John's Journal...

Waterfowling Expert Denny Pitman Tells Us Mistakes Hunters Make

More Tips for Taking Ducks from Denny Pitman

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: Denny Pitman of Old Monroe, Missouri, a professional waterfowler and videographer for Hunter’s Specialties, hunts almost every day of duck season for ducks and geese, as he has for the past 16 years. Pitman enjoys hunting all across the nation, including Canada to South Dakota, to Missouri, to Arkansas, to Alabama and all points in-between. Pitman’s job description means that he must find ducks and geese and film new and better techniques for hunting duck, while promoting Hunter’s Specialties’ duck videos, duck and goose calls and waterfowling accessories. Although on the spot every day of waterfowl season to locate and take ducks and geese, Pitman loves his job. We asked Pitman to name the most-common mistakes that duck hunters make each year.

Question: Denny, what are some other things that duck hunters do that keep them from taking as many birds as they can.
Pitman: Some duck hunters: 1) sky-bust too much. Since the main reason that duck hunters go hunting is to take birds, often hunters become so intent on taking birds, they simply get their shots off without working the birds in close to their blind to get really-good shots. They may shoot when the birds are 40- to 50-yards out, instead of waiting and letting the birds come in with their wings cupped and their feet out, 1Click to enlarge0 to 20 yards from the blind. By waiting for the flock to finish right in front of the blind, you’ll have some of the most-exciting duck hunting ever. The secret to taking more ducks is not how many birds you’ve shot at during the day but rather how many birds you’ve put in the bag. If you’ll hold your shot until the ducks finish right in front of your blind, you’ll have more-exciting duck hunting, you’ll bag more birds, and you’ll be more successful than if you attempt to take the birds at 40 or 50 yards. The sport of duck hunting isn’t about how far away your gun and your shells will bring down the birds. Successful duck hunting is about how close you can get the birds to the blind before you come up to take the shot. If you watch wild birds, you’ll notice they’ll often circle an area where they intend to land 10 to 15 times before they finally drop down and put their feet in the water. So, don’t rush your shot. Instead let the birds do their thing.

2) have too many chiefs in their blinds. If you have more than one or two people in a blind, someone has to be in charge. Usually you only need one or two callers. But, if eight hunters, who all know how to blow calls and want to blow them, are in a blind together, probably each of them will think he has a magic call to cause the ducks to drop iClick to enlargento the blind. Instead of effectively calling the ducks, you’ll have too much racket in the blind, no one will be working together, and the hunters will flare more birds than they’ll call. The other problem associated with too many chiefs in a blind is that you also may have two or three people who want to call the shot. In a large blind with several people in it, only one person should do the calling and call the shot. If several really-good callers are in one blind, then let one caller call to a flock and call the shot, and on the next flock, let another caller call to that flock and call the shot. If there are a couple of callers who have hunted together for several years and know how to help each other, then two callers can work together. But most of the time, letting the callers work and call the shot separately is more effective. However, two callers can work together by not stepping on each-other’s notes. In other words, the second caller should wait until the first caller has completed his routine to start his calling sequence. The callers have to be able to identify which sounds the ducks are reacting to, and the second caller has to be able to give the same types of calls the first one has given.

3) move in their blinds too much. A part of the fun of hunting ducks is watching what the birds Click to enlargedo, how they react to calling, and how they’re working. However, if everyone watches the ducks, the birds will spot that movement in the blind. Too, some people like to talk in a blind commenting, “The ducks are off to the left,” “The ducks are off to the right,” “The ducks are behind the ones you’re calling,” or, “Can you believe the birds did this or that,” etc. Then of course you always have someone in the blind who enjoys pointing at ducks. All of this movement and talking will spook ducks and cause the birds to flare. Ninety-nine percent of the time, the person calling to the duck is looking at them. So, if you want to know where the ducks are, watch the caller’s face and his eyes. His eyes will point right toward where the birds are. The best thing you can do is stay down, keep your face and hands covered and not move until the caller says to, “Take ‘em.” When I’m calling, I use Hunter’s Specialties’ Camo Compac, mostly the black and brown colors on my face and hands.

Tomorrow: Denny Pitman Names Other Mistakes That Keep Hunters From Taking More Ducks

Check back each day this week for more about "Waterfowling Expert Denny Pitman Tells Us Mistakes Hunters Make"

Day 1: Some Common Duck-Hunting Mistakes
Day 2: More Tips for Taking Ducks from Denny Pitman
Day 3: Denny Pitman Names Other Mistakes That Keep Hunters From Taking More Ducks
Day 4: Pitman Names 5 Mistakes Goose Hunters Make
Day 5: More Mistakes Goose Hunters Make



Entry 383, Day 2