Waterfowl for Idiots

Discussion in 'Waterfowl Hunting' started by gunsmoker, Jan 30, 2014.

  1. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Member

    Suppose I've never hunted waterfowl before in my life.

    I know nothing about it.

    Would some experienced Duck and Goose hunter like to explain it to me (and the rest of us newbies here)?

    Some questions:

    Do you have to have a boat, and shoot from that boat in a pond or lake?

    Can you hunt over land, with no water nearby? Can you use decoys or sounds to bring waterfowl to a pasture or field or other clearing in the woods without it being a pond or lake?

    If you are hunting over water, is a dog necessary to getting the downed birds? Can you paddle or motor your boat over to 'em and get them by hand yourself?

    How long of a shot should a person expect to take when doing this kind of hunting?

    Would a 12-gauge 3" chambered shotgun with a "modified" choke be enough, or do you have to have a full choke due to the distances involved?

    What kind of license does the State of Georgia require you to have?

    Is there a federal license or set of "tags" required ?

    There's a limit to the ammo capacity of your shotgun when waterfowl hunting, right? Total of 3 rounds, including the one in the chamber. Can you use dummy rounds or snap caps to replace regular rounds, or must the magazine be blocked with a dowel or something else that you can't remove unless you disassemble the gun?
  2. dogsbreath

    dogsbreath Member

    I'm not a duck hunter, but I do know that you need a dowel or something that requires taking the gun apart. If you have a boat, you wouldn't need a dog. My G.Father hunted duck without a dog. Read the GA Regs, I'm pretty sure you need to use steel shot. The way laws are written, they mostly say what you can't do. Don't cross those lines and it is ok. Also, Dawson forest has places that you can not hunt water foul, other places are fine. As to the choke, patter your gun. Get some cardboard and shoot it from different distances. I'd recommend finding the longest shot you can make INSIDE your home, and check that spread first. Don't let anyone tell you you don't need to aim a shotgun. Then back it up. I'm pretty sure a 30 inch circle is considered the max spread for effective hunting. But check your load in your gun.
    I've a double barrel that has two different chokes, and a button on the trigger to swap the order. If you are hunting quail that will fly up at your feet and head away, you do the wide pattern first, then the tighter pattern as the get further away. If duck are flying in to you, you would switch that. Hit the tighter pattern first, then the wider as they were closer. That 30" circle might be out at 40 yards with one, and 30 yards with the other. But check your gun with your loads.
    Happy hunting,

    btw, my G.Father died in '72. It wasn't until 2006 that I even knew he had a shotgun (Winchester model 12, 16 ga. made in '35). His youngest daughter had it, and when she died, my brother brought it to me along with a knife he had since he left Finland in '03 (1903). Pretty cool. Up to that point, all the guns I had was a Marlin 60 .22lr from wally world. My second safe is pretty much full right now. I got bit pretty hard. :)

  3. Ranger

    Ranger New Member

    A boat is very helpfull but not a necessity.
    I shot them from the ground flying into a creek on my hunting property.

    In this scenario you'd be trying to catch the birds going to or from a pond, creek, or lake and ambush them over the field.
    They don't hang out in field, and they would be flying pretty high when they come over.

    Yes you can just go get them.

    Ducks fly high and fast and even when they are coming in to the water they are moving pretty good.
    While a modified choke isn't ideal, it will kill birds inside 50 yards.
    I use a Kick's High flyer choke and even though my shotgun is chambered to shoot 3.5" mags, I only shoot 3" shells.

    Ga requires a hunting license and HIP permit to hunt migratory birds and the federal Govt requires a duck stamp.

    Shotguns must be plugged to a maximum of three shells, if the Game warden can rack it and more than 3 shells come out be it snap caps or whatever, expect a ticket.
    A new #2 pencil makes a great plug, loosen the mag nut, drop pencil inside spring, replace cap, to remove it, remove cap, turn gun barrel down and pencil falls out.
    You MUST use steel shot!
    Another thing to remember, no shooting until 30 minutes after sunrise and 30 minutes before sunset, they're real easy to shoot during those times but it's highly illegal.
  4. GAJeff

    GAJeff Moderator Staff Member

    Thank you Ranger for that post.
  5. GunnerJacky

    GunnerJacky New Member

    If you have the correct license and stamp, you can hunt waterfowl when they are in season. When you are hunting waterfowl you need to locate their feeding and resting areas, and gain access to areas where the birds can be hunted. A good place to hunt, maybe a boat and get a shotgun. It is a very expensive undertaking and requires a lot of gear. It also depends on what type of waterfowl you are hunting and what type of terrain.