consistent from year to year.
But I hope now that I am in Kansas it'll pay off as well.
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Re: Do you keep records

Postby mudpack » Sun Dec 16, 2012 8:04 am

Dec 15 Saturday 43° Cloudy, moonless, west breeze, rained a little last night. 6AM, Mark B. and I take my truck and go to ______. We get to the south parking lot (Plan A was to go to the ___ ___ ___) but there’s a truck already there. :sad: Shoot time is 7:15 and it’s 6:30. Time for Plan B. We go back to the _____ and park, then wade upstream, past the deer stand about 200 yards and stop at a large beaver dam with a nice pool upstream of it. Set up a dozen or so mallard and four GW teal decoys, build two nice hides in the fork of a downed tree on the south bank, and are ready with five minutes to spare. Wind is from my left, Mark is immediately to my right. He hasn't shot a duck yet this year, so I'm hoping he'll get the first shots, if they come.
7:20 A flock of about 15 wigeon go over us headed downstream (right). They make a U-turn and come back to the decoys. They drop in, right in front of us. Once they get below the far bank it’s hard to pick out a target! I’m shooting at flashing wings for the first shot… 1 shot – DOW. 2 shot – down hard on the left. 3 shot – DOW near the line of cattails on the other side of the decoys. Mark drops one out on the far right. What a start!! I pick up three nice wigeon hens (Mark's is a drake). Find one green and a handful of red empties walking back; so someone has been here within the last two weeks....
7:28 We are no sooner back in the hides when three more wigeon come from the right, over the decoys. 1 shot – miss. 2 shot – DOW. I pick up a wigeon hen. Mark dropped another one.
7:35 Two more wigeon come from the right, fairly high. Mark takes the first bird, drops it. I take the second bird.. 1 shot – miss. 2 shot – DOW to my left out in the vegetation line. A wigeon drake.

7:45 I look to my left to see a single wigeon coming downstream, low. It comes right over the spread just as I tell Mark to take it. I can see that it will be gone before he can spot it and shoot, so I take the shot… 1 shot – DOW on the right, in the thin vegetation. Another wigeon drake! I’m done…my limit! First limit this year, and first limit ever of only wigeon. Sweet. Five minutes later another single wigeon comes from the left and Mark drops it. We have 10 wigeon in the bag. Now we just need two greenheads to fill out his limit… :biggrin: What a great day this has been! . We decide to stick it out to get Mark’s last two birds. At 8:45, Mark says “On the left!”. Two greenheads (!) are coming in low!! The wind has almost died and they are cupped up to land. Mark drops the first one, hits the second and finishes it with his third shot, on the FAR side of the pond. The first bird is swimming but Mark’s gun is empty, so I sluice it. SWEET! We are done. As Mark is picking up his mallards, four wigeon and a greenhead fly high over us, twinkling in the sunlight. Nice. We pick up, head back, kicking up a greenhead and a GW out from in front of the deer stand on the way. 8 shots fired. (plus one to sluice Mark’s greenhead)
Last edited by mudpack on Sun Dec 16, 2012 7:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Do you keep records

Postby mudpack » Sun Dec 16, 2012 8:19 am

My log tells me Where I saw birds (or didn't), what birds I saw, the number of birds, when the most activity was, weather, type of spread, and how the birds reacted to my spot/spread. It helps me in later hunts. I also log small things I tend to forget like "After I shoot, stay put if I can; many times the shots will stir up other birds and they can show up suddenly."
I'l also write in little things that show up during the hunt and that need to be taken care of: "replace cap light batteries" or "put small camo net in decoy sled"
Helps me remember that all days are not good and all days are not bad. For instance: the day before that hunt on Saturday, I'd gone to the same area (within 300 yards of the spot, actually), sat there all morning, and left without seeing a bird. Then, the next day, had a great hunt!
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Re: Do you keep records

Postby EcatMagoo » Sun Dec 16, 2012 10:08 am

Great post! I have not shot a bird since thanksgiving. Your journal log was a breath of fresh air! Well done!
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Re: Do you keep records

Postby mudpack » Sun Dec 16, 2012 5:58 pm

Thank you, Ecat.
One certain thing I'll take from my log, as I read these last posts in the future, is that a birdless day one morning doesn't necessarily mean a poor day the next...
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