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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Feel free to answer whichever question you think you can help me with:

1) Jump shooting: I'm using an 870 with a modified choke and #2 Remington Nitro shells. This spot I jump shoot is pretty open. I'm jumping birds but my kill rate isn't what I'd like it to be. I know the #1 thing is practice, practice, practice...but I'm also wondering (especially as these birds get more and more skittish) if I might have better luck switching to a full choke for a better chance at a longer shot? If you miss a jumped bird flying directly away from you...is that most likely shooting high or shooting low? I know there are variables, but I'm also supposing that I'm making common mistakes.

2) I want to be mobile when I go jump shooting. There were times the other day, for example, when it would have been nice to take a break for a half hour, hour, sit in the cattails and maybe toss out a few decoys. Question about decoys: if I want to get just a few to take with me jump shooting, what should I get? Is one type of decoy good enough to pull any kind of duck in?

I'm also not ready to bring my call out yet for "public consumption" (at least I'm smart enough to know that). Will ducks come into decoys without being called? In the interim, is there a good, basic call (with instructions) that I should buy?

I know there's a lot here...but I have a lot of questions and it seems there are some really good, experienced duck hunters in this forum.

Thanks in advance.
 

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Going to be allot of opinions here, But here is my two cents.

No I would not go with the full choke, I made that mistake. Yes birds will come into a small spread with out using a call. Most people over call. A simple "shake style" feeder call works good and a quack here and there on the call works. You probably won’t get limits of ducks but will get some to come in.
 

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If you're where they want to be - you don't need a call of dekes, just sit still. Go out and pattern your gun, you need to know what's going on with it. Could be patterning fine and you're simply just missing them, no gun/choke/shell combo fixes that.
 

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through the many years hunting with my 870 I have found that imp.cyl. works the best with #2 shot. Try patterning yours with both mod & imp. cyl. I think you will be pleased with the out come. A full choke will just make you frustrated. As far as decoys a few drake mallards and a simple jerk string for motion will work great. No call needed.
 

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I would stay with the Mod or open up to an IC. Either choke should put enough pellets into a bird at any reasonable range. For my .02 on the straightaway's- you're behind them. Assuming the bird is flaring up as well as out, bring the barrel up from behind and past the bird. When the bird is completely blotted out...bang. Also- if you are flushing multiple birds at once- make sure you are focused on 1 bird. Can't count the number of times I've flock shot and had nothing to show for it- amazing how much air is around one of those buggers...:lol:

As far as waiting them out- 1-3 mallard decoys work wonders. As does a soft quack now and again.


Another tactic to consider- bump the birds off with out shooting, then toss out your deeks. Might find that they return fairly quick if not blown up.
 

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Try leading birds that are flushing away from you by aiming a little over them. Also try the folding decoys(I cant remember the the name I think it is FUD or something) as they would be very portable for your style. I would stick to the gun combo you have and just try to get closer and if they fly early just sit tight and they might come back. As for your calling dont try to be a contest guy just concentrate on making duck sounds like the basic quack. I have found that a well placed quack can be dynamite in the right situation. You can learn the other stuff later but dont be afraid to try and call if the birds are going away then it wont hurt to try and you will learn what works and what doesnt. Either way just remember to not stop learning.
 

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Mod choke ---cool
Rem shells ?....I hate them...what size ? Anything other than Rem..... #2, 3, or 4 depending on area
I'd say shooting low or they are too far away, slow down walking don't pick your feet up, slide through the water. Little to no noise.
Yes ! Two decoys would be fine...mallard...my preference...(Black Duck)
Take a fold up seat you can carry, back-pack.
The best call CD you can get is live action, listen to a hen talking in the marsh and practice. Match her sound. Listen to the three note alarm as they leave the water after being jumped. Don't use that one to call her in.

It's all a matter of getting out there and experimenting with what you have to work with. Weather plays a role as well, wind direction. Stay down on the gun when you shoot, you'll have plenty of time to see the bird when it's down. That duck going away will be leaning/fading one way or the other. Most generally they will slide towards open water. When that single comes at you and you miss ? He'll back peddle/flair, shoot him in the tail as he will be loosing altitude. Practice that call in your vehicle to work or where ever. Blow til your blue in the face. Listen to the tone, vary where you place your mouth on the call, straight out, tipped down, half cupped full hand ? Try it all til it sounds good. Just get out there and try different things, you'll learn. It takes TIME !....Good Luck........:)
 

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Mod is plenty of choke for jump shooting. consider an IC if you're flushing within 20-25 yds.

it's already been said, but you're probably doing one of two things (or both);

1. you're shooting where the bird was , not where it's going to be (behind and low). swing up and through the bird, then touch it off.

2. gun mount - you're not bringing the "wood to wood". feel that stock against your check. now you shouldn't really be doing this, but if you look down your barrel and you're seeing rib... problem.
when you mount, you should only see bb front sight. honestly, i don't see that if you're tracking the bird properly. if you have gun fit right, you should be focused on the bird, not your bb.

while shooting clays, I can't tell you the number of times a guy would tell me he couldn't believe he missed that target, then I tell them I was standing behind them and they never had the gun mounted. they think they did, but never did. they might have had excellent focus on the target, but the gun barrel wasn't tracking with the eyes.

best practice? shoot some trap. get at least 20/25 from the 16 and then step back 4 yds. get proficient at that.

another thing that i always thought helpful that I learned from a national shooting instructor is how you hold the shotgun. many cradle the forearm (u shaped hold)- very common. whereas, some find it more helpful to "point" with their first finger by holding it along the side of the forearm near the barrel. reasoning? faster target acquisition, plus you can "push" the barrel on crossing shots (you'll be faster on those teal - trust me) and it's more natural to you really. it's about muscle memory. when you see a plane, you don't hold your hand out cupped, you Point with your finger! point with your lead hand and you might find that helpful as well in bearing down.

duck call: Aldo Leopold once said; "the best duck conservation tool ever developed is.... the duck call". no other single tool probably saves more ducks lives than a duck call in the hands of the wrong person! :p

I think it's a great tool when used properly. when not used correctly, you're probably handicapping your chances of bagging that duck. I'd suggest a drake mallard whistle if you're just dying to toot on a call. pretty hard to screw that up and besides... they've heard it all already on the hen call.

decoys? 3-4 dekes in a back pack and you'd be golden.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the quick replies, everyone! There's some great advice in here. Thanks again to each of you who posted your very helpful suggestions.

I do think some of the shots are too far away (judging distance in an open area is tricky sometimes...I think ducks are farther away they appear to be!). But I paced off a particular miss the other day and it was around 40 yards, which should be doable with my setup (I think). I'm not missing ALL of them...but I am missing shots I should be making.

I have one of those foot-launched skeet shooters I practiced with over the summer...I might have to mess with it some more--maybe wind it up and let the target get out there a bit farther in that 30-40 yard area before taking a shot at it. The problem (as I see it) with a skeet launcher vis-a-vis duck hunting is that you're pulling up on something that's being launched at your feet...that thing might only be out there 10 yards before you're shooting at it. Pretty difficult to get that close jump-shooting where I'm doing most of my hunting.
 

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[QUOTE duck call: Aldo Leopold once said; "the best duck conservation tool ever developed is.... the duck call". no other single tool probably saves more ducks lives than a duck call in the hands of the wrong person! QUOTE]

I love this. Thank you for the quote. something about a sportsman that can quote famous sportsman...very nice.....andy
 

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Simple enough yooper - get some sand bag weights to hold it down and then increase the cord length so that you're back 15-20 yds from the trap.

better yet would be to have someone else pulling the birds for you.

this would be the best similation as your foot trap thrown targets lack distance and speed. you'll want to take the targets while they still have a positive trajectory to simulate what you're trying to do.

best of luck to you.
 

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Jump shooting I'll take a full choke every time (otherwise I use IC). But, you've got to pattern your shells to see what really shoots best. Often a modified or improved modified choke constriction will shoot better with #2 steel than a full choke which can blow patterns.
 

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Great tips spread throughout the replies here...as a certified 'pro' in my own mind now :))) that started primarily as a jump shooter many, many years ago, here's a few thoughts that I happen to agree with:

- if you jump more than 3 ducks from a spot, don't shoot...set up with a few dekes and wait an hour.

- most ducks you jump are further than you think...they may get airborne at 35-40 yards, but usually get to 45-55+ yds by the time you squeeze.

- if they are in range, and you are missing, 95% of the time you are behind and under.

- #2 in steel gets crazy using most tighter chokes - check your pattern with mod or IC vs. full...unlike lead, the results aren't so straightforward...I like IC with all my steel.

- get a partner to paddle you around and have your gun at the ready, it is lots more funner and saves you key yards.
 

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Another tactic to consider- bump the birds off with out shooting, then toss out your deeks. Might find that they return fairly quick if not blown up.
I would agree. If your calling is sub par, rig three deeks on a jerk cord and pack it in. You will kill more ducks with the three on the cord than you would with sub par calling and motionless dekes.

As for the jump shooting, cant say I am against it. But you have a better shot of killing birds with the above mentioned tactic to kill birds ethically and kill more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I would agree. If your calling is sub par, rig three deeks on a jerk cord and pack it in. You will kill more ducks with the three on the cord than you would with sub par calling and motionless dekes.

As for the jump shooting, cant say I am against it. But you have a better shot of killing birds with the above mentioned tactic to kill birds ethically and kill more.
To me, jump-shooting is very challenging...hey, if I can get ducks to lock wings and coast into some decoys for much-easier shots than I'm getting now, I'm all for it. So I'm down with the "kill more" thing.

With the difficulty involved in jump shooting, I guess I'm not getting the ethics argument part of it (and I'm being sincere).
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Great tips spread throughout the replies here...as a certified 'pro' in my own mind now :))) that started primarily as a jump shooter many, many years ago, here's a few thoughts that I happen to agree with:

- if you jump more than 3 ducks from a spot, don't shoot...set up with a few dekes and wait an hour.

- most ducks you jump are further than you think...they may get airborne at 35-40 yards, but usually get to 45-55+ yds by the time you squeeze.

- if they are in range, and you are missing, 95% of the time you are behind and under.

- #2 in steel gets crazy using most tighter chokes - check your pattern with mod or IC vs. full...unlike lead, the results aren't so straightforward...I like IC with all my steel.

- get a partner to paddle you around and have your gun at the ready, it is lots more funner and saves you key yards.
Good stuff. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Jump shooting I'll take a full choke every time (otherwise I use IC). But, you've got to pattern your shells to see what really shoots best. Often a modified or improved modified choke constriction will shoot better with #2 steel than a full choke which can blow patterns.
I'm getting a strong vibe in this thread that I should pattern my shotgun and experiment with different chokes and shells when doing so :)

Ah, should have done that last summer as opposed to when I take my deer rifle out to site in...but better late than never.

But excellent advice. This is stuff I need to hear.
 

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I use a mod choke with #2 steel shot.

A couple of dekes should be good for what you're doing. I like Greenhead decoys. Not too expensive, and look pretty good I think.

As far calling I far from an expert. I'm still learning, and practicing myself. There was a DVD that came with my Primos Original Wench call that I learned to understand the basics from for calling.
 

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. So I'm down with the "kill more" thing.

With the difficulty involved in jump shooting, I guess I'm not getting the ethics argument part of it (and I'm being sincere).
Not saying you are going to kill more every time, but look at it this way if you sneak up and bust say 50 birds off you only have 3 rounds to get it done. But if you bump um off and than set up and even only have two small groups come back, you have six rounds.

Nothing un ethical about jump shooting and I didnt intend it that way, only thing is it sounds like your shots are getting a lil out there thats all. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Not saying you are going to kill more every time, but look at it this way if you sneak up and bust say 50 birds off you only have 3 rounds to get it done. But if you bump um off and than set up and even only have two small groups come back, you have six rounds.

Nothing un ethical about jump shooting and I didnt intend it that way, only thing is it sounds like your shots are getting a lil out there thats all. :)
That makes sense (long shots concerns). Fortunately I've gotten every duck I've hit so far--and the ones I've missed I've REALLY missed :) I do understand the concern about crippling birds and retrieving everything you hit, and I certainly want to make clean kills whenever I hunt anything. I'm also learning to be more selective in my shots and I'm getting better at judging distance. I'm not there all the way yet, but I'm improving on that.

I ordered a dozen "hot buy" decoys from Cabela's last night...I'm really looking forward to giving that type of duck hunting a shot. Thanks again. You and everyone else in this thread have been really helpful.
 
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