Public land is a great resource, but unfortunately not everyone that uses public land is as courteous as they should be and unless you leave the night before your hunt you are not going to get “the spot” that you want. Here are a couple of hints to make you next public land hunt that much more successful.

Tip #1

Get off the beaten path, it’s a beaten path because people use it. Unless you want to be hunting with someone you didn’t want to hunt with, you need to make an effort to go your own way. You don’t need to be in the same place everyone else is in. When the shooting starts the ducks have to go somewhere. Try and find and little pot hole or bend of a creek that offers protection for the ducks, this is what they’re looking for. Staying away from the crowds is nicer too because then you don’t have to worry about shooting at birds that may or may not be decoying your spread. Some of the best hunting we have found on public land is on a small little ditch almost a mile off the beaten path; it has never failed us yet.

Tip #2

Don’t use what everyone else is using, If people are using MOJOs and ten dozen decoys, try something different, try using 6-12 decoys and no MOJOs and vice versa. What you have to remember is that when ducks see the same thing day in and day out and then they get shot at they are going to start to avoid these areas, if you are using something different they are not going to be decoy shy, giving you a better opportunity to bag your limit. Something to add a little motion to your spread that is light and easy to use is Quiver Magnets, throw 2-3 in your spread and let them work.

Tip #3

Be mobile, don’t commit yourself to one spot and be ready to move in the blink of an eye. If birds are not working your spread or you are watching birds fly in a different direction, try and get to where they are going. If you can’t get to where they are going, try and get somewhere between where they’re coming from and where they are going. One tip to being more mobile is instead of carrying everything in a pit bag with one shoulder strap put everything in a back pack with two shoulder straps, this makes it a lot easier to carry things in and farther without being a burden on your shoulders.

Tip #4

Scout! I know this is the most obvious but if you get out pre-season and find different spots, you will be more prepared for those mornings when you can’t hunt the spot you wanted to. I recommend that you carry a GPS and a notebook and something to write with, in your notebook keep track of how you got there, the location of the spot, whether you saw birds or not, what you might need to bring in to help with decoying birds or hiding yourself, what kind of cover is around the spot to hide in, how long it took you to get there and what wind direction works best for this location. Most importantly keep track of whether the location holds water year round or just when it is a wet year, there is nothing worse than walking to a new spot to find out that it’s dried up.

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One thought on “Hints for Hunting Ducks on High-Pressure Public Land

  1. Should Deer breeding farms be Legel is a question that affects everyone that hunts deer. If you say no someone else will say that they should be. But, what is that one farm doing is it raising deer just to shoot them off the back of the truck as the guy feeds them or is he rasing them to improve the quality of someone else’s deer heard. I’ve seen both on property as small as 200 acres. I’ve no problem with the man that is trying to improve the breeding of quality deer but for a hunt to shoot a nice buck following behind  a truck as he drops off food is not doing anything but putting money in his pocket. Breeding quality deer that he sells the sperm to someone who is trying to help someone with 2,000 acres or larger is not hurting the property but, improving it.When you improve the deer heard you help change the quality of animals that are their to hunt. I do not like high fences but, they are here to stay but animals excape from them all the time. And they then pass of their geanes to the other animals wheather they are bucks or doe’s. If given time and the right condictions breeding quality amimals is fine we breed cattle to better our heards for better sales so this is about the same. It takes time for a good breeding area to take effect and with selective breeding like I said some get out into the general area and help the deer around them but, you can keep the deer feeders for they are not helping the deer just making money. So you can choose a way to help the deer or to make money by leaching off the animals their. Selling spearm is a good way to help your deer because you get the same results as if you had bought a nice buck to breed. Because doe’s pass the same heritage as the buck they were breed to.  If you use sperm you can breed more animals cheaper than buying a buck if you can not afford one and you will get a buck out of a tube as you can buying one. So thank you for your time and take a minute to hope that someday we can afford one of the hunts that will give you a trophy that you will be proud to display. But, don’t forget that on public land trophy deer are a hard hunt but t he deer are out their if you are willing to put in the time.  I have a mule deer that scored well over 200 points that I shot at 40 feet in Colorado on my first hunt their and I did it by asking questions of everyone. I love to hunt or just shoot and I hope that you will leave something for our kids and their kids so breeding deer is here to stay and so is hard hunting. Love our sport for what we get and can give back. Dennis

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