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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I forget which topic on the forum I was reading this, but a gentleman was complaining about finding areas to hunt in the DL area. A very good friend of mine and fellow guide has made some comments that I would like to share.
He has land on the south side of Devils Lake and he says that he gets requests from NR hunters every day. And he looks at their rig and if they have a duck boat the answer will be "NO"!! He will tell them they can set up decoys in the fields away from the water but no hunting on the water.
I agree with him 100%!!
North Dakota is actually a quick stop for most birds, especially snow geese. And just like you and me, they like to come home to a nice quiet house. When hunters shoot them off there resting place day after day....THEY ARE OUT OF HERE!! Would you stay where you're at if your neighbors bugged you from the time you got home till the time the sun went down?
A lot of NR are used to hunting on water because thats the only place they can hunt in a lot of their home territory...but here, it just doesn't work. You don't give them a place to rest and they will leave!!
When we take clients out, it's over decoys in the field. You shoot at them there, you can usually get a few days out of that field, when you shoot at them in a field, they generally will just find another field somewhere nearby.
If we want the ducks and geese to stick around here longer we need to cut back on the puddle jumping and stick to dry land!! And I'm very glad that G & F is aboloshing the all day hunting on snows and blues. Not many people hunt them as much as I do and I can tell you it DOES have an affect on them sticking around!!! Yes, weather does too, but when you have geese in the area, you want to do everything possible to keep them around!!!
Just my opinion, I'd like to hear others
 

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You bring up a point that many of us have been talking about for a long time.One thing is balance and understanding what waters can be hunted and what should not. I hunt over water but not on waters that I have determined to be a roosting area, I ussally hunt waters between the food source and the roost hopeing to pickup some birds as the come back looking for the morning drink after feeding. Like NDJ I like to chase divers and plane and simple they are big water birds and do handle pressure there differently than puddlers.

I would be in favor of closing hunting over water in the afternoon with youth being an excluded from this rule. Few waters that get hunted will retain ducks when they are hunted in the pm. Next is education of those coming here to hunt. While most of us have not had to hunt from a boat, this is the norm for many that come here. They apply what thye have been doing at home to the PPR area and it is very counter productive for long term results.

When ever possible I take the time and explain this to those that are roost hunting. In most cases if tact is used they are receptive and understanding to what I am saying, but one cannot reach everyone, I wonder if we could get the game and fish to include some basic common sense suggestions to be included in the proclamation for all hunters. Something to work on for next year.
 

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I think you are right in one respect that roosts need to be respected, but I don't think we should go as far as to say that there should be no hunting over water. Hunting ducks over water is part of the tradition of waterfowl hunting in this country. You just have to be careful as to what kind of water you are hunting. If you hunt sloughs in transition areas you are fine. A lot of people seem to have a question as to what a transition slough is compared to a roost. A roost will have birds on the slough at noon. A transition slough is usually right next to the feeding field and will only have big numbers of birds out there while the birds are off the roost feeding. You can usually hunt a transition slough over and over because you aren't in screwing up the roost or the field. This is just my opinion and to each his own I guess.
 

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when it comes to SOB hunting I can see it fields only - & maybe for the Golf course variety ???

But for ducks ???

Wait!!! your right - Duck boats SUCK!!! don't bring them - I know people who will threaten to shoot at you, if you put one in certain waters :eek: I have heard some will slash your tires - leave antifreeze for your dog - shoot spud guns at you :roll:

I know a few SOB roosts that should be shot - that selfish folks protect at all costs - just to show their clients there are some SOB's in the area :roll:

The biggest problem I have expirenced is guys who don't get much and at the end of their trip, want to shoot a difinite roost - They don't care how it affects the area :eyeroll: - will sneak in before sun rise & open up at dawn - :eyeroll:

I have said before someone who knows an area from G&F should be making new waterfowl rest areas - as the birds pick new places - with the high waters in recent years, these have all changed & new areas are getting hunted hard - so the SOB's really never have a chance to build up in most areas & by the time the invasion :roll: is about over, the weather has recently pushed most of the birds over us - But thats all good economic development :roll: :eyeroll:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I should have maybe been a little clearer on the ducks...divers pretty much have to be hunted over water. And I think with them, if you hunted them one day and left them alone for awhile (couple days), they probably wouldn't boogie out on you. I think the mallards wouldn't take a lot of disturbance to leave, but cans and such would stick around.
 

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I am sure alot of the NR hunters do not grasp the concept of field hunting. After all I had never seen it til I moved here.....and have duck hunted several years. When I was explaining this to a bunch of my duck hunting buddies down in Arkansas they looked sortof dumbfounded (not unusual in Arkansas) :lol: but once I explained the reasoning and method it was easily understood. When someone has hunted over water all their lives, dont hold it against them if thats what they expect when they get here. Take a few minutes to explain to them how it should be done in ND!

:wink:
J.J.
 

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win4win said:
I am sure alot of the NR hunters do not grasp the concept of field hunting. After all I had never seen it til I moved here.....and have duck hunted several years. When I was explaining this to a bunch of my duck hunting buddies down in Arkansas they looked sortof dumbfounded (not unusual in Arkansas) :lol: but once I explained the reasoning and method it was easily understood. When someone has hunted over water all their lives, dont hold it against them if thats what they expect when they get here. Take a few minutes to explain to them how it should be done in ND!

:wink:
J.J.
Well put.
 

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I'll be honest. I am set up for water hunting. That is all that I have ever known, until the last few years of hearing it bashed here. I will continue to water hunt until at some point I can make the $700+ investment to switch to field blinds and dekes. I agree that it makes sense to leave roost areas alone, however it also makes sense to continue enjoying the sport even though some people believe that you are committing some kind of crime against humanity and will cut your tires for it?????

Lighten up folks. It's hunting. It is supposed to be fun.
 

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Scraper hunting over water should not be frowned on as a whole as i stated before I hunt over water, but try to make the choice of not hunting roosting area's. For some this may be hard to determie and or understand but do not take the comments as someone telling you to stop hunting water.
 

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Scrapper,

Cutting tires? - frightening thought (and pathetic).

I agree with you and Ron - hunting location is a matter of choice and preference. To each their own. Just as is the number of days to hunt a season, and number of ducks to put into the bag. Some need six - some need fewer.

For what it's worth, many field hunters fail to recognize they are their own enemy. In response to hunting pressure, granivorous ducks transition from nocturnal fasting to nocturnal feeding. The more they are harrassed in fields, the more nocturnal feeders they become. Estimates vary, but its accurate to say that by the time the ducks are way south most ducks leave their day-time dabbling refuges to feed mostly at night. The southern guys who only hunt on water are reaping the results of field hunters up here. Hopefully it is obvious that ducks are simply responding to pressure - field or water.

Mostly, I feel sorry for the poor retrieverless field hunters. Condemded to a dry dusty existence, never knowing the joy of having their lab do perfect marks into the cattails, hold perfect lines out and back, and take only a whistle or two on a blind retrieve on a bird they missed falling across the marsh. Kill counts?? Get real - how did your dog do on the marsh?

To (poorly) paraphrase Frank Bellrose from something he wrote 30 or 40 years ago: "The most wonderous thing about waterfowling is seeing the marsh come alive with the rising sun - it is something beautiful and altogether different than the view of the agricultural lands - as nice as they might be."

Add the field rigging to your bag-of-tricks, but it is not a be-all end-all.

M.
 

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From a pressure and opportunity standpoint the water is fairly limited. A good hunt on the water for one group may be the demise for three groups of field hunters. There are certain parts of the state that would benefit greatly from a refuge.

One place in particular I can think of is the large WPA just west of the town of Alice ND. If that was made into a refuge the water and field hunters would benefit greatly. The birds could roost on the big water and not be harassed. They would go out and feed in the fields and hit the smaller sloughs around the area and provide great hunting all year long. However that large WPA gets pounded relentlessly and the hunting is usually not very good around there for very long.
 

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Hunting grain fields is a relatively easy proposition in ND. Scout, drive out to the spot the next morning. No need to ever leave the vehicle until you begin to spread out the decoys and start the hunt.

The only guy that is really ever walking is the guy that parks the truck.

No early morning hikes across the prairie to the slough, no sinking in mud to the knees, no hidden rocks to slip on, no cattail seeds in the eyes .... field hunters are missing so much ....

Still you have to love the ND silt that can so easily penetrate the eyes, shotgun mechanisms, and vehicle air intakes when hunting a grain field.

Love both styles. Each have their pluses and minuses.

If there are certain bodies of water that should NOT be hunted because of refuge status, then local wildlife clubs should work with the landowners, township boards, or counties to close the water to hunting.

Seen more and more ND residents hunting in boats the past few years. Can understand why - when the ponds get so deep that waders no longer work.

Mid-south corn fields offer similar easy prospects, but deep south moist soil management areas and rice fields are a different story. More work to hunt and a 4 wheeler is aboslutely necessary. Pick-up truck in a rice field ? Probably would stay stuck up to the axels for quite some time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hey Gandergrinder...around deer season, check south of that big slough, more towards Enderlin. There have been quite a few BIG Honkers hanging out around there and most everyone else is deer hunting!! There and south of Nome.
 

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We use Argos (6x6) down in Arkansas rice fields. Rarely get stuck and they float in deeper water (most of the time :eek: ). Drop your passengers and cargo off right at the pit. Makes quick work of breaking up ice. One person gets stuck driving it out to the edge of the field and covering it with camo net...having to wade back 100 yards. Really he is the only person that "needs" to wear waders most of the time.

I am hoping to experience my first ND field hunt this season and I cant wait! :D
 

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Gandergrinder, do a lot of people hunt that WPA by Alice?
I don't hunt ND in the fall but my buddies and I like to hunt snows by there in the spring. We have always wondered if that was a popular hunting spot in the fall.
 
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