Opinion: How close is too close to set up?

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Opinion: How close is too close to set up?

Postby Maxgold » Tue Sep 24, 2013 2:46 pm

Looking for opinions.

Public land - Mississippi River, a lot of pressure.

What is the minimum distance one should set up when considering hunting near another groups spread?

I set up 260 yards from another group last year and I wasn't totally comfortable doing it, although I stayed and hunted. The reason I know it was 260 yards is when I got home I measured out the distance on Google earth and it showed the distance to be 260.

I hear of others saying 100 yards 150 etc and to me that is just insane and totally unacceptable.

Opinions?
Last edited by Maxgold on Tue Sep 24, 2013 4:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Opinion: How close is too close to set up?

Postby txhunter90 » Tue Sep 24, 2013 3:13 pm

I believe 100 is way to close. Any closer than a few hundred yards and I dont set up. I get pissed when somebody wants to hunt 100 yards away. If they are there first I'll leave but most of the time they dont leave they just get closer
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Re: Opinion: How close is too close to set up?

Postby Schmidty721 » Wed Sep 25, 2013 7:19 am

Not sure what area you are from, but around La Crosse is horrible.
The amount of pressure in the "popular" spots is unbelievable and almost ruined duck hunting for me when I moved here.
I've tried really hard to find some areas where only 3 or 4 guys might be hunting away from the war zone and house 100+ guys on any morning. I stay as far away from people as I can, but it always seems like some guy will come out late and setup close to you anyways so whats the point.

To answer your question, If I'm out of options and need to setup with a hunter in sight, minimum distance would have to be 250+ yards otherwise I'd just pack it up and call it a day. I've had so many good mornings ruined by guys who sky bust birds working our spread. IMO it's a joke around here. Guy's hunt with $10-20k worth of gear and boats and poke at stuff 40+ yards up.
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Re: Opinion: How close is too close to set up?

Postby koonce727 » Wed Sep 25, 2013 11:31 am

I hunt the zoo areas of the river and grew up hunting them. Its gotten pretty bad the last few years, and its sad the ethics many of theses so called sportsman's follow. Im usually the first or second guy on the marsh but now that doesn't seem to matter ,as other said, guys just show up at right before LSH and set up in an unsafe manner, many of them I have found to be hungover college kids who give the f it im hunting here attitude.

Few hundreds yards is as close as I will set up, if there is no room I keep on driving.

I had some d wad couple of kids that set-up 75yrds right down wind of us and set up facing us. Lets just say that didn't turn out to well. Im not proud of my actions but I acted in the heat of the moment to get my point across.

Be safe be smart, especially if you have a youngster with ya.
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Re: Opinion: How close is too close to set up?

Postby gatorsnagger » Wed Sep 25, 2013 2:21 pm

It all depends on the cover. If you are in marshgrass so high you can't see I would say 200 yards is more than enough. You will be raining pellets on each other but will never see eachother and most of the time never see the same sets of ducks. If you are in an open spot with timber bigger water I would say give some more room. 300-350 yards min.
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Re: Opinion: How close is too close to set up?

Postby txhunter90 » Wed Sep 25, 2013 3:10 pm

I agree koonce, pellets would be flying their way for sure every chance I get. Mostly not meaning to especially set up straight across. We set up last year on a whole well about 545 a boat comes in and gets in a blind 50 yards away which is a public blind we did not see but needless to say I wasnt happy
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Re: Opinion: How close is too close to set up?

Postby Maxgold » Wed Sep 25, 2013 8:03 pm

Koonce, why do you think it's gotten so much worse only in the last few years?

Spinning wing decoys makes it easier for the novice? Mud motors? These damn rock and roll duck hunting videos all over youtube? ("team kill em all").

I wonder too. For instance there's now a mud motor dealer on the north side of Lax and every time I drive by there I wish they wouldn't sell those things here. And nothing against those guys they are really nice guys, and I have a mud motor, but back in 04 I had to drive a couple hundred miles to get it. So nothing against mud motors either - just commenting on factors that might be increasing hunter numbers. Perhaps its the expansion of the refuges that makes it feel more crowded?

I'm not complaining, just commenting. There is still really good hunting around here.
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Re: Opinion: How close is too close to set up?

Postby Grouse » Wed Sep 25, 2013 8:49 pm

200 is even close and uncomfortable for me. I will arrive early 2 plus hours. If I do spot someone else encroaching they get the light. If they set anyways I wait till 1 hour after lst and wade out. When I do im usually :hi: whistling if not singing and I keep a blaze orange vest for this purpose. I then wish them good luck and find a place to jump shoot. :hi:
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Re: Opinion: How close is too close to set up?

Postby recker » Wed Sep 25, 2013 9:35 pm

At least 250 yards and even that is not much fun. I hunted the river from 2005 til last year the and area I hunt was really good until about 2010. I dont hunt mornings as to avoid a real zoo. I used to be able to show up at 11 am or 12 and get the pick of any spots. Not the cast the last three years. I would show up at noon and find six or seven trailers in the lot that used to be empty and I think they sit all day long on the marsh and alot of them just skybust at anything that flies over.

The hunting went say downhilll to say the least and I moved to areas far away from the crowds but they just did not hold the ducks to make it a very good hunt. The ducks either stay in the refuge now or land way out in the middle of the pools(they are certainly not dumb). I decided I wont even bother with the river this year and go back to hunting potholes a few hours away that may not always be that good but at least I am alone and wont have to deal with and watch skybusters ruin the hunt for everyone else. The river could be really good if managed right( shell limits, blinds, motor rescrictions) but this will never happen so you either suck it up and be frusturated or move on to other areas.

Schmidty721 wrote:Not sure what area you are from, but around La Crosse is horrible.
The amount of pressure in the "popular" spots is unbelievable and almost ruined duck hunting for me when I moved here.
I've tried really hard to find some areas where only 3 or 4 guys might be hunting away from the war zone and house 100+ guys on any morning. I stay as far away from people as I can, but it always seems like some guy will come out late and setup close to you anyways so whats the point.

To answer your question, If I'm out of options and need to setup with a hunter in sight, minimum distance would have to be 250+ yards otherwise I'd just pack it up and call it a day. I've had so many good mornings ruined by guys who sky bust birds working our spread. IMO it's a joke around here. Guy's hunt with $10-20k worth of gear and boats and poke at stuff 40+ yards up.
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Re: Opinion: How close is too close to set up?

Postby merlyn » Thu Sep 26, 2013 4:47 pm

can i add my two cents to the conversation? i hunt in northern wi. ,public land on a flowage. i doubt we get one tenth
of the pressure you get down south but still there are always guys who just dont get it. if you get there early you get boxed in,
and get to enjoy steel rain all morning plus the entertainment of some really strange calling. if you do get some quality
shooting, the next day a whole crew will be in your pocket. done crying! i mark my blind with orange tape when i build it(take it off that morning ) i get there EARLY and keep a light on --any ethical hunter will keep his distance the rest i talk to and point out where im set up, which direction i will be shooting etc. so far so good. only one serious problem in many years- i moved
200 yards,sat on a muskrat hut and and had a good day(its possible i may have cut those sob off purely by acident)
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Re: Opinion: How close is too close to set up?

Postby koonce727 » Mon Sep 30, 2013 2:36 pm

Maxgold wrote:Koonce, why do you think it's gotten so much worse only in the last few years?

Spinning wing decoys makes it easier for the novice? Mud motors? These damn rock and roll duck hunting videos all over youtube? ("team kill em all").

I wonder too. For instance there's now a mud motor dealer on the north side of Lax and every time I drive by there I wish they wouldn't sell those things here. And nothing against those guys they are really nice guys, and I have a mud motor, but back in 04 I had to drive a couple hundred miles to get it. So nothing against mud motors either - just commenting on factors that might be increasing hunter numbers. Perhaps its the expansion of the refuges that makes it feel more crowded?

I'm not complaining, just commenting. There is still really good hunting around here.


In my opinion its a few things, and many of these things I have come up with thru speaking with some of these great individuals at landings, whether it be a friendly convo or a confrontation.

I don't really think is either of what you had suggested, mud motors or refuges, I could be wrong, wouldn't be the first or last time on that.
The number of out of towners has gone up greatly. Social media such as things like this forum are a big part of that. people publicizing about these areas, it sparks interest. Guides in the area have brought more attention to the area by writing articles and bragging about there kills. Word travels fast, and well it seems people are now traveling just as fast. I talk to many guys that have drove across state, heck I talked to a guy last year at a gas station, he had just drove 5 hours here and was asking me where he should launch? I laughed and said good luck, suggested he plan better next time.

UWL has brought on a lot of younger hunters who enjoy bragging about there big kills and what they see, most of these kids are refuge line skybusters. Ive had words with more than my fair share of these kids trying to explain to them what they are doing, some actually took my advice and have had more success and I speak with them on a consistent basis, I have no problem helping ppl out, Im not gonna show you where to hunt but Ill give ya advice on what to look for and what to avoid. Ran into some the other year skybusting anything that was within 100 yards. Just so happened we met them at the landing, asked them how it went, they had a hunt of a lifetime, they each shot 2-3 boxes of shells, yet no limit of birds, not even a decoy in the boat. Gentlemen I was hunting with had a nice convo with them. Again word of mouth spreads thru the university and on to there friends and there friends friends. Talked to some kids this last weekend who came here from the Mil area because there buddy hunts the river and so it goes on.

Now for the poor ethics part. I feel many videos are to blame as well as tv shows giving ppl a false impression on many aspects of chasing fowl. Watched a video where this big name waterfowlers tips of advice for calling was to "over call", this same fella also rants on about how if they wont decoy reach for your black cloud and full choke and get out there and touch em, blah blah the list of bs goes on.

Funny short story, some good friends of mine where hunting and a fella by them was sky buster happy, They ran into at the launch and asked him what his deal was, He said he didn't no why he couldn't hit anything "Im shooting black cloud".

Sorry for the long post but I could go on for awhile on this subject. The only good thing about a spinner is it shows you where everyone is at... I don't mind the mud motors, I have witnessed it increase the cripple chasing of birds vs the outboards. I have seen numerous outboard guys have the struggle of a lifetime getting there boat into there "spot" then they sail a duck off and the last thing they want to do is pull it out of there and go chase a cripple(many of them just sit there act like it didn't happen, or send there worthless dog into the decoys to play)
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Re: Opinion: How close is too close to set up?

Postby smanwisc » Tue Oct 01, 2013 11:06 am

My golden rule is that if I can hear you talking at a normal level you are too close.
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Re: Opinion: How close is too close to set up?

Postby Trent_Rivers » Tue Oct 01, 2013 11:49 am

This works in both extremes. Some people think they own the whole wma too.


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Re: Opinion: How close is too close to set up?

Postby FowlPlus » Wed Oct 02, 2013 2:33 am

I really like to stay as far away from others as I can. Unfortunatly others can't seem to stay that same distance. This seasons opening weekend was one of the worst I can remember for myself. I have only been waterfowling for 4 years now. The season started out with us getting in the blind at 3:00am. I know early, but when you want to hunt a spot you gotta get there early. I was always taught first come first serve. Around 7 another group pulls up and sits about 30yards across from us. Not long after them a second group pulled up and sat about 50yards to our right. Kinda sad. Long story short there was steel flying every which direction on the low flyers that split between us. Alot of the time it seemed we didnt get shots because I wouldnt shoot directly at them.
On a better not we did have one of our best openers yet in terms of ducks on ground. The new dog i got seemed to work wonderful, and even though the other guys sitting on us had no hunting etiquette (pardon spelling). When we ran into them on the way out they were fairly kind. I just can't wait for this weekend so I can get back out there.
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Re: Opinion: How close is too close to set up?

Postby Pete-pec » Wed Oct 02, 2013 5:30 am

It has gotten so bad, I have went back to bow hunting. I duck hunt almost exclusively in other states at this point in my life. I can afford it, it happens to allow you some of the finest gunning there is, and you can shoot perfectly plumed birds in January which is very important for me being a hobbyist taxidermist. Now I hunt the rut here in Wisconsin, don't have to deal with D-bags, and life has never been better.

No offense, but the average (so-called) sportsman is NOT a sportsman at all. That must be a title they give themselves when they wear camo and pull the trigger?

I have witnessed every sort of unhuman-like behavior out in the marsh. This applies to fishermen and the human race in general. No one holds doors, says please and thank you, and smiles for God's sake. The satire that comes off on the computer has gone from sarcasm to plain mean at times.

I try to treat people as I want to be treated. If someone treads on me, God forbid the wrath that comes their way, and likewise when I meet a good fella, they are welcome in our blind anytime!

Be nice, be fair, and remember to enjoy the scenery rather than think about the kill. That is just icing on the cake, and if you overlook the work it took to get a flock to decoy, you missed the real intent of this sport.

Good luck everyone! If you haven't hunted outside of Wisconsin, I suggest giving it a try. There is some great damn hunting out there!
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Re: Opinion: How close is too close to set up?

Postby recker » Wed Oct 02, 2013 9:41 pm

I would agree on alot of these points. One thing I think that has really been a been factor was also mentioned. A certain faction of people love to come online and post pictures of a limit, tell how quick they got it, and usually where they got it. Most of us on here could care less but it gives them some sort of ego boost by doing this. If you comment to them on it they tell you that you are just jealous you didnt do it. That is a huge problem imo.
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Re: Opinion: How close is too close to set up?

Postby recker » Thu Oct 03, 2013 1:12 am

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HmBm3pKWEmk

Maybe if people didnt post videos like this and say they lost ducks because they didnt have a dog hunting might be viewed better in the public eye. Its all about the kill to so many. Sick.
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Re: Opinion: How close is too close to set up?

Postby Deuce22 » Thu Oct 03, 2013 10:25 am

recker wrote:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HmBm3pKWEmk

Maybe if people didnt post videos like this and say they lost ducks because they didnt have a dog hunting might be viewed better in the public eye. Its all about the kill to so many. Sick.



Wow... "we lost how many 2,3-4... if we had a canoe/kayak or a dog it would have been a different story..." disgusting.
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Re: Opinion: How close is too close to set up?

Postby koonce727 » Thu Oct 03, 2013 10:36 am

^ them boys are one of the biggest crocks of ****. Worthless people. What dream are they chasing..... There fathers should beat them, oh wait I think they hunt with them in one of there sweet knarly videos..... Bunch of BAs right there, la crosse youth at its finest.

I see this tool ice fishing from time to time, wish he'd cut a 12" hole and slip....
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Re: Opinion: How close is too close to set up?

Postby recker » Fri Oct 04, 2013 12:39 pm

Yeah they look like real class acts. If they actually let the ducks work they could probably do pretty well. I see so many videos like this and they are usually playing some sort of heavy metal killer music and they all give the group some sort of name. It usually has something to do with killing. Unreal.

I remember reading back a few years ago they were trying to put some limits on shells and spacing at the barrels blinds in lacrosse but hunters shot it down like a rock. I mean seems they were trying to improve the hunting but hunters wanted no part of it. I dont get it.
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Re: Opinion: How close is too close to set up?

Postby gatorsnagger » Fri Oct 04, 2013 2:13 pm

If them doods didn't stand in the open they might get a couple flocks that don't flare.
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Re: Opinion: How close is too close to set up?

Postby ducksbuck » Fri Oct 04, 2013 9:17 pm

Music is much better in this one.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pz0whPDfX6g

I hunted Winona Pool for ten years and I think Lacrosse area people spread out pretty good. I like pressure. When there are a ton of hunters the birds are predictable. The more the merrier! :beer: Right Recker! :wink:
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Re: Opinion: How close is too close to set up?

Postby Trent_Rivers » Fri Oct 04, 2013 11:07 pm

Thats actually a decent video if you cut out the first section before they start talking. They were landing on top of the mojo at the start.
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Re: Opinion: How close is too close to set up?

Postby send the dog » Sat Oct 05, 2013 4:31 am

recker wrote:Yeah they look like real class acts. If they actually let the ducks work they could probably do pretty well. I see so many videos like this and they are usually playing some sort of heavy metal killer music and they all give the group some sort of name. It usually has something to do with killing. Unreal.

I remember reading back a few years ago they were trying to put some limits on shells and spacing at the barrels blinds in lacrosse but hunters shot it down like a rock. I mean seems they were trying to improve the hunting but hunters wanted no part of it. I dont get it.


I went to those meetings and was very vocal about shooting it down like a rock. I looked at it like this: we will always have
d-bags in this sport, if we start to restrict where and how they hunt, then they will be forced to move further and further back into the marsh, next thing you know, the d-bags are next to those of us that actually understand this sport. Let them have their area up front and easy to get to. I just don't want them forced back to where i'm at. And, to the OP, this is a crazy marsh around here, and depending where you go, different rules apply. On the firing lines around LaCrosse county i believe the ethical distance to the next group of hunters is 15 yards, but i'm not positive. The last time I hunted a line and some DB came in 40 yrds away, I packed up and left,that was 15 yrs ago. Now, if you end up being where the birds like to work, then 260yrds could be acceptable as long as you DO NOT start calling to your neighbors working birds and he not call on yours.
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Re: Opinion: How close is too close to set up?

Postby recker » Sat Oct 05, 2013 11:18 am

15 yards apart on a firing line? That is just plain crazy. I get what your saying about the shell limits it just always seemed to me that skybusting hurts the overall hunting of an area.

send the dog wrote:
recker wrote:Yeah they look like real class acts. If they actually let the ducks work they could probably do pretty well. I see so many videos like this and they are usually playing some sort of heavy metal killer music and they all give the group some sort of name. It usually has something to do with killing. Unreal.

I remember reading back a few years ago they were trying to put some limits on shells and spacing at the barrels blinds in lacrosse but hunters shot it down like a rock. I mean seems they were trying to improve the hunting but hunters wanted no part of it. I dont get it.


I went to those meetings and was very vocal about shooting it down like a rock. I looked at it like this: we will always have
d-bags in this sport, if we start to restrict where and how they hunt, then they will be forced to move further and further back into the marsh, next thing you know, the d-bags are next to those of us that actually understand this sport. Let them have their area up front and easy to get to. I just don't want them forced back to where i'm at. And, to the OP, this is a crazy marsh around here, and depending where you go, different rules apply. On the firing lines around LaCrosse county i believe the ethical distance to the next group of hunters is 15 yards, but i'm not positive. The last time I hunted a line and some DB came in 40 yrds away, I packed up and left,that was 15 yrs ago. Now, if you end up being where the birds like to work, then 260yrds could be acceptable as long as you DO NOT start calling to your neighbors working birds and he not call on yours.
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