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Posted by TSS Caddis 11-12-08

Questions:

1) Do you watch the wind/wave forecast every day prior to your hunt making a game plan on where you will go and a backup plan if that falls through?

2) Do you scout at all during the week?

3) Do you try to keep a circle of friends that hunt different areas so you know what is going on around the state?

4) When you are done hunting, do you pack the boat up and go home, or do you go look for more birds for the next day?

5) Do you keep track of what winds you have had good hunts on in the past and where you were and where you have seen birds on those days?

6) When you pick a spot to hunt, are you picking it because of convenience or because it is a good spot? If because it is a good spot, what are you basing that off of?

7) When you pick a spot, do you really know if the birds will be there on the day you hunt, or are you just hoping for the best?

Etc...

TSS posted here in 7 points what it takes many waterfowlers years to figure out, and many never do.
It makes no difference if you hunt back waters, big water, or anything in between, the above points hold true. Think about them and practice them, and I guarantee, you will see more ducks.
 

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I've been away for little bit (maybe duckin') - but if you/we/whoever are not doing the BLUE questions -- then you are NOT KILLING ducks or geese or even coots.
 

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Is the worrying about wind more for the Big water hunters in the bay ? I don't worry about it as much, because if the wind shifts, I simply set up on the correct side for the wind. I only have a limited amount of places to go currently, so I am usually screwed if the birds are not working one of those spots. Being in SW MI sucks sometimes, but it does have some advantages. There are some lakes we can hunt that nobody cares we hunt, so I don't have to worry about that with the access and all. Some spots though.... look out.

At any rate, I have been hunting ducks for all my life. I still learn something new each year. Only one thing remains constant. Ducks will change behaviors as soon as you think you have them figured out. What you scouted the day before can change the next morning. Not always, just sometimes. I simply wish my side of the state had a lot more birds comeing through. In my specific areas, new birds do not come through in huge numbers, at least by mallards counts. Divers a few do, I think I have a few of the spots they like figured out, just have to time it right.

So with that said, scouting is good, something we all need to do better at. But, you have to admit, you need to be in a decent area that holds birds to be able to be constant at getting birds. It changes with almost each county.....
 

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Is the worrying about wind more for the Big water hunters in the bay ? I don't worry about it as much, because if the wind shifts, I simply set up on the correct side for the wind. I only have a limited amount of places to go currently, so I am usually screwed if the birds are not working one of those spots. Being in SW MI sucks sometimes, but it does have some advantages. There are some lakes we can hunt that nobody cares we hunt, so I don't have to worry about that with the access and all. Some spots though.... look out.

At any rate, I have been hunting ducks for all my life. I still learn something new each year. Only one thing remains constant. Ducks will change behaviors as soon as you think you have them figured out. What you scouted the day before can change the next morning. Not always, just sometimes. I simply wish my side of the state had a lot more birds comeing through. In my specific areas, new birds do not come through in huge numbers, at least by mallards counts. Divers a few do, I think I have a few of the spots they like figured out, just have to time it right.

So with that said, scouting is good, something we all need to do better at. But, you have to admit, you need to be in a decent area that holds birds to be able to be constant at getting birds. It changes with almost each county.....
Not that I'm an expert, but wind makes a big difference on the bay. The rafts of birds out there have different flight paths/patterns and head for different areas in different wind directions. And it varies from side to side of the bay as well. The scouting and experience that TSS Caddis spoke of is where this comes into play. You can spend a lot of fruitless time out there if you don't know how the wind affects them.
 
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