Who hunts duck?

Discussion in 'Cast & Blast' started by Roper, Aug 1, 2007.

  1. Roper

    Roper Idiot Savant

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    Anyone out there feel like mentoring an old grouse hunter on dropping some ducks? I've never hunted duck before and would like to try it on for size. I'm more than willing to share any cost involved in this venture.

    Or, does anyone know of a good guided hunt for duck in WA.?
     
  2. nomlasder

    nomlasder Active Member

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    You otta be talkin to Wetline! He swore off for a year, doctor's instructions, but I think he'll be ready this fall to at least drop a few.
     
  3. Itchy Dog

    Itchy Dog Some call me Kirk Werner

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    I've done my share of duck hunting over the past 17 or so years. There's two general approaches to it: Jump shooting or setting up a blind and shooting over decoys. For me, the fun is working birds over a spread of decoys so that's what I've done almost exclusively. You can certainly freelance on public land, but the choice state lands in the major flyway of the central basin become very popular and very crowded at times. Competition for limited (good) blind locations can take the fun out of it (getting up at 3:30 to stake your claim can make for long days, especially when the birds fail to show, or do so in very low numbers, and you stay out all day, which we do). If I were you, I'd recommend booking a late November hunt. This gives the weather up north time to get cold and drive down the "Northerns". It's said that 32 degrees (or 0, celsius) in Calgary means the southward migration begins. I've had some tremendous hunts that time of year. Prior to the arrival of migrant birds from up north, you're mainly dealing with local birds that get wise after a week or two of being shot at, and there aren't the vast numbers of them. The opener for waterfowl in our state often means 70 degree days, which doesn't spell waterfowling to me. I like it when there's frost on the ground and a skim of ice at the shore in the wee hours and handwarmers are a must to keep yer fingers from going numb. One big outfit is The Meseberg Duck Taxi out of Mar Don Resort on the Potholes Reservoir (http://www.ducktaxi.com/). I've never been on a guided hunt, but it's a good way to get into some action and the Potholes can be some of the best duck hunting in the basin. For a real kick in the pants, hire a guide to take you goose hunting out of a pit blind in a corn field. You can shoot some ducks early before the geese come in. Working those big honkers right to the ground, where they land so close you could swat 'em with a fly rod...now that is a hoot. PM me if you want any more info.
     
  4. Smalma

    Smalma Active Member

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    I hunt ducks and snow geese a fair amount each fall though almost all of that hunting is on the wet side of the State. The duck hunting is pretty spotty on public land with the weather being a major factor. Don't know where you are located and how much flexibility you have on timing a hunt. But I usually hunt waterfowl 3 or 4 times a month from November thur January. For ducks I hunt over decoys (usually 1/2 dozen to 4 dozen in the spread) mostly on the bays. For the snow geese hunt fields over decoys (150 to 1,000). depending on the number of hunters.

    On the east side I mainly chase pheasants with the occassion jump shot at ducks out of a cattail pond.

    Tight lines
    Curt
     
  5. andrew

    andrew Active Member

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    Roper are you looking for dry side action or wet side action?

    I've noticed a few guided duck hunting signs along hwy. 11 heading into Mount Vernon...which during the season is "PACKED" with ducks! I believe I got the number...I'll dig it up and send it to you.

    Last year was my first time hunting in this state after living here for 7 years...I couldn't even remeber where I hid my gun! Needless to say I am grateful that I met a job site superintendant that is a hunting fool who didn't mind showing me the ropes...cheaply i.e. not having decoys. Since most of the feilds in Whatcom County are ponds by November all that was needed is a willing owner....sort of like "got standing water...got ducks!"

    Roper sorry I can't offer you anything but a phone number...but I'm just pulling myself out of the same boat that you are in.

    BTW - My dog Libby will see her first chukar in two weekends! I found a guy near Bellingham that releases chukar and phasant! She is recooperationg from having her "womanhood" removed!

    Goodluck!

    Andrew
     
  6. Gary Thompson

    Gary Thompson dirty dog

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    Roper, if you want to hunt on the dry side. I know of a couple of spots, one for openers and a couple when the weather freezes up. You would have to bring yer own deks.
    I don't hunt'em, cause I don't like to eat'em.
    I like to chase roosters. No joke son
     
  7. Roper

    Roper Idiot Savant

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    "You don't want a scrawny ol' chicken like me...you want a nice, juicy dog...!" "Now pay attention boy...!"


    Seriously, Thanks to all for the replies, I'm willing to hunt east or west side, doesn't matter. I'll be buggin' Wetline in a day or two, we'd talked last year and Ross tipped me off that he might be up to it.

    Curt, If you ever need someone to ride shotgun (pun intended) let me know, PM me for my home phone. I've got enough paid time off to devote a day on short notice.
     
  8. doug rose

    doug rose Member

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    Hi Roper--I hunt the West Side too--mostly saltmarsh and beaver ponds. But since you mentioned that you are an "old grouse hunter," you may have an older gun, one not up to steel shot. Believe me, I am no ballistics expert and I'm sure there are plenty of people here who can fill you in on what is good and what isn't for waterfowl better than I can. But if you have an old gun, I highly recommend you spend the extra money for shells such as Tungsten-Matrix or Bismith. They are legal for waterfowl and won't hurt older barrels. I use smaller shot with these materials than I would with steel, which results in more pellets per shell. I have found I kill more ducks cleanly (at short decoyed range) with denser smaller shot than with bigger pellets and a looser pattern. (My gun is too rickety for hot loads, as yours may be). This is important because ducks are a lot harder to knock down and kill than any upland bird I've encountered, and I grew up hunting pheasants out the back yard. All my best--Doug
     
  9. Roper

    Roper Idiot Savant

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    Doug, my guns are in far better shape than I am...:rofl: I have a Citori that, although short barreled, should drop them just fine. I also have a 870 in 16 ga. that should do the trick also. If all else fails I could pick up a inexpensive 870 in black with 3" chamber.

    You're right on about the advice though and I appreciate it...:thumb:
     
  10. Itchy Dog

    Itchy Dog Some call me Kirk Werner

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    I'd recommend, if you're just going to try it on for size to see how you like fowl hunting, buy yourself a few boxes of non-toxic steel shot alternatives- Tungsten or Bismuth. Not only are they easier on the bore, they do a better job on thick-feathered ducks than steel. Spendy, in comparison, but you'll likely appreciate the ballistics. Me, I shoot steel just because I bought a ton of the stuff a few years ago. I only get out once in a while for ducks any more, and if I had to go buy shells I'd spring for the dense stuff. If you're going to use your 16, definitely use something other than steel. I've found anything bigger than Teal can absorb a lot of steel, coast a 1/2 mile and go down into the weeds as a cripple for the coyotes. Granted a well placed shot with steel will get it done, but I don't always boast of the best shootin' prowess...
     
  11. John O'Leary

    John O'Leary Member

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    As for guides, I'd suggest one of these guys: http://www.basinwaterfowl.com/index.html, or http://www.burbankgoose.com.
    Steve Schultz is an incredible duck caller - easily the best meat caller I have heard. He has been kind enought to help our DU committee with calling lessons for kids events over the years. Paul Sullivan of Burbank Guide Service has given generously to DU and a hunt at "Paul's Pond" will spoil you for life.

    Any particular questions you have about duck hunting?
     
  12. Guy Gregory

    Guy Gregory Active Member

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    Roper:

    As I recall, you're up in the Okanogan...not particularly great duck ground, but, well, why not?

    It's like fly fishing used to be before everybody started speaking Latin...it aint that tough, you don't need all that crap, you will enjoy it most if you do it for yourself. Here's how.

    Get some dekes at a garage sale, find a pond you can 1) Wade and 2) find in the dark.

    Get your duck stamp. Nobody can call themselves a conservationist without a duck stamp in their pocket.

    Get a cheap call...Haydels is fine.

    Go out in the dark, place your dekes in the pond. Hide nearby. As the ducks start flying in the early twilight, blow on the call..quack! quack! quack! When they start to fly around you, just say what they say..quack? or chuckle, chuckle, chuckle.

    When they come into range, shoot them. Try your best to shoot the boy ducks.

    Have your dog fetch the ones you cannot find.

    Pick up everything you brought, and every duck you shot. Go home, have some coffee. Pluck them, draw them, wrap them in bacon and roast them, or use one of hundreds of other recipes, serve with a good glass of whiskey, and thank God for the wild.

    You can do this.

    guyg

    Oh, and if you want to hunt geese, there;s a couple of kids out of Harrington...Duck Lake Goose Hunting, I don't know if they;ve a website, but they;re really fun to field hunt geese with.
     
  13. Evan Burck

    Evan Burck Fudge Dragon

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    i have the advantage of my father being a farmer that has lands adjacent to the potholes area along dodson rd south of I-90. this includes corn, wheat, and alfalfa. the birds fly in to all of them. if anyone wants to pay for the gas... i may be willing to show you the way
     

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