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Gordie

How was your season???

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I'm not going to rate my season on number of birds but on the quailty of the hunt and the time that was spent. It was another Great season for me as I shared my blind with my sons and they are hooked well one of them is anyway.

My oldest son is a true waterfowler and That made my season.

Dogs first open water retrive. which also made the season worth every minuete I stuck into it.

I didnt get out as much as I would of liked and I got hurt opening weekend which shortend my season considerably but we saw ducks more ducks than recent years combine and even thou we didnt limit out everytime we did shoot fair numbers of birds.

We traveled to NoDak for possibly the worst season that they encounterd in 10 years as was told by mnay locals but we did manage to find and bag some birds and there again sucess wasnt measured in the number of birds we shot but with the company I shared it with my boys.

I'm not saying it was my best season or my worst season but rather another ducking hunting season past by and now waiting for the next season to arrive ... well I still have sky carp and spring snows to think about.

THANKS to all of you guys on this forum that have shared there experiences,knowledge and photos

I will be looking forward to hearing more storys and seeing more photos of what we call our passion

WATERFOWLING

HAPPY HUNTING

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For me, it was a great season. As I was advised when I first posted here, this year would be a work in progress--and I think progress was good.

I started the season with no gear, no spots lined up, and little knowledge of what to do.

I managed to cobble together enough gear to make it happen. I got out on about a half dozen bodies of water. I mostly hunted alone, but I got a couple of days in with someone more experienced. Took about a dozen ducks total and got some great experience. I learned a TON...a lot from just getting out and a good deal from the posters here. I even learned how to clean and cook duck alright. I managed to improve my leads and had fewer missed shots as the season progressed. I learned how to put some distance between myself and other parties on the lake.

To work on....

I was not able to fool a single goose. I don't think goose hunting is very good in NE MN, but I should be able to take some. I also really need to work on calling. I need to do some scouting to have a few more options next season. I need to rig my decoys a little differently. I need to finish my boat blind, but I couldn't find the grass mats I want ANYWHERE. I should learn my ID between scaup and ringers a little better as I was surprised twice to pick up ringers when I thought I had shot scaup. I should get some waders when I can afford it, especially since I'd like to jump shoot wooded potholes and have no dog. Finally, I still need to improve my shooting quite a bit.

Thanks for the help, waterfowlers. smile

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What season ducks ? I forgot it was even open after mid-October, horrible would be the answer, not worth getting up for, my relatives have all quit and they are missing nothing, places that used to thrive have no birds or it's rare, it used to be rare to see geese in the early 80's except migrators, now we get that same thrill if we see any ducks. From Spet. 1st to present saw 2 woodies and 1 mallard on the farm with ponds and a river to boot counting deer stand mornings and goose hunting mornings, if some areas unfortunately they are just gone and these areas receive 0 pressure so I go 11 seasons with no ducks taken, geese out number ducks 50-1 or more in my areas spanning 3 counties. So it was poor, can't wait for next fall lol, trying to see if I can go 2 decades without having a drake duck in range. My question to anyone is will they or any resemblance of years back, will it ever get not even good, will it ever get to where if you target them you actually get to see some ducks ? 12 years is a long drought, tough to keep the nephews interested.

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You say 11 yrs without a duck taken? I suggest you move to a new spot! I had no problem finding quacks! Sure not as easy as back in the day but hey what can ya do we dont got nobody to blame but oursleves for the duck population.

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We had a good year. We had to be flexible and change some old habits but that is part of the game. We managed plenty of ducks for the camp and tried a few new recipes. Now we wait 10 months to start over.

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Phenomenal is the only word to describe this duck season. Probably has to due with the fact that I now live in South Dakota. Had great success. The two times I went in Minnesota were also above average. Had a lot of fun this year.

I can not for the life of me believe anyone going 11 years without shooting a duck if they even put minimal effort in.

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Not the greatest of seasons but it is always nice to get out in the field with family and friends. The mn dnr could start helping out a bit with better habitat but thats a whole new topic..

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I will rate my season O.K. For starters I only got out 26 times compared to 40 times the last 2 years in a row. I judge my success by the amount of shots taken (certainly not ducks hit !) I found out I need some new gear and to get some of existing stuff in tip top shape! Needed : Kayak, boat blind for a 14 foot alumacraft, 15 horse motor to the shop, roof rack for car... There were some very memorable hunts. One shared with my son and a friend of his. Ringies were bombing into this small private rice lake by the hundreds ! " Should we take these 50 or wait for the 200 right behind them ! " I will remember that on my death bed ! We were swinging around empty guns cause we had forgot to load ! Must find late season spots !!! Finally got laid off (concrete construction)for the last week of the season and most everything was locked up. Have to find a river and learn it. Usually my bread and butter has been Carlos Avery cause it is 3 miles from the house. I don't know for sure but I would say that allowing hunting IN the sancuary was detrimental to hunting success this year. Usually after work I could run over there for an hour and get a few birds to decoy but halfway thru the season I gave up on it. Nothing! Might need a new partner too as my son has taken up bow hunting !

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Nobody 05 what spot ? I have about 6 farms to hunt in 3 counties and there's more turkeys around by a landslide than ducks. The past 15 years I get toscout morning and night if I want but there's no point to scouting for ducks, each time I do it's a let down, I'm talking woodies and mallards only though I'm not seeing other kinds either. And creepworm, I hear ya, yes I could belly crawl the pig pond and swat a teal or two in the algae and even got excited once this year, had 7 mallards coming and they were all hens or I couldn't see a single drake, the wood duck is extinct as went the beaver so did they, I know 20-30 guys that gave it up, floated 7 miles of river that used to be duck central, thought should be good never saw a person, we saw 6 mallards in 1 bunch, took 6 hours to float it. This has been par for the course for many many years, asked dad if he wanted to go duck hunting, best laugh he's had in years, he said I saw a duck in 1998, last 1 he's seen, he said he could bait ducks all fall and not shoot a limit. Congrats to the guys that have some fair duck hunting, consider yourself fortunate or your area fortunate, we were once a have and since about 1997 we are have nots, but it makes the decision to hunt geese exclusively an easy 1.

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My son and I got out a few times, but didn't get much; or should I say I didn't get much and he shot everything. We need to try and find better areas to hunt. The most memorable hunt was on our guided goose hunt at Lac Qui Parle. Never saw so many geese and never shot so many times. We are looking forward to next seasons hunt. If that's all I did during the season I would be happy with just doing the guided goose/duck hunt.

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Good Season overall. Opener weekend provided us with a mixed bag of mallards, ringers, woodies, and teal. Not as good as years past, but enought to keep us coming to the same spot. More or less for the tradition of opener we all embrace.

Annual Nodak trip. Started out looking that it may be a frustrating year for duck hunting in nodak. We managed limits of divers everyday, but what we were really after "Greenheads" seemed to be extinct, until the last day of our trip when we had a sucessful 6 guy field hunt with our limtis of mallards and pintail. THat is one shoot I will NEVER forget.

Managed a few birds out on Pelican lake on weekday evening hunts. And finished up with a fun mallard/goose hunt int he SE metro.

Things to do for next year....

Get full body mallard field decoys

Use the days I keep in the bank AKA days wife lets me out in the late season and skip the mid-season lull, just to say I got out. Late season was fun this year.

Now time to smash on a few honkers before xmas, and of course ice fishing is just around the corner.

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For me I would say below average. I didn't see any large numbers of ducks until Thanksgiving. Now Im not being negative or trying to rain on anyones parade, but rather Im calling a spade a spade. Duck hunting in Minnesota just is not the same, year after year duck stamp sales continue to fall. Now I love to waterfowl hunt and I have no plans on quiting, but on the same hand I don't blame the ones that have. Now I was out on a couple occassions this year that could have made for a great time, one was this last weekend when I scouted a field with around 300 mallards in it but the next day they split. Now thats just part of hunting and that I can take, its going out and seeing little to nothing that gets disappointing. I will be back out next season and back on here posting reports. Thanks to everyone who took time to post reports and pics during the season.

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I would consider this year pretty good compared to the last few years. Opener was horrible again but thats more about tradition than shooting ducks.

Shot plently of mallards, ringers, and even a few pintails! Which was very exciting! Haven't shot one of those in many many years.

We didn't see the corkscrewing mallards like we use to see. Haven't seen them in a few years. I would say it was an above average year for us when comparing it to the last few seasons. We made it out every weekend except 2. Went to ND for one weekend and Mille Lacs the other. Even managed a few weekday hunts in as well smile

Spent great time in the blind with my father, who hasn't given it up yet, and wont until he is forced to. No clue who I'm going to hunt with every weekend when he can't go anymore. Most of my friends and family have given it up or just don't make it out much anymore. My brother didn't buy a duck stamp this year for the 1st time ever.

Sad to see the season go but can't wait for next season!

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Nobody 05 what spot ? I have about 6 farms to hunt in 3 counties and there's more turkeys around by a landslide than ducks. The past 15 years I get toscout morning and night if I want but there's no point to scouting for ducks, each time I do it's a let down, I'm talking woodies and mallards only though I'm not seeing other kinds either. And creepworm, I hear ya, yes I could belly crawl the pig pond and swat a teal or two in the algae and even got excited once this year, had 7 mallards coming and they were all hens or I couldn't see a single drake, the wood duck is extinct as went the beaver so did they, I know 20-30 guys that gave it up, floated 7 miles of river that used to be duck central, thought should be good never saw a person, we saw 6 mallards in 1 bunch, took 6 hours to float it. This has been par for the course for many many years, asked dad if he wanted to go duck hunting, best laugh he's had in years, he said I saw a duck in 1998, last 1 he's seen, he said he could bait ducks all fall and not shoot a limit. Congrats to the guys that have some fair duck hunting, consider yourself fortunate or your area fortunate, we were once a have and since about 1997 we are have nots, but it makes the decision to hunt geese exclusively an easy 1.

Muskybuck,

Which area of the state do you hunt? 11 years without a duck? To be honest with you that doesn't even seem possible, even with as poor as the states hunting as been the last few years.

No duck hunting is not as good in the state as it used to be. Will it ever be like it was probably not. This year was pretty good. I usually hunt public land in the western part of the state but most of my hunting is done from the Delano to Litchfield area on public land or lakes.

I hunted waterfowl only four times this year. Because of a new baby and young kids at home. In those 4 hunts four of us bagged 35 ducks and three geese. Every hunt we saw 100s of ducks. Two hunts we saw in the 1000s. Three of these hunts were in the west metro. These hunts could of been better if we shot well. Even pheasent hunting this year I saw quite a few ducks. Last year was our poorest hunting ever, but we still managed to shoot some ducks and see more than 50 every time out.

Too many waterfowl hunters in this state complain about not seeing or shooting ducks, but they hunt the same places over and over. It's no different than the deer hunter who hunts 10 years in the same stand and shoots 4 deer, but he could go 400 yards further over the next hill or ridge and shoot a deer almost every year.

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Too many waterfowl hunters in this state complain about not seeing or shooting ducks, but they hunt the same places over and over. It's no different than the deer hunter who hunts 10 years in the same stand and shoots 4 deer, but he could go 400 yards further over the next hill or ridge and shoot a deer almost every year.

DING DING DING!

I had zero problems finding ducks or geese this fall on the weekends i hunted in minnesota. I had to be back home 5 weekends this fall from the beginning of september through last weekend. i shot waterfowl every weekend. It wasn't hard. All it took was an understanding that the puddlers weren't using traditional areas to roost. they were roosting in sheet water, flooded crops, and flooded crp. Go to where the food is and you find ducks. Some guys are just to stubborn or "above" scouting and hunting these types of areas. some guys are just to scared to ask a farmer for permission. What ever the reason, these are the guys that also seem to complain about not seeing any ducks.

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Using both the number of birds taken and the overall experiences, this year was pretty darn good, especially in light of the past 8-9. Last year was a big improvement, and this year was twice as good as last.

It's about hunting smarter, not harder. If you are trying to hunt pheasants, geese, and deer as well as ducks, good luck. If you can only hunt weekends, good luck.

I'm glad half the hunters from 10 years ago have quit because I'm sure that is helping my hunting. If we can keep losing 10k hunters per year, the hunting is only going to get better.

Keep crying guys!

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I'm glad half the hunters from 10 years ago have quit because I'm sure that is helping my hunting. If we can keep losing 10k hunters per year, the hunting is only going to get better.

Keep crying guys!

Interesting you mention that.... I hunt some in the metro and then travel some to west central mn. Metro hunting is funny because some of the best spots on the lake are not taken when there is 5+ cars at the landing. I did notice a lot of young guys hunting down there this year. It took us 10+ years to figure out the best spots, so I figure it will take them 10 also smile People use to spend the night on these spots (2 in paticular) that people use to sleep overnight on. Or they would sleep at the landing with there boat already in the water and when the 1st truck came they would jump in and go get the "spot" This year a couple and last year a couple times we would show up an hr or so before shooting time with many hunters aready there and get the "best" spot on the lake. All the oldtimers gave it up. Although this year we did see an old buddy that has hunted there for 30 years and knew the spot. We were picking up decoys and he had just came for the afternoon shoot. We have hunted with this guy before many many years ago when we gave all these spots names.

It sure is nice to sleep in and still snag the best spot in the swamp!

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Shotgun---$800.00

decoys---$200.00

dog---$400.00

decked out duck boat--- $3,000.00

being able to----

It sure is nice to sleep in and still snag the best spot in the swamp!

PRICELESS

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Never try to calculate how much you have invested in duck hunting. It's depressing. One eveneing around the fire we tried to figure out how much $/pound duck meat is costing us. Once we got to $25,000 (boat, decoys, guns, ammo, gadgets, gas...) we quit. Fish meat aint cheap either!

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This season was dissapointing ONLY because I didnt get out more! All 3 times I did go out in MN were a blast.

ND trip for opener was not nearly as good as last year.

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I had one of the best years I have had. Only shot two divers all year which is rare for me. I shot a lot of mallards and woodies this year however. I wish I could have spent more time in the blind with my brother that was on the pipeline, but did get my 80 year old grandpa out for a couple of decent shoots. Lots of late season mallards this year... Dog work was awesome at times which makes all the training worth while. Sharing the blind with friends and family is always great too. Already looking forward to whackin' and stackin' next year!

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Really in the big scheme of things oh well, the snowshoe hare we can't hunt anymore, they have vanished, the ruffed grouse is nearly extinct in what used to be a great area for them and now has the duck, turkey's replaced grouse, geese replaced ducks, and the fox is gone as the hares went so it's not all bad really. I just miss the mass flocks of mallards migrating through our area and I miss the beavers that used to provide much of the wood duck habitat, and I miss those bonus mallards and woodies that used to come into the goose decoys in the fields I hunt, 10-15 years ago now. Times change, habitat changes, it is what it is.

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Better than good, maybe even great.

Had twice the number of guys out to the blind that I've ever had. And we got ducks every day but one. Shot limits (almost) first two weekends. Haven't had this many ducks in my favorite spots since the late 80's. Hit a real quiet spot in early Nov but deer hunting kept that covered.

Found alot of new spots in Otter Tail County. Way up north of New York Mills. Got some older guys out and they shot limits of green heads in the flooded corn, wow was there ducks around. These guys hadn't gotten liscenses in years, and included an ex-State Rep. Too bad this area rarely holds water, and I wouldn't wish flooding on them again. As far as geese go I don't hunt them much but one group of six guys in OT County is over 200 birds bagged so far this year. Jerky for ALL. OH to be unemployed, someday I will get there.

North Dakota was flat this year. We did good but had to really work every time. There sure were mallards the last time I was out but the clear skies, bright sun, and 49 mile per hour winds made BAGGING birds very difficult. I couldn't even keep a hat on out there!

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