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When hunting public land for ducks, am I better off making a trail to the hole I want to hunt well before season starts, or bushwhacking my way in the morning of the first hunt? By clearing a trail the morning of I risk scaring off the ducks, but by

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  • When hunting public land for ducks, am I better off making a trail to the hole I want to hunt well before season starts, or bushwhacking my way in the morning of the first hunt? By clearing a trail the morning of I risk scaring off the ducks, but by

    When hunting public land for ducks, am I better off making a trail to the hole I want to hunt well before season starts, or bushwhacking my way in the morning of the first hunt? By clearing a trail the morning of I risk scaring off the ducks, but by clearing a trail early I risk revealing the spot to other public land hunters. Thoughts? Experiences?

  • #2
    The morning dew on the bushes and branches can soak your clothes, before you get to your hunting spot.
    I would trim a trail with a pair of pruning shears.

    If you want to hide your trail from the public this is what my friend and I did on public land.
    We cut a trail into a thicket and went in ten feet off the railroad tracks going north.
    We then made a left ninety degree turn and cut another ten feet going west.
    We then turned the trail ninety degrees right back to the original direction of north.
    From the railroad tracks it showed our trail heading ten feet into a wall of thick briars.
    None of the Joe-six-packs on the railroad tracks, could see we did a sneaky dogleg turn on our trail.
    Worked like a charm.
    True story and Good Luck.
    Attached Files

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    • #3
      No need to worry about such things here. At the local Wildlife Area trails are mowed early by the ODF&W (Oregon) before the Fall hunting seasons. No easy job mowing through that thick stuff, the trails are cut by riding machinery. It's all something you wouldn't want to do yourself anyway. Come the season, just "bushwack" your way out of bed and get there pre-dawn early. Something you should be doing anyway.

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      • #4
        Start Your small foot trail behind Very large Bushes or Trees go long then make a sharp right, then back to your spot.
        An old Moon shiners trick.

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        • #5
          Ducks at the start of season are not very spooky so I wouldn't worry too much about pushing them off in the dark. Last week a couple swam around in the beaver pond immediately in front of station six of our sporting clays range through two rounds of shooting. That would be fifteen times fifty shells fired over their heads and they were not phased in the least. Get in well before dark to set out your decoys. By shooting hours you'll probably have live ones back swimming around in them.

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          • #6
            You want to clear a path, not blaze a trail. LOL!
            Unless you're hauling in a butt load of dekes, your "path" need not be over 3' wide and doesn't have to be street clean and smooth.
            If you're concerned about others detecting your "trail head", move in 10 to 15 yards before starting your trail.
            Doesn't mean that somebody else won't be beating the bush, cut your "track" and recognize it for what it is.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Treestand View Post
              Start Your small foot trail behind Very large Bushes or Trees go long then make a sharp right, then back to your spot.
              An old Moon shiners trick.
              Hey, don't be giving away too many of our tricks!

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Ontario Honker Hunter View Post
                Ducks at the start of season are not very spooky so I wouldn't worry too much about pushing them off in the dark. Last week a couple swam around in the beaver pond immediately in front of station six of our sporting clays range through two rounds of shooting. That would be fifteen times fifty shells fired over their heads and they were not phased in the least. Get in well before dark to set out your decoys. By shooting hours you'll probably have live ones back swimming around in them.
                Waterfowl Species located near airports, railroad tracks or gun ranges are immune to the same old regular loud noises.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Treestand View Post
                  Start Your small foot trail behind Very large Bushes or Trees go long then make a sharp right, then back to your spot.
                  An old Moon shiners trick.
                  OK Shin99.

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                  • #10
                    When making an early morning approach to any hunting spot I like to be as quiet as possible and if its going to be a cold day I like to make the hike as easy as possible to avoid getting wet or sweaty which will make it very hard to stay warm during your hunt.

                    I'll cut a good trail to my hunting spot but I won't start it until I get into the woods a ways. I just cut a new 1 mile long trail last season that starts at a logging road. Off the north side of the road there is decent sized hill you have to climb right away so we didn't start cutting the trail until we were on the back side of the hill. From the road its completely invisible. To make sure we can find the exact spot to enter the woods in order to find the trail we mark the spot with some sort of natural marker that to others looks like part of the forest. A rock pile, downed tree, a log leaning against a tree, etc.

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