Bona Fides

Rubberhead

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I’ve been somewhat active in the PAF for a while so I wanted to make a point about duck hunting and challenge others to do the same.

I am a duck hunter. There are a few things in life that get more of my money than duck hunting. There is nothing at all that gets more of my energy, vacation or thought cycles than duck hunting.

Other than 3 to 5 weekly comments on USA Today, The Refuge Forum’s PAF is the only place I post or discuss politics. Without the commonality of being duck hunters I would not spend one minute of my life discussing politics with anyone on the Internet.

To the extent I care enough to read someone on the PAF’s political views it is only because they are, presumably, a duck hunter too.

I almost always hunt solo (40 to 45 days/year) and never travel further than about 3 hours from my house to duck hunt. I don’t hire guides or borrow equipment or need to go to Arkansas or North Dakota. I paint, wire and fix my own boat and build/paint/rig my own decoys. I am focused on the unobtainable goal of killing all 32 species of duck hunting solo in my home state of South Carolina. I shoot geese when its legal and they present themselves during what is otherwise a duck hunt. I am a duck hunter. I will go out of my way to kill a swan when I've got a tag in my pocket.

My pictorial tabulation of waterfowl species I’ve killed. The two B/W photos are because I’ve never killed those species in South Carolina. I have seen old squaw, common goldeneye, black-bellied whistling ducks, specklebellies and Ross' geese in SC...it's only a matter of time before I can paste a picture in those boxes...

I am a very much duck hunter. It is my identity.

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API

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I am a duck hunter.
Awesome lineup. Its my hope that all of us PAFers are waterfowl hunters with stories to tell. Not going to get into a "can you top this" thingy, but how about a memorable hunt with my son that resulted in 2 honkers, 2 lessers, 2 snows, and 2 ross. Not bad variety all in one morning?

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Native NV Ducker

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Rubberhead,

With a few exceptions, I mirror your post. I shoot geese, but prefer ducks. A limit of ducks is better than a limit of geese. I have shot swans, and will probably never do it again. Typically, it is just pass shooting. I can do that on the 5-stand range. Bringing one into decoys might be cool though.

I go to Canada when I can. Went last year, hope to go this year. Just seeing the vast number of birds is worth the trip. The shooting is a bonus.

I am a duck hunter, who moved into the middle of elk country. Still, I make do. My general license includes an elk tag, and deer, and I NEVER go hunting for them, but might take a deer in the back yard. I have killed a couple of bears in the back yard, but that is only because they are knocking down the trash cans for 2 miles in both directions, and the neighbors ask me to fix the problem.

You didn't mention a dog. For me, having a dog is a must. Makes half the hunt.
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3inch3's

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Don't have a lot of access to the pictures of year's past (it's a divorce thing) to post but I have been chasing them since 1982. Slowed the last several years as I have been using my vacation to travel to other countries but still manage a few trips a year. Most of my hunting was in southern IL including the best $300 lease many had ever seen (long story)...lol. Made the pilgrimage to Stuttgart a few times and fell in love with timber hunting and try to get back there as often as I can. Still have several of my old calls from the early days and have way more decoys than I'll ever need. Actually just built a building and decided to add a 8'X24' loft to store them and other hunting stuff......probably should have made it 16'X24".........but that's another story.
 

hobbydog

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I like to hunt a bit of everything but waterfowl is my favorite. I have to travel 8 hours to my cabin and in recent years I have "worked remotely" from there in October. Makes it hard for the kids to join me often. The last few years I have been putting more time into other pursuits. Trapping and wilderness canoe trips gets the majority of my time but late season divers still ranks high. I will retire in a few years and I won't have to divide up my time as much.

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Boomn4x4

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I used to hunt 30 - 40 days a year, primarily field hunting geese and ducks, with an occasional marsh hunt. After my first was born, 30-40 dropped to about 7. I had twins 2 years ago, I hunted 1 day that year... and I didn't even buy a license this year. I'm looking forward to getting back up into those double digits.... but I don't see it happening any time soon.
 

KENNEDY63

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I like this thread. Good idea. I'm going to come back to it when I have a bit more time.

Hobby - where is the post fire canoe photo from?
 
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The_Duck_Master

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I fell in love with everything duck hunting my first time in the marsh at age 12. Everyone thought I was crazy to want to chase ducks after deer season opened or in December when ice flows starting choking off the Missouri River and the only birds were goldeneyes. I went through a phase in college where I focused mostly on archery and then pretty much gave up all hunting after moving from Montana to Seattle. After relocating to Oregon and after the kids were beyond toddler stage, I started to get back into it more. In 2000 I started breeding and training labs and 5-10 years ago I was duck/goose hunting 30 days a year. The pace has slowed the past few years until last year when I was only able to get out on opening day due to work related issues. I will get out more this year. I have been involved with organizing and running Youth Outdoor Day www.youthoutdoorday.org for over 10 years and teach duck calling to 250+ kids a year at the event. Looking forward to doing it again in a few weeks.
 

Rubberhead

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I started duck hunting at 14. My dad took me a time or two (he’s a deer hunter with pretty much zero interest in hunting ducks). He gave me a boat, a shotgun and three Victor mallard decoys then turned me loose. I’ve been hunting on my own ever since – I’m 52 now. Dad’s still deer hunting, mostly alone, at 78 and has four deer in the record books but remains uninterested in ducks.

I love the mixed bag of geese. I think it's the diversity of waterfowling that most intrigues me. I would goose hunt if I lived in the central flyway. We just don’t have many geese.

I have a working theory that some cinnamon teal actual cross the Rockies and Mississippi and migrate south through the Atlantic Flyway in the fall. So far, though, my theory is failing the tests but I rush to pick up every early fall bluewing drake and check his eyes. Adult cinnamon drakes always have red irises. One day, I’m going to find a cinnamon mixed in with our September bluewings. I will photograph him and add him to the mosaic.

I don’t have a hunting dog. I think I’m too selfish. I know that if I ever hunted with a dog, I’d never go back.
 

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