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Find a wide slow moving creek and go shoot some woodies. No decoys needed. No call. Easiest form of duck hunting for sure.
 

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Duck hunting is like finding fish if you're hunting a river. Find areas where fast current meet slack water. Them ducks dont like current. We made a living back on the maumee river in that slack water. We'd hope for high water! Ducks and geese both. You dont need a bunch of decoys 6 or so mallards a couple geese and your good.
 

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Hunt the Saginaw Bay if your able but don't do it if you don't have any experience on the bay try and hunt with someone who has experience. There's nothing else like hunting the big water with hundreds of ducks and geese and all the other species of birds.
 

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Get into duck hunting,it's fun..
Start early on geese,it's fun..
No special gear needed for birds..
Someone lied...
Now for the story.. At 42,I've never bothered to try duck/goose hunting. But this year,u got talked into trying it (sorta). Bought the licenses needed including the fed.duck stamp. After being told a 20ga was fine,went looking for shells (DNR don't like finding lead rounds on a hunter)
. That was fun,found 2 boxes of 3" #3.. But seen 12ga rounds,so I pulled the trigger and picked up a 12ga. Remington chamber up to 3.5". Figured I was good for anything.. now to get the shells I'd seen before.. GONE.. 3weeks now looking for either 12ga or 20ga shells.. (better chances of finding an honest politician).. then SCORE.. co worker has 12ga 3.5" BB and #2 shot that he can't use.. 10.00 a box.. bought all 5.. called same guy that talked me into the idea and... The spots he knew of are over hunted and/or plowed.. no birds.. so,now I need to find somewhere to hunt (no clue what I'm looking for) ...
If this is someone idea of fun,their life really must suck.. ok rant over..

Embrace the suck.

It’s all worth it when you get up on a Saturday at 3am, after busting your butt all week at work, look at the weather and wind/rain is here and more is coming. You drive a hour or more to get the boat launched in the dark, cold rain then head out in hopes that nobody is in “your spot”. Once there you set up your decoys in the dark, cold rain. Shooting hours begin, seems as though everyone around you is shooting, but nothing is coming your way so you determine it’s the decoy spread. You head out to change up the spread leaving your shotgun in the boat and a flock of mallards commits to the spread you are about to change and all you can do is watch them as your gun is 20 yards away. You decide to change nothing because it obviously is working. A hour latter. A lone mallard finally finds pity upon you and your calling and sets the landing gear. You fire off 3 shots in quick succession and watch as he flies off without even a ruffled feather.

Another hour passes and you have long ago realized a pot of coffee on the drive to the launch was a stupid idea as you contemplate shooting a coot to just shoot something. When deciding your best route to get rid of said coffee you see a flock of 9 ducks in the distance. You grab your calls, blow like the CD’s you listen to on the way to and from work everyday told you to and you see the lead ducks head turn and look your way. You blow again and the flock turns. You shut up because they are now committed. You grab your gun, ready yourself as the flock sets their landing gear. You rise, you shoot…once…and a lone mallard falls from the sky like he completely forgot how to fly. You witness the splash as the other 8 ducks bug out in quick retreat. You make your way to the floating duck to retrieve it. You grab the bird and admire the magnificent colors and actual weight. The now pouring rain doesn’t seem to be such a bother.

You get back to your boat with a duck and a smile and realize you are 1.5 hours past your self imposed deadline to be back at the launch. You pack up, and head in. Once home gear is set out to dry. Fresh duck for dinner. Your wife refuses to even try it because she saw the whole bird when you brought it in the house to show her. You go to bed that night feeling accomplished. Sunday the alarm once again goes off at 3am. This morning only 1/2 a pot. The hour drive is fully consumed by how awesome it would be to train a dog to make the retrieve of next season‘s ducks. You get to the launch and smile as your boat goes in the water. You motor off into the darkness dodging raindrops, enroute to “your spot”…

You need to seek help from like minded brothers…

I said all this as I just bought another/bigger boat for me and my teenaged boys to do more hunting in the UP. It’s more addicting then meth, at least your teeth won’t rot away from it, so the warning signs of addiction aren’t noticed by your friends and acquaintances.
 

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Your first year may be more of a learning experience but if you find a couple decent spots you may get hooked on it like others and it will become your favorite hunting activity. Then you can add to your supply of duck gear year after year.
 

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As expensive as you make it...
Photograph Vertebrate Light Green Nature


My first bag of decoys looked as faded as these. The birds don't care. I still have those decoys. Should probably get rid of them. But then it's fun to bust out the old faded coots and shoot birds over them.
 

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Embrace the suck.

It’s all worth it when you get up on a Saturday at 3am, after busting your butt all week at work, look at the weather and wind/rain is here and more is coming. You drive a hour or more to get the boat launched in the dark, cold rain then head out in hopes that nobody is in “your spot”. Once there you set up your decoys in the dark, cold rain. Shooting hours begin, seems as though everyone around you is shooting, but nothing is coming your way so you determine it’s the decoy spread. You head out to change up the spread leaving your shotgun in the boat and a flock of mallards commits to the spread you are about to change and all you can do is watch them as your gun is 20 yards away. You decide to change nothing because it obviously is working. A hour latter. A lone mallard finally finds pity upon you and your calling and sets the landing gear. You fire off 3 shots in quick succession and watch as he flies off without even a ruffled feather.

Another hour passes and you have long ago realized a pot of coffee on the drive to the launch was a stupid idea as you contemplate shooting a coot to just shoot something. When deciding your best route to get rid of said coffee you see a flock of 9 ducks in the distance. You grab your calls, blow like the CD’s you listen to on the way to and from work everyday told you to and you see the lead ducks head turn and look your way. You blow again and the flock turns. You shut up because they are now committed. You grab your gun, ready yourself as the flock sets their landing gear. You rise, you shoot…once…and a lone mallard falls from the sky like he completely forgot how to fly. You witness the splash as the other 8 ducks bug out in quick retreat. You make your way to the floating duck to retrieve it. You grab the bird and admire the magnificent colors and actual weight. The now pouring rain doesn’t seem to be such a bother.

You get back to your boat with a duck and a smile and realize you are 1.5 hours past your self imposed deadline to be back at the launch. You pack up, and head in. Once home gear is set out to dry. Fresh duck for dinner. Your wife refuses to even try it because she saw the whole bird when you brought it in the house to show her. You go to bed that night feeling accomplished. Sunday the alarm once again goes off at 3am. This morning only 1/2 a pot. The hour drive is fully consumed by how awesome it would be to train a dog to make the retrieve of next season‘s ducks. You get to the launch and smile as your boat goes in the water. You motor off into the darkness dodging raindrops, enroute to “your spot”…

You need to seek help from like minded brothers…

I said all this as I just bought another/bigger boat for me and my teenaged boys to do more hunting in the UP. It’s more addicting then meth, at least your teeth won’t rot away from it, so the warning signs of addiction aren’t noticed by your friends and acquaintances.
What a great post. I could write similar about winter steelheading or my late fall perching. Just around the corner. Can't wait.
 

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Decoys aren’t even necessary for wood ducks. It’s all about being on the x or being in their flight path to do some pass shooting. I brought 7 decoys with me this morning and never set them in the water and had my limit of 3 wood ducks in the first 20 minutes of shooting hours.
 

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Embrace the suck.

It’s all worth it when you get up on a Saturday at 3am, after busting your butt all week at work, look at the weather and wind/rain is here and more is coming. You drive a hour or more to get the boat launched in the dark, cold rain then head out in hopes that nobody is in “your spot”. Once there you set up your decoys in the dark, cold rain. Shooting hours begin, seems as though everyone around you is shooting, but nothing is coming your way so you determine it’s the decoy spread. You head out to change up the spread leaving your shotgun in the boat and a flock of mallards commits to the spread you are about to change and all you can do is watch them as your gun is 20 yards away. You decide to change nothing because it obviously is working. A hour latter. A lone mallard finally finds pity upon you and your calling and sets the landing gear. You fire off 3 shots in quick succession and watch as he flies off without even a ruffled feather.

Another hour passes and you have long ago realized a pot of coffee on the drive to the launch was a stupid idea as you contemplate shooting a coot to just shoot something. When deciding your best route to get rid of said coffee you see a flock of 9 ducks in the distance. You grab your calls, blow like the CD’s you listen to on the way to and from work everyday told you to and you see the lead ducks head turn and look your way. You blow again and the flock turns. You shut up because they are now committed. You grab your gun, ready yourself as the flock sets their landing gear. You rise, you shoot…once…and a lone mallard falls from the sky like he completely forgot how to fly. You witness the splash as the other 8 ducks bug out in quick retreat. You make your way to the floating duck to retrieve it. You grab the bird and admire the magnificent colors and actual weight. The now pouring rain doesn’t seem to be such a bother.

You get back to your boat with a duck and a smile and realize you are 1.5 hours past your self imposed deadline to be back at the launch. You pack up, and head in. Once home gear is set out to dry. Fresh duck for dinner. Your wife refuses to even try it because she saw the whole bird when you brought it in the house to show her. You go to bed that night feeling accomplished. Sunday the alarm once again goes off at 3am. This morning only 1/2 a pot. The hour drive is fully consumed by how awesome it would be to train a dog to make the retrieve of next season‘s ducks. You get to the launch and smile as your boat goes in the water. You motor off into the darkness dodging raindrops, enroute to “your spot”…

You need to seek help from like minded brothers…

I said all this as I just bought another/bigger boat for me and my teenaged boys to do more hunting in the UP. It’s more addicting then meth, at least your teeth won’t rot away from it, so the warning signs of addiction aren’t noticed by your friends and acquaintances.
What? No waterlogged cold bologna sandwich to enjoy whilst waiting? l.o.l..
 

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The old timers used to use 2 liter bottles painted black and put those out for ducks and 1/2 tire cut in a field for geese. There are many ways to keep this less expensive.
 

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The old timers used to use 2 liter bottles painted black and put those out for ducks and 1/2 tire cut in a field for geese. There are many ways to keep this less expensive.
I started with buddies who had the gear and I had the ability to bust my hump doing all the grunt work. If someone really wants to go, they will find a way.
 

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If you're not getting limits every time out, then you must be doing something wrong.

My advice is to get some Sitka gear.
LOL!

I knew I was doing something wrong.

Dang set of bibs costs more than a lot of guns. Wait, maybe I have the wrong gun now too?
 

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The old timers used to use 2 liter bottles painted black and put those out for ducks and 1/2 tire cut in a field for geese. There are many ways to keep this less expensive.

The old 1/3 tire Geese decoys I tried when first starting out 40 years ago. I still have a few sitting in my field along the backside of my pond. I should stick them in some wild Rosebush brambles, they might make excellent Rabbit hides rather then trip points in the weeds!
 

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I feel ya. I got into it hot and heavy and got out of it just the same. Just too much work, more and more people in the sport, didn't love eating them, I could keep going. Staying the night in a spot to be downwinded 100yds at daybreak. There is alot more heartache than success. Waterfowling made me appreciate deer hunting.

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Found a few spots/birds.. a lake near me That has had birds every day,but no decoys or camo boat. Second is a cut bean field that I can hunt off old beaver and chip rd,but again,no decoys or calls (or clue what I'm doing). and I don't have the extra grand to get what I don't have... I guess,it was a good reason to buy a new gun..
Anytime you can find a reason to buy a new gun sounds like it was worth it
 

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Sat two years ago drinking beers in a buddies garage watching flights of Woodie and Mallards landing in the farm fields all within 1/4 mile of us, probably a few thousand. This went on for a couple weeks. We both get waterfowled out again last year, go out in the garage again a few times with decoys in this field and that field. Not one flight to be seen! At the end of last month we are in the back Bean field watching a few thousand Geese flying off the lake with a hour before the end of shooting time. All these were split apart in family groups or smaller flocks flying low and looking for 45 minutes. We did not waste the $30 for the stamps this year.
 
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"No special gear needed for birds.."

How'd you fall for that one? You've never seen all the decoys, calls, clothing, blinds, boats, rules, etc. specific to waterfowling?
Sounds like not a lot of research was done prior to starting waterfowl hunting. Going to a couple websites and answering questions will get you the basic answers you seem to have gotten but maybe reading a few articles or tagging along with a couple guys to learn more. No this sport is not easy nor inexpensive and it is getting harder as the years go on. Bird counts are lower and in our area data shows migration patterns swinging to the south of us here in Mid MI the last couple of decades. Sorry you had a slow start and hope it picks up for you in the future. Good luck
 

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Can always take the new 12ga to a gun club and shoot trap or skeet. Of course good luck finding those shells. However, you stay dry, it’s cheaper and you still get the challenge of shooting a small fast moving target.


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