Late Season Reports/Tactics

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Late Season Reports/Tactics

Postby Snapshooter » Thu Jan 09, 2014 4:08 pm

It's been slow for me the last 7 days. Hunting the Snake near Marsing; 3 days resulted in a total of 9 ducks. Here are my thoughts on what iI see going on...
1. Fewer ducks; the migration peaked in December, and the large numbers of birds have left the area.
2. Sunny days and no wind; decoys look lifeless and unrealistic in the sun for the few birds that do fly.
3. Few boats on the river; the ducks have found places where they are safe and don't move.

Has anybody done well on the Snake downstream for Swan Falls?

So, switched to goose hunting and shot limits the last two days in a field near Star. Only saw a few ducks in that area also.

Where are you guys seeing birds besides the Greenbelt? Is it all downhill from here to the closing date? What is going on at Strike?

Thanks for responding!
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Re: Late Season Reports/Tactics

Postby duckhunterguy69 » Thu Jan 09, 2014 5:45 pm

Hunted the palette near Emmett last weekend. Bad idea. No birds out there.
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Re: Late Season Reports/Tactics

Postby Slidellduckhunter » Thu Jan 09, 2014 8:29 pm

All of my hunts last season and this season has been on the Snake between Marsing and Melba. I kept track of my hunts and birds last year and this year (dates, type and quantity of birds shot) and this season I am almost exactly the same as last season. I huge difference is that this year all my hunts have been Saturday with a couple of Sunday hunts and New Years Day whereas last year it was all weekday hunts but the bird counts and the number of hunts have been extremely close season to date compared to last season. A couple of differences...I have shot far fewer mallards this year compared to last, and this year I have shot teal and divers which I had not at all last season. I have not seen the large numbers of grey duck and widgeon as last season. I am convinced that the change in the cold weather is what has changed the duck's schedule. Last season we had the 'down to zero weather' in January and this season we had it in December - this is the deal. I think it is a simple matter of the ducks moving out a month early due to that. Ducks are definitely less in numbers now.

Back to the current hunting, I did limit out this last Saturday but it took 3 hours hunting by myself (as I usually do) basically disappearing against the bank with only 9 decoys, 3 of them mallards but only 1 drake and the extra hens act as my duck street walkers (so to speak) and this worked on 2 of the 3 mallard drakes I got which came in by themselves (they should be starting to pair up now, this is my thinking). The other decoys are your basic puddle-duck mix. All the ducks I shot decoyed and I called very very little, usually only a few chuckles and a quack or 2. With the ducks decoying this means my concealment is good and it also means I shot only 7 times. This type of hunting suits me but if you have more than 1 in your hunting party it is difficult to do and it is not like sitting around in a blind, you will be uncomfortable but to me this is part of the challenge and it feeds my duck-hunting passion and I'm patient enough to do this. Concealment is the biggest problem but I have this solved for me, 2 will be very difficult as the ground is not at all level; in addition I have a small 10' camo-painted rig and I can leave it against the bank downriver about 15 meters and the ducks so not seem to mind it, this will be difficult to do with a larger jet-boat unless you hunt from the boat.

I will fall short of the number of ducks I got last year but this is because I cannot hunt as many days as last year. Those I have seen in the blinds in this area over the past few Saturdays (and 1 Sunday) have sky-busted like no tomorrow, ducks and geese a mile-high and even those that weren't they flat missed (a lot) - 6 to 8 shots at a passing mallard and he flies right through it. You can't be doing that at all much less now toward the end of the season. It is desperation I think. Anyway, that's my info. {Long post, I tend to over-analyze a lot.]
Do you know why Cajuns don't hunt elephants? Because the decoys won't fit in their pirogues!
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Re: Late Season Reports/Tactics

Postby cfp4sfc » Fri Jan 10, 2014 2:17 pm

duckhunterguy69 wrote:Hunted the palette near Emmett last weekend. Bad idea. No birds out there.

x2- hunting on the Payette is really slow.
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Re: Late Season Reports/Tactics

Postby blackrock » Fri Jan 10, 2014 6:33 pm

image.jpg
Still lots of ducks.......
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Re: Late Season Reports/Tactics

Postby waveslider » Fri Jan 10, 2014 6:54 pm

Indeed.
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Re: Late Season Reports/Tactics

Postby cutm Jack » Fri Jan 10, 2014 7:15 pm

It's all about the network...
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Re: Late Season Reports/Tactics

Postby fetch21 » Fri Jan 10, 2014 8:49 pm

Nice looking straps! Was wondering when someone was going to mention that there are still a lot of birds around if you look in the right places.

Interesting observation... no boat trailers hooked up to either of the trucks that have limits on the tailgate.

Good luck to all this weekend.
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Re: Late Season Reports/Tactics

Postby blackrock » Fri Jan 10, 2014 10:41 pm

Actually the jet boat is hooked to the other truck!
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Re: Late Season Reports/Tactics

Postby blackrock » Fri Jan 10, 2014 10:42 pm

Nice Pinners wave!
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Re: Late Season Reports/Tactics

Postby waveslider » Sat Jan 11, 2014 1:01 pm

Yep Thanks. Bottom one is going on the wall to replace one that's a bit faded.

I followed that day up with "one of those days" where you work your ass off, set up in a new spot that's all jacked up, fall in and fill the waders, and then get a flat tire on they way out.

A double flip off day. With swimming thrown in at no charge. Ha.
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Re: Late Season Reports/Tactics

Postby waveslider » Sat Jan 11, 2014 3:54 pm

cutm Jack wrote:It's all about the network...



Yep, if you don't have the right network, you are crippled. Our network is one of the strongest signals from North to Southwest to the East.

The local network is losing a major antenna soon and it will not get replaced. Sad.

There are duck hunters and there are duck killers...... We are losing one of the best duck killers this state has seen for a long time.
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Re: Late Season Reports/Tactics

Postby whiskerbiscuit » Sat Jan 11, 2014 5:12 pm

waveslider wrote:We are losing one of the best duck killers this state has seen for a long time.


Explain.....
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Re: Late Season Reports/Tactics

Postby waveslider » Sat Jan 11, 2014 6:50 pm

whiskerbiscuit wrote:
waveslider wrote:We are losing one of the best duck killers this state has seen for a long time.


Explain.....



One of the best duck hunters in our area is moving out for a while to pursue his career. Its a major bummer for my wife and I. A lot of people consider themselves hard core duck hunters (myself included) until they meet him. Then, like me, they realize they spend a lot of time, money and energy on all the wrong things.

I've been doing this duck hunting thing a long time, and I know a thing or two about it, but I've learned as much about duck hunting here from him as anyone else x 10.

I can count on one hand the number of times we've gone out and not come back w limits or close to it.

Its in my nature to fiddle with things, experiment with different gear and gadgets and trinkets and locations and ideas. Its something I enjoy. But the thing I have appreciated the most about hunting w him is that he has boiled the event down to simply the essentials and nothing more. An efficient killer so-to-speak. And anyone out there that says "I don't need to kill ducks, Oh, I just enjoy a day afield" is making excuses for their lack of effort and knowledge. We go to kill ducks and he is good at it. Plain and simple.

If you think you need to have 30 doz decoys, 10 mojos, a main street calling routine and a hot ass boat, think again. I'll put him up against any duck hunter in Idaho.

To say more would divulge too many hunting secrets that are permissible only to the network but suffice it to say that I'm losing a great hunting partner, a good friend and an irreplaceable component of the network.
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Re: Late Season Reports/Tactics

Postby mtbaughs » Sat Jan 11, 2014 9:29 pm

It sounds almost as cool as fight club :thumbsup: now make me some soap. :biggrin:

In all seriousness though it sucks losing a hunting partner, especially one you've learned a lot from. If only my dogs would chip in for fuel then they would be perfect.

PLENTY of Mallards are still out there, the weather is just screwing them around into different areas than the norm for this time of year.
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Re: Late Season Reports/Tactics

Postby blackrock » Sat Jan 11, 2014 11:04 pm

image.jpg
We were buried in ducks again today! Wave after wave in the wind, and my bonus Pintail.......
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Re: Late Season Reports/Tactics

Postby Slidellduckhunter » Sat Jan 11, 2014 11:26 pm

I concur...saw more mallards today than I've seen in the last 6 weeks.
Do you know why Cajuns don't hunt elephants? Because the decoys won't fit in their pirogues!
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Re: Late Season Reports/Tactics

Postby morty » Sun Jan 12, 2014 4:23 pm

Take it from a first year guy, They are flying. This was Saturday morning and it would have been a lot quicker and greener if I wasn't giving out so many get away clean passes ... I paired up my decoys and mixed in some Canadian floaters for visibility.
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Re: Late Season Reports/Tactics

Postby hnt&fsh » Sun Jan 12, 2014 10:47 pm

Wasn't going to hunt today, Sunday, but my Father, Son and I got the itch so we decided to do an afternoon/evening hunt. Our closest jumping off point was Swan Falls. First, we did run into the F&G at the launch. Personally, the last time I had seen a F&G person at Swan Falls was at least 6-7 years ago. Maybe it's just coincidental that it had been that long but it is kind of nice to see them out and about per another thread. Real nice guy but he was definitely trolling for info.. Apparently, there is a group of guys that have been down there raising hell on or near the park area i.e no hunting or shooting areas......big surprise. At any rate, we ended up going 12+ river miles upstream and the numbers of ducks vs. a week ago was huge, and not for the better. Ended up just picking a spot the we had been successful at previously. Small spread, a dozen, set up as pairs with a couple of lone Hens and a few Geese just for good measure. Little to no calling, the few we did see flying were 1, 2 or 3, used some lone hen calls and som chuckles and Drake whistles and they seemed to decoy up pretty well. Few and far between but when they did fly by they did seem to be looking for friends. Patience was the key. That said, when the opportunities are far and few between you need to be on your game shooting and for the three of us that just was not the case today.

Looks like some have had really good days! That's great. I think it is just a matter of being in the right place. What's the right place? Not on the couch! The warm weather and reappearing water in places that should be frozen this time of year have made the whole thing much like a box of chocolates. A lot different than the same time last year.

Good luck to all.
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Re: Late Season Reports/Tactics

Postby waveslider » Tue Jan 14, 2014 12:54 pm

mtbaughs wrote:It sounds almost as cool as fight club :thumbsup: now make me some soap. :biggrin:
.


Well, we thought it sounds better than the other name considered: Team Ground Pound Water Swat Green Head Black Hoodie Nation.
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