Waterfowl and Duck Hunting in Louisiana
Some tips to success...
Although the duck numbers are way down this year in SE LA b/c of Isaac, I have still been shooting limits on a regular basis. Here are some tips to my fellow hunters:
If you hunt in a boat blind like I do often, then several things you need to take into consideration are:
1. Make sure your fast grass is dark brown that matches your surroundings. Spray paint the grass if needed. Nothing stands out like a sore thumb than a boat blind with yellow (almost white looking) fast grass. The more worn out and aged the grass is the better.
2. Cover the entire boat blind with extra mats of fast grass including the roof. Ducks look down into a blind and see a big hole and movement. I make my blind like a pit blind only leaving small holes for the hunters to be able to stand up and shoot.
3. Conceal your dog if you want hunt with one. Do not put your dog on the bow of the boat or on a doggy ladder hanging off of the front of the boat. My dog goes on my hunt deck with fast grass over him running from the blind to the motor or sometimes I will let him sit outside of the boat blind in the tall grass where he is concealed.
4. Park your boat behind some natural vegatation, not in front of it. This is very important if hunting with the wind to your back.
5. If you use roseau, cane, or brush as additional cover around your boat blind, make sure this vegatation is not higher than the top of your blind or higher than the natural vegatation in the area. Nothing sticks out more than a poor boat blind set up. I can see these from a mile away, so can a duck....
1. If you hunt in coastal marshes where the majority of your bag is gray ducks, do not use a bunch of drake mallard, pintail, widgeon or even teal decoys. Nothing looks more unnatural than a spread with a bunch of white on the dekes (pintails) or green heads in a spread. I use mostly gadwall decoys and hen mallard decoys only with just a few drake mallards (mottled duck decoys are ok).
2. Teal decoy to anything. You do not need teal decoys to get them to decoy. What you do need is larger decoys that the big ducks can see better from a distance, hence this is why I do not use teal decoys.
3. Do not use a spinning wing decoy. You don't need it. Ducks get use to it quickly and it will flare them. The only time I will use a spinning wing decoy is the first few days of each split when we have new uneducated juenville birds in the area.
4. If hunting big open water put out every decoy you have. I carry 4 dozen. Make sure you leave a large opening for the ducks to land in front of you if hunting with the wind coming over your back. Two groups of dekes on either side.
5. If hunting small water or pot holes use less decoys. No more than 18 dekes in small water. If hunting a pot hole 2 to 6 decoys can be deadly.
5. Try a crossing wind set up sometimes especially when the ducks are skittish and flaring off of the blind. This way they are not looking at your blind on their approach. When hunting a crossing wind, you want your dekes about 30 yards up wind from you so the ducks land short of the dekes in front of your blind.
6. Never put any decoys more than 30 yards away from your blind especially if hunting with the wind coming over your back. Many ducks this late in the season will land shy of the decoys. You don't want to take shots at ducks outside of 40 yards. If you place your decoys properly and your blind is concealed well you can have them in your face at 15 yards away.
7. If it is windy, be patient and let the ducks get in close before shooting.
8. If hunting big open water with a strong wind coming over your blind, put some decoys behind your blind too.
9. When ducks are approaching your spread, do not use your duck call. Most hunters would be better off just leaving their duck calls in their truck.
Happy Hunting and Good Luck!