Friday, March 23, 2012

North Texas Duck Hunting-scouting part 2

North Texas duck hunting can be a challenge on public waters. You need several tricks up your sleeve to be in the right spot or the X. Proper scouting is the foundation to finding these areas and bringing home a limit of ducks. In my first part of this series I showed you how to find the lake itself, the lake authority, ramps and the satellite links to see these lakes. Now I will discuss how I find the secluded areas that hold ducks.
The lake has been chosen and were off to find ducks.

(1)Now to see where these honey holes are we do not get to the lake at noon. The time of day you plan to hunt is the time you scout. The first visit you obviously do not know the lay of the land.

(2) I am ready, boat in water at the glow on the horizon.

(3) I have my GPS on and continually marking my progress. This next little practice separates the scouts from the boaters.

(4) You motor slowly from the ramp and LOOK at the sky. I find a vantage spot somewhere that I can see a large piece of horizon and shut down. I beach the boat then WATCH AND LISTEN. I am scouting not boating. I do this to see the ducks heading to the feeding sites. You must be very patient to do any scouting. I can sit up to an hour before I decide to move to the area I have chosen to look at. If the vantage point is not working of course you move. I decide on a spot to head to. You need to keep track of these birds as you move to another vantage spot. You just keep moving closer and closer. Stop every 200 yards or so, watch and listen.

(5) Once you spot the area of feeding get out of the boat and walk into this spot. Stopping, looking and listening. If you motor in you will scatter the ducks before you get closer than 300 yds. Keep sneaking up to them. Stopping every 50 yds to watch were the bulk of the birds are landing. If your close to the X you will know it. Then just sit there and watch the show.

(6)The listening part of scouting is very important. Ducks are very vocal if the spot is a true honey hole. You can hear ducks feeding for miles. The people that just tear around the lake a warp speed never hear this. I can always hear people passing these secluded spots while I watch hundreds of ducks feeding. Remember, stop, watch, listen, mark, and kill.

(7)This next scouting tip is a sure fire way to find most all the areas ducks hold up in. Once you know the lake and can venture out in the pre dawn darkness ( two hours min before sunrise) use the same drive and sneak tactics. You can't see the birds but while you sit Quietly on the water you can hear them feeding. Zero in on the feeding areas by noise only. NO LIGHTS or motor can be on as you get within 300 yds of these birds. You must walk the boat or walk in yourself. If the water is too deep paddle or troll motor in. If the water is shallow I start the walk in at about 2-300 yards out. DO NOT USE LIGHTS as you walk in. Your eyes will be accustomed to the darkness so seeing is not a problem ( USE A REAL WALKING STICK). Find something to sit on and be prepared to sit for a few hours.

(8) If the birds are coming into the area the last hour before sunrise it is not a night roost but a feeding area or morning roost of birds coming back from feeding at night. Each is where you want to be. As dawn hits watch to see were the true X is in the feeding area and sneak to the spot. Mark and get out to find another feeding area on the lake. Using the same method. There are my 8 key ways to success in finding the birds good luck.

Richard has 33 years experience hunting waterfowl. He owns North Texas Duck Hunts and North Texas Dog Trainers and has trained working retrievers for the past 18 yrs. His knowledge of waterfowl brings his clients to the birds. This is not a part time job but a year long endeavor both training and keeping his eye out for better lakes to hunt Do not watch this one if you do not like hunting...

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