Chain of the Events

It's November 23, thanksgiving morning. Your father and best friend meet you at the ramp at 3 a.m. You throw all your gear in the boat without breaking your Lucky Duck Flappers (we've all been there at some point)! Then, you head to your hunting spot. You take your time putting out decoys because it's cold and icy out, and you don't want to get water on the top of the decoys (Because Ice on decoys Shines), so you have a good-looking decoy spread. 

We are on public land, and there are zero other hunters out on the lake so far. And it's 30 minutes before shooting time; it looks like it's going to be a great Thanksgiving hunt! Then, all sudden, we hear a boat motor can't see any boats because it's still dark out, and the sound gets closer and closer. Suddenly, we see the boat, and we turn our spotlight on so they see us. However, they drive right through our decoys on the plane, flip some of our decoys over, and keep going. They stopped about 100 yards from us and pulled up by shore.

We took our boat out and fixed our decoys; that now have water all over them and are starting to freeze. Then we went down to talk to the other hunters. We wanted to see what's going on! Three young men couldn't have been older than 20. 

I asked,"so what's going on?" 

They replied,"well we are hunting, duh." 

I said,"well you are kind of close to us and you came out with no navigation lights and ran through our decoy spread."

They replied,"so what you going to do about it?" "We are hunting here so deal with it."

What would you do? Yell at them, fight them, shoot their decoys; the list can go on and on. 

Good Ethics for Waterfowl Hunting

Sadly, people go through this, and it can end up with severe outcomes and even death. All waterfowl hunters have dealt with situations while hunting and fishing. However, here are some good ethics to go by.  

Prepare for your hunts the best you can so you don't spoil others by coming in late and driving through their spreads. Try to go around their spreads as far as possible without being too out of your way. If birds are working, their decoys stop navigation, let them shoot their birds, and then proceed to pass. Remember, that could be you with the birds working! 

If you're going to be set up by someone, ask them to hunt together, or make sure you give them good space (200 yards or better). You would be surprised how some people would say yes to hunting together if allowed in your state. You will kill more working together than against each other. When birds are working with another hunter, decoys don't call at them. Wait until they break off or leave, then call them. Don't shoot your gun just so the birds leave the blind next to you so they can't shoot; that's rude and very unsportsmanlike. 

a waterfowl hunter whistles and hides in the blinds

Make good choices, don't shoot your birds if you are going to cripple them, forcing themselves onto private land or refuges that you can't get at. Make sure to look behind where your shot will land, such as houses, walking paths, roads, etc. This can save you lots of trouble and keep you and the other hunting parties safe. Make sure the birds are in good shooting range; if you can't kill them, don't shoot at them. Breaking wings is not killing them! 

Be Courteous at the ramp and show up on time; this can delay and spoil other people's hunts! If another person invites you and they take you to a spot on public land, don't go back to their spot unless you ask first. Know your rules! Last, remember you're an ambassador of the sport, and one bad apple can spoil it for us all! 


Steve McClone

Steve McClone

While I was at Niu I co founded the college fishing team. From their I fished the pro FLW Circuit for 5 years on the co angler side. Since then I have become a USCG Master Captain with a 100ton license. I owne a guide service called Moonpie Outdoors LLC where I focuse on guiding youth, vets, disabled and another individual wanting to get in the outdoors fishing and hunting! While doing this I am enjoying life with my wife, son, family and friends and our deer tracking dog Betsey!


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October 16, 2023 — Steve McClone
Tags: Hunting Tips


Sam Andrews said:

I was a bit hesitant to go on a hunting trip in Kansas this weekend. Still, it was kind of you to remind us not to hunt for ducks simply to torture them. Fine, I’ll get in touch with a guide to help me out.

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