Newbie on ducks? Thoughts and opinions.

Since I was a young kid, I have dearly loved a few things. Water, fish, guns, dogs and the outdoors. Obviously, flyfishing has brought be close to these things, and I have had a blast learning the ropes. This year, I am interested in getting out and hunting waterfowl. I live in everett, but I have a solid rig and I am willing to drive.

Do we have any west side duck hunters on the board? Eastsiders? Also, are there any publications or quality reading material that would help me get started? Thanks.


Idiot Savant
There's a few folks on the forum that hunt waterfowl, I'm not one though. There are a few places east of the mountains that have pay to play waterfowl hunting. That's one of the easiest ways to "get your feet wet". Maybe one of the members in the know will share some info...

Upton O

Blind hog fisherman
Ducks are my primary addiction, not this foolish steelhead on a fly stuff though Terry is trying to get me cross-addicted. Duck hunting can be done as a shoot or a hunt. Duck shooting involves arriving late to the hunt location, throwing out a few decoys close in to other hunters who are trying to do it right, squawking on a call without any instruction or practice and then shooting at everything 70 yards and closer that passes overhead. Duck hunting, on the other hand, is like fly fishing. It requires lots of research, lessons in how to call, reading and researching the best (not necessarily most expensive) decoys and other equipment. It means reading different opinions on decoy placement, migration patterns, habitat preferences, and maybe the most important, how to prepare the game to kill. It also means lots of days getting wet, cold, tired, and shut out by the birds. The best way to start, as Roper indicated, is buy a trip from a good guide. Get involved in Washington Water Fowl assoc., join DU, Delta Waterfowl, and maybe join a local commercial duck club. Check out the many duck hunting forums, search youtube. When you start duck hunting then you get learn how to put up with duck shooters just like fly fisherman get to enjoy fish snaggers. I started hunting ducks in the fall of 1963, still got the photo of the 12 ducks my three buddies and I jump shot that day. Since then I've hunted ducks in Washington, Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, Canada and Mexico; always over decoys, always close in. It's a great sport, challenging and no two hunts are ever the same. Learning to duck hunt is the same process as learning to fly fish, you're just swinging a shotgun instead of a fly rod.

Best wishes on your duck hunting (or shooting) journey. Keep us informed on your progress.

Jerry Daschofsky

Staff member
Want guaranteed ducks? I'll tell you how. I'm an avid duck killer. I got 5 ducks at once a week ago. Here's how you do it.

First, get yourself a P700 UPS truck towing a TP60 UPS trailer. Drive near the retainment ponds by Cheney stadium. Never fails, as you get around that corner, a group/flock of ducks will take off. Usually I'll hit 3-5 as they take off and not peel away fast enough. No need for a license or gun. LOL.

Seriously, have had this happen several times. Last week just before my vacation I took out 5 mallards on takeoff. Watched them fall to ground between my truck and trailer through my backup camera. LOL.

Jerry Daschofsky

Staff member
LOL, serious note, I'm sure you'll find someone near you who'll help you out on here. Have a buddy I met on here that I plan to have him show me the ropes duck hunting. Something I really never have done.
Thank you all for your insight, and a PM I received as well. Feel free to let me know of any classes / clinics in the area that I might be able to attend as well. Again, thank you all (Even Evan)


Bird Dogs and Fly Rods
A quick note about jump shooting for you... be aware of ponds and lakes that have blinds on them and try to avoid them. Nothing worse than packing a bunch of decoys into a little gem of a pond and having someone come cruising through and flare all the ducks you have been working. It's happened to me on both sides of the coin. I do a lot of jumpshooting and try to be very careful not to fudge up someone's layout. It can still happen, but I feel the courteous thing to do is try as much as possible to let someone in a blind have that water and hunt off in a different direction. In my experience a lot of duck hunters appreciate this and some will even happily share where they have seen quail, etc. Like I said it happens, but a wave and a quick about face seems the courteous thing to do. Also, a dog helps tremendously as there some birds you'll never recover without one. Good luck and let us know how you do! It's a sickness that rivals flyfishing!


Active Member
I duck hunt a little bit and can point you in the right direction to get started, if you'd like to PM me.

basics(not that basic)
What you need to learn
- to call
- read birds
- the true distance of 30 yards

Supposedly andrew is coming to the eastside one of these days to hunt ducks with me. we might be able to add another guy.
I'd encourage you to consider jump shooting wasteways or small creeks first. Access is usually public, you don't need calls or dekes or such, and you can learn a lot about how they fly. Once you do this, you can then try to blind up on spots you see ducks frequently. Maybe toss out a few dekes you picked up from some geezer at a garage sale for a song. You will learn how to call by listening to the ducks call each other. It gets in your blood, and then, well, you'll find yourself under some log at sunup looking over a small pond in freezing rain with a wet dog inside your coat, coaxing in a couple of reluctant drakes. At that point, you're a waterfowler. When you say waders, you'll mean boot foot hippers in camo.

Right now, most of the small water in the state is dry, years of drought and other reasons, so duck hunting is sort of a big water or big irrigation area game, usually meaning big dollars for leases or guides, etc. There;s exceptions, the refuge near burbank, some of the public land inside the columbia basin project, etc. I figure I've got about 3 years left at which point I'll find some kid with a kid and a dog to give my dekes and setup to, and my map to the small ponds that hold ducks when there's water in 'em.

Both Karl and ganglyangler above give great advice, IMHO. I've only been at it 30 years. If you're gonna hunt waterfowl with guides, I'd recommend a field goose hunt. For the money, lots of birds, lots of meat if you get some, and man, what a thrill. And the investment isn't that much, once you consider what you can invest in this stuff. Think jetsled.

Matt Smith

On the river Noyb
I sent you a PM, I'm a new duck hunter as well this year. I live right next to Cresent Lake and Cherry Valley so those will be my stomping grounds. Getting my Deeks next weekend!!!!

Latest posts