texashuntingforum.com logo
Main Menu
Advertisement
Affiliates
Advertisement
Newest Members
WILDWHIT, Woody09, BillyK2021, TxHornHunter2021, Azlyx8
68792 Registered Users
Top Posters(All Time)
dogcatcher 108,606
stxranchman 58,231
SnakeWrangler 57,492
RKHarm24 44,585
rifleman 44,461
Gravytrain 43,666
BMD 41,222
Big Orn 37,484
Forum Statistics
Forums46
Topics609,731
Posts11,411,084
Members83,792
Most Online19,184
Feb 5th, 2020
Print Thread
First year waterfowl hunting #8345320 08/08/21 10:49 PM
Joined: Oct 2016
Posts: 59
D
Danny_DeerVito Offline OP
Outdoorsman
OP Offline
Outdoorsman
D
Joined: Oct 2016
Posts: 59
Going to be figuring it out as I go, hunting different public land by myself when I get the opportunity. Any advice for essential gear for a beginner? Just looking for the basics as I won’t be heavily hunting waterfowl, just trying it out a few times this season.

Also, the most intimidating part for me is being able to identify the different birds in flight, not shooting something I wasn’t supposed to. Any videos, sources, etc that could help me get used to quickly recognizing what I’m seeing?

Re: First year waterfowl hunting [Re: Danny_DeerVito] #8345554 08/09/21 02:07 AM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 4,765
R
RayB Offline
red bone Bob
Offline
red bone Bob
R
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 4,765
Youtube has a bunch of videos on shotguns and stuff to take duck hunting check out videos by outdoor limits and high praire sportsman, both are good about showing decoy arrangement


There is time, and you must take it, to lay your hand on your dog's head as you walk past him lying on the floor or on his settle, time to talk with him, to remember with him, time to please him, time you can't buy back once he's gone" GBE
Re: First year waterfowl hunting [Re: Danny_DeerVito] #8345579 08/09/21 02:39 AM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 482
D
DUKFVR Offline
Bird Dog
Offline
Bird Dog
D
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 482
Don't over think it. If hunting public, respect the other hunters. Don't worry about a bunch of calling. All the duck commander wanna be's will be teaching the ducks to be call shy. If walking in a dozen decoys are more than enough. Don't skybust. Let the birds get in decent range. You will see every kind of idiot you can believe hunting public. Don't be like them. Don't get on the forums, fb or others and tell the spots you are hunting. It just means you will have ALOT more competition for your spots. Good Luck to you and enjoy. If you are willing to put in the time and effort public hunting will produce better than most private land.

Re: First year waterfowl hunting [Re: Danny_DeerVito] #8345761 08/09/21 12:51 PM
Joined: Oct 2016
Posts: 59
D
Danny_DeerVito Offline OP
Outdoorsman
OP Offline
Outdoorsman
D
Joined: Oct 2016
Posts: 59
Also, what’s the best way to get to ducks/decoys in water that idk the depth of? Should I be investing in a small kayak or inflatable raft of some sort?

Re: First year waterfowl hunting [Re: Danny_DeerVito] #8345799 08/09/21 01:33 PM
Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 3,697
6
68A Online Content
Extreme Tracker
Online Content
Extreme Tracker
6
Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 3,697
Originally Posted by DUKFVR
Don't over think it. If hunting public, respect the other hunters. Don't worry about a bunch of calling. All the duck commander wanna be's will be teaching the ducks to be call shy. If walking in a dozen decoys are more than enough. Don't skybust. Let the birds get in decent range. You will see every kind of idiot you can believe hunting public. Don't be like them. Don't get on the forums, fb or others and tell the spots you are hunting. It just means you will have ALOT more competition for your spots. Good Luck to you and enjoy. If you are willing to put in the time and effort public hunting will produce better than most private land.


Solid advice


Originally Posted by Danny_DeerVito
Also, what’s the best way to get to ducks/decoys in water that idk the depth of? Should I be investing in a small kayak or inflatable raft of some sort?


Kayak would definitely open up more possibilities. Always wear a life jacket, also wear it when setting out or picking up dekes in a new area. You can find decoy/bird retriever poles online. Without a dog or a kayak (wouldn’t recommend anything inflatable) you’ll have to hunt the wind right, so birds will float in the direction of shallow water if you can’t get to them quick enough. Also, this will help you keep your shot distance limited, shoot them in range where you know you’ll be able to get them and be prepared to make follow up shots quickly, if needed.

Re: First year waterfowl hunting [Re: 68A] #8345948 08/09/21 03:20 PM
Joined: Mar 2020
Posts: 422
B
booskay Offline
Bird Dog
Offline
Bird Dog
B
Joined: Mar 2020
Posts: 422
Kayak is best,,,, if not, I used to use a fishing rod to retrieve my decoys.

Re: First year waterfowl hunting [Re: Danny_DeerVito] #8345971 08/09/21 03:51 PM
Joined: Feb 2020
Posts: 25
T
TShooter247 Offline
Light Foot
Offline
Light Foot
T
Joined: Feb 2020
Posts: 25
Welcome to the sport.

Take your gun and do some pattern shots with it. This will help you learn how your shots are looking as well as what distance you can shot up to without just "Spray and Pray". Once you get your distance down this will also let you know how far to put out the decoys to help you with your shots. If you setup the decoys to far out you will have a tough time knocking the birds down.

Kayak and a sled would be a good start for gear as it will help open up more locations to you. Some public land is water access only so you will not be able to just walk in. The sled is more to drag gear behind you instead of it being piled up on your lap.

Don't go "name brand/high end" on the gear at first. You can get through this season first and then start looking at where your preferences are for gear. Such as if your season does not get that cold go with thinner waders. I personally prefer this and if it does get cold I can always layer up underneath. Also, if you are looking for a shotgun I have seen a Remington 870 be just as lethal. Again, know your pattern and you will be just fine.

Unfortunately the best way to learn how to identify the species is just getting in the field and putting the work in. Most ducks will give you a couple of passes so you should have some time to tell if they are legal or not. Also, if they land in the decoys you can always do the Arkansas blast. Go light on the duck calls as well. All you will really need to learn is the basic quack to grab attention of those flying in the distance. A good decoy spread will go a long way to get the birds to finish in the kill zone. Faulk's Game calls is a great start. Cheap and easy to get on Amazon.

Best of luck.

Re: First year waterfowl hunting [Re: Danny_DeerVito] #8346088 08/09/21 05:41 PM
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 5,483
L
LarryCopper Offline
THF Trophy Hunter
Offline
THF Trophy Hunter
L
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 5,483
Are you set on hunting alone? You prolly won't find a lot folks that have been duck hunting a long time that would be willing to hunt with a newb, but there are a lot of eager guys that have been at it a few years that might want company. They could at least get you started. They'll have decoys and maybe even a boat to open up some opportunities. It would save you some investment in gear, ramp up your learning curve, and maybe make some buddies along the way.


Re: First year waterfowl hunting [Re: Danny_DeerVito] #8346134 08/09/21 06:31 PM
Joined: Mar 2020
Posts: 422
B
booskay Offline
Bird Dog
Offline
Bird Dog
B
Joined: Mar 2020
Posts: 422
Where to hunt -------------- if you are friends with some dove hunters, most dove spots have a pond, and almost no dove hunters duck hunt that pond ------- start there.

Re: First year waterfowl hunting [Re: 68A] #8346155 08/09/21 07:01 PM
Joined: Oct 2016
Posts: 59
D
Danny_DeerVito Offline OP
Outdoorsman
OP Offline
Outdoorsman
D
Joined: Oct 2016
Posts: 59
Originally Posted by 68A
Originally Posted by DUKFVR
Don't over think it. If hunting public, respect the other hunters. Don't worry about a bunch of calling. All the duck commander wanna be's will be teaching the ducks to be call shy. If walking in a dozen decoys are more than enough. Don't skybust. Let the birds get in decent range. You will see every kind of idiot you can believe hunting public. Don't be like them. Don't get on the forums, fb or others and tell the spots you are hunting. It just means you will have ALOT more competition for your spots. Good Luck to you and enjoy. If you are willing to put in the time and effort public hunting will produce better than most private land.


Solid advice


Originally Posted by Danny_DeerVito
Also, what’s the best way to get to ducks/decoys in water that idk the depth of? Should I be investing in a small kayak or inflatable raft of some sort?


Kayak would definitely open up more possibilities. Always wear a life jacket, also wear it when setting out or picking up dekes in a new area. You can find decoy/bird retriever poles online. Without a dog or a kayak (wouldn’t recommend anything inflatable) you’ll have to hunt the wind right, so birds will float in the direction of shallow water if you can’t get to them quick enough. Also, this will help you keep your shot distance limited, shoot them in range where you know you’ll be able to get them and be prepared to make follow up shots quickly, if needed.


I do have a kayak that I’ve used for fishing in the past that would definitely work for hunting lake coves/flooded wooded areas. For pond/tank hunting would I be alright to wait for the wind to blow them to shore or should I always have a way to get on the water?

Re: First year waterfowl hunting [Re: TShooter247] #8346166 08/09/21 07:09 PM
Joined: Oct 2016
Posts: 59
D
Danny_DeerVito Offline OP
Outdoorsman
OP Offline
Outdoorsman
D
Joined: Oct 2016
Posts: 59
Originally Posted by TShooter247
Welcome to the sport.

Take your gun and do some pattern shots with it. This will help you learn how your shots are looking as well as what distance you can shot up to without just "Spray and Pray". Once you get your distance down this will also let you know how far to put out the decoys to help you with your shots. If you setup the decoys to far out you will have a tough time knocking the birds down.

Kayak and a sled would be a good start for gear as it will help open up more locations to you. Some public land is water access only so you will not be able to just walk in. The sled is more to drag gear behind you instead of it being piled up on your lap.

Don't go "name brand/high end" on the gear at first. You can get through this season first and then start looking at where your preferences are for gear. Such as if your season does not get that cold go with thinner waders. I personally prefer this and if it does get cold I can always layer up underneath. Also, if you are looking for a shotgun I have seen a Remington 870 be just as lethal. Again, know your pattern and you will be just fine.

Unfortunately the best way to learn how to identify the species is just getting in the field and putting the work in. Most ducks will give you a couple of passes so you should have some time to tell if they are legal or not. Also, if they land in the decoys you can always do the Arkansas blast. Go light on the duck calls as well. All you will really need to learn is the basic quack to grab attention of those flying in the distance. A good decoy spread will go a long way to get the birds to finish in the kill zone. Faulk's Game calls is a great start. Cheap and easy to get on Amazon.

Best of luck.


I have been dove, pheasant, turkey hunting for years so I’m pretty comfortable with my gun and different patterns/ranges with different types of shot. But I have the tendency to think things are further away than they are so my problem has always been taking too close of shots rather than too far of shots.
My plan is to look for all used gear (besides a call) from Craigslist, FB Marketplace, etc. to get stuff that’s functional but affordable.

Re: First year waterfowl hunting [Re: Danny_DeerVito] #8346168 08/09/21 07:09 PM
Joined: May 2018
Posts: 536
2
2flyfish4 Online Content
Tracker
Online Content
Tracker
2
Joined: May 2018
Posts: 536
Rod and reel with a zara spook works pretty good at retrieving birds on a small pond.


Instagram - 2flyfish4
Re: First year waterfowl hunting [Re: LarryCopper] #8346177 08/09/21 07:15 PM
Joined: Oct 2016
Posts: 59
D
Danny_DeerVito Offline OP
Outdoorsman
OP Offline
Outdoorsman
D
Joined: Oct 2016
Posts: 59
Originally Posted by LarryCopper
Are you set on hunting alone? You prolly won't find a lot folks that have been duck hunting a long time that would be willing to hunt with a newb, but there are a lot of eager guys that have been at it a few years that might want company. They could at least get you started. They'll have decoys and maybe even a boat to open up some opportunities. It would save you some investment in gear, ramp up your learning curve, and maybe make some buddies along the way.


It’s not absolutely necessary but I do prefer hunting alone typically, being able to work through stuff and figure it out on the fly. I’ll probably just keep my eyes out on here for people who might be near my area, and maybe even meet people when I’m out by myself.

Re: First year waterfowl hunting [Re: booskay] #8346186 08/09/21 07:27 PM
Joined: Oct 2016
Posts: 59
D
Danny_DeerVito Offline OP
Outdoorsman
OP Offline
Outdoorsman
D
Joined: Oct 2016
Posts: 59
Originally Posted by booskay
Where to hunt -------------- if you are friends with some dove hunters, most dove spots have a pond, and almost no dove hunters duck hunt that pond ------- start there.


I’m primarily a dove hunter myself, this is just something new I’ve always wanted to try out. I don’t know anyone that owns any land, we always just season lease on dove-specific properties. I guess it can’t hurt to ask if they’d allow duck hunting or be able to charge an extra fee for that.
Primary I’m planning on hunting some public farm lands that mostly just get used for dove, and flooded timber/isolated water holes around a nearby USACE lake.

Re: First year waterfowl hunting [Re: Danny_DeerVito] #8346214 08/09/21 08:04 PM
Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 3,697
6
68A Online Content
Extreme Tracker
Online Content
Extreme Tracker
6
Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 3,697
Originally Posted by Danny_DeerVito
Originally Posted by 68A
Originally Posted by DUKFVR
Don't over think it. If hunting public, respect the other hunters. Don't worry about a bunch of calling. All the duck commander wanna be's will be teaching the ducks to be call shy. If walking in a dozen decoys are more than enough. Don't skybust. Let the birds get in decent range. You will see every kind of idiot you can believe hunting public. Don't be like them. Don't get on the forums, fb or others and tell the spots you are hunting. It just means you will have ALOT more competition for your spots. Good Luck to you and enjoy. If you are willing to put in the time and effort public hunting will produce better than most private land.


Solid advice


Originally Posted by Danny_DeerVito
Also, what’s the best way to get to ducks/decoys in water that idk the depth of? Should I be investing in a small kayak or inflatable raft of some sort?


Kayak would definitely open up more possibilities. Always wear a life jacket, also wear it when setting out or picking up dekes in a new area. You can find decoy/bird retriever poles online. Without a dog or a kayak (wouldn’t recommend anything inflatable) you’ll have to hunt the wind right, so birds will float in the direction of shallow water if you can’t get to them quick enough. Also, this will help you keep your shot distance limited, shoot them in range where you know you’ll be able to get them and be prepared to make follow up shots quickly, if needed.


I do have a kayak that I’ve used for fishing in the past that would definitely work for hunting lake coves/flooded wooded areas. For pond/tank hunting would I be alright to wait for the wind to blow them to shore or should I always have a way to get on the water?


For ponds/small tanks you’d probably be ok without some sort of watercraft provided it’s not a dead wind day. Presumably, if hunting a large body of water you wouldn’t, or shouldn’t, be hunting a deep water drop off (unless you’re chasing divers, another ballgame). As mentioned, a fishing pole with a top water is helpful. A decoy pole or something similar is helpful in that you can use it to gauge depth before jumping off the yak or when walking out to throw dekes or retrieve a bird. Prior to the hunt, it also helps to note the distance from your blind you can comfortably walk out to, to retrieve a bird, either with a decoy or mental note. If you have a yak, stash it nearby and if a bird is out of the range you can hop in and retrieve it. Just make sure you don’t start throwing decoys out into deep water with no way to get them.
You said it best, figuring these things out is part of the learning curve but the challenge is most of the fun. As stated, the first year, keep it simple. Basic quacks or a whistle, don’t skyblast, don’t over call, hold still and don’t let some of the jerks you’ll run into on public get you down.

Re: First year waterfowl hunting [Re: Danny_DeerVito] #8346596 08/10/21 03:05 AM
Joined: Apr 2021
Posts: 48
T
TXHunter0619 Offline
Light Foot
Offline
Light Foot
T
Joined: Apr 2021
Posts: 48
For what it's worth, I've found that not only learning by doing, but learning by doing with others who have been doing something a lot longer that mean is the best way to learn. You could always look at the outfitters section to see if you could find something affordable for what you're after. I've seen a few duck clubs that allow for weekend hunts. May cost you a couple hundred bucks, but probably guarantee you onto some birds and you'd certainly find some experienced folks to learn from.


tough times don't last, tough people do
Re: First year waterfowl hunting [Re: TXHunter0619] #8347122 08/10/21 05:22 PM
Joined: Nov 2014
Posts: 375
E.TX.JMart Offline
Bird Dog
Offline
Bird Dog
Joined: Nov 2014
Posts: 375
Originally Posted by TXHunter0619
For what it's worth, I've found that not only learning by doing, but learning by doing with others who have been doing something a lot longer that mean is the best way to learn. You could always look at the outfitters section to see if you could find something affordable for what you're after. I've seen a few duck clubs that allow for weekend hunts. May cost you a couple hundred bucks, but probably guarantee you onto some birds and you'd certainly find some experienced folks to learn from.


x2 This

Not to steer you away from Public Land, because I hunted Public for years and honestly enjoyed it more than Private, but 1 or 2 guided hunts would go a long ways for you IMO.

With the right guide, the knowledge you gain in that 5-6 hours would certainly be worth the investment.

Re: First year waterfowl hunting [Re: E.TX.JMart] #8347488 08/10/21 11:04 PM
Joined: Oct 2016
Posts: 59
D
Danny_DeerVito Offline OP
Outdoorsman
OP Offline
Outdoorsman
D
Joined: Oct 2016
Posts: 59
Originally Posted by E.TX.JMart
Originally Posted by TXHunter0619
For what it's worth, I've found that not only learning by doing, but learning by doing with others who have been doing something a lot longer that mean is the best way to learn. You could always look at the outfitters section to see if you could find something affordable for what you're after. I've seen a few duck clubs that allow for weekend hunts. May cost you a couple hundred bucks, but probably guarantee you onto some birds and you'd certainly find some experienced folks to learn from.


x2 This

Not to steer you away from Public Land, because I hunted Public for years and honestly enjoyed it more than Private, but 1 or 2 guided hunts would go a long ways for you IMO.

With the right guide, the knowledge you gain in that 5-6 hours would certainly be worth the investment.


Anybody have recommendations for the north Texas area? Or even just connections with someone who wouldn’t mind me tagging along as an extra pair of hands, I don't have to be pulling a trigger to learn.

Re: First year waterfowl hunting [Re: Danny_DeerVito] #8347496 08/10/21 11:10 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 4,765
R
RayB Offline
red bone Bob
Offline
red bone Bob
R
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 4,765
Silver Creek Guide Service
He used to post here, good guy I hunted with and had a great hunt, then I joined a lease, now I'm back on his list ( I hope)


There is time, and you must take it, to lay your hand on your dog's head as you walk past him lying on the floor or on his settle, time to talk with him, to remember with him, time to please him, time you can't buy back once he's gone" GBE
Re: First year waterfowl hunting [Re: Danny_DeerVito] #8347526 08/10/21 11:34 PM
Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 309
K
ken starling Offline
Bird Dog
Offline
Bird Dog
K
Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 309
North Texas guides that we have used in the past

Muddy Waters Outfitters (Wichita Falls)
Bullseye Outfitters ( Sherman)
Red Leg outfitters (Paris area)

These 3 are good choices in my opinion

Re: First year waterfowl hunting [Re: ken starling] #8347566 08/11/21 12:24 AM
Joined: Oct 2016
Posts: 59
D
Danny_DeerVito Offline OP
Outdoorsman
OP Offline
Outdoorsman
D
Joined: Oct 2016
Posts: 59
Originally Posted by RayB
Silver Creek Guide Service
He used to post here, good guy I hunted with and had a great hunt, then I joined a lease, now I'm back on his list ( I hope)

Originally Posted by ken starling
North Texas guides that we have used in the past

Muddy Waters Outfitters (Wichita Falls)
Bullseye Outfitters ( Sherman)
Red Leg outfitters (Paris area)

These 3 are good choices in my opinion


Thank you for the recommendations!!

Previous Thread
Index
Next Thread

© 2004-2021 OUTDOOR SITES NETWORK all rights reserved USA and Worldwide
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.3