Hunting etiquette question

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Hunting etiquette question

Postby willy7072 » Sun Sep 22, 2013 9:52 pm

I have never hunted duck but am very excited to start this year. unfortunately I did dot get into any drawings on time. I am near the Des Plaines State Fish & Wildlife Area and would like to give it a try.
I read on the DNR web site that if a blind is unclaimed 1/2 hour prior to hunt time that I can use it.
Not knowing any proper hunting etiquette, could someone please tell me how long I should wait for the blind owners before I set up on someones blind and how I go about Finding an unclaimed blind? Is it okay to ride around in the boat and look for blinds without decoys in front of it during legal hunting hours or would that piss everyone off?
Also I do not have a dog and if I do get a duck that I can not reach with my waders is it bad to use the boat to go and get it?
Everyone on this site has been very helpful and I would not like to screw up someones hunt with my rookie mistakes so your advise would be great. :help:
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Re: Hunting etiquette question

Postby wanapasaki » Sun Sep 22, 2013 10:08 pm

Willy, if the regs say that if a blind is left unoccupied for 1/2 before legal shoot time and no one is there, ten by all means, take the blind. However, if they do show up, have that regulation printed and in your pocket for quick reference. If the hunters continue to hassle you A. Call your field warden or B. Offer to make some room to hunt with them. Don't cruise up and down looking for a blind. That will piss people off to the max, and you might get into a confrontation. Go ahead and scout before your season opens and see where there might be some possible abandoned blinds or ones that you can fill if no one is around. If your boat has a motor, use a paddle to get to your duck. Cruising up and down the river will really make people mad. Anyways stay safe and have fun. Don't hesitate to ask for more advice. That's what we are here for :thumbsup:
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Re: Hunting etiquette question

Postby biscuitsandgravy » Sun Sep 22, 2013 11:43 pm

I would hope you know where the blinds are and you have an idea where you want to hunt before going out in the morning. Retrieving a downed bird by boat will not upset anyone, crowding them or aimlessly wandering in the boat will not get you in good graces. If the blind is not claimed 30 min. before shooting time its fair game, any blind owner who even comes close to pushing the time frame is lazy and opening themselves up to bs. There is always a blind to hunt except for opening week-end at DCA, some are better than others, up to you to figure that out. Good luck and enjoy the river.
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Re: Hunting etiquette question

Postby Blackcloud870 » Mon Sep 23, 2013 5:28 am

Born of these guys are right willie. Scout the area first, but in all likelihood, you will probably not find an unoccupied blind out there on opening weekend (and Thanksgiving weekend) but that's about the only time that will be the case.
Regarding the retrieval of downed birds; You'll have to be lucky to get one or there in the first place :hi:
But know the waters around the blind you intend to hunt, as many of them DO NOT have water that is shallow enough to safely wade, and you could end up ruining a hunt in a hurry. This is why it is so important to scout well before the season opens. Good luck man :beer:
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Re: Hunting etiquette question

Postby Sprigs68 » Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:23 pm

Great question with some good responses. The first thing is to scout out the area you intend to hunt and make note of water depths, stump fields, etc... You will want to have a game plan before you leave in the morning and have a plan b and c. If the blind is not claimed 30 minutes before shooting hours,it's yours. If confronted after that be courteous, size up your fellow hunters and offer to allow them to hunt with you, but only if you're comfortable. Regardless it's your blind for the day.

If plan a fails, you will have 30 minutes to find a blind and deploy your decoys - at this time of morning you should have a little light to navigate as long as you know where you're going.

It's perfectly appropriate to retrieve downed birds with your boat but make sure no action is taking place and be quick.

Common courtesy around here is to limit boat activities until after 9am when the action slows down. Many guys will go home after this time if things are slow or they have to go to work. A good time to pickup a vacant blind. It will be tough to find an unclaimed blind opening weekend or thanksgiving weekend, however you should be able to find a decent blind later in the day with the possibility of some good afternoon hunting. Check the closing time for your local area.
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Re: Hunting etiquette question

Postby sureshot 612 » Mon Sep 23, 2013 9:47 pm

scouting is a must , you should be out there now if you have a GPS and mark the blind sights that you can get from the DNR. you dont want to be driving around in the dark. if i were you i would not try to get there blinds the first few weeks, i would still scout on them days to see who is using the blinds . you say you are near Des Plaines ,there are a # of areas near there for you to hunt ,if you get a chance to get out M-TH you are better off. good luck and the others who gave replys it is all good advice. its not going to be easy the first year. let us all know what kind of hunting you have done and what brings you to duck hunting ,
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Re: Hunting etiquette question

Postby aunt betty » Tue Sep 24, 2013 7:20 am

Not meant for OP but I believe it should be said...
If you hunt public and it is first come first served put out a bright light on your blind.
I call this leaving the porch light on.
Why? Someone can see from a long distance that the blind is occupied.
It works! Coleman lantern makes setting up decoys easy.

I set my lantern on the bow of my boat-blind to ward off the late comers.
They have to check and see...its frustrating to get all that way and be stopped cold in the dark.
This issue works both ways and if ppl keep bumbling in on you and then going Aww crap! Thats your problem.

I hope this helps. Turn off lights at 20 minutes to LST and itll be fine.
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Re: Hunting etiquette question

Postby DRYLOK » Tue Sep 24, 2013 9:10 am

aunt betty wrote:Not meant for OP but I believe it should be said...
If you hunt public and it is first come first served put out a bright light on your blind.
I call this leaving the porch light on.
Why? Someone can see from a long distance that the blind is occupied.
It works! Coleman lantern makes setting up decoys easy.

I set my lantern on the bow of my boat-blind to ward off the late comers.
They have to check and see...its frustrating to get all that way and be stopped cold in the dark.
This issue works both ways and if ppl keep bumbling in on you and then going Aww crap! Thats your problem.

I hope this helps. Turn off lights at 20 minutes to LST and itll be fine.

I had a spot held in the far back reaches of a certain cove on a certain lake one morning. Turned my light on and laid down the boat to sleep while waiting for shooting time. The battery went dead on my light while asleep and some guys had made the long trek to the back of the cove only to have me wake up, realize my light was off and burn them with my spot light when they were only 50 yrds away. I felt terrible
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Re: Hunting etiquette question

Postby aunt betty » Tue Sep 24, 2013 10:02 am

DRYLOK wrote:
aunt betty wrote:Not meant for OP but I believe it should be said...
If you hunt public and it is first come first served put out a bright light on your blind.
I call this leaving the porch light on.
Why? Someone can see from a long distance that the blind is occupied.
It works! Coleman lantern makes setting up decoys easy.

I set my lantern on the bow of my boat-blind to ward off the late comers.
They have to check and see...its frustrating to get all that way and be stopped cold in the dark.
This issue works both ways and if ppl keep bumbling in on you and then going Aww crap! Thats your problem.

I hope this helps. Turn off lights at 20 minutes to LST and itll be fine.

I had a spot held in the far back reaches of a certain cove on a certain lake one morning. Turned my light on and laid down the boat to sleep while waiting for shooting time. The battery went dead on my light while asleep and some guys had made the long trek to the back of the cove only to have me wake up, realize my light was off and burn them with my spot light when they were only 50 yrds away. I felt terrible
I will set up freaky early and sleep as well.
Knowing I am on the X makes me sleep real good. :thumbsup:
INTERNET CREDIBILITY is...an OXYMORON. :moon:
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Re: Hunting etiquette question

Postby willy7072 » Thu Sep 26, 2013 4:13 pm

Thanks for the help everyone.
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Re: Hunting etiquette question

Postby deathranger333 » Thu Sep 26, 2013 7:25 pm

aunt betty wrote:
DRYLOK wrote:
aunt betty wrote:Not meant for OP but I believe it should be said...
If you hunt public and it is first come first served put out a bright light on your blind.
I call this leaving the porch light on.
Why? Someone can see from a long distance that the blind is occupied.
It works! Coleman lantern makes setting up decoys easy.

I set my lantern on the bow of my boat-blind to ward off the late comers.
They have to check and see...its frustrating to get all that way and be stopped cold in the dark.
This issue works both ways and if ppl keep bumbling in on you and then going Aww crap! Thats your problem.

I hope this helps. Turn off lights at 20 minutes to LST and itll be fine.

I had a spot held in the far back reaches of a certain cove on a certain lake one morning. Turned my light on and laid down the boat to sleep while waiting for shooting time. The battery went dead on my light while asleep and some guys had made the long trek to the back of the cove only to have me wake up, realize my light was off and burn them with my spot light when they were only 50 yrds away. I felt terrible
I will set up freaky early and sleep as well.
Knowing I am on the X makes me sleep real good. :thumbsup:



How can you sleep. I'm always too amped up to sleep.
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Re: Hunting etiquette question

Postby aunt betty » Thu Sep 26, 2013 7:31 pm

deathranger333 wrote:
aunt betty wrote:
DRYLOK wrote:
aunt betty wrote:Not meant for OP but I believe it should be said...
If you hunt public and it is first come first served put out a bright light on your blind.
I call this leaving the porch light on.
Why? Someone can see from a long distance that the blind is occupied.
It works! Coleman lantern makes setting up decoys easy.

I set my lantern on the bow of my boat-blind to ward off the late comers.
They have to check and see...its frustrating to get all that way and be stopped cold in the dark.
This issue works both ways and if ppl keep bumbling in on you and then going Aww crap! Thats your problem.

I hope this helps. Turn off lights at 20 minutes to LST and itll be fine.

I had a spot held in the far back reaches of a certain cove on a certain lake one morning. Turned my light on and laid down the boat to sleep while waiting for shooting time. The battery went dead on my light while asleep and some guys had made the long trek to the back of the cove only to have me wake up, realize my light was off and burn them with my spot light when they were only 50 yrds away. I felt terrible
I will set up freaky early and sleep as well.
Knowing I am on the X makes me sleep real good. :thumbsup:



How can you sleep. I'm always too amped up to sleep.

When you leave the house at 10pm, drive 90 minutes, launch boat, boatride, setup dekes, and the blind...I am exhausted. It is easy.
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Re: Hunting etiquette question

Postby willy7072 » Fri Sep 27, 2013 10:15 pm

sureshot,
The only hunting I have done in the past was rabbit hunting with my old man many years ago but I have always wanted to get out and hunt again, many good memories were made with my father on those few hunts. Now my son is turning 7 and I would like to be to be able to take him out in a few years.
What is M-TH?
Thanks again to for the advise everyone.
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Re: Hunting etiquette question

Postby rookiey1 » Fri Sep 27, 2013 10:35 pm

M-th .... Days of the week, probably cause it won't be busy during weekdays verse weekends.
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Re: Hunting etiquette question

Postby Blackfeet Retrievers » Sat Sep 28, 2013 10:21 pm

Willy, once it gets to be duck weather, you can have your choice of about any one of the blinds on the Des Plaines. A lot of fair weather hunters, and honestly, not a lot of birds. You will see a lot, but most are coming off Dresden and Heidecke and they know where they are going. Good luck.
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Re: Hunting etiquette question

Postby sureshot 612 » Sun Sep 29, 2013 9:55 am

willy it is weekdays and the first few weeks will be hard to find a spot not being used. have you been out scouting since you started your post . stay safe during the season and you and your son will have a better time.
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