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John's Journal... Entry 77, Day 4

What You Need to Know to Hunt Ducks in Idaho

click to enlargeEDITOR'S NOTE: Outdoorsman Thayne Barrie of Boise, Idaho, loves to hunt ducks on the Snake River near Grand View, Idaho. He and the employees who work at his store in Boise, Sunset Sports Centers, can help hunters obtain information on Idaho duck hunting. Recently I went on one of the best duck hunts with Barrie.

QUESTION: Thayne, if somebody wanted to come to Idaho to hunt ducks and had never been before, what would you tell them? How could they get information on where to hunt and how to find somebody with whom to hunt?
ANSWER: The easiest way is to call us at our store at (208) 376-1100. All the guys who work at my hunting counter are more than happy to tell people about the areas. We've got numerous public-hunting areas and, of course, the entire Snake River. People are really good about letting you on their land to hunt. That would be the easiest thing I could tell people to do.

QUESTION: Can you match up people from the East with some duck hunters out here with whom they can hunt?
ANSWER: We don't have any waterfowl guiding in Idaho because legislation allowing people to guide has never been passed. Idaho has a few hunting clubs, but not many. There are so many easily hunted public-access areas that you really don't need to pay the extra money for club fees.

click to enlargeQUESTION: What about licenses and stamps? What does hunting in Idaho cost?
ANSWER: Of course, you need a federal waterfowl stamp, which is good anywhere across the country. You can get a season small-game license for $73, and you're set for pheasant, waterfowl and any of the feathered hunting.

QUESTION: So if you have $73 and your federal stamp, you're ready to go?
ANSWER: Yes, that's all you need.

QUESTION: Do you need any kind of equipment other than decoys, waders and a gun?
ANSWER: You need warm clothing: a jacket, good underwear. Remember you're going to be hunting in temperatures in the teens. You need good decoys, two dozen to three dozen for duck hunting, and up to a dozen geese for the water. If you want to shoot geese in the field, then you've got to work on talking to some local property owners to get permission to hunt in their fields.

QUESTION: How much trouble is it to get permission to hunt some of these grain fields?
ANSWER: Some areas are a little tight. The closer you are to the water, the tougher it is because a lot of people lease those fields. But a lot of those farmers will let you hunt along the Snake River. The only thing they can do is tell you no.

click to enlargeQUESTION: One of the ducks you have out here is the golden eye. Tell me about that bird.
ANSWER: Golden eyes don't decoy worth a darn, they seem to fly a million miles an hour, and they're middle-of-the-river fliers. If you want to shoot golden eyes, expect to have to pass shoot them. The best places to shoot from are points of islands.

QUESTION: What shot are you using and why?
ANSWER: I use No. 3s, generally because this shot is a happy medium between No. 2s and No. 4s. When hunting ducks on the Snake River, you may have to shoot at a long range. So, I'll probably suggest you use a modified choke tube. Just check your set-up.

click to enlargeTo obtain maps of the Snake River with the best spots marked and to get information on how, where and when to rent boats, contact Thayne Barrie at Sunset Sports, (208) 376-1100, 5804 Fairview Avenue, Boise, ID 83704.

TOMORROW: Information on Duck Hunting on the Snake River




Check back each day this week for more about Thayne Barrie On Ducks ...

Day 1 -Duck Hunting on Idaho's Snake River
Day 2 -Setting Up for a Duck Hunt on the Snake River
Day 3 -What Kind of Ducks Winter on the Snake River
Day 4 -What You Need to Know to Hunt Ducks in Idaho
Day 5 -Information on Duck Hunting on the Snake River

John's Journal