what do you see?

Discussion in 'Cast & Blast' started by D3Smartie, Feb 3, 2010.

  1. D3Smartie

    D3Smartie Active Member

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    The past couple weeks we had to do a lot of scouting to try to find a good number of birds to set up on. Over that period of time we ended up seeing a lot of guys set up in areas that we would have potentially hunted. Most of the time there was always something about their set up that stood out. Whether it was the lack of movement, odd decoy placement, poor hide, ect...
    So when you guys see other groups out hunting, what stands out to you most often? what is the one thing that you would change if you were to get in the blind with them?
     
  2. andrew

    andrew Active Member

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    Tell them to shut the 'F' up! Never fails...there is always some party out there that just doesn't realize how fricking loud they are!

    Guys that can't stay out of their boats..scenario: a flock of ducks is circling the lake, they want down, they come close to a blind and the sky blasting occurs, one drops
    and the flock is still wanting to land...howeve they are scared away by the guy that just can't help but jump into his boat rev up the engine and peel out to
    get his one duck. Oblivious to the fact he just screwed everyone else. To many people think that ducks won't land if there is a dead one laying on the water...

    FALSE...they land.
     
  3. Upton O

    Upton O Blind hog fisherman

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    You mentioned one big issue: lack of movement in the decoy spread. Another is decoy arrangements that are always the same pattern. Another issue is using decoys that are commonly used by most hunters (i.e. Hot Buys). Another issue is not using face paint or masks. The face flashing is a huge problem. The list can go on and on...
     
  4. D3Smartie

    D3Smartie Active Member

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    There are a lot of ways to screw up a duck hunt but what is it that you see most often?
    aside from calling I think it has to be in this order...
    Hide
    location
    decoys

    location is difficult to assess, but IMO if you are on the flyway you should be able to kill some birds.

    for example- we were scouting some sheet water and came across a guy that was hunting with his two kids. Set up on the eastern edge of a field in a small patch of trees. Perfect for hiding and they had a pretty good blind. the one thing that stood out the most to me was that his decoys were 8-10 feet apart and scattered out in front of him. Now i like to think i could have walked down and fixed that issue and started killing birds, but you never know, and maybe he has always set them that way and its worked for him? Its just funny how two people can see the same situation in completely different light.
     
  5. Rick Todd

    Rick Todd Active Member

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    I was at the Sportsman's Show last weekend talking to Dave Scadden about hunting ducks out of his boats. Specifically, why doesn't he offer camo. He said he hunts ducks all the time out of the frameless Scadden's. He drapes Herter's camo over himself and the boat. He is right in the center of the deks and when ducks are overhead, he rocks the boat back and forth to impart motion. He has fins on so when he emerges from the camo covering he can spin to have a direct shot. Then, retrieves are easy-just paddle over and pick up the duck. Now I realize that leaves the Lab at home! I personally like pointing dogs since I mostly upland hunt. Also, most of my hunting buddies have Labs and I am very seldom impressed with the dog behavior in the blind. Whining, and movement by dogs in the blind is a pet peeve of mine. I have one friend who has his lab at the trainer all the time and the dog is campaigned for field trials. That is the only Lab that I have hunted with who has manners in the blind. In my hunting buddies defense, these dogs are 90% upland hunters, with duck hunting an afterthought. I would like to hunt sometime with Karl and his dog, as I think he has the dog trained very well! Rick
     
  6. D3Smartie

    D3Smartie Active Member

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    We had a tough time this weekend with a poorly trained young dog. I guess i shouldnt say he was poorly trained, just that he was young and trying to retrieve a cripple. He ended up catching the bird in the tules next to our blind but his owner had to walk around the lake to retrieve him. I have seen dogs cost people birds, but most of the time i feel there are other issues that have more bearing on the hunt than a moving dog.
     
  7. YoungGun9

    YoungGun9 Member

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    Face masks are a joke i have never needed one ever and birds don't flair off of our faces. i think the worst thing is when people are calling and they can't call. it is horrible( or they call to often)... if the bird wants in to your spread they will come, unless your a great caller leave it at home. also peoples set ups are often way to far spread apart with deecs on on side of the body of water ( out of range) and deecs on the other side ( out of range) making a giant hole which no duck would ever land in. and sky busters are horrible crippling birds, part of the fun it working the birds if they don't come in then they don't come in. its more fun dropping a locked up bird then bustin a wing of a bird out of range!
     
  8. andrew

    andrew Active Member

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    I've hunted from my pontoon, I believe it is creek company that sells a cover for a 8 or 9' pontoon...pretty nice. Again I end up leaving the dog at home; which she becomes a pain for my wife (wines the entire time I'm out!). I'm gulty for bad calling and tend to leave my calls dangling from my neck...although I will say I can bring geese to a hover 20' over me...I suck something fearful with my duck calls. Anyone have a good practice CD they'll loan me?
     
  9. Clint F

    Clint F Fly Fishing Youth

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    I am a firm believer in a facemask or paint. Also movement inside the blind will bust birds in the snap of a finger where I hunt. The top 3 things I see others doing is talking way to loudly and too much, Poor hides, and poor calling.

    Clint
     
  10. Guy Gregory

    Guy Gregory Active Member

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    1. Calling too much
    2. Calling too much
    3. Calling too much
    4. Faces
    6. Calling too much

    I confess my dogs have always wanted to catch 'em in the air...not very steady, generally. If the movement flares the birds, blind up better.

    If you blind up, don't look at 'em, and shut up you'll shoot more ducks.
     
  11. D3Smartie

    D3Smartie Active Member

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    Guy- can you identify when you are seeing too much calling, or would you just say all the time?
    It is my belief that you have to be able to read birds to effectively hunt ducks. now this can play a lot into how much calling is done. Another factor is the competition on NWRs and other high density hunting areas. some days the birds want the call and a lot of calling can be done, others you can flare them with one note.
     
  12. Guy Gregory

    Guy Gregory Active Member

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    I'd say all the time. My experience is that even in NWRs'. Most guys I've seen, and I've been one of these guys, blow that call way too much. I watched some ducks a few days, and they don't talk that much. I've had pretty good luck and good hunting either just talking back to a cruisiers, or in the case of NWR's, just being quiet. Try it. The hail-callers two bilnds down will help you quite a bit. The ducks will join you guys, where they can get a word in edgewise.

    Geese, especially lessers, are way different.

    But as you say, one day it's one way and another day the next. But as a general rule of thumb, save all your highball calling for the competition. The one thing I'd change as you asked: I'd not call so much.
     
  13. D3Smartie

    D3Smartie Active Member

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    thats interesting to me Guy. There is no way i would ever be quiet in a competition arena such as McNary. I might not call as much as Team Marathon(if you;ve heard his highball you know him) but i certainly wont be quiet. do you use decoys that are better or different than everyone else's? what sets your spread apart from the 6 or 7 other options that are all close at hand.

    for geese you bring up a good point. I mainly hunt big birds and dont call much, but the temptation is always there. i have to force myself to believe in my set up, location and quality decoys.
     
  14. Upton O

    Upton O Blind hog fisherman

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    D3, you have mentioned the most critical part of duck and goose hunting, like all real estate: location, location, location.
     
  15. D3Smartie

    D3Smartie Active Member

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    it can be but much of the time as a public land hunter you cant always be on the "X", in fact i would say i hardly ever am on the true X. I have to find a way to traffic birds into my spread while facing lots of other competition. And the competition can range from the refuge across the fence to the guys with the kazoo on the next pond over, but most of the time i would say that the birds I shoot wouldnt stop at that location if it werent for the decoys and calling.
    nice club BTW. I got to hunt down there a couple times this year. I much prefer the east side but it seems like you guys have a nice set up and it could certainly be great at times.
     
  16. Jim Ficklin

    Jim Ficklin Genuine Montana Fossil

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    First year ever I didn't hunt birds, but after location, good cover, knowing HOW to call & doing so when necessary are key factors. A bit of movement, natural-looking spreads (spend some time observing real ducks/geese), and confidence decoys can create that extra "edge." I've also done well from time to time using very small decoy spreads.
     
  17. Upton O

    Upton O Blind hog fisherman

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    D3, Thanks, it is a lot of fun and some days it's great shooting. This year was a down year due to El Nino and a few other problems. Hopefully next year will be closer to "normal". It is one heck of a lot of work, though, during the off season.

    I had a little secret place on the dry side that was fun to hunt. We'd take a half dozen decoys into a very small spring creek and set up. It was amazing how many ducks we could pull into it, some pretty nice sized flocks of mallards. The secret was small spread, move off the creek about 25 yards, good camo, and sit still. I haven't been there in seven or eight years since my hunting buddy who found it died. I hope someone else found it and is having fun. I never thought about looking for trout in the darn thing. It had good flow year around so I imagine there were fish in it. If we meet this next year and you have a map I'll show you where it is. I doubt I'll be returning to hunt that area, I hate driving the pass in winter.
     
  18. Gary Thompson

    Gary Thompson dirty dog

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    I don't hunt ducks and going into the reason is worthless.
    What I do notice when seeing duck hunters blinds and spreads is the blinds are to big and the spread is to big and to spread out.
    I can spot a duck blind and spread miles away and if I can spot it so can the ducks.
    Ducks are dumb, and I hate chuckers.
     
  19. Upton O

    Upton O Blind hog fisherman

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    So, Gary, is it the issue that we duck hunters tend to sit on our butts and try to lure the birds to us rather than hump up and down steep hills, covering miles and miles, watching a dog work and work hoping you'll find just one covey? Man, it's been a long time since I hunted chukars. Brutal sport, chukar hunting. I grew up on those birds in Yakima. The stories that can be told about looking for those ghosts are endless. My body won't handle it any longer. Hat's off to you (or maybe you need a session with a shrink). Great birds, aren't they?

    Ducks ARE dumb and chukars aren't.
     
  20. Jim Ficklin

    Jim Ficklin Genuine Montana Fossil

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    Likewise re: chukars . . . when the knees started to go, I retired that passion. Great birds, tho (gliding little rascals). I believe I humped harder for chukars than I ever did for elk. Chukar hunting comes in behind goat hunting, however . . .
     

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