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New Duck Hunter (help)

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Camping' started by GlockBrian, Mar 17, 2003.

  1. GlockBrian

    GlockBrian Biggest Member

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    Hey yall, I want to get into Duck Hunting this next season, and if its not too much trouble, could yall tell me what I need to get started? On a side note, if any of you guys have some tips for where to hunt in Jacksonville I sure would appreciate it.

    Thanks
    Brian
     
  2. LovemyGlock's

    LovemyGlock's

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    Welcome, duck hunting is the most expensive, most addicting and most challanging hunting I have ever tried. Once you get hooked it is what you will think about all year, you will spend mass amounts of money on gear, license fees, artwork and taxidermy. You will have fun if you love to hunt. You will be tired, cold and wet sitting for hours in a blind. Ducks Unlimited bookstore at www.ducks.org sells a book called "Misary loves company" it is not real spendy and it pokes fun at all the crazy things duck hunters do "just to kill a duck". Try to find someone that duck hunts in your area, that's how I got started. There is allot to learn about chasing ducks, start reading now. Good luck and have fun! ;f ;a ;f
     

  3. rfb45colt

    rfb45colt safe-cracker

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    Duck hunting is my passion. I've been doing it for almost 30 years. For starters, you need a good 12ga shotgun. My favorites are pumps, because of their reliabilty. A Remington 870 Express or Benelli Nova would be my recommendation. You'll also need some good camo clothing (preferably waterproof), some hip boots or chest waders, at least one dozen good decoys (of the species most prevalent in your area), and a duck call or two. When you buy your duck calls, buy one that comes with an instruction tape. Start practicing long before duck season starts. You don't want to sound like somebody with a new year's eve party horn. ;) You also need to be able to indentify duck species on the wing... to keep out of legal troubles. The Ducks Unlimited magazine is a good way to pick up some hunting tips and learn the differant species of ducks. One of the most talked about issues amongst the duck hunters I know, is what shotgun shells to use. Steel shot is by far the least expensive... but also, by far the least effective. I've tried every lead substitute made. I've used bismuth, tunsten/iron, tungsten/polymer, and Hevi-shot. IMHO, the Hevi-shot (now sold by Remington) is the best thing to happen in the duck hunting world since the plastic decoy. I know it's expensive... but so are my six dozen decoys, my two hunting boats, my portable blinds, my shotguns, my gore-tex clothing, and my Chocolate Lab. I see no point in having the best of everything, then skimping on ammo.

    Good luck. The first time a flock of mallards locks their wings and drops their landing gear, as they glide toward your decoys, with the sun just peaking over the horizon behind them, you'll be hooked for life. ;f ;f ;f
     
  4. Weezer

    Weezer

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    Duck hunting is my passion also. The other guys gave you a good list of gear to start off with, I'll try to give you some shooting tips. To start with, dont over use your duck call. If the ducks are already locked in, you dont need to call them anymore, you'll just spook them. Second is to stay very still. Any sign of movement will usually frighten them off also. My best advice about shooting is WAIT. Wait until they are over the decoys. My first year of duck hunting I always got over excited and started shooting when the ducks were about 50 yards away lol. Other than that its just trial by error.

    Set your decoy spread with the wind to your back. Ducks land into the wind. RFB is right, go for the heavy ammo. Steel shot isnt my favorite. I have a Benelli Nova in camo, it's been a great water fowling gun.

    All you need now is a chocolate lab puppy, and you'll be ready!!

    Have fun!
     
  5. jame

    jame I don't even know....what I'm doing here....

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    I'm checking in at 20 years on the pond....

    The basics:
    1. A 12 gauge shotgun. ANY 12 gauge shotgun. In this sport, the weapon is the smallest concern. Reliable is paramount, and also know that you will beat the living hell out of it. I shoot an 1100, but to each his own.
    2. Camo. Everything camo. Hat, coat, gloves, pants, thermos and sometimes, even gun. (Camo tape)
    3. Waders. Get chest waders. And when you retreive your first duck, I hope you fill 'em full of ice cold water, so you learn your limits early.
    4. Some decoys, tangle-free line, and weights. Buy a dozen magnum sized and a decoy bag.
    5.Patience. Buy a Ton of it. It helps if you concentrate more on the marsh waking up and reveling in the beauty of the morning, than looking for something to shoot. It helps you become "part of it", which will help you find something to shoot.
    6.An alarm clock. This is an early game. REAL early. 0 dark thirty early.
    7. A Ducks Unlimited Banquet ticket. You will have a blast.

    Enjoy! Have fun, and fer God's sake, be safe.
     
  6. noway

    noway

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    What do you guys do with face mask/camo? I'm planning on my first duck hunt in Sept this year.
     
  7. jame

    jame I don't even know....what I'm doing here....

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    I generally don't use 'em, I just keep my head down.

    For me, paint is too messy, and the mesh masks that are available can block my vision.
     
  8. D25

    D25 The Quick

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    All the advice is good so far.

    Definately go with the Remington 870.

    Don't look at the ducks; They will see your face.

    Practice being extreemly cold.

    Invest in a labrador retriever. They are very good at their job, and help you to overcome the coldness, boredom, hunger, sleepiness, etc., etc., that comes along with this wonderful sport.
     
  9. D25

    D25 The Quick

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    Dangit! Now I'm all excited about duck hunting, but I still have something like 6 1/2 months until opening day!
     
  10. MrMurphy

    MrMurphy ********* Moderator Lifetime Member Millennium Member

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    If some schmuck swings his shotgun in your direction, you'll find out why it's called DUCK! Hunting........... ;a
     
  11. MuRDoC

    MuRDoC

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    what he said except I use thigh waders, it's too hot for chest waders in Texas most of the time, just don't get your butt wett ;i
     
  12. rfb45colt

    rfb45colt safe-cracker

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    Amen! Good advice.

    2. I use a cheap Remington 870 express that I spray painted in a camo pattern.

    3. I have both chest waders and hip boots. One area I hunt, the water is no deeper than two feet. This is hip boot territory. Chest waders are too much trouble if you don't need them... especially when I'm into my second or third quart of coffee... which has to "come out", meaning lots of undressing for pee breaks. ;f

    4. The best decoy line I've come across is made by Hunters Specialties. It's a dark green plastic line, that will tangle if you're real clumsy, but treat it right, and you'll be knot-free all day. In fact, the stuff is hard to tie into a good knot, so be sure you get some of the crimp type connecters that they sell also. There's nothing more aggravating than trying to untangle/unknot your line in the dark, with shooting time fast approaching.

    Then there's the weights. I've tried all the commercially made weights (mushrooms, straps, mushrooms with a long wrap-around stem), they all were weed snaggers, and finally I made my own. I got some 1/2" diameter copper tubing, and cut 2" long pieces using a tubing cutter. I then crimped one end together using vice-grips. I then stood them upright in a bucket full of sand, crimped end down... and poured them full of molten lead. When it hardened, I then drilled a small hole for the line, through the crimped end. Then I spray-painted them flat black. They're heavy enough for those windy days, and when it's time to pick up your dekes, you're not pulling all the weeds up with them. The bullet shape of the weights lets them pull right through even the toughest of muck & weeds.

    5. Right on, about a ton of patience. Some days, you'll never get a shot, nor see any birds. Other days, you can't reload your shotgun fast enough. :)

    6. There have been times when I had to get up so early, it didn't even pay to go to bed the night before. Last season, there were a few times when I stayed up late reading this board, and before I knew it, it was time to get up to go duck hunting, and I hadn't even gone to bed yet.;) I'd just fill about 5 thermos full of coffee, and the caffeine overdose would keep me awake.

    7. DU banquets... I look forward to them all year, and usually attend several. Loads of fun. But bring money, there's usually lots of good raffle prizes to be had.


    Now a word about blinds. I move around too much looking for flocks of birds to build a permanent type blind. (There's over 1,200 lakes in my county... and that's not counting the beaver ponds, creeks, and streams). I've found that those pop-up blinds, marketed mainly towards deer hunters, are excellant for duck hunting, too. The one I use is called "The Outhouse", sells for about $60, and it goes up in about 20 seconds flat. I add a few cattails or other vegetation to the built-in straps on each corner, and the ducks come right in on top of me. These blinds are very good at hiding your movememts (and keep you in the shadows). They make a good windblocker, and when it gets real cold, I fire up my Mr. Buddy propane heater, and stay nice and toasty warm. :)

    I've got two boats. A 16' v-hull aluminum with a motor on a trailer... for the bigger lakes with boat landings. And a 10' aluminum jon boat that only weighs about 50-60lbs, fits in the back of my 4x4 Dakota... for the little lakes and ponds that I have to hike into. Both have a camo paint job.
     
  13. ch-po

    ch-po

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    Oh man! This stinks. All this talk has got me thinking about baggin some mallards...and I have til October til the season opens again. Guess I'll fish till then!