North Dakota and cheap duck gear!

Discussion in 'Waterfowl Hunting' started by Jonah Strauel, Sep 26, 2020.

  1. bird whisperer

    bird whisperer 12 pointer

    Aug 16, 2012
    Hog Town USA
    Was in Bismarck last week, it has been a very dry year. When I looked out the plane window every pothole I saw was dry. Talked to some locals while I was working and they confirmed it had been very dry. But theres always a chance They could get some good rain before you go. Wish everyone successful hunts up there this season.
  2. Rod S.

    Rod S. 8 pointer

    Oct 20, 2004
    Pewee Valley, Ky.
    I would take a field hunt over a cat tailed, mudpulling pothole any day. Take a good pair of binocs.
    HeadedWest likes this.
  3. Gforcetrivers

    Gforcetrivers 10 pointer

    Sep 23, 2016
    Going to be hunting a 32K acre ranch! May bring my Layout & dog blind
  4. hunt-4-life21

    hunt-4-life21 12 pointer

    Sep 26, 2007
    Butler Co.
    From what I've seen, the more a frames lined up, the better. They work everywhere.

    I feel like I've typed this multiple times in the past month. Go to youtube and type in drone footage of ducks. Tell me what you see. I'll answer'll see black and white. Most times, you won't see brown (hen) until it's close. Ducks see the same thing. You want contrast in decoys, not variety. Ring neck decoys are black and white, they should work. GWT? Don't waste money. Buy the biggest and most white/black looking decoy you can find.
    BootsOn27 and bondhu like this.
  5. Coot_Meurer

    Coot_Meurer 10 pointer

    Nov 4, 2006
    Not here anymore
    Been going up for 20 years. Here are my suggestions

    1st - scout for birds and hunt where he birds are, never hunt a spot because it looks good - half of ND “looks good”.
    2nd - got to the NDGF website and pull down the PLOTS guide. Use it
    3rd - I would bring good optics, good dog, good gun, in that order. Decoys And blinds are 5th or 6th.
    4th - be prepared for disappointment- with Canadian border closed, every duck hunter on the planet is heading to ND. You will see some very spooky birds, and some beyond stupid behavior by hunters to kill a bird. Just about any stupid, illegal, or unethical practice you can think up, you can probably see.
    5th - Enjoy the land and the people. Some of the nicest and most welcoming folks on the planet, but when asking for permission be prepared to “jaw awhile”
    6th - under no circumstances eat “lutefisk”. Not for curiosity, or fame, or money. Don’t do it
    7th - already said it before, but take a good dog. I’ll hunt NoDak without decoys before I hunt without a dog
    BootsOn27 and bondhu like this.
  6. Jonah Strauel

    Jonah Strauel Fawn

    Sep 11, 2019
    That is some of the best advice I have heard on here , thanks coot meir.. I have a good pair of binos and a great dog ! I also have a lot of gumption. It sucks that this is the year Im finally able to go, I have been planning this trip for three years, but it is what it is.for my self I will stick to my ethics and grin and bear it, and have fun!
    gung likes this.
  7. Killroy

    Killroy 8 pointer

    Apr 18, 2007
    in a hospital
    Sounds like your head is in the right place to give it a go. I don't believe the ground blinds are a deal killer. I hunted a soybean field several times here in SCKY last year with nothing but a couple burlap pieces and grass pulled from fencerows. I had no problem. Just don't move. At all.

    A box of stormfronts are cheap and they work. I have some that are three years old, hunted hard, and going strong. Paint them black when they wear out. I too spent several years killing jack diddly. All I can say about a trip like that is to not put all your eggs in one basket. It might be worth your time doing a one day guided trip and the rest chasing ground birds and learning this farm instead of stocking up on gear. But who knows, you may get lucky and hit it big too. :)
    bondhu likes this.
  8. HeadedWest

    HeadedWest 6 pointer

    Nov 22, 2016
    Timber>Big Water>Field Hunt>Pothole>Staying home>Farm Pond.
    Meatstick likes this.
  9. Drahts

    Drahts 12 pointer

    Apr 7, 2015
    If your private land doesn't work out for ducks, run out to the Orrin area and scout the waters there. Devils lake is good but it is a dangerous piece of water in the wind. There is a lot of water in the Orrin area and since it's been dry, the ducks are gonna be on what water they can find. On water you don't need a huge spread unless you have large numbers of birds in the flocks. If they are still in small flocks, 3 -5 doz may work. If they are in huge flocks, your gonna need to find the X and get on it. If you want a layout, see if you can pick up a Tanglefree ghost blind, it sits lower and will hide easier. It will be hard out there with lack of water and a million other knuckleheads looking for ducks, scout hard, use those binos, take you some good bourbon to give to any landowners that are kind enough to let you hunt. If you find a feed, make sure your there WAY early in the morning and get on that X before anyone else shows. Be kind and respective, they are the nicest folks around, and that kindness and respect will go a long way, as will the bottle of bourbon you give them. If you don't have it, get HuntStand or OnX App on your phone for the property info for the owners. And don't let any Sotans walk on ya! They just wish they were NoDaks!

    Upland, be aware, if your temps get warm there will be rattlesnakes. They are big and they are mean. If it's cold you'll be ok. You might walk 15 miles to kill 2 birds, but it'll be the prettiest 15 mile hike you ever take. You could also run into your limit in the first ditch, ya never know. Sharpies, pray ya find some younguns, look for them where the crops break from CRP to Barley/wheat/oat stubble or from any crop to any other cover. They like contour, so when you find em at a certain contour try to hang in it as that's what they do. When you hold a Wild prairie bird in your hand look to that sky and thank the Lord for creating such a beautiful bird in such a beautiful place. It's why we go to see his beauty and hopefully place some on our table.

    Before you go look up the vets in the area your going just in case something happens and your dog needs immediate attention, it could save your dogs life.

    Good Luck
    Bee and bondhu like this.
  10. Marsh CallUser

    Marsh CallUser 12 pointer

    May 20, 2011
    Bowling Green, KY
    Eh, killing ducks beats sitting at home. Christmas gumbo tastes too good to sit at home.
  11. Jonah Strauel

    Jonah Strauel Fawn

    Sep 11, 2019
  12. Jonah Strauel

    Jonah Strauel Fawn

    Sep 11, 2019
    Thanks drahts! Excellent advice ! Being out in God's creation is the number one reason why I hunt. I am going up with 3 dozen floaters, two spinners and and an a frame. I decided not to try to buy decoys for feild hunting. This being my first time, and with everything you all have said, my expectations are not too high. I will go out there and have a blast trying, and any thing I kill will be icing on the cake. As a public land bow Hunter, I have used on x for 3 years! The vets is excellent idea thanks again
    Giveem3outdoors and Rod S. like this.
  13. Jonah Strauel

    Jonah Strauel Fawn

    Sep 11, 2019
    So just updating my trip. First of I had a incredible awesome time! North Dakota was amazing! Defiently learned a pile, and yes , I am already planning to go back next season. I ended up not being able to stay as long as I wanted do to work so ended up only hunting 5 mornings.

    As most of you on here probably know No dak had some unseasonably cold weather and I go there just as it started . The first morning I killed 3 ducks, than the next 4 days I went out I shot limits! Pretty awesome hunting for this ky boy. I had about 3 dozen floaters and that was more than enough for the small body's of water. We din not decoys huge flocks of ducks , but plenty of singles and pairs did it Better than ivev experienced before! . The learning curve was pretty strap. Two of the morning s we moved setups three times before we started killing ducks

    The first two morning the small water was still open but then it started to lock up. The open water we could find was filled with ducks.
    We shot mallards , gadwalls, spoonies as the three most common ducks. I also shot my first green wing teal drake, my first redhead, my first buffle head and a pair of widgeon, also my first! The last morning everything in the area was frozen up except a small lake that was posted that we got permission to hunt. We shot 8 bright green heads that morning that did it great in the decoys and a pair of lesser geese, that was neat.
    My gsp wasn't thrilled about swimming in ice water. She did great though on close to shore ducks and the ones on land. I did not do a lot of of up land hunting but did kill a hun and two pheasants which was a first!
    I saw quite a few other hunters, but it didn't seem too crazy. Also seemed to be plenty of water in the area I hunted.

    I would like try some feild hunting next time and bring a boat for the larger lakes.
    All in all it was an awesome hunt. Thanks for the help I. This forum.
  14. Jonah Strauel

    Jonah Strauel Fawn

    Sep 11, 2019
    i would post pics , but it is saying they are too large and im not sure how to resize them
  15. bondhu

    bondhu 12 pointer

    Jul 3, 2015
    Battle Run
    Congrats on your successful trip.

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