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Thread: Waterfowl Identification

  1. #1
    Member Roger's Avatar
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    Default Waterfowl Identification

    Anybody recommend a good Waterfowl Identification book for a greenhorn ?
    PEOPLE SAY I HAVE A.D.D I DON'T UNDERSTA.....OH LOOK A MOOSE !!!

  2. #2
    Member skybust's Avatar
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    Go on the du web site they should have one
    Is it opening day of duck season yet
    Member of Alaska Waterfowl Association

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    Member akblackdawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger View Post
    Anybody recommend a good Waterfowl Identification book for a greenhorn ?
    I think even F&G has a nice little free pocket size book. I have one in my duck gear, need to dig it out and see where it came from, F&G I think. Bud
    Wasilla

  4. #4
    Member Roger's Avatar
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    Thanks I will check on both
    PEOPLE SAY I HAVE A.D.D I DON'T UNDERSTA.....OH LOOK A MOOSE !!!

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    Member AK DUCKMAN's Avatar
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    Ducks at a distance is what you want.

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    Member bkbaker's Avatar
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    Waterfowl Identification: The LeMaster Method. nice pocket size book
    9$ on amazon.
    Bought it twice, wrecked it once capsizing a jon boat on a passing shot

  7. #7
    Sponsor Duckhunter01's Avatar
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    Books are great..but nothing gives you more experience then getting out and observing them in flight. It will take some time..Pay attention to the flocks, patterns, how they react in flight, to wind, etc. You'll get better over the years.
    I wrote up a long post in here somewhere describing different species and the ability to read them on the wing...maybe it will show up.
    President of Alaska Waterfowl Assoc.
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    AlaskaWaterfowlAssociation@gmail.com
    Gen.1:26
    And God said, let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

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    Sponsor Duckhunter01's Avatar
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    Learning the flight, wing beat, sounds or Silhouette of any duck takes time.. A few that are common here in Ak that are easy to identify on the wing or the difference between the divers and puddlers. Most already know the divers wing beats are much faster whether flying high or low..they portray a short stubby body in flight with a short neck, fast wing beat and are very erratic. Most will come in low and fast to the decoys or skirt the edge. Usually you don't hear them until you hear the splash of them landing among your decoys. Buffleheads, goldeneyes, bluebills, scaups, redheads etc.

    The Can on the otherhand being the largest of the divers here in AK will have a little slower wing beat although faster than a puddler and present a much longer neck as a pintail.. What gives him away on the wing is the round body of a diver and steady flight path.. Thy very seldom fly erratic and will keep a compass reading on where they are going..when flying solo or as a pair. If in a large flock they will follow the leader much like a flock of teal and be extremely close to each other. Later on... The black breast on the drakes, prominent line against the white chest is very prevelant when decoying. The large bill is also very easy to see.

    Most all puddlers are commonly mistaken for one another.. The pintail is very easy to identify by looking for the slender streamline body starting with a much longer neck, slim body mass extending to the tail.. Probably the most easily to identify on the wing and almost the most commonly found here earlier in the season.

    Widgeon are very easy to identify by their erratic flight behavior along with the very prominent white patch on the wings.. Regardless of the season it will stand out as they cruise by..they also keep their head up higher while in flight than a mallard or gadwall. Probably almost as many of them around as pintails in this region. They decoy very easy and will most often come in from any direction, turn quickly into the wind and set up. Probably enjoy shooting big flocks of them more than most. Gadwalls are most commonly mistake in flight with the Widgeon. They will sometimes circle a few times if that.. The comeback call or greeting call is very effective for getting them to turn back and keep them on a string...

    Mallards this time of year are almost always browned out if you will...very slow wing beat compaired to most of the other puddlers and usually very vocal (hens) while cruising in flight..don't think many have an issue identifying these guys.. largest of the puddlers, moves pretty slow and will usually work the decoys by circling a few times.. We use to say if he don't land on the 5th swing.. They won't land..

    A few tips for decoy placement is to keep in mind that the Widgeon is not called the Stealer for nothing..pintails and gadwalls will most often feed to the outside of mallards and will usually stay together when feeding amongst larger flocks of mallards. Place them along to the outside of your spread for a more realistic presentation. Widgeon need to be at the back of your spreads...they are lazy birds when it comes to feeding and will let the mallards and pintails, geese etc. dig up stuff and stir things up... Catching what flows down to them.. Just like teal.. Backside of spread..

    If putting a few geese out there.. Place them to the outside or up in front of the ducks.. Maybe as far as 30 yards and use them as your left boundary.. Mix in a few Widgeon to represent them well.. Leave a large pocket for a couple to land. Then start putting out your puddlers..

    Keep in mind.. The wind.. The most important thing is the wind.. Then the sun, then your blind. If you can't see because of the sun... Move.. Never hunt a spot with the sun in your face..they will bust you every time.

    Lastly.. Big difference in hunting and placing decoys in rivers verses ponds or lakes.. So take your time when placing your decoys.. Some say it is an art, some just toss them out and let it be. It does make a difference.. That one decoy sitting on its side after you sluiced a bird has to be pulled.. Makes a huge difference.

    So many ways to set decoys.. If you need help or have questions.. Hit me up.. Always enjoy helping and discussing different strategies. Good luck out there this year..

    DH01
    President of Alaska Waterfowl Assoc.
    http://akwaterfowl.com
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Alask...78020265619952
    AlaskaWaterfowlAssociation@gmail.com
    Gen.1:26
    And God said, let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

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    This is some good stuff thanks DH01. This is pretty much my first go at duck hunting but it does seem like placing decoys is an art.

  10. #10
    Member kwackkillncrew's Avatar
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    for pond hunting and small lake hunting all we do is put small groups scattered all with in 40 yards. 3-5 decoys per group. the ducks comming in will find a spot to land. even big flocks
    I will never be a "Prostaffer" its not that I am not good enough
    but its because I refuse to pimp products for free.

  11. #11
    Member Roger's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the info !
    PEOPLE SAY I HAVE A.D.D I DON'T UNDERSTA.....OH LOOK A MOOSE !!!

  12. #12

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    Ducks Unlimited has an app you can download if you have a smartphone. It has a pretty good waterfowl ID on it as well as sounds, migration routes, etc.

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    Member 0321Tony's Avatar
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    The worst part about learning duck identification of ducks up here is that they don't have the colors of the ducks in the books and pictures. We need an Alaska waterfowl identification book with birds in the Eclipse plumage..

  14. #14
    Member akblackdawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alaskatrevor View Post
    Ducks Unlimited has an app you can download if you have a smartphone. It has a pretty good waterfowl ID on it as well as sounds, migration routes, etc.
    I could not find a app from DU on duck ID, but there is anoter app just called Duck ID App, that cost $.99 and looks pretty good. I added it to my i phone. It also appears to have information on calls. Bud
    Wasilla

  15. #15
    Member 0321Tony's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by akblackdawg View Post
    I could not find a app from DU on duck ID, but there is anoter app just called Duck ID App, that cost $.99 and looks pretty good. I added it to my i phone. It also appears to have information on calls. Bud
    You have to download the DU app if you download that it's in there. There is also sunrise/sunset and links to regulations etc.. It's a good app

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