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Any duck hunters out there?

Discussion in 'Northwest Hunting' started by sneakboxer, Nov 23, 2011.

  1. sneakboxer

    sneakboxer NW OR Active Member

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    This is my first season hunting west of the Mississippi and boy do you guys have some birds out here. I have been doing pretty good in the islands of the Lower Columbia. That is for using a loaner jon boat and a canoe. But this wind is going to get me killed. I would love to pick your brain on the best ways to hunt the tides and the river in general. Any one have a open seat this long weekend? The bow seat of my canoe is open if you have some canoe skills and want to go.
    May the wind be at your back and the birds in your face,
    Greg
     
  2. Longshot34

    Longshot34 Moses Lake Member

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    mjbskwim and (deleted member) like this.
  3. sneakboxer

    sneakboxer NW OR Active Member

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    Nice haul Longshot. I could get used to this. And there is zero pressure compared to the south and east. The hunting is much more enjoyable when you don't have the whole swamp skybusting and down-winding. I might have a lead on a old school scull. The wife is going to love it when that shows up in the garage.
    Stay safe,
     
  4. DuckFever

    DuckFever Central Oregon New Member

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    Sorry I can't be more help but I'm almost strictly a marsh or lake duck hunter. Not that I wouldn't river hunt for ducks, just that I've never done it.
     
  5. MinnesotaORnewbie

    MinnesotaORnewbie Oregon Active Member

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  6. Longshot34

    Longshot34 Moses Lake Member

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    Yes that was on public land. It was here around Moses lake
     
  7. sneakboxer

    sneakboxer NW OR Active Member

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    I don't keep count but i have only hunted public land and shot a few limits and always see lots of birds and few hunters. I shot a limit of widgeon (feet down) on Friday before 9:00. Go get 'um.
     
  8. shooter

    shooter Ridgefield Member

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    The river is pretty much the only place I duck hunt. Early in the season it's rather easy to shoot a limit of puddle ducks, but once the rains start coming then most of the puddle ducks spend the day in flooded fields... which there are plenty of. You will find that down near Astoria there is less farm land, so the puddle duck hunting can be good (at times) all through season. Usually around mid-November the divers start to show in larger numbers.
    Usually the tide will dictate when and where I hunt. During high tide I focus on the puddle ducks and then as the tide swings we will usually change focus over to shooting a few divers to round out our limit.
    I'm a transplant from the Mid-west (about 10 years ago now) and the first few seasons where a little challenging. You need to get used to moving your set-up to play off of the tides. Many times I use much smaller decoy sets so that I can move with the tide. You must know what the tide is doing and how big of a tide it is or you can easily get yourself stranded, which means you're there until the next high tide! (unless your hunting out of a vessel that you can carry)
    In my opinion the best days our days when High tide comes about 1.5-2 hours after shooting time. This allows you to move into the area that you want to hunt and 'move with the tide' without much risk of getting stranded. Pay attention to your surroundings and after slack tide you need to start thinking about moving back out and closer to the channels. I have hunted good evening tides, but the morning tides are almost always better. If the tide isn't right I won't even bother heading out. You can always go out and shoot divers, but often times it's not worth the work as it doesn't take much to shoot your diver limit.
     
  9. MinnesotaORnewbie

    MinnesotaORnewbie Oregon Active Member

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    Have any of you ever seen a migration while duck hunting here in Oregon, we were on the Mississippi fly way one year and did alot of scouting before the season was open in the afternoon until sunset, and we had a migration of Woodies come in, three of us had our limit of two apiece in the matter of minutes. Unfortunately, nothing else was even flying but Woodies. Wasn't that much fun hunting since it lasted only two sets, but wow, seeing thousands of Woodies in their bright colors flying in everywhere, and we even waited for a hour to pick up our decoys in our t=shirts and no camo and they were still dropping in our spread and the shear numbers of them will be something I will never forget.
     
  10. sneakboxer

    sneakboxer NW OR Active Member

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    I had the same thing happen in Northern Michigan one time(2006?). The Woodies were on us like mosquitoes! It was the after noon and we limited quickly and just watched the show. We came back the next day and only saw a few birds. Thanks for reminding me of a great hunt.

    As for the LC i saw a few Woodies before season but haven't seen one since.
     
  11. shooter

    shooter Ridgefield Member

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    There isn't a migration here like there is back in the midwest. I grew up in northern Iowa and later lived in southern Minnesota. The ducks would ride the cold fronts, staying in front of the 'freeze up'. I can't count the number of awesome migration hunts we had back then. There were days when we would break ice to throw out the dekes and then just sit out on the ice with tornadoes of ducks funneling right down on top of us. We would shoot our limit in 15 minutes and then sit in awe and watch the huge flocks of northern birds filling the sky. It doesn't get any better than that.
    There is a migration here, but it is long and drawn out. On the west side nothing freezes up, so the ducks arrive slowly. Some move on, and some stick around through the winter because the weather never gets bad enough to really force them on through. It makes for a good season because there are always ducks around, but it's rare to get one of those days where it's tough to keep your gun loaded. I've had two great days out here where we were set up in the right spot with a cooperating tide and favorable weather. Both of those shoots reminded me of hunting the 'big push' that you get in the Mississippi flyway, but they still don't compare to being in front of the migration. However, when hunting in the central/Mississippi flyway once the migration has passed and the water has frozen solid there is absolutely nothing around. Here there are birds to kill all season long... and the season is longer.
     
  12. MinnesotaORnewbie

    MinnesotaORnewbie Oregon Active Member

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    now you have me thinking ducks, when I moved here a year ago, I had to leave my canoe, 12 foot v, and 14 johnboat and dekes, and my 4-5 duck hunting buddies of the last 14 years. does bring back alot of memories. I chose to go back to college for fisheries biology this fall and forgot how much time school takes up. so I don't have alot of time which duck hunting needs for scouting and traveling, especially since Oregon is so new.
    lol, I'm not even sure the way we duck hunt is the best way to go about it. What I mean is, My friends fathers growing up nor my own father was a duck hunter. When we turned 16, we started finding areas around Mille Lacs Lake or in southern Minnesota around Worthington and would go camping for the first couple of weekends of the duck season braving the cooler weather for camping and pretty much taught our selves how to call, set up blinds, dekes, and really had a great time having better success every year. Then later on in life we all ended up finding homes in the upper NW part of the Minneapolis metro by Rogers and had a few huge farm land sloughs that were in our back doors.
     
  13. MinnesotaORnewbie

    MinnesotaORnewbie Oregon Active Member

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    We first moved to Tigard, right off of Roy rogers road and Bull Mountain just were the country starts, there was a duck club off Roy Rogers about a 1/4 mile away, and right across the road from a Water fowel sanctuary or resting area, I wanted to join but still didnt have dekes and funds were a little tight, but all through out the fall and winter, we could hear every day, flocks of geese flying over, seemed like multiple times per day. The looked like Canadian geese but I think their necks were a little shorter. Are these the Canadian Geese I am used to back home, or are these a little different subspecies. That reminds me, I have to go get my semi-auto 12 gauge from the gunsmith this weekend. Would love to see some more pics and stories if you guys go out today.
     
  14. shooter

    shooter Ridgefield Member

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    The geese you saw were cacklers. They are a subspecies of Canadian geese. You will need to take the goose identification test before you can legally hunt geese in Washington or Oregon. This is to protect a certain subspecies known as the Dusky goose. Goose hunting is much different out here... After you harvest any geese you are required to take them to a check station to have them identified to make sure you did not kill a Dusky. There are very strict quotas placed on Dusky geese, usually only one or two allowed per unit for the entire season. If you mess up and shoot a Dusky you could push that unit to it's quota and close all goose hunting in that area for everyone! If in doubt, let 'em pass.
     
  15. Blackrock

    Blackrock Moses Lake New Member

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