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Tips, tricks, practice, must buys, etc...

Beentown

Dignitary Member
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Sunbury, OH
#1
Just like the title says. Any advice from practice regimen, hot buys to placing decoys or anything else really? Kind of a free for all.

One thing JohnROH and I did today that I think is going to help is shooting clays out of the lay-out blind. We put a blind on the side of the pond and the shooter would be in it, closed with no idea which direction the bird/birds were going to go. Once they called pull, they would open the blind and depress the safety and try to find the bird/birds in time. Basically the clays are already on the way once you have the blind open.

Whatcha got?
 

Rutin

Senior Member
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Ina Duck Blind
#4
Good tip.... Practice, Practice, Practice out of layout blinds or whatever you hunt in. Practice with the gun your going to be using also.... don't just practice with the blind, Practice like you play!
Hiding- take the time to hide well, don't skimp on dumb stuff. Take a rake with you if need be, nothing better than using what's already out there to blend in.
Use what works.... don't get caught in the hype of having the best of the best, I've seen a lot of birds killed over "decent" decoys, ect. Don't break the bank bc its "supposed" to be the latest and greatest.
 

Carpn

*Supporting Member*
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Wooster
#5
I like practicing on live pigeons if ya can find a field their using .
Also, like was mentioned your hide is the most important part . Doesn't matter how many birds are using a field if ya don't get hid good . I try to take a garden rake when its dry and a snow shovel when its snowy I. If u got enough snow put the blinds close and fill in between and around the blinds to make one hump instead of 4 or 5 .
 

Rutin

Senior Member
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Ina Duck Blind
#7
Mine will be in a blind right behind one of my shoulders depending on where I am at in the line.... fugger better stay steady or its back to the training fields! If were on the boat... well that's self explanatory.
 

jagermeister

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Ohio
#8
I find it funny that it matters that much to hide yourselves but the dog can be sitting there in the open. How does that make sense?
You can kill birds with the dog in the open. You can kill birds with you in the open too. But you will kill A LOT more with the dog hid and you hid.

Since we're on the subject of layout blinds... I like to position blinds (for right-handed shooters) so that they point slightly to the right of your killing hole. For a right-handed shooter it's much easier to swing across the left side of your body than the right. Positioning your blinds on a slight angle provides for a much more natural and comfortable shooting position, IMO.

Decoy numbers and layout... Pay attention to how the flocks are positioned in fields as you scout for the early season. You'll notice that the birds are scattered around the field in small groups. These are resident birds and they stick to family groups throughout most of the early season. Keep this in mind when setting your decoys. You may kill birds by setting one big glob of a spread, but I wouldn't take the chance... It's much more realistic to clump them up into family groups of 8-15 birds. You can strategically position these groups to create nice shooting hole just as easily as if you were setting a late season spread.

For ducks, IMO an absolute must-have is a jerk rig. This is the most underrated, underutilized piece of equipment amongst duck hunters. Spend 10 minutes of your life and make yourself a simple DIY jerk rig. Spinning wing decoys are great, but it's hard to beat the kind of water disturbance and turbulence created by a jerk rig.

One more thing I just thought of... THIS IS A GOOD ONE... When you're in the marsh and there's a break from the action or the birds quit working, go for a walk out through the decoys. Kick your feet through the bottom to really stir up the mud good. That contrast of dark muddy water you've just created will usually get the attention of every bird that flies overhead. Stirred-up water means active feeding... active feeding means "real" ducks... "real" ducks means safety... Ducks flying overhead convinced of food and safety equals what?... Dead real ducks. :) Same goes for hunting late season snow-covered fields... Walk through your shooting hole and exposed the bare ground. Kick up corn stalks and dirt. That contrast against the snow convinces the birds overhead that there's food down there. These subtle little details that most hunters leave out can often times make or break a hunt.
 

Rutin

Senior Member
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Ina Duck Blind
#9
For ducks, IMO an absolute must-have is a jerk rig. This is the most underrated, underutilized piece of equipment amongst duck hunters. Spend 10 minutes of your life and make yourself a simple DIY jerk rig. Spinning wing decoys are great, but it's hard to beat the kind of water disturbance and turbulence created by a jerk rig.
Just built one of these after last year..... hunting flooded corn field with low water and no current or water movement from the decoys KILLED us!
 

Derek j

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Knox Co.
#10
Jerk rig is a must have, like has been said. I also made stands for my spinning wings for in deep water. A lot of the lakes we hunt is 6+ feet deep, and the poles are too short. Instead of lengthening the poles, I made these:
ImageUploadedByTapatalk1375539312.826353.jpg

Glue and seal them so water don't get inside, and they are sturdy as a rock. Spinner in the middle, with 4 floaters attached to the corners for floatation. Then a couple weights to keep them in your spot. I painted mine olive drab, and they work great.
 

jagermeister

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#11
Jerk rig is a must have, like has been said. I also made stands for my spinning wings for in deep water. A lot of the lakes we hunt is 6+ feet deep, and the poles are too short. Instead of lengthening the poles, I made these:
View attachment 14907

Glue and seal them so water don't get inside, and they are sturdy as a rock. Spinner in the middle, with 4 floaters attached to the corners for floatation. Then a couple weights to keep them in your spot. I painted mine olive drab, and they work great.
That's a great idea man!
 

Derek j

Senior Member
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Knox Co.
#14
Hey Charles......Let me know what your schedule is like this season and we can go out on Alum Creek. I am going to try and hunt there at least a handful of times.
 

Carpn

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#15
I like floating old bleach bottles and shooting the to practice that on the water shot . . Beer bottles work too! But make sure ya use beer bottles in a pond . In rivers after the first 12 practice runs the current can possibly sweep them away before you deliver a fatal shot .
 

jagermeister

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#16
I like floating old bleach bottles and shooting the to practice that on the water shot . . Beer bottles work too! But make sure ya use beer bottles in a pond . In rivers after the first 12 practice runs the current can possibly sweep them away before you deliver a fatal shot .
I like practicing on goose silhouettes. :smiley_blackeye: lmao
 

Carpn

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#20
Yeah , best advice if your just starting out is watch craigslist . Buy some cheaper decoys and see how much you like it before dropping a bunch of cash on newer top end stuff . . It can get expensive in a hurry .