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Goose/Duck hunting

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by spartywrx, Sep 6, 2010.

  1. spartywrx

    spartywrx Member

    Nov 20, 2008
    Rust Belt
    Hi guys

    I'm a completely new to waterfowl hunting. I've been deer hunting twice with a buddy (got nothing) and upland bird hunting twice. My father is ambivalent to hunting and is not too favorable on guns (he tolerates my hobby though) so hunting never got passed down to me.

    My parents just built a house on a large inland lake in northern lower Michigan. They have a dock that extends out about 90' into the lake. About another 50'-90' or so into the lake there are lots of reeds where goose/duck like to hang out from time to time. I've even chased goose off of their lawn and dock who would not respond to me throwing small rocks (they did respond to the 1 year old golden retriever I let loose :evil:). I always see a ton of ducks and geese flying overhead whenever I am up there.

    There is also a nature preserve about 1000yards away accessible by boat that is on the shoreline too. I figure I can hunt off the parent's property or maybe kayak over to the nature preserve area (but not step on land there, no hunting allowed). I've found shotugn wads washed up along the shoreline in the nature preserve before, so I think that this isn't a new idea.

    Hunting season opens Oct 2nd. Since I'm in medical school I'll only be able to hunt the 2nd and 3rd. I need to be back downstate on the 4th for school.

    I want to hunt them this year and my question is: what do I need to hunt, and what should I know before I go out and make a fool of myself?

    What I know I need:
    1. I have a Mossberg 500 in 12ga and 20ga. I can handle the flying clay targets as well as most other shooters I see at the range. I'm no expert, but I think I'm above average.
    2. All the proper licenses
    3. Steel/nontoxic shot
    4. Michigan DNR pamphlet on waterfowl hunting

    What I want to know:
    1. Calls. Which ones should I use, how to use them
    2. decoys, which are best from a cost/effective standpoint, how much to pay, how many do I need, what to do with them
    3. clothing, I know I'm gonna get wet. Any recommendations? I will be doing the fetching of the game by hand, the only dog available hasn't been trained to do this sort of thing although she is very well trained.
    4. etiquette on hunting with neighbors who will definately hear me shooting
    5. Chokes for the 12ga. Any recommendations?
    6. anything else I forgot or need to know

    Lastly I'm on a bit of a budget since I'm already $70k in debt from medical school so cost effective tips are greatly appreciated!
  2. ThePunisher'sArmory

    ThePunisher'sArmory Active Member

    Jun 23, 2009
    Belleville, Il
    As for calls buy one with an instructional video any will do just starting out.
    Decoys i get Green Head Gear and Flambeau (cause they work and are cheap)
    Anything from Cabelas for clothes. First off a VERY good quality coat, and waders if you are hunting by water. Also make sure you can wade in the water or have a boat for retrieving. Lastly a camo hat and face paint or camo balacava. For field hunting a layout blind is in order.
    As for etiquette and close neighbors.......hope they have thick walls cause you want to be out when the sun rises and start shooting (have everything set up and ready to shoot by sunrise for ducks, geese fly later in the day). You DNR guide should have your starting time and ducks and geese around here like to fly early. Also if the CPO or LEO get called on you make sure you are following the rules, have proper shot shells, and have all the required licenses. You should be fine. We've only had to talk to the CPO once and are still hunting:D.
    For chokes I LOVE Kicks brand ported. I usually will use a Mod.
    Lastly, a main tip, is that you need to scout your area you will be shooting in and learn what the ducks do. Learn their habbits, where they come from, where they are going,....be....be...be....the ducks. This will increase your success. As I read above you don't have much time to devote to hunting but scouting is KEY! Also do research on how to spot flying ducks and geese and learn their flyways. DO NOT SHOOT A SWAN! Know what your game looks like! That should be a good start and hope this helps. :D

    P.S. Most important,.......Have Fun!
  3. Gunaria

    Gunaria New Member

    Sep 3, 2010
    Being the king of cheap duck hunting this is what you do. First of all sounds like you already know the flight paths. So with that in mind, get yourself a green chair, camo clothing you gun & ammo and sit right down in the over head path. Get your dog to stay still with you. Wait until the ducks are almost over you, about 35 yards away then stand up and start shooting.

    The main thing is to just stay still.

    Use a MOD or IC choke. If you need one for your 12 ga 500 let me know I have some brand new ones for really cheap.

    I say stick to 12ga steel shot cause it is usually cheaper that 20ga steel.

    If your only going to hunt two days out of the entire season there is no need to go all out and spend a small fortune on all of the top of the line duck gear.
  4. spartywrx

    spartywrx Member

    Nov 20, 2008
    Rust Belt
    Well I did some searching around on the net and figured out a plan. Since Michigan has some weird laws concerning riparian rights (the owner of shoreline owns a pie sliced shape of the lake out to the middle) I can't hunt outside the nature preserve. I'll be stuck in front of my parent's place, which isnt that bad.

    I'm going to use a kayak, cover it in camo burlap, and hang out in the reeds beyond the dock. The water is only about knee to waist deep for about 150-200 yards before a large drop off so if I fall in I won't lose anything. Apparently there are quite a few people who hunt from a kayak. Some guys even rig up crazy camo skeletons on their kayaks.

    I'll attach a 2L bottle of sand to the kayak so I don't float off out of the reeds with a quick attach to retrieve birds.
    A cheap call from Jay's and some decoys from craigslist for $20 and I think I'm set

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