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I am new to Michigan and hunting. I've only hunted pheasant and deer, and very little at that. Looking to try out duck hunting this fall. Have a Remington 870 and 15' sportsman canoe I could rig up to access smaller lakes. However, I have no idea how to ID the different species, tactics to use, pretty much everything. Are there events by DNR or DU or someone that I should look to attend before this next season? I am near Lansing.
 

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For duck identification there are a few quizes online. Ducks unlimited has some as I believe delta waterfowl does too. Search online for waterfowl of Michigan and study the different ducks. You could watch hunting videos on tv and online to see how the different species fly and look in the air as well.
 

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Waterfowl Identification: The LeMaster Method: Richard LeMaster ...
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Waterfowl Identification: The LeMaster Method [Richard LeMaster] on Amazon. com. *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Instructions for identifying 40 species ...

Buy this book.
 
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Have someone with some experience take you out, you'll learn a lot more quicker, but if you don't have that the Internet and books stated above are a great start. Also getting out to a marsh before season and just bird watching is helpful too!
 

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Throw a 5hp on that sportspal and you've got a great small water rig. I used to have one and wished I wouldn't have sold it now. experience it the best way to start identifying ducks...you get two hens now, so you can do a lot of hunting before you have to start getting too concerned about ID'ing...not to say ID'ing isn't important...but you have more wiggle room now than you would have a couple of seasons ago.

Take your canoe out fishing/duck scouting near dawn or dusk and try to find and watch the ducks, you'll learn alot.
 

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If you're in the Lansing area, you should join the Grand River Chapter of Michigan Duck Hunters Association, which is based in the East Lansing/DeWitt area. You'll gain a lot of contacts that way (including yours truly LOL), and I'm betting someone will even take you hunting to show you the ropes ;) The chapter meets monthly at Eagle Eye golf course on Chandler Road in East Lansing. Also, the chapter is holding an activity day at Maple River State Game area in September with lots of activities, including a duck ID session the DNR is putting on. Here's a link to the info on their website http://www.grandriverchaptermdha.org/grcmdha_events.html It's focused on kids/youth, but adults come as well. It will be fun for all ages.
 

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I am new to Michigan and hunting. I've only hunted pheasant and deer, and very little at that. Looking to try out duck hunting this fall. Have a Remington 870 and 15' sportsman canoe I could rig up to access smaller lakes. However, I have no idea how to ID the different species, tactics to use, pretty much everything. Are there events by DNR or DU or someone that I should look to attend before this next season? I am near Lansing.
Patience and dedication are the solid virtues if you want to get into duck hunting with success.

With that gun and boat you have part of the foundation of what you need. You'll want at least an improved cylinder choke on that shotgun, modified if you're a good shot, but I'd avoid using just a cylinder. Your canoe should be drab or camo, but it's not the end of the world if it's not, just have to get creative. It cannot be visible while hunting or you will find it very difficult to get ducks to work close enough. You'll also want about a dozen mallard decoys (rigged either texas style or with keel weights). Invest in a duck call (mallard hen, stick to a double or triple reed to start), and learn how to use it before you even think about tooting it while hunting. Don't waste your money trying to buy expensive calls, an inexpensive $15-35 Haydels, Duck Commander, Primos or the like will do just fine to start. Waders are usually a must.

As long as you're not hunting a species specific season such as early teal, don't worry too much about species identification (yet) as a beginner if you're just hunting inland lakes. It's important, but really the only way to get better at it is experience. I've noticed that size and wing flap during flight (either in person or watching YouTube vids) are much better ways to ID ducks than just studying photos online. First big distinction you may notice are the difference between mallards and woodies/teal (woodies and teal are smaller and have more of an erradic and flappy flight, and teal have a wing flash sort of like pigeons do). The others will come with time.

There are certainly events and online materials from both DU and the Mich DNR, and other state's respective DNRs/DOWs. I recommend absorbing as much as you can. I also strongly recommend carefully reviewing the Michigan and Federal rules. There are some rules that are easy to break without knowing them, and breaking them is not something you want to do.

Last, this forum will be a great resource for you. There are a lot of very knowledgeable people on here, many of which are very willing to help. This fall will be my fourth season as a waterfowl hunter, and the guys on here have been a great resource to me, and I've even made some new friends. Do not ask for or expect tips on precise hunting spots. You'll learn pretty quickly that's a no no.

I'll end with some sage knowledge that was once told to me by a very wise, old waterfowler: there are two rules to duck hunting, (1) hunt where there's ducks, and (2) HIDE THE BOAT!

Best of luck this fall!
 
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Also getting out to a marsh before season and just bird watching is helpful too!
This, along with a lot of what the other guys are saying, is great advice. I promise you, a few days in the marsh before the season starts you will learn a few things that you will be VERY glad you learned before your first few days duck hunting. Sometimes it's the small stuff that make a big difference. They will likely be things you would otherwise only learn the hard way on a first or second day duck hunting, such as where the ducks like to land in the particular water you're hunting (try to scout the actual waters you will be hunting), where the shallows are, paths to take to the good spots (tough to deal with that in the pitch dark your first day hunting), etc. You may also likely learn things such as how ducks actually sound, something that will be valuable when learning how to use a duck call, or how they fly and land. Try to get in there before dawn just like you would when hunting--then you'll be likely to see the same type of action as you might on an actual hunt. Hide yourself and the boat just like you would when hunting.
 

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As long as you're not hunting a species specific season such as early teal, don't worry too much about species identification (yet) as a beginner if you're just hunting inland lakes. It's important, but really the only way to get better at it is experience.
I agree, but don't forget that proper identification is still important for bag limits and such. The DU app, on your phone, is a great resource for you in the field. The waterfowl identification part is a good place to start. Especially if you have a question in the field.
 

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don't forget the bug juice on your scouting trips.
mosquitoes here have been known to carry off small children.
 

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Maple River and Rose Lake are great places to start.
 

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Lots of public land for everyone to wonder around on. :D
 
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