FL Waterfowl 101

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FL Waterfowl 101

Postby whaknstak » Fri Sep 27, 2013 7:55 am

Ok guys, due to the constant influx of new hunters to Florida looking for advice on duck hunting, I propose we put it all here, and simply direct new members to this thread. Maybe a mod will pin it as a sticky??

With that said, post up basic tips relating to Florida waterfowling. Things you you learned, or little tricks that have helped you be successful over the years. DO NOT post specific places or water bodies. We can help new members out and only have to type it once.

Post em up!
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Re: FL Waterfowl 101

Postby bdub » Fri Sep 27, 2013 8:44 am

Im no expert by anymeans but, I have learned that when scouting and there are no birds its always good to find smaller holes that have things like hydrilla and dollar bonnetts in the area. When scouting for teal a couple weeks ago I didnt see the first bird but I found a spot with tons of hydrilla and dollar bonnets and when i got there opening day we had a few good many of teal try to get to that spot.
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Re: FL Waterfowl 101

Postby Coonrod » Fri Sep 27, 2013 8:55 am

Buy a Thermacell
Palm fronds are the best camo
Don't call unless you know what you're doing
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Re: FL Waterfowl 101

Postby dogyak » Fri Sep 27, 2013 11:12 am

When getting decoys , don't get the Mallard :no: . Get a 1 doz of teal and 1 of coots . In Florida , the coots really give confidence to the other ducks . This is really all you need for decoys . Don't brother with a duck call , get a teal whistle and learn to use it and DON'T over call . :clapping:
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Re: FL Waterfowl 101

Postby Broken Paddle » Fri Sep 27, 2013 11:15 am

bdub wrote:Im no expert by anymeans but, I have learned that when scouting and there are no birds its always good to find smaller holes that have things like hydrilla and dollar bonnetts in the area. When scouting for teal a couple weeks ago I didnt see the first bird but I found a spot with tons of hydrilla and dollar bonnets and when i got there opening day we had a few good many of teal try to get to that spot.


What are those, I came out of CT, never heard of them.
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Re: FL Waterfowl 101

Postby quackhunter99 » Fri Sep 27, 2013 11:36 am

MyFWC.com
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Re: FL Waterfowl 101

Postby Broken Paddle » Fri Sep 27, 2013 1:38 pm

quackhunter99 wrote:MyFWC.com


What am I looking for? :huh: I haven't been 29 for a LOT of yrs!
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Re: FL Waterfowl 101

Postby whaknstak » Fri Sep 27, 2013 1:50 pm

Get up early

don't set up on folks already set up. If you think your far enough away, go another 100 yards further.

Put a mallard call in your pocket unless you really know how to use it.

Don't have anything bright and unnatural visible at any angle. That includes orange kayaks........

Get some sort of cover for your boat, camo paint alone won't get it done.

Cover your face and sit still.

Let the birds work. Believe it or not, they will circle back and land much closer than they are on the first pass.

Do not take marginal shots at birds you cannot hit. You only educate the birds and piss off those hunting near you.

Pay attention to the wind. it will dictate which direction the birds approach from.

Try to not set up looking directly into the sun.

Every hunt you learn something new. Always be willing to learn.

Above all else, respect your fellow hunters. Treat everyone in the marsh the way you wish to be treated. You never who your talkin to........
Last edited by whaknstak on Fri Sep 27, 2013 2:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: FL Waterfowl 101

Postby jakefromflorida » Fri Sep 27, 2013 1:58 pm

When you see a cue beam "flashed" at you, its not to come over and say hey. Its the other person politley saying/asking... "Hey, I'm over here, your a little close."

Don't get mad or pissy, just get out there earlier next time, and relocate. DO NOT try and set up near them... Very rude IMO.


Don't shoot at random birds,animals, or whatever just because you want to shoot.

Please, oh please, pretty please... Leave your stinkin duck slayin, flight cancelin, birdy hurty whistle tooty horn call, or whatever you want to call it home... Even when you THINK you know how to use it... Leave it.... Just because it sounds good to you. To me and the birds, your a crayon eating, window lickin, helmet wearin nimrod with a tooty horn.

:beer: And you should be good.

Oh, don't ask me where the birds at, get off your rump and go look like I did and mostly everyone else who hunts in FL successfully. I don't care if you don't have a boat. I didn't either for 2 years before I got a nice rig. I waded, promoted to a kayak and canoe, and promoted again.

Good luck and be safe overall, its all good fun.
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Re: FL Waterfowl 101

Postby whaknstak » Fri Sep 27, 2013 2:35 pm

jakefromflorida wrote:
Please, oh please, pretty please... Leave your stinkin duck slayin, flight cancelin, birdy hurty whistle tooty horn call, or whatever you want to call it home... Even when you THINK you know how to use it... Leave it.... Just because it sounds good to you. To me and the birds, your a crayon eating, window lickin, helmet wearin nimrod with a tooty horn.


There are times when the use of a mallard call is practical and effective. They are few and far between (at least in my area of the panhandle) but I have personally seen it used effectively on mallards and other large puddle ducks. For the purpose of this thread, leave it at home.
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Re: FL Waterfowl 101

Postby jakefromflorida » Fri Sep 27, 2013 2:43 pm

whaknstak wrote:
jakefromflorida wrote:
Please, oh please, pretty please... Leave your stinkin duck slayin, flight cancelin, birdy hurty whistle tooty horn call, or whatever you want to call it home... Even when you THINK you know how to use it... Leave it.... Just because it sounds good to you. To me and the birds, your a crayon eating, window lickin, helmet wearin nimrod with a tooty horn.


There are times when the use of a mallard call is practical and effective. They are few and far between (at least in my area of the panhandle) but I have personally seen it used effectively on mallards and other large puddle ducks. For the purpose of this thread, leave it at home.


Can't agree with you more, The guy who brought me up duck hunting can reel in mottles with ease with a feed call.

Me however... I won't touch the stinkin thing, a teal whistle, eh maybe if the birds don't pan out. I just don't have connfidence in myself, and would hate to ruin someone elses hunt up by it.

But as you said, for this "Fl duckhunter 101" thread... I'm assuming if your reading this for info, your new to how the gig works down here... The two major complaints on this thread and many others is sky blasters, and peeps who call too much and poorley.


just leave it home
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Crap. On. A. Cracker!! :lol3: :lol3: :lol3: :lol3: :lol3: LMAO!!!
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Re: FL Waterfowl 101

Postby FlaWoodie » Fri Sep 27, 2013 2:51 pm

Dont drink and drive to the boat ramp....

Dont drink and drive a vessel ( especially not through peoples decoy spread.....)

Dont drink and yell at people in the dark (that you set up way too close to, and who have guns and may be unstable....)

Dont drink and shoot guns at everything and anything flying in the air (especially tweet birds and blue herons....there alot of those)

If your gonna do all this, at least be old enough.....go big or go bigger, seems to be the philosophy of many, please go home, or just stay home.....

Drinking may not be not such a bad thing if you plan to bring the mallard call, might make some of you guys sound better, jk...

but generally, don't drink and duck hunt.......sober up first slick

This may seem like common sense to some, but you'd be surprised.....after last weekend i felt it was necessary to touch on this

Cheers :beer:
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Re: FL Waterfowl 101

Postby tmclaimerFL » Fri Sep 27, 2013 7:15 pm

If someone knowledgable offers to let you hunt with them, be courteous and help out. Help put in the hours of scouting, equipment maintenance, gas, etc...
If someone offers you a hunt with them dont stand them up or be late ( not pickin fun Mitch, just stating for both our sakes)
Duck hunters are typically all weather guys. If you dont like the rain or cold, dont bother hunting!
Decoys- teal, coots, mallards (if you see mottleds on a regular basis), divers of all species.
Know what you are shooting at. If you cant identify a pelican between a teal then start reading a book, or quit before you are charged with a federal offense.
Shooting ducks on the water is not ethical. It may be practical at the right moment (ex. a cripple swimming off), but its is typically frowned upon if they are swimming in your decoys.
Let birds work your spread. Eventually they will drop and commit. Let birds work other hunters spreads without interference (ex. calling at birds out of range, shooting at birds out of range)
Above all, as Whak said, be respectful to everyone. You never know who you will be talking with. The guy you just cussed out at the ramp could turn out to be your new girlfriends father.
Dont be afraid to ask questions, but dont always do it publicly and start arguments. There is a reason we have PM boxes here.
Only trust those who like big butts, for they cannot lie.
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Re: FL Waterfowl 101

Postby marshnole11 » Fri Sep 27, 2013 8:38 pm

#87 - don't poop in the blind....



everything else has been covered
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Re: FL Waterfowl 101

Postby FishH2o » Fri Sep 27, 2013 8:46 pm

Most of all dont be afraid to hunt. You have to get out and learn where you are. Get out, look around, soak it up, and be happy we have a place to go. You dont always have to kill scouting with a 12ga if fun i promise :-)
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Re: FL Waterfowl 101

Postby whaknstak » Fri Sep 27, 2013 10:13 pm

Use Texas rig decoy setup if hunting shallow, weedy areas.

Buy used decoys from Craigslist and repaint to suit your needs. Save a bunch of money that way.

Be innovative and creative. Not everything has to be bought at the store. DIY is the name of the game.

Keep some spare tools in the boat. You will break down.

In north Florida, when it gets cold, dress in layers. Also keep a propane heater in the boat to make the wait until daylight more pleasant.

No matter what others say, face paint is not a bad thing. its practical, cheap, and effective. We have been using it longer than Phil and Willie have been on A & E.

Careful what you say when running the motor. You will be heard clearly for several hundred yards.

Scout. Scout. Scout. This is the biggest key to success. Put in the time and find where the birds want to be. You cant kill em if you don't know where they're at.
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Re: FL Waterfowl 101

Postby tmclaimerFL » Sat Sep 28, 2013 5:52 am

If hunting deep or open water, long lines can be very useful in the right formation. This requires a lot of decoys but the will save you time on setting up and breaking down.
Going back to the face paint; take a cork from a wine bottle and burn the end of it. Instant face paint.
Have a float plan when you go out. Let someone know where you are going and when you expect to be home. That way if you don't make it back they know where to go looking for you.
Only trust those who like big butts, for they cannot lie.
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Re: FL Waterfowl 101

Postby tmclaimerFL » Sat Sep 28, 2013 1:51 pm

Instead of buying brand new decoys consider finding some cheap ones from friends or craigslist and repaint them. I have a few dozen older mallards that were all converted into scaup and redheads. Its fun to paint them and saves money

If you need to buy a shotgun consider not only your budget, but what feels good to you. Dont buy a gun because it looks cool and has a camo wrap. Shoulder it, swing it and see if it fits your arm length. Can you see straight down the barrel? Cost isn't everything. Sometimes the old chep beaters from the pawn shop will outlast the $1200 top shelf stuff.

As far as ammunition goes I prefer to shoot nothing smaller than 3" #4 shot during regular season.. Early season I like to shoot 2 3/4" #6 either high brass or low since Im chasing smaller birds and dont want to obliterate them. Unless you like to ATTEMPT 60-70 yard shots you dont need 3 1/2" BB. If you are taking reasonable shots you can kill birds with light loads.
Only trust those who like big butts, for they cannot lie.
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Botiz630 wrote:Finally, I can compensate for my tiny wiener without breaking the bank.
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Re: FL Waterfowl 101

Postby c f wingshooter » Sat Sep 28, 2013 4:55 pm

Try different amounts of decoys, it may not take four dozen. One morning i was feeling extra lazy and did not want to pick up 50 decoys. I put out three deeks (not three dozen) and low and behold the ducks flared and came on in.
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Re: FL Waterfowl 101

Postby FreedomHunter » Sun Sep 29, 2013 9:12 am

- Always be willing to teach others. If it was not for teachers the sport would be dead and things would be more expensive or nonexistent. (may be asking for help shortly with dog training)
- Practice with clays, its the most ethical thing you can do. You owe that much to the bird your shooting at.
- Do everything you can to get the cripples, I like to carry 2 3/4 #7's for clean up. Its way cheaper and makes head shots easier.
- Don't be a smart ass at the boat ramp when a guy tells you good luck.
- Pump shotguns kills birds just as good and are cheaper, If you have to make a choice spend more on gas money for scouting.
-Always, always, always carry toilet paper with you, nothing like being stuck out in the middle of nowhere and having to go.
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Re: FL Waterfowl 101

Postby quackhunter99 » Sun Sep 29, 2013 1:01 pm

And carry the TP in a plastic bag
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Re: FL Waterfowl 101

Postby tmclaimerFL » Sun Sep 29, 2013 2:38 pm

quackhunter99 wrote:And carry the TP in a plastic bag

Wet wipes
Only trust those who like big butts, for they cannot lie.
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Re: FL Waterfowl 101

Postby SouthernWingsAssaultTeam » Sun Sep 29, 2013 4:10 pm

The best advice I could give would.not be so much the huntin aspect of it because that will come in time. Hunt everyday you can and you will learn what works and what doesn't. The main thing is public land hunting and holding yourself in a professional manner. Hunting in a area that is 200yards x 200yards is not enough room for 4 or more parties... I suggest even if the birds are there thick as flies if you get beat your beat and it's best to make it a point to hold yourself in a way that is professional and find another area to hunt that morning. In my opionion Hunting all over one another is not enjoyable , I think we should challenge ourselves to be better hunters than that and Even if you feel cheated , which we have all been there , go ahead and find a place well away and have a enjoyable hunt. A lot of times getting away from the crowd is a better hunt. I wish we could all think this way and the hunting would be so much better. Learn the right way from some key experienced and make a point from the start to do this right. Scout and hunt everyday possible find the birds where nobody else is gonna go and do a little more work than what anybody else would do. Good luck fellas and I hope all the new comers have a great experience for their first season!!
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Re: FL Waterfowl 101

Postby bdub » Mon Sep 30, 2013 5:54 am

What are those, I came out of CT, never heard of them.[/quote]

Google it, but hydrillia is like a purplish, redish, underwater grass. and dollar bonnetts are a very small lilly pad.
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Re: FL Waterfowl 101

Postby Coonrod » Mon Sep 30, 2013 7:39 am

Hydrilla (turns purplish/reddish with age - this is fresh stuff):
Image

Dollar Bonnet:
Image
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