Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 13

WaterfoWl SeaSonS:
Ducks:	 Lake	Erie	Zone	-	Oct.	24-	Dec.	31 	 Northwest	Zone	-	Oct.	8-	Dec.	16 	 North	Zone	-	Nov.	11-	Jan.	4 	 South	Zone	-	Nov.	15-	Jan.	14 Canada	Geese:	 Resident	Population	Goose	Zone	-	Dec.	20-	Feb.	25 	 Southern	James	Bay	Population	Zone	-	Dec.	12-	Jan.	25 	 Atlantic	Population	Zone	-	Dec.	17-	Jan.	25 Snow	Geese:	 Atlantic	&	Southern	James	Bay	Population	Zones	-	Oct.	25-	Jan.	25 	 Conservation	Season	-	Jan.	26-	April	27 	 Resident	Population	Goose	Zone	-	Oct.	25-	Feb.	25 	 Conservation	Season	-	Feb.	27-	April	27 For	a	map	of	the	duck	and	goose	zones,	and	additional	season	information,	visit	the	 PGC	website	at	www.pgc.state.pa.us

as they fly by. Too much calling can scare them off, particularly in January, after they’ve heard calling during the season. One spot I have is a consistent performer year after year. A section of the stream exits below a beaver swamp, and I scatter my dekes in the pools. Sometimes, I will use only drake decoys, because they are more visual from the air. They work well, and attract blacks and mallards when a large mixed group of decoys does not. In an area that has cattails, I find openings and place a few here and a few there, then position myself to get the best shots. Again, I want to drop the ducks near the decoys, because those are the areas I know I can retrieve. When it comes to equipment, you can get as extensive (and as expensive) as you wish, or keep it as simple and as cheap as possible. I try to keep it simple and cheap. Most hunting will last only an hour or two, and all the equipment you lug out to your hunting area, you have to lug back. I might only use a half dozen or so mallard decoys. Because most of the swamps, creeks and lakes I work are within hardwoods, I use hardwood camo. I use the trees, bushes and weeds as natural blinds, so I am not tied down by a manmade blind. Granted, blinds can be nice on cold windy days, but sometimes ducks are savvy to them. In terms of shotguns and ammo, any 3-inch magnum 12-gauge will do. If you can afford it, use premium non-toxic
DECEMBER  2011 

ammo, such as Hevi-Shot in sizes 2, 3 or 4. Hevi-Shot, as well as some tungsten- based shotshells, will drop a duck in short order. If your budget does not allow it, stick with steel, and keep your shots close. Sizes 3 and 4 steel shot have the density to do the job. I prefer pump guns for their reliability. I’ve used them my entire life, and they work. I have had friends who use semiautos experience problems. One bought a brand new semiauto made by a well-respected foreign maker and after the first shot, the gun would not cycle. He contacted the manufacturer and was told to shoot a box of magnums through it to loosen the action. It was reliable after that, but if you are going to pay almost a $1,000 for a gun, it should work out of the box. With pumps, you get reliability, at a reasonable price. Nothing is nicer to shoot than a double, in either configuration, and they, too, can be reliable. It comes down to personal choice and budget. I still go out to hunt pheasants and rabbits, but until populations of those species rebound, I’ll be happy in my misery bringing a few mallards, woodies and blacks down to decoy spread. Believe me, happiness is a limit of ducks in my bag with flocks still flying overhead. 
13


http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=997485&mode=2 http://www.pgc.state.pa.us

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011

Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011
History of the Whitetail
Contents
In Those Days
Flintin’ With the Flatlander
Late Season Duck Hunting
The Perfect Opening Day
A Moment for Redemption
Deer Harvest Estimates
Beware the Pogonip
Habitat for Hunter Access Cooperato
The Cadet
Field Notes
Conservation News
Off the Wire
Another View
The Naturalist’s Eye
Straight from the Bowstring
Fun Game
Lock, Stock & Barrel
Annual Index
Crossings
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - History of the Whitetail
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - In Those Days
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 4
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 5
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 6
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - Flintin’ With the Flatlander
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 8
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 9
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - Late Season Duck Hunting
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 11
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 12
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 13
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - The Perfect Opening Day
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 15
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - A Moment for Redemption
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 17
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 18
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - Deer Harvest Estimates
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 20
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 21
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - Beware the Pogonip
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 23
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 24
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 25
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - Habitat for Hunter Access Cooperato
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 27
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - The Cadet
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 29
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 30
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 31
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 32
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 33
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - Field Notes
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 35
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 36
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 37
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 38
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - Conservation News
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 40
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 41
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 42
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 43
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 44
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 45
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - Off the Wire
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - Another View
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 48
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 49
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - The Naturalist’s Eye
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 51
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 52
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 53
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - Straight from the Bowstring
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 55
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 56
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - Fun Game
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - Lock, Stock & Barrel
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 59
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 60
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - Annual Index
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 62
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - 63
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - Crossings
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - bb1
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - bb2
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - December 2011 - Cover4
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