Questions about Alabama Duck Hunting

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Questions about Alabama Duck Hunting

Postby Griff017 » Sat Jan 10, 2009 4:49 pm

Hey Guys,

I am new to hunting ducks in Alabama. I have tried to find out about it before but never had any success. However this forum looked like a great place to help my find the answers to my questions.

Firstly, how does it work here. Do yall use ground blinds, hunt in boats only or a combination of both? I do all my duck hunting in Lousiana over flood rices fields in a ground blind. THere the small plant of land is leased and we sink the blind in.

Is there anything similar to that in Alabama. I guess that is my real question. Is there somewhere where you can lease blinds or land specifically for duck hunting or clubs where they do duck hunts. I live in Birmingham and dont my driving 3 hours or so to get to a place to hunt.

Reading around a bit, it seems most people just go down to pubic land on a boat to hunt. Is that the only way to hunt them here in alabama?

Thanks in advance
-Edward
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Postby tripleCBoykins » Sat Jan 10, 2009 6:21 pm

You pretty much hit the nail on the head! Very few places are set up like the rice fields of the Mississippi flyway! Our basic set up is find a woody hole find some brush and get ready. Shoot for ten minutes pick up you 3 and head home! Best advice for consistent quality shooting," head west young man!"
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Exactly what he said ^^^^^

Postby whislinwings » Sat Jan 10, 2009 6:49 pm

I've hunting North Alabama all my life. If you want consistent shooting without having someone set up 150 yds from you then go west.
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Postby David » Sun Jan 11, 2009 7:04 am

:welcome: to DHC.

Boats on public waterways is the norm around here. Leasing duck land in Alabama is usually a waste of money. Deer and turkey land is what is leased around here. Don't expect birds like you're used to either. Expect to get skunked on occasion and you won't be disappointed.
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Postby Griff017 » Sun Jan 11, 2009 1:43 pm

Thanks for the responses guys. I think I am going to get a guide service and try up near wheeler lake or where ever the guide recommends. Anyone know of any good guides services for Alabama?
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Postby David » Mon Jan 12, 2009 7:09 am

Not too many duck guides in Alabama, not enough ducks to keep clients happy. I don't know of any in south Alabama.
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Postby whislinwings » Mon Jan 12, 2009 12:49 pm

Griff017 wrote:Thanks for the responses guys. I think I am going to get a guide service and try up near wheeler lake or where ever the guide recommends. Anyone know of any good guides services for Alabama?


Honestly, you're better off spending your money in Louisiana or Arkansas. And I'm not saying this because I live near Wheeler Lake. I'd hate for you to be out that money when you could have gone where there are more ducks than hunters rather than vice versa.
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Postby Redfishrick » Mon Jan 12, 2009 1:46 pm

We hunt in south AL. Moblile Delta. Pretty much get up early, launch the boat, find a woody hole, shoot your limit then head home. We hunt timber no flooded fields. We also do not hunt out of the boat, there are alot of guy who do though. It is fun to fire the weapon though.
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Postby mud buddy marshhunter » Tue Jan 13, 2009 7:28 am

I hunt out of the boat on certain lakes and creeks and hunt public land also. Then I have 500 acreas of flooded land that we own. We plant what can be planted. I can always kill woodies every time pretty much. The reason I go hunt the rivers and public land is if the mallerds arnt on my land I chase them. So it a 50/50 shot where im hunting.
Also you want to kill ducks go west. There plenty of clubs in arkanas That are 3.5 -4 hours away
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Postby Griff017 » Thu Jan 15, 2009 1:26 pm

Well here is my plan currently. I am going to go up to the Mallard Fox Creek WMA. Looking on Google Earth I have seen a few nooks around some of the islands. I am going to take the boat there get out on the island, throw a dozen mallard decoys out there and hope something shows up.


Anyone have any suggestions as to how to improve this plan. I am pretty to new to this, I guess at this stage I am hoping I can at least see some ducks, maybe if I am lucky get one in range to shoot at.
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Postby Rick618 » Thu Jan 15, 2009 7:50 pm

Good luck trying but the ducks are usually very land shy, call shy, and just generally a pain to try to work.

With the water high the stumps are covered and everything that sticks out is usually shied away from. Lower water is better for hunting the river.

Even hunting out in the stumps it seems that the ducks and coots spread away from where ever you setup. The birds in the air then key on those. Landing wide and swimming into the active birds.

There are few mallards that leave Wheeler refuge during the day.
The majority of birds on the water are going to be blue bills and gadwalls, the latter being very tough to decoy to mallard dekes.

There are bufflehead and goldeneye that buzz around, the first ones usually zoom by about the time you are looking the other way.

Currently, there's a chance that with the low temps continuing that the shallow back waters are going to freeze and may push some out on the river.

If you want to take a stab at the grey ducks use just a few gadwall decoys and something to create some motion, like a jerk string or quiver magnets.
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Postby whislinwings » Thu Jan 15, 2009 9:30 pm

Griff017 wrote:Well here is my plan currently. I am going to go up to the Mallard Fox Creek WMA. Looking on Google Earth I have seen a few nooks around some of the islands. I am going to take the boat there get out on the island, throw a dozen mallard decoys out there and hope something shows up.


Anyone have any suggestions as to how to improve this plan. I am pretty to new to this, I guess at this stage I am hoping I can at least see some ducks, maybe if I am lucky get one in range to shoot at.


Good luck Griff. The Tenn. River can be dangerous if the wind is out of the northwest. Beware of stumps too. Just because you don't see 'em doesn't mean they aren't there.

Let us know how you do.
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fox creek

Postby RMDUCKS » Sat Jan 17, 2009 7:44 am

i went and looked at fox creek,, a few weeks back ,, and there were ducks swimming all in there ,,,, looked like the mouth of the creek would be a good place to set up ...i went in from al 20 ,, and drove all back threw the wma ,,
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Postby Griff017 » Sat Jan 17, 2009 5:42 pm

Hey thanks for all the tips guys. I went down there today around mid morning to do some scouting. Saw about a dozen blue bills but they were out of range to shoot. Anyways, I am going to be up there tommorow 30 minutes before day break. How crowded does it get up there in the early morning?

Thanks again

EDIT:It does not specifically say, but blue bills and gadwalls are legal to shoot at a bag limit of 6? Or is that wrong.
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Postby Rick618 » Sat Jan 17, 2009 6:25 pm

Wrong. Scaup/bluebills limit is 2. Gadwalls 6

The limit is clearly stated.

Duck 6 ducks a day and may include no more than 4 Mallards (no more than 2 of which may be a female), 3 Wood Ducks, 3 Mottled Ducks, 1 Black Duck, 2 Redhead, 1 Pintail, 1 Scaup (November 27- January 5) and 2 Scaup (January 6-25). The possession limit is twice the daily bag limit. CANVASBACK - NO OPEN SEASON.

http://www.outdooralabama.com/hunting/s ... 202009.pdf
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Postby Griff017 » Sat Jan 17, 2009 6:31 pm

Yeah I did not realise blue bill was scaup. And I still dont see where it says Gadwall. Unless Gadwall is what is meant by 'duck.' Sorry, once again I am new to this.
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Postby whislinwings » Sat Jan 17, 2009 7:59 pm

Griff017 wrote:Yeah I did not realise blue bill was scaup. And I still dont see where it says Gadwall. Unless Gadwall is what is meant by 'duck.' Sorry, once again I am new to this.


You shouldn't have much company on that side of the river. Good luck!
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Postby Rick618 » Sat Jan 17, 2009 8:35 pm

The limit is 6 for those ducks not further restricted, like teal, gadwall, ringneck, and shovelers. No hen restriction neither. You didn't see that in the paragraph? :) Yeah, it aint there. For what ever reason that is left vague, nice of them huh?

Just wait till you get stopped by the game warden and he tries to tell you that the gadwalls that you have are hen mallards.
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Postby Griff017 » Sun Jan 18, 2009 10:49 am

Went out this morning. Had to Blue bills fly down 30 yards off the decoys and 35 yards from us, they swam around on the far bank for a while, and the swam away into the lake out of site. That was all I saw for about 3 hours. Oo well, better luck tommorow.
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Postby Rick618 » Sun Jan 18, 2009 1:21 pm

Talked to a couple guys hunting down that way this morning, they had just shot a couple of Golden eye and were about to get in the boat to chase a cripple. They had a few scaup and a mallard as well.
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tenn river hunt

Postby RMDUCKS » Tue Jan 20, 2009 9:57 am

got a hunch to go back to my hole .. took my boy with me ,, got to my ramp and they had dropped the water since last week about 6 feet ,, 7 hour drive , at ramp on time .. no water ... next ramp is 20 minites away ,, and a long ruff ride to get back to my hole .. .. got there .. about 730 am .. hydrilla so thick i cant even get to my blind ,,, day one shot ,, pretty much couldnt hide my boat ,, but did get some brush on it .. and tried to0 salvage the day,, just after we got set .. there are a a several hundered mallards , and bluebill .. in site .but in the middle of the river .. and very land shy ..and really anything shy.. we ready i tell the boy ,,,here da come .. and go flaring at boat,,, then we look and notice , the decoys really close to shore .;. .. oh no ..they droped the water 1 foot since we get there ... for the rest of the day ,, we prying and pulling the boat out of mud .. my back ...killin me , we leave to set back up mon .morn .. get to ramp on time ,, get to our place ,, no wind at daylight ,, we worked several groups of birds , but no commentments to land or shots ,, by 9 30 we had the 25 mph northwest wind , and howling ,, we are in troble .. a long ride with that wind behind us ,, weather idiot said 5 to 15 mph ,
BOYS .. I ANIT GONNA RISK MY SONS LIFE OR MINE ,, THAT WAS THE MOST TERRIFIED ,I HAVE EVER BEEN ,IN A BOAT . 14 FOOT FIBERGLASS , 35 POS JOHNSON ,, it was stupid , and we waited for a break , so we hit it ,, had to stop on a small island , to rest ,cuz my arm was give out ,tryng to twist the throttle ,, we ,i prayed we would make it ,, did nt want to scare the boy anymore than he was ,, and out of my astonisment ,, the alabama marine police , just showed up , out of nowhere , so he followed us back to ramp ,,,, there were 4 foot rollers all the way back ,, riding each one , like a surfer , if the boat had stalled at any time during the run ,, well ,i dont feel good about what would have happened .. first time i prayed for my life in a long time ,, point is like the guy said ,, northwest wind on the river is never good so careful ..
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Postby Griff017 » Tue Jan 20, 2009 10:30 am

yeah I was there yesterday as well for those swells. That wind started howling and big white caps starting forming on the river. Ooo well, next weekend I am going back with some blue bill decoys and boat. I think I might at least get one. But we will see.
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Postby bama_duckinator » Sun Jan 25, 2009 7:14 pm

1st off there is no need to be on the river in a 14fter,,i spent 8 of the last 9 days of our season on the tenn river,,,,,i run a 20ft flatbottom.....any wind with a west direction of more then 10mph will make for a rough ride,,,its even worse if they are pullin a strong current

there is no way they dropped the river 7ft,,,its best when water is in the 550-551 ft depth at he dam...full pool is usually round 555ft

also,,,several hundred mallards on the tenn river on the non refuge side is hard to beleive,,,this year with very very lil grass,,,the gadwall population was way down,,usually that is what u will see the most,,

and i am one of the guys who rick618 was talkin of,,killin the ducks
CUT'EM ALL NATOR STYLE!!!!!!!
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i ve had a good year ,as well

Postby RMDUCKS » Sun Jan 25, 2009 9:28 pm

i relize a 14 footer ,is not enough boat for that river, now . the weather has been good for us most of the year ,where we been hunting, the river might not have dropped 7 feet ,but it drained my hole from one weekend to the next , this is the first year duck hunting over there ,and im learning what not to do quick,i grew up in muscle shoals ,and i have always had respect for that river .

there have been plenty of birds there all year,as well as plenty of grass .. so when they suc the bottom out of the river , it makes for hard navigation . i dont have a high performance tricked out duck boat yet , but i will soon ,, i anit whinning about it either , but there are other new guys here , so i would offer first hand advice ,on what its like to about be bottoms up in the river ,, lol it anit a good feeling in any boat ,, .. we killed a bunce of mallards , bluebills , green teal , scaup ,bufflehead , ,,and did see alot of other ducks ,, ,, it worth driving from atlanta , to get on em ,, lots of wood ducks too .. cant wait till next year ..
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