Hunting With Stuffed Ducks in the Fall
Stuffed duck hunting
Одной из самых простых и доступных, является охота на уток и другую водоплавающую птицу. It gives you the opportunity to shoot a lot of birds and get a lot of trophies. One of its popular varieties is hunting with stuffed animals. However, like any other, it requires knowledge of the behavior of birds, the right choice of stuffed animals and proper preparation.
Features of the method
At first glance, the method of hunting with stuffed animals is rather uncomplicated. The hunter places a number of baits on the water, imitating a flock of ducks. At the sight of congeners, attracted by the imaginary safety, other ducks fly up to them to feed and rest. They become easy prey for the lurking hunter.
Though seemingly simple, such hunting requires knowledge of a number of nuances, even apart from the selection of guns, equipment and ammunition:
- where on the reservoir to accommodate;
- how to place the scarecrows;
- which stuffed animals to choose;
- how many to take;
- how to set up a stakeout;
- how and at what point to shoot;
- and much more.
Lets look at all these issues in more detail.
How to hunt
Choosing a location
You can hunt with stuffed animals both from the shore and from a boat. Either option requires:
- good camouflage for the hunter – so there should be bushes, reeds, tall grass, trees, or other shelters nearby;
- Long immobile waiting – so the shore, should be dry, with the opportunity to sit or lie down;
- place the duck flock, spacious enough, at a distance of a confident shot (20 – 30 m from the hunters ambush) – if there is no boat, the depth should allow it.
In addition, in order for the dog to bring the beaten duck without problems, it is desirable to have easy access to the water and back, and in the pond less algae, otherwise the dog can get confused and drown.
With a competent approach, a couple of days before the hunt, it is necessary to come to the place, trace the migration and resting ways of waterfowl and only then finally decide on the location of the ambush. Since ducks always land and take off in the wind, stable wind directions on the reservoir should also be taken into account when choosing a site for the hunt.
Setting up the shelter
When setting up an ambush site, you must make sure that the hunter is covered from all sides. To do this, it is best to use a special camouflage network that suits the terrain and the time of year. But if the situation and time permits, its better to make a shelter from natural materials taken on site, so it will blend in better with the surrounding area.
Many people make the mistake of sheltering only on the water side. First of all, ducks can fly up from their backs, and secondly, they, especially on small bodies of water, first fly several circles, and are sure to notice the lurking hunter.
In wet, swampy places, at the place of the ambush, you can make a planking of poles, covering it with a hut on top. In wet, marshy places, you can make a planking with poles and cover it with a hut on top.
A good, comfortable, versatile, waterproof folding shelter, for shooting from the prone position, is available in specialized hunting stores. It will allow you to feel comfortable in the most adverse conditions.
When hunting from a boat it is covered with a camouflage net, or branches or reeds, secured in pre-prepared mountings, for example from the tubes located along the side. In this case the boat covered under the shore will have much more invisibility.
Fitting stuffed ducks
To keep stuffed ducks, while hunting, from being blown away by wind and current, they are equipped with a leash weight. The length of the leash should be long enough for the weight to lie on the bottom. For quality rigging it is desirable to use G shaped weight, weighing 90 -120 grams, widely available on the market. For ease of use and fixation during transportation, the weight is attached to the main leash with a loop of fishing gum or other similar material.
Now, when installing duck stuffed animals in shallow water, with a depth of up to one and a half meters, the Texas rigging is gaining in popularity. With this method of rigging, the leash, made of a thick, about 1 mm, line is freely passed through the hole in the stabilizer.
Texas stuffed duck stuffing
For ease of use, the length of the leash may not exceed one and a half meters. On one end of it the weight is attached, on the other end a loop is made through which the stuffed animal is attached by a carabiner to the bundle. With such rigging scarecrows can be transported in one bundle, connected by a carabiner through loops on one end. Scarecrows are set by throwing them in with a leash. When dropping into the water, the weight, due to the free sliding of the line sinks to the bottom and fixes the bait in one place.
How to set up decoys
The proper placement of stuffed animals on the water is of great importance. Everything matters here: Their number – baits should not be less than six. In the minimum set, it is a drake and five ducks. At the same time, the larger your flock, the more likely you are to attract ducks to it.
Selection and location of individual species of stuffed animals. There are four main ones: duck, mallard, teal and goldeneye. The ducks never sit together on the water, being divided into separate groups of 4-6. At the same time stuffed ducks are placed deeper, but mallards or teal, on the contrary, in shallow water.
The distance between baits should be at least three hulls. A crowded flock indicates danger, which will scare off other ducks.
When placing stuffed ducks, leave a convenient place to land decoyed ducks. The decoys should be placed so that this place is directly in front of the hunter.
The most popular are several schemes of bait placement:
- V shaped – when they are placed in a wedge, downwind, so that the planting space is inside it.
- J shaped or hook – when baits are placed in the shape of this letter, with free space for landing inside it.
- horseshoe is almost the same as the V-shaped, only the ducks are arranged in a semi-circle, instead of a wedge, it is used in strong winds and bad weather.
Ducks flying up to the shelter are usually shot in flight. Firstly, it is more athletic. Secondly, the descending ducks will not necessarily sit on the water, and can fly past calmly. Thirdly, this way you definitely wont damage your decoys.
If several ducks fly up, then shoot the far one first, and then the near one, it will not go anywhere.
It is necessary to shoot the dead, especially in the absence of a dog that can immediately bring the prey.
If you are sure that the flock will land and nothing will scare it off, you can wait for it and shoot on the water and at takeoff. This approach allows to shoot up to ten ducks at once. But its better to scare the bird and shoot at take-off.
Particular care should be taken when shooting from a boat, so as not to tip over, it is better to shoot along its axis.
Very often failures in duck hunting with stuffed ducks are related to the most common mistakes:
- Poor camouflage, especially from behind, when the ducks, when flying up or around the body of water, see the hunter;
- Unnatural arrangement of baits, bunching, mixed for different species, without taking into account the peculiarities of their behavior;
- Lack of a place to land on the water;
- Unsuitable weather, the best for this hunt would be cloudy, windy weather, when ducks are forced to often fly over in search of a quiet place.
- Unnatural appearance of stuffed animals, such as their shine due to improper painting or dew covering them.
- Ducks can be scared away not only by the glitter of stuffed animals, but also by other reflections on the shore, such as trash, water bottles, or your gear.
What duck decoys are best to use for hunting?
There is a distinction between stuffed animals used in hunting:
- by the posture of the duck: resting (the most popular), sleeping (head hidden under the wing), feeding (head lowered into the water) and diving (only the tail of the duck is visible), taking off, resting on land, etc.;
- by type of duck: mallard, dive, teal, river, goldeneye, etc;
- by sex: duck and drake;
- according to the material of scarecrows: rubber, inflatable PVC, wood, Styrofoam, polystyrene and other plastics;
- by size: regular, large (one-and-a-half size) and very large – magnum (two or more times);
- according to the method of transportation: hard and wrinkled.
- In addition, scarecrows can be simple and mechanical (floating, spinning wings, etc.).
Mechanical scarecrows come in both forced and wind-driven designs that flap their wings at the slightest breeze.
Given all this variety, to choose which is better to use, you need to consider a number of factors.
The species of ducks are chosen depending on the dwelling and migrating in the area. The coloring of stuffed animals is chosen depending on seasonality. So in the spring preference is given to females. In summer the color of ducks is more pale and dark, and by winter they are lighter, etc.
The position of the scarecrows in your flock should vary, with half to two-thirds usually taking resting ones, and the rest in other positions. In addition, several mechanicals can be taken per flock. The transportation factor is important; lightweight, crumpled stuffed animals are much easier to transport.
Plastic products are gaining in popularity today. They are quite lightweight, there are crumppable varieties, they can be easily repaired in case of damage by shot with an ordinary soldering iron. The technology of plastic molding makes it possible to make a highly accurate drawing of the contours of the ducks plumage, which makes it virtually indistinguishable from the real one.
In rubber stuffed animals, this is impossible to achieve. In addition, unlike the rubber ones, plastic baits do not create a glossy sheen that frightens off birds. Both domestic and foreign manufacturers are widely represented in our stores: Italian, American, Polish and Chinese. However, foreign products will cost one and a half to two times more.
Scarecrows with your own hands
If you want to save money, it is quite easy to make the right number of stuffed ducks yourself. They can be made from a variety of materials.
Available and traditional material, but it requires a certain skill to work with special tools. The body and head are made separately, according to the template, with the subsequent connection. Before painting the product is sanded with sandpaper, and then primed with varnish. The bait is painted with matte colors to match the natural color of the duck.
For this, we need sheets of foam, 2 – 5 cm thick, superglue, putty and matte paint.
- From paper or cardboard cut out a template, it can be printed in full size;
- On the template of the foam plastic cut out the required number of parts, so that when joined together they were about 20 cm thick;
- Glue them all together to get the volume body of the bird;
- Using a knife, give the product a final, correct shape. If necessary, add details that give it realism;
- Sand the stuffed animal with sandpaper and putty. The putty can be used to give the stuffed animal an extra realistic appearance;
- At the very end we paint it in its natural coloring.
For this method, we need: a quality stuffed animal specimen for mold casting, plaster, two identical boxes to the size of the product, paraffin or grease cream, mounting foam, soft wire, primer and paint.
First, we make two halves of the mold for casting the scarecrow:
- We dilute the plaster;
- We put the sample with one side into the box and fill the remaining space with plaster;
- Do the second part of the form in the same way;
- When both parts of the form are ready start making the model:
- Lubricate the plaster forms with paraffin or fat cream, so the foam does not stick;
- As a force frame we put inside the wire;
- We fill the molds with mounting foam by 80 percent, connect and squeeze together, for example, a heavy weight, so that the layout does not deform;
- When the foam has hardened, carefully remove the layout and sand it if necessary;
- After that, it can be primed and painted.
- As a rule, one plaster mold is enough to make 15 to 20 stuffed animals.
How to correctly hunt duck with stuffed animals and decoys
Good day to all and especially to subscribers and guests of our channel Pilgrims 48-68 who are keen on hunting and those who want to devote themselves to it. Today we will talk about duck hunting with the use of duck stuffed animals and decoys. Although in my opinion hunting with a stuffed duck is more successful than hunting with stuffed animals. And yet I have successfully hunted with stuffed ducks. Not everyone can keep a stuffed duck. I can not boast that I am a pioneer in the field of placement of stuffed ducks. I want to publish a proven scheme and the experience of other hunters, so that you can feel all the charm of fascinating hunting with stuffed animals and a decoy for ducks.
I will start with the number of duck stuffed animals necessary for a successful hunt. The more the better. The minimum number is six. Five females and one drake. This is the minimum number that you can still consider that you hunt with stuffed animals. But if another hunter puts 25-35 stuffed animals next door 300 meters from your hiding place, only a crazy mallard or a wounded loner will sit up to your stuffed animals, especially if you hunt in an open water area. I had 32 stuffed birds. Of those, 27 were mallards and 5 were teal. All kinds of ducks fly up to stuffed mallards, but mallards react very little to stuffed ducks, even in spring. The main thing is that they do not give any glare.
What you need for hunting.
- Come to the place of hunting in advance, two days before the opening of the hunt
- Scout the area and choose the most suitable place backwaters, waterways or wetlands
- Determine the flight of ducks in the morning and evening
- Build a hut with a camouflage from the material that grows nearby (grass, branches, reeds)
- Set up scarecrows for the morning hunt in the evening
- Pre-pump the boat and hide it away from the hideout
- Hunters outfit warm camouflage, warm boots, a good decoy, ammunition with the appropriate number of shots
I use 4 basic schemes (the schemes are not mine, but I successfully apply them in my practice, thank you very much that experienced hunters share their experiences with beginners)
It is necessary to start with a reconnaissance of the area, determining the ways of flying and building an ambush. Scarecrow (hut) is better to do for one or two people with an overview on all sides. The distance between them should be not less than half a meter. Closely spaced stuffed animals indicate that the flock is about to fly away and passing ducks will not sit down to stuffed animals. Be sure to place one female in the free space, in the pictures it is circled by an interrupted circle. This will be a place for placement of ducks. It is possible to make two such places (pic 2). When I have correctly placed the shot on the approach and misses have happened only through my fault. It doesnt take much intelligence to shoot a duck sitting on the water. Another thing is in flight. If you dont get the right pre-direction the duck has a chance to fly away unharmed. When shooting in years theres less chance of damaging the stuffed animals, and good stuffed animals are expensive. Stuffed animals must be well painted and without glare. This is a basic requirement. Even badly painted stuffed animals work better than glare ones.
Many people think that it is not necessary to pick up dead ducks from the water. Yes, if they are floating on their belly down. If a killed bird has a white belly they should be removed as soon as possible, the position of the duck on its back is not natural for a live bird. If you kill a mallard duck, take it away at once, otherwise they will disappear (they dont come up to the surface, so they dive under water). Incidentally mallard is one of the few waterfowl that see in color, so they are distrustful and cautious. To lure a mallard out of the mating season is the top of perfection, so for 10 shot ducks, there are usually 3-4 of them and only one mallard, or even none. But this is in the autumn, in spring we only shoot mallards, and ducks are not allowed. It is very good to take stuffed duck decoys when hunting.
Good decoys are made of wood and plastic in Germany, Italy, USA, but sometimes our domestic decoys are good. Do not be lazy right at the counter to check its sound. Even better if someone from a distance of 10 meters beckons a decoy, and you listen to the sound. There should not be rattling and rattling notes sound should be clear.
In general, beckoning art, and if you do not possess it, train in your spare time, but so far better seen ducks in the distance, two or three times to blow a mock and put it aside because if incorrectly extracted sound or sound of a different type of ducks, you just scare away potential prey.