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Hi guys,

I have a few questions that I figured experts like you would be able to answer. The first is what is the best way to tell an eclipse drake mallard from a hen in a shooting and hunting situation.

The second has to do with a hunting spot of mine. It is public land but almost everyone who sees it thinks it private so it has minimal hunting pressure and ducks were everywhere in it. This last weekend however was youth season and a friend of mine who originally showed me the spot took his younger cousin out there to hunt which is fine, I completely support the youth hunt and thouroughly enjoyed it 2 years ago when it was my turn. However since his hunt the ducks have been very scarce on the ponds there, will they be back for this weekend, or are they now aware that they aren't safe there? Do I have to wait for migrators to find the spot before it will produce ducks again or will the local ducks be back?
 

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FliesItDies said:
Hi guys,

I have a few questions that I figured experts like you would be able to answer. The first is what is the best way to tell an eclipse drake mallard from a hen in a shooting and hunting situation.
Its very tricky this time of year even for someone well versed in Duck I.D. The very first feather group that starts to turn on Drake Mallards is the chest. So, look for the Brown patch around the neck area. The rest of the chest will hopefully be starting turn off white. Unfortunatly, the green on the neck & head is the last to change. Perhaps the best thing to do is pass on birds your absoultly not sure of...That is what we try to do!
 

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FliesItDies said:
.

The second has to do with a hunting spot of mine. It is public land but almost everyone who sees it thinks it private so it has minimal hunting pressure and ducks were everywhere in it. This last weekend however was youth season and a friend of mine who originally showed me the spot took his younger cousin out there to hunt which is fine, I completely support the youth hunt and thouroughly enjoyed it 2 years ago when it was my turn. However since his hunt the ducks have been very scarce on the ponds there, will they be back for this weekend, or are they now aware that they aren't safe there? Do I have to wait for migrators to find the spot before it will produce ducks again or will the local ducks be back?
Well all i could tell you to do is go out there and scout them a few times during the week. If they continually like the spot I can almost gurantee you success. I doubt they would feel pressured this early in the season since it's only been hunted once. Then with this week of no pressure you should be fine. Just keep tabs on it and check on it. :beer:
 

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This is one of the reasons I enjoy afternoon field hunts.

It is so cool to watch (yet frusterating) to have hundreds of mallards dive bombing the decoys before you can identify the drakes. I don't like shooting the susies, so we have switched to primarliy afternoon hunts in the early part of the year.

Same success levels and I get to sleep in after a long night! :beer:
 
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