Duck Hunters' Forum Sponsors

How do you know? How to play the wind? (a duck hunting question)

Discussion in 'The Duck Hunters Forum' started by bulldogeverett, Nov 8, 2013.

  1. bulldogeverett

    bulldogeverett Senior Refuge Member

    Messages:
    497
    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2010
    Location:
    Peoria, Illinois
    For years, hunting lakes, I've been taught to play the wind, look for points, coves, etc. with slackwater that ducks could get out of the wind and chop to loaf. I've now seen enough ducks land in big choppy water, raft up, or spiral circles and fall out of the sky to land in a place that the wind is all wrong. I talked to an old timer once who would always hunt the opposite side of what everyone else did. If it was a North wind, he'd hunt the South bank. He always managed to scracth some, even when no one else was.

    What do you guys do?
     
  2. Squaller

    Squaller Elite Refuge Member

    Messages:
    24,216
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2003
    Location:
    Fresno, California
    In general, I hunt the north end on a north wind, and the south end on a south wind...

    Tule pockets with the tules at my back and an area for birds to rest from the elements...

    I will still hunt the center of a large pond in the wind, and many ducks will raft up in big water on winds up to 25mph...

    Set the decoys according to the wind and the terrain both. I try to hunt areas that this overlaps.

    I generally avoid hunting the levee on the opposite side from which the wind is blowing... It does not give the birds enough time to lose altitude, and I have found (in my area) that in a stout wind, birds do not circle back...

    I sit facing with the wind at my back... The vast majority of birds I will be shooting at will be coming into the wind... Oddly enough, I am seeing more and more times with birds riding that wind though...

    If the birds are coming over me, I will sometimes let them get past me before I shoot... Once past you, many times they will continue to buck the wind, or even if they don't they will often still be in good range for the second shot. Shooting at birds still coming towards you in a stout wind, you will likely only get one crack at them...

    I would hazard that the majority of responses and experiences will be similar.
     
  3. MarkinMissouri

    MarkinMissouri Senior Refuge Member

    Messages:
    821
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2008
    Location:
    Missouri
    When I am decoying ducks North Side in a North Wind.

    When I am jumping ducks South Side in a North Wind.

    When I am hunting a marsh right in the middle of the pool.

    I have come to believe that ducks feel most comfortable with open water to the upwind side. I routinely see ducks land in the center of a lake and then let the wind push them to the bank (South bank in a North wind). If you can provide them with a way to land and take off without looking at land/bank you are going to shoot at your fair share.

    Interested to see what other's will share since this is probably the most important question that a duck hunter must decide and the difference between scratching out a duck here and there or being a duck hunting god.
     
  4. MarkinMissouri

    MarkinMissouri Senior Refuge Member

    Messages:
    821
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2008
    Location:
    Missouri
    I started doing that after watching a couple guys in the blind next to me one time. It's almost unfair to the ducks, keep heading into the wind and get no where fast or turn with the wind and fly right down the gun barrel. Talk about a lose, lose proposition... for the duck that is:dv
     
  5. bulldogeverett

    bulldogeverett Senior Refuge Member

    Messages:
    497
    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2010
    Location:
    Peoria, Illinois
    Thanks for the replies so far. I guess I'll find out this weekend. For 3 outings now, I've hunted what should be the right side of the lake (North bank in a North wind for example. . . ) and watched ducks light across the lake in the roughest water against the opposite bank. It makes no sense to me, there's nothing over there in terms of obvious food to me. So I've made a decision, no matter what the wind, I'm going to setup there. Can't do any worse than what I've been doing . . . watching the ducks land elsewhere.

    I think more than anything about duck hunting, this is what fascinates me most. The setup. A strategy.
     
  6. mallardtone

    mallardtone Senior Refuge Member

    Messages:
    438
    Joined:
    May 6, 2002
    Rule # 1 you go where the ducks are going, regardless of what makes "sense"
     
  7. Capt. Cormorant

    Capt. Cormorant Elite Refuge Member

    Messages:
    2,831
    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2008
    Location:
    Washington
  8. havenhunter

    havenhunter Elite Refuge Member

    Messages:
    3,487
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2003
    Location:
    N.B. Canada
    I hunt mostly eiders. You can side shoot em and with the wind at you back. Wind in you face, you must just as well be peeing into it.
     
  9. bulldogeverett

    bulldogeverett Senior Refuge Member

    Messages:
    497
    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2010
    Location:
    Peoria, Illinois
  10. TheDuckSlayer

    TheDuckSlayer Elite Refuge Member

    Messages:
    21,328
    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2002
    Location:
    Mobile Delta
    Try to set up with the wind at your back. Hunting a crosswind isn't bad in the right situation. Never set up with the wind in your face. Another thing to consider is the sun. You don't want to face east on a clear day, you'll be blinded.

    Best case scenario, you got the sun and wind at your back. Ducks will be landing toward You with the sun in their eyes
     

Share This Page