Author Topic: Looking for diver hunting advice  (Read 5196 times)

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Offline B Bond

Looking for diver hunting advice
« on: November 01, 2011, 10:22:58 AM »
Hey guys, many of you have more diver hunting experience than I do.  I'm only going to have a couple dozen or so diver decoys finished up this season, which I know is not very many.  Here's something I was thinking of for a potential diver spread.  I'm hunting a small mountain reservoir, about 8,000 acres, 3/4 of a mile across at the widest point.  I'm thinking of building a low profile boat blind to attempt setting up over some hydrilla beds about 100 yards from shore.  They liked holding over these beds last year.




Working Decoys Forum

Looking for diver hunting advice
« on: November 01, 2011, 10:22:58 AM »

Offline Dave Speer

Re: Looking for diver hunting advice
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2011, 10:46:20 AM »
That's a pretty picture but I don't know much about hunting divers either :D

Working Decoys Forum

Re: Looking for diver hunting advice
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2011, 10:46:20 AM »

Offline D. Fisher

Re: Looking for diver hunting advice
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2011, 11:01:34 AM »
That should work. I use to hunt bluebills and redheads from a camo 14' aluminum boat. I just set about 30 dekes out and set back on the floor of the boat. They give you a lot of fly-bys and now and then come in. But they do get in range. Practice your shooting though. They are fast :)
Good luck
Dan

Offline Scott Klecka

Re: Looking for diver hunting advice
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2011, 11:44:54 AM »
Without being there it is hard to say but I don't see a problem with the set you have pictured.  One thing to keep in mind, as a "general" rule, divers will fly to the end of the line of decoys to land and puddle ducks will tend to stop just short of the decoys.   That said, I have had them avoid me on a set that I spent time making sure I had it just so and had them decoy great on a set that got all tangled up.  I think at times we give them credit for being smarter than they are. 
I'm not a great carver but I play one on the internet.  :)

Offline Josh R

Re: Looking for diver hunting advice
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2011, 12:07:28 PM »
That plan should work, personally I would put the geese over with the puddlers though and might even wrap the puddlers around the right side. I think it depends on your area. Where we hunt we usually can put a string or two of divers off the point and puddlers on the backside where there is calmer waters. You could even put the geese on land, full bodies wouldn't hurt either. Pay attention to your wind. Divers usually only like to land facing the water in my experience. Some of my best days have been when I have a wind parallel to the shore line (on a point). Then I set my lines on that one side of the point. The ducks will typically come screaming down the lake right down the line and get shot. Also if your hunting GE's, in my experience with a long line of 12 decoys...if you skip the 4th or 5th decoy (leave that one off or move him somewhere else) the hens will land in the open spot closer to the smaller group, and drakes will dive bomb the larger group in back and land further back in the line. Thats how they've been working the past 3-4 years in my area.

My other advice would be to sit still. I can probably think of a million more things with time. Try it see if it works, if it doesnt change it. Good luck!

Working Decoys Forum

Re: Looking for diver hunting advice
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2011, 12:07:28 PM »

Offline Gord Luke

Re: Looking for diver hunting advice
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2011, 03:18:28 PM »
i agree with whats been said so far...i would extend a string of divers from the diver group  ...if you dont have a lot of diver dekes even a half dozen will do some times.... and i might drop a few puddlers right in front of the boat  or even around the boat if i had enuff...cheers...and straight shootin!
"Aiden...no matter what some people will try to tell you...you can never own too many decoys"..me to my grandson...

Offline B Bond

Re: Looking for diver hunting advice
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2011, 03:21:12 PM »
Thanks, guys. Great stuff. I've got a pile of puddler plastics, so that's not a problem.

Keep it coming, any little tips or tricks, generalities, those are great. Like the landing facing water.  Perfect.

Offline BoBB

Re: Looking for diver hunting advice
« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2011, 09:10:49 PM »

I personally would move your two diver decoys out of the puddlers and over with the divers and the pair of divers in the middle move  so they are closer to divers.
By doing that you could make a hook in front of your blind with an opening for them to land.

I also agree to moving your geese to the puddler side.

hope that helps & good luck



Bob B.
Everyday is a good day-especially if you duck hunting!
Everyday is a great day!

Offline Tom Rowe

Re: Looking for diver hunting advice
« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2011, 07:36:07 PM »
That spread will work for sure.  I would suggest a couple of changes if the birds arnt hitting the hole...that is, landing or attempting to land where you want them to.

 If you get birds that start to come in but dont finish (and by finish I mean set their wings, drop their feet, and try to land in the middle of the hole) you might want to try the following:

1st suggestion: reverse the rig.  Keep the placement of the decoys the same but where you have the large pile of puddle ducks (right side of the rig) set your divers there.  Put the puddle duck decoys on the left where the divers are pictured.  Put two diver decoys on the deep end of the puddlers. Keep the geese where they are.

If you are targeting divers specifically you want those ducks looking at their species when they are landing. 

Suggestion 2:  Move your boat closer to the left side of the rig (closer to the geese).  You dont want the birds looking at your boat while they are landing.  You want them looking at decoys.  A very common mistake guys make is putting the boat near the middle of the hole.  Remember you want the area you intend for the birds to land in range.  You dont need every area of the spread to be in range.

Again that spread will work.  In fact, that's one of the better looking setups I've seen from a person who doesnt have much experience with divers.  You will shoot birds.  If it works dont change a thing.  If it doesnt you may want to try one or both of the above.  Start first with boat placement.  Thats the easiest.


Offline B Bond

Re: Looking for diver hunting advice
« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2011, 08:15:48 PM »
I think boat placement is the thing I just couldn't wrap my head around. I've been on one layout boat hunt as part of a swap, and I honestly can't tell you where the boat was. It was in the middle of a sea of decoys is all I know!

I figured that sticking the boat there would be my best bet on the theory that the decoys would "hide" the boat? But I was not sure. It will be tough for me to adjust. As a puddle guy, I don't put decoys more than 10 yards from me if I can help it. I try to get em feet down in my face! That's better than shooting in my opinion. The harvesting of the bird is secondary. I'll do whatever I can to translate that into having a big bull can with his feet down right in front of me.


Offline Dave Speer

Re: Looking for diver hunting advice
« Reply #10 on: November 03, 2011, 05:00:52 PM »
I have found this really informative.  Last year I did a couple of bay/flats hunts from a mangrove island.  My first setup was like the picture below.  All the ducks were rafting away from the islands so I wanted a little distance between my spread and the islands:



Well, as you can guess, most of the birds that decoyed flew down the line of divers and landed just on the far side of my decoys from me.  So after reading the advice here about setting them up to land facing water, and considering I am right handed and want to swing my shotgun from left to right, I'm thinking I could hunt the same island/wind conditions better like this:



Offline Tom Rowe

Re: Looking for diver hunting advice
« Reply #11 on: November 03, 2011, 06:35:08 PM »
I think boat placement is the thing I just couldn't wrap my head around. I've been on one layout boat hunt as part of a swap, and I honestly can't tell you where the boat was. It was in the middle of a sea of decoys is all I know!

I figured that sticking the boat there would be my best bet on the theory that the decoys would "hide" the boat? But I was not sure. It will be tough for me to adjust. As a puddle guy, I don't put decoys more than 10 yards from me if I can help it. I try to get em feet down in my face! That's better than shooting in my opinion. The harvesting of the bird is secondary. I'll do whatever I can to translate that into having a big bull can with his feet down right in front of me.



If you are hunting out of a true layout boat like a ufo, mlb, busic, etc. you can put it where you have it in the picture.  If there is any chop on the water the birds wont see it.  If you are hunting out of another type of boat with a higher verticle profile moving it may help the birds decoy better.   

I'm with you shooting is secondary.  I get a real kick when I'm able to get birds that could land anywhere to land exactly where I want them to.  Trust me when I tell you, hope you dont get bit by the diver bug.  If you do, plan on making alot more decoys and selling most of your puddle duck rig.


Offline Tom Rowe

Re: Looking for diver hunting advice
« Reply #12 on: November 03, 2011, 06:46:22 PM »
I forgot to mention.  If you are hunting divers from shore on a bigger body of water  the best wind is a cross wind (in my opinion).  Most guys think the wind directly off your back is the best...and for puddle ducks it is.  Thats not always the case with divers.  They like to be looking over water when they land.  they also have to run on the water, generally into the wind, to take off. 

Like Scott said divers can be a bit more intelligent than people give them credit for.  Especially if you are in an area where they are popular to hunt.

Offline Tom Rowe

Re: Looking for diver hunting advice
« Reply #13 on: November 03, 2011, 06:55:41 PM »
I have found this really informative.  Last year I did a couple of bay/flats hunts from a mangrove island.  My first setup was like the picture below.  All the ducks were rafting away from the islands so I wanted a little distance between my spread and the islands:



Well, as you can guess, most of the birds that decoyed flew down the line of divers and landed just on the far side of my decoys from me.  So after reading the advice here about setting them up to land facing water, and considering I am right handed and want to swing my shotgun from left to right, I'm thinking I could hunt the same island/wind conditions better like this:




Sorry guys I know I'm getting crazy with replies here.  Probably would help if I read everything before I start typing.  Dave the spread in your second picture is very good.  Where you have the pille of Bluebills is refered to as a stopper.  The only thing I'd move are the 2 mag cans.  Move them just on the outside of the bluebills.  If you dont the birds will either land short between where the mag cans  are pictured and where you have the pintails.  If they dont land short they will probably swing outside just out of range or completely back out to sea.

Offline Josh R

Re: Looking for diver hunting advice
« Reply #14 on: November 03, 2011, 07:20:07 PM »
I'd agree with Tom. Crosswinds are good. Its all about playing the wind and knowing where and how to setup. That second picture looks good. Just make sure to put those bluebills and cans within range though because as Tom said thats the stopper, and more than likely where they will land if they come down the line.