Waterfowl hunting questions


September 13, 2010, 07:36 PM
Hi friends!

I've never hunted waterfowl before, but am interested in trying it this fall. The nearest place accessible to me is Sauvie Island, just outside Portland, so if anyone happens to have any personal experience there, I'd appreciate your insight.

My basic questions:

Is it possible to hunt waterfowl without either a dog or a boat?

I have a Mossberg 500 with a 18.5" barrel or a 20 gauge single-shot with a substantially longer barrel (26"?). I am not interested in buying a longer barrel for the Mossberg. Which is a more appropriate gun for this task?

Any other tips for a beginner would be appreciated.


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September 13, 2010, 07:59 PM
I've shot ducks with a 20 ga single shot. I had a boat and a dog. I wouldn't waste my time with a 18 1/2" barrel. I normally used a Browning 12 ga w/28" mod barrel.

September 14, 2010, 12:37 AM
I'm going to guess that the 18.5" barrel is cylinder choked and the 20 ga barrel is modified. If that's the case the 20 ga is a better bet. Cylinder is too open for ducks most of the time and that short a barrel won't swing worth a darn.

You should be able to find a 28" modified or screw in choke barrel for a Mossberg cheaply and it would make a much better duck gun than either of the two options you have now.


September 14, 2010, 10:16 AM
Retrieving the birds without a boat or a dog is tough unless you are sure you can wade...even then, it is always good to go with a buddy.

September 14, 2010, 10:31 AM
Yeah, retrieval was my big concern. Maybe I'll have to make a new friend or borrow a kayak or something.

September 14, 2010, 05:03 PM
Rod and reel with a bass plug on it.........

September 14, 2010, 09:54 PM
Where I hunt, nothing is over waist deep. Good pair of waders works. I do have a kayak and have owned dogs over the years, but don't have one now. It's teal season here, but the river is out of its banks and the WMA is closed due to flooding. Hopefully next week it'll be open. That little tropical storm dumped on us pretty good, about 6 inches here and more upstream.

If you have the wind at your back as you SHOULD when you set up, the ducks will be blown away from you. So, if you're going to cast for it and there's a good breeze, you'd better make a good cast fast.

September 14, 2010, 10:47 PM
You don't have to have a dog if you are in water that you can wade in easily but to me the dog is the whole reason for duck and goose hunting. I mean it is fun but having a well trained dog that you trained just takes it to a whole new level. If you can decoy them in close enough then the 20 will be fine, other wise look for a barrel for the 12. Good luck its a great hobby.

September 15, 2010, 12:23 PM
Dogs are great, but a PITA if you travel and no one's home to fee 'em. I can't have a dog right now. They do make for great hunting pals, though. :D Also, you'll loose a lot fewer birds if he has a good nose on him.

September 15, 2010, 12:50 PM
I loved hunting with my dog, thinking about it today, I don't see how I did it. A 12' jon boat, 9.5 evin. my dog and me. It sure was cold on them rivers at 5am. Duck hunting was always my favorite.

September 16, 2010, 02:41 AM
Sauvie Island is a good place, get there early to get a good spot in the lottery. Also its almost all very wade-able.

September 17, 2010, 10:35 AM
Never use a dog iin teal season down here. It's warm and dogs have been lost to gators out there. Not the problem where you are, just sayin'. :D Gators hole up by regular duck season, only a problem in early teal which is going on now.

September 25, 2010, 07:42 PM
to tell you the truth im the same way as you i actually just went on my first duck hunting trip this year. no dog and no boat. the 18.5" mossy will work just fine for ducks the way it works is for every inch that is taken from a barrel reduces velocity by 1% so long as you are shooting a modified or full choke with #4's you will be fine. in canada we are only alowed to use steel shot for waterfowl I dont know what oregons laws are like in that respect but it isnt recommended to use steel shot with anything that has a full choke. i use 3" shells with #2 steel with a modified choke with my BPS and it worked great.

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