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maineguide's picture
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Location: Downeast, ME USA
Joined: 09/03/2002
Posts: 330
waterfowl starts tomorrow

Yes a pain in the a$$

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Location: Portland, OR
Joined: 10/04/2002
Posts: 35
waterfowl starts tomorrow

actually, that system was the cause of the confusion. for my upland game validation all i did was walk in and give them the appropriate fee and they reprinted my entire license showing the proper validation. easy. the same thing for the state waterfowl validation. however, there is a Federal Stamp that is also required and is not sold at most stores. that was what i was missing.

anyway, i just returned from my first successful Duck hunt today. i brought home a Widgeon and a Hen Mallard.

Questions for the pros:

i hunt on a wildlife management area that uses set stations approx. 150-180 yards apart. they are spread out around a lake. there is heavy decoy usage and heavy calling.

i have 18 decoys. all mallards. 9 Drakes and 9 hens. what would be the most productive way to have these set up? how many pairs? groups of hens? groups of drakes? and how far out from shore? (the lake is very shallow)

calling... i suck at it, but i am practicing. is there a basic call sound that would be effective for me to use? i am competing with 6 other groups of hunters all calling at the same birds.

any other advice that you could give would be helpful. i am getting the hang of this, but i still feel like an intruder when i am out on the lake.

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Location: Nova Scotia
Joined: 08/17/2002
Posts: 1762
waterfowl starts tomorrow

Congrats on the ducks! I warn you it is a very addictive sport! As for the decoys, if I was in your situation I would keep my decoys at a minimum, maybe a couple of pairs to each side of you. With the lake full of decoys, your slightly sparse area would be a great landing area for the incoming ducks. In my experience, they rarely land in the decoys but will land else where and swim to meet their plastic friends. I must admit that I do not hunt under your situation and have the whole lake to myself so take this advice for what you think it is worth. :smile:

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Location: Portland, OR
Joined: 10/04/2002
Posts: 35
waterfowl starts tomorrow

actually, i have seen them land out in the lake and swim in. though they usually don't ever get quite within range. usually gunfire puts them back up before they get close.

the area i hunt isn't that crowded. i am fortunate enough that i can sneak away from work a day during the week and hunt when there are maybe only 3 other groups of people at stations on the lake. my biggest frustration has been other groups calling birds away that have set their wings and are coming into my spread. nothing aggravates me more than watching a group of mallards make the turn and set their wings...only to hear another group start calling them and watch them make a swing over into their area.

as for my decoys, i set a pair close to the blind (about 10 yards to the right and close to shore) and another pair about 10 yards off to the left, but farther out. maybe 15 yards off shore.. and the other 12 in a loose grouping off to the right of the blind and ranging out as far as 30 yards out from shore. the area in front of me has been left open for the "kill zone".

oh well, i'll get the hang of it soon enough i guess. live and learn. i hear you on it being an addictive sport. i can't wait to get out there in the freezing water before sun up and set up those decoys again... my wife thinks i am crazy.

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Location: Nova Scotia
Joined: 08/17/2002
Posts: 1762
waterfowl starts tomorrow

I guess it is time to out-call the competition. Buy the loudest magnum call you can find and start turning the birds your way. As well, a diver call may woe some species over that the other groups are not concentrated on. Good Luck.

maineguide's picture
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Location: Downeast, ME USA
Joined: 09/03/2002
Posts: 330
waterfowl starts tomorrow

Hey ChesterGolf, I have never had good lick with diver calls. Maybe never got one that would work on seaducks.

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Location: Portland, OR
Joined: 10/04/2002
Posts: 35
waterfowl starts tomorrow

thanks for all the help. i am going to go again on tuesday. i hope everyone else goes to work... ha ha ha!

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Location: Nova Scotia
Joined: 08/17/2002
Posts: 1762
waterfowl starts tomorrow

Maine,
The diver call isn't much good for sea ducks up here either but the ring-necks go crazy for them. Most of the time I use a magnum mallard call for the divers and it gets them close enough to shoot at atleast.

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Location: Portland, OR
Joined: 10/04/2002
Posts: 35
waterfowl starts tomorrow

ok, there has got to be an easy way to pluck ducks...at least, easier than what i am going through...ha ha.

any tricks on getting all those little feathers off? especially on the back and near where the wings and legs meet the body.

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Location: Nova Scotia
Joined: 08/17/2002
Posts: 1762
waterfowl starts tomorrow

Patience... and lots of it. :smile:
Sounds like you had a better day at the blind. Atleast you are plucking. The hunt has been awsome up here so far (47 ducks and 3 Canadas)but I have taken a break from it to track down a buck... should have stayed duck hunting.(I'd be eating meat if I did :smile: )

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