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Best states for puddle duck hunting?

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Grouseman_1
10 hours ago, Rick Hall said:

 

I just thought our first split the season prior (2017-2018) took the blue ribbon for "suck," before suffering through last season's second split. 

Last year we hunted the Missouri split, the opening 4 days of the 2nd season. Mallard purist may not have appreciated our hunt. In our 4 days we shot Mallards, pintail, blue and green wing teal, wood duck, ring necks, gadwalls, shovelers, American widgeon, red heads and a banded Rossi. Each of us got our full limits 3 of the 4 days. We left early Sunday so we bailed after our limits on Mallards and passed on the bonus ducks. In 2013 we hunted Missouri between Christmas and New Years. Water was iced up except where we had ice heaters... didn’t shoot 4 man limits but we did shoot canvasbacks which made the trip one of the most memorable for me. 

 

Mike 

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Rick Hall

Had to be somewhere north of here, glad you found 'em.  Don't recall when, exactly, it was, but far later in the season than one would expect, a friend's supervisor from Alberta told him the ducks hadn't left there yet.

 

Been going back through my logs figuring birds per gun for each segment of those seasons and was surprised how often those numbers or less than single bird per gun variations in them disagreed with my perceptions of their period.  Seems, at least in my case, that even more of "best" is in my head than I would have guessed.

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mccuha

the lack of cold weather and snow up north  here of late does not look good for the southern duck hunter. My lease in MS had one of the worst years that I can remember since I got it 15 yrs ago.

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Grouseman_1

The opening volley’s were good then throughout the next 5 or 6 hours small groups of “stale” birds trickled in. 

 

One of the guys I hunt with has precise records of every hunt. He records location, who hunted, each species, sex and number of each harvested. He been gathering since late 90’s. 

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LabHunter

If I was smart I would hunt waterfowl more.  I am contemplating joining a club on the eastern shore right now...wondering how I can justify the expense to SWMBO.

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Rick Hall
8 hours ago, LabHunter said:

...wondering how I can justify the expense to SWMBO.

 

Compensatory funding.

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LabHunter
4 hours ago, Rick Hall said:

 

Compensatory funding.

 

If her hobbies cost half of what mine do, we'd be broke!  I intentionally do not track what I spend between hunting trips, fishing trips, the powerboat, ammunition, the dog, bait, tackle, clothing, etc...

 

Luckily for me she has simple tastes!

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sprocket
On 5/22/2019 at 11:27 PM, LabHunter said:

If I was smart I would hunt waterfowl more.  I am contemplating joining a club on the eastern shore right now...wondering how I can justify the expense to SWMBO.

 

You guys have funny rules down there.  Hire a guide and learn the ropes. If you don't have duck buddies, a club is a good idea.

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charlo slim
On 5/22/2019 at 10:27 PM, LabHunter said:

If I was smart I would hunt waterfowl more.  I am contemplating joining a club on the eastern shore right now...wondering how I can justify the expense to SWMBO.

 

Just tell her that it will actually save  money by helping to keep you out of the brothels and bars. 

Or maybe not.

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LabHunter
12 hours ago, sprocket said:

  

You guys have funny rules down there.  Hire a guide and learn the ropes. If you don't have duck buddies, a club is a good idea.

My brother is a die hard waterfowl guy.  I've hunted with him enought to be competent in the marsh with setting decoys, etc..  My calling isn't anywhere near where his is, particularly with geese, but I can do some simple stuff.  He hunts the western shore, usually along the Patuxent river. 

 

I spend most of my time chasing quail and woodcock.  There are a few weeks when I have some downtime due to deer season, etc.. and I'd like to fill that with some quality hunting.

 

I'm still calculating...

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Rick Hall

A circa early '80s Eastern Shore guide taught me two tactics and a concept that I still use today.

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Windrider

It is typically good in SE Arkansas, Louisiana, East Texas, and West Texas (just cows and wheat out there).

 

Unfortunately we haven’t gotten the cold snaps to drive birds down.

 

This past year the early blizzard that hit as far south as Kansas was a real blessing, but those birds weren’t joined by anything until the week after the season.  

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Alaskan Swamp Collie

I'm surprised some Canadians haven't responded. Anyway if you are in for a real adventure try Alaska. Upside, this is where a lot of them nest, like a real lot. Upside, they have never been shot at. Downside is that they don't decoy well, as there are thousands of live birds around. Big downside is season starts in September so they are not fully feathered with their fall colors so they are hard to identify in flight. Mostly pass shooting from makeshift blinds. Limits are by the numbers, say 8 or 10 a day. Tough access, usually a plane flight or boat ride and a several day outing, no lodges, just tents. Timing is essential, best when the first snow hits the north slope. Should be on a duck hunters bucket list, like Hudson Bay for geese.  Seldom see another hunter. I'm a little old for that anymore, but it was sure fun.

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Tim Frazier
On ‎5‎/‎25‎/‎2019 at 7:58 AM, Rick Hall said:

A circa early '80s Eastern Shore guide taught me two tactics and a concept that I still use today.

And what would those be?  Or would you have to kill us if you told us ;-)

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Rick Hall

The tactics were keeping pit blind cover minimal by laying bundled stalks over the opening, shown with SWLA itch grass, but same principle:

P1010024a.thumb.jpg.0f5f238e690ba7168d93b898ddbb21ee.jpg

 

and adding the illusion of life to standing spreads birds see daily by adding a few better quality decoys (he used stuffers and then-new Big Foots) outside of what they know is bogus, as if the real deal is taking advantage of no hunters being present.   And then, of course, removing those special Judas birds between hunts.

 

The concept was his refusal to call to more geese than he believed we could kill and pretty much shooing too-large groups that landed anyway, instead of shooting into them.  Never called a shot he thought uncertain.  Didn't want any bird to leave his rigs knowing they had guns, so they'd not keep others from falling for it.  I'm not nearly as religious about that as Matt was, but do try to follow that general rule as much as conditions allow.

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