I think the best thing to do is find a group to hunt with. They can help you find the hot spots and give advice. One way to do this is to call your local Ducks Unlimited chapter or your local range. Somone at either of these location may be able to help you. Hunters always "know a guy who knows someone who loves that sort of thing." Let the dog hunt the birds, ... you hunt the dog.
Hey defender. If you find anything email me at [email protected] I'm in the same boat as you are. I live in SoCal and I want to duck hunt. A woman has the last word in any argument. Anything a man says after that is the beginning of a new argument.
To get started duck hunting....this is a road that really has no end. I listened to "Chubby" Andrews...thats Dr. William Andrews who is 82 years old the night before the opener in AR. He is one of the few still around that hunted with Nash Buckingham. He spoke about a lot of things, but the love of the birds and the friends that he has encountered along the way were two themes that I can relate to. This fella has been around the world, spent a year or so in Africa, was a respected surgeon, hunted with the Queen of England, and still gets a thrill out of being out there with the rest of us at first light waiting for the whistle of the wings.The first thing to remember is that waterfowling is a dangerous sport. You are out in generally not the best conditions, its cold, wet, muddy and mother nature does not stand fools. There have been several deaths already this year. The second thing is that it can get expensive real quick. Good clothes, waders, decoys, calls, boats, guns, shells, a dog, etc can be daunting when you first start and there is nothing wrong with picking up used or hand me down items, heck most of us have started that way.The first rule of waterfowling is: Be where the birds want to be. You have to learn the various birds habits and habitats, the individual characteristics of each one as there are different limits on various species, which way does the wind blow, water levels, currents, and tides, where do the birds go before or after a front, etc.Its an ever learning experience and tomorrow I start another level with the use of a scull boat. What specifically do you want to know? Do you have public areas close? There is a fine line between a hobby and insanity.
Rick,You forgot the second most important rule.Learn to call, learn to call really well. To do this, you must practice, ALOT. I find the best place to practice is in the car on the way to/from work everyday. It gives me at least 30 minutes of practice 5 days a week, and it doesn't disturb those around me.For more information on what calls and instructional videos to buy, you may try visiting the forums at www.duckhunter.net --Wing"Believe me, Delmar, Woman is the most fiendish instrument of torture ever devised to bedevil the days of man!" -- Ulysses Everett McGill, to his friend, Delmar O'Donnell, in O Brother, Where Art Thou?
Nope, in my opinion calling is really way down on the list, like #10...see the Duckman video the 10 Commandments.You can have the best caller and not be where the ducks want to be and do without vs having a so-so caller and be where the birds want to be and be very successful.Actually calling on most videos, especially those sold by call makers is aimed at one thing, selling calls. Same as all the variations of calls and colors. Is like most of the hunting and fishing stuff thats out there, is designed to seperate you from your dollars.On heavily hunted areas, especially public ground I may not call much at all, specifically not that annoying hail call and "feed chuckle" which aint got nothing to do with feeding anyway. Listen to a contented hen mallards 3-4 note Quack, quack--quack-quack, that is the sound to mimic that will satisfy just about every situation that you can find a group of puddle ducks loafing and feeding. Things change based on where we are.... in AR I normally call a lot and loud, this year the birds have been very call shy, so we have dropped the heavy use of the mallard hen quack and changed to more whistles and faster teal and gadwall quacks. A second sound to learn is a drake mallards "jeep". That is a fairly easy sound to mimic and can lend confidence to a beginner as you can participate with the calling...just watch that in the excitement you dont turn it into a whistle.I too practice while driving, and do it more for consistancy and endourance as the call pretty much makes the same racket as long as I can keep my mouth right. There is a fine line between a hobby and insanity.
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