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I am from Michigan and will be coming to ND the third week of October with 4 friends. None of us have hunted ND before, and we're obviously excited. From what I have read, here and other places, we plan to leave our duck boats home, and to plan to hunt potholes as light as possible. One concern I have is water depth, and where my dog will sit. I'm kicking around the idea of one of those adjustable dog platforms on stilts (a piece of plywood with four dowel legs that can be adjusted so the dog is just above the water). Is this going to be necessary? Or do the locals have a better method for keeping the dog out of the water?

Also, we are planning on starting along 94 between Fargo and Bismark, and working our way north. Should we start someplace else?

Thanks in advance.

Ken
 

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We prefer the really shallow sloughs for ducks...most of the times not over 2 feet. With that said, we construct blinds out of the cattails, and this is normally at the water's edge. So bring a comfortable, portable chair and your dog can sit beside you.

As far as area, not one area is better than another at most times of the year. One area can be good one day...and shot out a couple days later. It appears that gameplan you have will be a good one, and with a lot of driving you'll find plenty of spots to hunt. Scouting is everything while hunting up here.

Good luck.
 

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As Chris says, the best potholes are often quite shallow, and its easy to setup in the cattails on the edge, or on an island. Normally I look for a spot where the cattails are high and dry enough so that my retriever can sit on them and still be out of the water. If its overly wet and muddy then Chester gets to sit on top of the decoy bags. So I guess my suggestion is skip the platform (too much work to lug around) and look for a dry location for the blind.

As far as hunting goes, you mention along 94 from Fargo to Bismark. My only suggestion is that you won't find any concentrations of birds anywhere near Fargo, and the further west you travel, the more you are likely to find. Just plan on spending some quality time scouting, be willing to put on a few miles, and you'll be sure to find birds.

Good luck on your hunt!
 

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Built a platform about 10 years ago (about 3 years before I saw any commercial offerings). Used it about twice one year, never since. Most years, many of the sloughs have scattered muskrat huts near water's edge and surrounded by decent cover. normally, I'll pick an area in a slough for my set such that the pooch and I can hunker on one of these huts. You'll have plenty of gear to haul out to the slough, forget the platform.
 
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