Alberta Duck Hunt?

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Alberta Duck Hunt?

Postby Densa44 » Sun Jun 18, 2017 9:05 am

NAVHDA has asked our club to donate an "Alberta Duck Hunt" that they can auction off at the Invitational. We are all very pleased to comply. What I'd like to know, what would constitute a duck hunt for you fellows (or ladies)? Here are the ways that ducks are hunted here; field shoots, at one time called "sack shoots" many decoys are placed in a field, pits or blinds are used and large to very large flocks of puddle ducks come in at once, sometimes only once, pass shooting, you need lots of other hunters to keep the birds moving, decoys over water, and jump shooting/road hunting.

Where I live there are no duck hunters any more, and just a few goose hunters. We have lots and lots of ducks.

The slough bottoms are what the locals call loon sh**t, and very tough to wade.

I drive my truck along the country roads with the hunter sitting beside me, when he sees a "borrow pit" (these are pits dug 50 plus years ago to get material to build the road) with ducks on it, I drive past the location, stop, he gets out sneaks back shoots some ducks then I cut the dogs loose. Repeat until the limit of 8 is reached.

If this goes ahead I may be the host so I'd like to know what the visitor will expect.

We want them to have a good time.

Do you think that they will want to bring their dogs?

I'll appreciate all the advice I get.
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Re: Alberta Duck Hunt?

Postby AverageGuy » Sun Jun 18, 2017 12:53 pm

I like to hunt ducks and geese over decoy spreads. The huge majority of my duck hunting has been/is decoy spreads over water and calling the ducks to set down in the decoys. I find geese decoy easier over water but my opportunities have come more from hunting decoys in crop stubble fields or grass pastures they are feeding in. I have never shot as well from a layout blind as I do when my feet are on the ground so whenever I can avoid them I do, but most field hunts go best when using a well covered layout blind. Where you live with uneducated waterfowl you may be able to use an Avery A Frame Blind which would allow easier comfort and shooting.

I love and live to hunt everything including waterfowl, but I would not travel to hunt any upland birds or waterfowl and leave my dog at home ...

Sounds like a great idea. Where you live it should be easy to have a good time with it.
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Re: Alberta Duck Hunt?

Postby Densa44 » Sun Jun 18, 2017 1:28 pm

For field shoots I use a blind made of burlap held up by 5 poles made of re-bar or what ever I have. You sit on a stool, the opening is behind you with the decoys. You set up in front of the decoys with the wind at your back. Calling is optional. The flocks can be very large and it can be all over with just one or two flocks, remember they can sit down anywhere and no one bothers them.
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Re: Alberta Duck Hunt?

Postby RowdyGSP » Sun Jun 18, 2017 1:30 pm

For me, personally, I like cupped wings of committed ducks and geese, over a decoy spread. Nothing fancy, like a lodge, just having some drinks over a campfire at night with a couple of good buddies. Getting up at zero dark thirty, setting decoys and repeating.
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Re: Alberta Duck Hunt?

Postby Big Bird » Sun Jun 18, 2017 6:48 pm

I would look first at local travel, accommodation with their dog(s), and food . How many days of hunting would be offered in the package ? I am thinking that most that would pay the travel expenses to Alberta would want more than one day of hunting. Even more so when you take into account the need for a gun registration permit if coming from the USA, hunting licence and migratory stamp .

If I was coming to Alberta , I would be looking at a combination hunt. Ducks / geese in the morning and upland after then possibly followed with an evening shoot of ducks. Alberta has opportunities for huns, sharptail and pheasants in addition to waterfowl. If you could set up a 3-4 day package and have various chapter members contribute as guides each day you may have a offering that could bring a good contribution to NAVHDA, and build some lasting friendships with fellow NAVHDA members. Your local hospitality is great.

I hunt Saskatchewan annually, travelling some distance to get there, hunting with other NAVHDA members from various states with excellent dogs. It is a truly enjoyable time watching others dogs, and your dog hunt for what we have trained them to do.. We hunt waterfowl using setup decoys, jump shooting ponds, and also upland.
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Re: Alberta Duck Hunt?

Postby GONEHUNTIN' » Sun Jun 18, 2017 9:14 pm

Densa, I would never hunt ducks like that.mif I can't call them in and shoot them over decoys, I'm not hunting them.
I just hate seeing birds die of natural causes unless I'm that natural cause.
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Re: Alberta Duck Hunt?

Postby Densa44 » Mon Jun 19, 2017 8:06 am

This helps guys. I think I'm asking a question like the 4 blind men describing an elephant. Hunters come from different parts of the country, are different ages and have unique physical abilities. They have different ideas of what a duck hunt constitutes.

Here is what the fall is like here, lots of birds no hunters. Most hunters want to shoot pheasants, me too. The seasons overlap with ducks and geese.

We have a number of pros who are goose outfitters and they charge well heeled Americans $1,000 per day, they have a large enclosed trailer that contains a "stand up blind" made of cut willows, and 2 or 3 dozen full bodied decoys. They have exclusive permission on land around the county a long drive in the dark is usually required to find the field. This may be hard to do with tourists. This is beyond the abilities and resources of our club.

Duck hunting like has been described, "cupped and committed" doesn't work that well over water, we don't have large bodies of water. We do have field shoots like that, but it involves getting up VERY early and setting up in the dark with lots of decoys, and the rub is, a very real rub, the birds can come all at once, and that is it. Waiting on a pond with a few decoys is fun, but the birds will move and sit down a few hundred yards away and with no other hunters that can be it too.

We would love it if some of you could come but we don't want you to be disappointed. Still need a better plan.

BTW for some people and some dogs, the weather can seem very cold in October.
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Re: Alberta Duck Hunt?

Postby JONOV » Mon Jun 19, 2017 11:01 am

There are a lot of opinions on this, but IMO, the PREMIER duck hunting experience, is field hunting from a pit blind (or maybe hunting flooded crop land from a pit blind.) That is followed shortly by hunting out of layout blinds.

The hard part about hunting water is that you get one good shoot, and the ducks move on.
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Re: Alberta Duck Hunt?

Postby AverageGuy » Mon Jun 19, 2017 12:04 pm

All depends I guess. I have hunted water spots that produced days in a row and over a season. Either they offered strategic rest out of the wind, food, or both. A friend of mine hunts Saskatchewan annually and last year he and his partner took 16 greenheads a day, day after day in a flooded soybean field they found. My Brother and I had a lease on an oxbow lake alongside a river and took limits there each of the 13 days we hunted there that season. The Key is get in, shoot well, get out and rest it all afternoon and evening. Have slayed the greenheads at power plant lakes days in a row during severe weather periods when other waters were frozen, done the same on rivers. Several of our State Waterfowl areas have 1:00 closures and they often provide excellent hunting daily under extreme pressure...
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Re: Alberta Duck Hunt?

Postby JONOV » Mon Jun 19, 2017 2:19 pm

Densa44 wrote:Duck hunting like has been described, "cupped and committed" doesn't work that well over water, we don't have large bodies of water. We do have field shoots like that, but it involves getting up VERY early and setting up in the dark with lots of decoys, and the rub is, a very real rub, the birds can come all at once, and that is it.



That's what people expect (or should expect) on an Alberta Duck Hunt.
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Re: Alberta Duck Hunt?

Postby Densa44 » Mon Jun 19, 2017 5:40 pm

No one has mentioned "species" . Is that an important consideration? To the local people it is everything. When I arrived 50 years ago, I was told that there were "Mallards, pintails and other ducks". It hasn't changed.
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Re: Alberta Duck Hunt?

Postby Deacon » Tue Jun 20, 2017 1:43 pm

If I were going on this I would prefer to see the sunrise each morning over a decoy spread. Over the water if possible, but over fields if that is more effective. If the birds are found on borrow pits during the day they must be getting there either first thing in the morning, or after their morning field feeding. Hunt ducks until the birds stop flying and then switch to upland. Finish the evening cleaning up whatever is left of the waterfowl limit for the day over water, jump shooting or just waiting by a roost. Top that off with drinks and friends and you would have one heck of an adventure. I would want to bring my dogs.

I doubt species is an important factor unless your birds are colored up when they are shot. In other words, nobody is likely going to go there with the intent to obtain birds for taxidermy.

One of these years we will have to swap a NY/Wolfe Island duck hunt for an Alberta duck hunt over pudelpointers!
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Re: Alberta Duck Hunt?

Postby JONOV » Tue Jun 20, 2017 3:01 pm

Densa44 wrote:No one has mentioned "species" . Is that an important consideration? To the local people it is everything. When I arrived 50 years ago, I was told that there were "Mallards, pintails and other ducks". It hasn't changed.


Those are both very tasty birds, and desirable to hunters. But, I can't imagine them being disappointed if Teal and Gadwall and Wigeon come in to your spread. If you went Perch fishing and caught Crappies, would you be disappointed? Doubt it. Again, that's one of the things that duck hunters love about going to NoDak or Alberta or whatever, is the sheer variety they get.

And some people love having a huge mixed bag of ducks.

And, I know some people that love to hunt diver ducks, even though many consider them to be poor table fare.
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Re: Alberta Duck Hunt?

Postby stubblejumper » Tue Jun 20, 2017 9:03 pm

I don't hunt ducks that often, but to me, someone born and raised in western Canada, the preferred method has always been a field hunt over decoys, and the preferred species were mallards and pintails, and we usually only shot greenheads, so late October was the best time for us.. Personally, I would raffle off a duck/goose combo, as we often get both on a field hunt, and the odds are better for multiple species hunts.
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Re: Alberta Duck Hunt?

Postby Willie T » Wed Jun 21, 2017 9:26 pm

Densa, I'm an avid waterfowler. I go north every year. Stubblejumper's comments summed it up pretty well for me. Greenheads and Pennys, along with big honkers, over decoys in a harvested field is what I would want to do. Either that or decoys in a little slough down in a coulee, that the birds trickle into to loaf, after feeding in the fields, on a really windy day. That is the type of hunt I would be looking for on a Canadian waterfowling trip. I would expect a waterfowl hunt in Canada to be purchased by an experienced hunter that has been around the block. They should full well understand what happened if all the birds do come at once.
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