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Hunting whistling ducks? #7654392 11/07/19 12:01 AM
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shalor Offline OP
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I have permission to hunt on a location with several hundred whistling ducks. I’ve heard they’re really dumb, But good to eat? Will they decoy? Was thinking about using some full body Mallard hens along the edge of the water...Going to try to hunt them this weekend as I have never had them stay around this long in central Texas and expect them to migrate soon. Thanks for any tips.

Re: Hunting whistling ducks? [Re: shalor] #7654430 11/07/19 12:39 AM
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I've shot them but haven't targeted them specifically. Yes, very dumb. Just kept circling back trying to land right where I was even after shooting a couple.

Re: Hunting whistling ducks? [Re: shalor] #7654479 11/07/19 01:30 AM
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Is it where they are roosting?

They are some cool ducks. Same experience as BradyBuck on the ones we have shot, kept shooting in to a flock and they weren't even trying to get away. Almost made you feel bad afterwards. They do taste great and have a lot of meat though.

I have seen some with ducklings on the lower Colorado as late as early October.

If there are already a few hundred there you might be able to get away with just a whistle to get them close enough.

Re: Hunting whistling ducks? [Re: shalor] #7654593 11/07/19 02:44 AM
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Originally Posted by shalor
But good to eat? Will they decoy?.

I have never shot or eaten them, but they are suppose to be a great eating duck.

Re: Hunting whistling ducks? [Re: shalor] #7654623 11/07/19 03:17 AM
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I just can't bring myself to shoot one....we had a couple that would hang around our yard. They would show up just about dark and feed under the yard lights all night. We could almost pet them they wee so unafraid of us....

It would be like shooting a pet dog.....Jes can't do it...


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Re: Hunting whistling ducks? [Re: SnakeWrangler] #7654729 11/07/19 12:53 PM
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Well, that’s kind of what I’ve heard about how dumb they are . But I’ve got an 11-year-old and we have no other ducks in the county that I’ve seen, so we may go shoot a few. I’m expecting them to migrate soon as usually they’re gone by now. They may even leave today with this cold front. To answer a question of one of the posters I’m not sure if they roost there or not. Thanks for the info guys.

Re: Hunting whistling ducks? [Re: shalor] #7654748 11/07/19 01:16 PM
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They are good eating. I've shot a bunch in the past on a place I used to hunt. I definitely wouldn't hesitate to hunt them if that's all you've got for you son to hunt

Now we've got a flock of a few dozen that live in our area and roost on our property. They are about as stupid as it gets. If I hunt my flooded pasture at home they get a pass because 1. I like watching them in the evenings 2. They're so stupid that I almost feel sorry for them

If I'm not hunting at home though - I won't discriminate

Last edited by Cochise; 11/07/19 01:17 PM.
Re: Hunting whistling ducks? [Re: shalor] #7654763 11/07/19 01:33 PM
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Very good table fair, easy to hunt.


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Re: Hunting whistling ducks? [Re: Boudreaux] #7654791 11/07/19 01:59 PM
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Would you guys even put out any decoys. I’m going to be on a pond that’s only about 1 to 2 acres. But they Definitely come to this spot. These things are there by the hundreds right now. Usually I thought they were to Mexico by now? I have never killed one and have wanted to for a while so my 11 year old son and I are going to let them have it, if they stay till Saturday.

Re: Hunting whistling ducks? [Re: shalor] #7654801 11/07/19 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by shalor
Would you guys even put out any decoys. I’m going to be on a pond that’s only about 1 to 2 acres. But they Definitely come to this spot. These things are there by the hundreds right now. Usually I thought they were to Mexico by now? I have never killed one and have wanted to for a while so my 11 year old son and I are going to let them have it, if they stay till Saturday.


A lot of them don't really migrate and are resident birds.

Re: Hunting whistling ducks? [Re: shalor] #7654831 11/07/19 02:27 PM
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It's an understudied bird that is in the midst of a big population boom and range expansion. They can push out 2 broods a season in good conditions. They're smarter than people think. The reason they come right back after being shot at is because they build strong group and pair bonds. They mate for life and both parents share in brood duties. Typically you only get one shoot maybe two out of any spot they're in like that. Very good eating, BIG legs and thighs! Perfect to roast in a gravy til it falls on the bone. Throw out a dozen mallard hen decoys. Listen to their whistle and imitate it with your mouth. I hope you and your son have a great hunt.

Re: Hunting whistling ducks? [Re: shalor] #7654858 11/07/19 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by shalor
Would you guys even put out any decoys. I’m going to be on a pond that’s only about 1 to 2 acres. But they Definitely come to this spot. These things are there by the hundreds right now. Usually I thought they were to Mexico by now? I have never killed one and have wanted to for a while so my 11 year old son and I are going to let them have it, if they stay till Saturday.


I'd definitely throw out some decoys. With this north wind you never know what might leave and show up. They are not decoy shy at all so it can only help you. Good luck.

Re: Hunting whistling ducks? [Re: shalor] #7654875 11/07/19 03:09 PM
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Some interesting background on Whistling Ducks in Texas.

https://www.chron.com/sports/outdoo...-take-a-liking-to-Texas-and-10619661.php

Re: Hunting whistling ducks? [Re: shalor] #7655076 11/07/19 05:39 PM
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Great eating duck that will easily come to calls.


Re: Hunting whistling ducks? [Re: TXCrossTimbers] #7655198 11/07/19 07:48 PM
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Thanks guys. Will try to report back with our Hopefully successful hunt. Going to toss out a few mallards hands as suggested. Just hoping they don’t leave with this from before Saturday. They’ve been here since summer Continually building in numbers,so I bet they don’t.

Re: Hunting whistling ducks? [Re: shalor] #7655363 11/07/19 10:45 PM
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All of the above is accurate about the tree ducks. Recommend putting out decoys with a couple of spinners, they like them. Get a wigeon call and whistle at them when you see them. They usually work pretty well. If a nice flock comes and you get some out of it hit them with the call again, what is left may come back a couple of times. Not real bright.

The leg has some meat on it so it is good to clean the whole duck instead of breasting them out.

They are fun to hunt and we shoot as many as we can, not kicking them to the curb like other ducks. That is what we do in SE Louisiana.

Good luck.

Re: Hunting whistling ducks? [Re: Delta Duckman] #7655395 11/07/19 11:24 PM
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shalor Offline OP
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Thanks Delta Duckmen! I wouldn’t have thought about them liking a spinner. Not sure I can imitate their call with my widgeon whistle but going to give it a try.

Re: Hunting whistling ducks? [Re: shalor] #7655437 11/08/19 12:07 AM
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The call on a whistle is 5 count...with the 1st and 3rd beat slightly longer., and a pause on the second beat..."wheeet-silent for 1 beat-wheeeet, wheet, wheet"...


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Re: Hunting whistling ducks? [Re: shalor] #7655906 11/08/19 02:25 PM
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I have some video on YouTube of a nice flock of tree ducks that came into the decoys last year during teal season. Most land right by the spinner. We could not shoot them but you will see how they will sit in the decoys. Go to the 6:40 mark of the video.[img]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F59g36oZAXw&t=8s[/img]

Last edited by Delta Duckman; 11/08/19 02:28 PM.
Re: Hunting whistling ducks? [Re: shalor] #7657588 11/10/19 04:39 PM
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If you whistle aggressively you can get them to turn it typically won’t land I have shot one for the wall though - I actually blew English dog whistle - turned them on a dime- they are not real smart

Last edited by Greekangler; 11/10/19 04:41 PM.


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Re: Hunting whistling ducks? [Re: Greekangler] #7657662 11/10/19 06:00 PM
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Well we did OK. I think we killed 17 ducks and 14 of them were Whistler’s with me and an adult friend and 3 11-year-old boys. They were spookier than I thought. They weren’t afraid of the shot sound very much, but we had no place to hide and they acted like they were seeing us. I was hoping it wouldn’t matter with it how dumb they are supposed to be and how many there were, but I think if we were hidden we would’ve really tore them up. Thanks for all the advice guys.

Re: Hunting whistling ducks? [Re: shalor] #7661284 11/14/19 12:51 AM
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I am trying to get all 41 species for giggles. I am to the point that the whistler is the last local bird on the list. Willing to take someone out to my honey holes along the coast. Near Corpus Chrisit

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