Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: New York
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Tips for taking the newbie duckhunting
One of my hunting partners is a guide. This past Sunday he guided someone who came down from upstate. He had to quit and pick up (while birds were working) because the fellow got cold. This incident has inspired this post.
For the newbie hunter:
1. Duckhunting is generally a cold weather sport. DRESS FOR IT!
2. You need camo or at least appropriate colors. No bright colors.
3. Head, hands feet---Insulated hat with earflaps, gloves and handwarmers, insulated socks. I prefer wool and wear two pair. Maybe use toe warmers.
4. Do not move while ducks are working.
5. Make sure your gun is plugged.
6. Make sure you are using non-toxic shot.
7. PRACTICE: Mounting your gun, shooting, and getting into position. Some of us hunt out of Long Island Scooters which generally require you to lie down and then sit up to shoot. Extra practice needed for this.
8. Waders and wader belt a must.
9. Have your HIP number.
10. No shooting while I am in the water.
FOR THE DOG
1. If your dog will be wearing a vest, tailor it and practice putting your dog into it. And run your dog with it.
2. Teach the dog to get into and out of the blind that you will be using. Don't expect your dog to just jump into a hunting boat the first time out.
3. My rule---no shooting while the dog is in the water.
4. Safety first. I recommend keeping the dog tethered. If you have 3-4 guys shooting and birds are dropping 25-30 yards out, flopping in the water, splashing, swimming cripples---that is a scenario that is extra enticing for a break. Talk to guys who will tell you that the dog breaks at the sound of the safety being snapped off. I don't want my dog jumping out of the boat while guys are firing.
5. Bring fresh water for the dog.
6. Don't put a cold wet dog into the truck, you risk the dog getting cold tail. Dry him up, move him around, etc. I have found that I needed several minutes of this for my dogs. Your dog might be different.
Some extras: Most of the citations I hear about are issued while duckhunting, not upland hunting. Be careful. Also, I have a friend who has been shot on two seperate occasions while duckhunting even though he told the shooters "NO SHOOTING WHILE I AM IN THE WATER!" I have another friend who accidentally shot and killed his son's dog because he jumped up in front of the gun while my friend was swinging on a bird.
I hope you find this helpful.
PS If you wear black while hunting with us we will leave you at the dock. This is not a hunt test. Our shooting conditions rerquire that you wear waterfowler's camo. My preference is old school stuff.
Last edited by gdgli; 12-20-2017 at 01:03 PM.