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Old 01-20-2016, 07:10 PM   #1
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Default North Dakota





Thinking of going to North Dakota next October. This will be my first out of state waterfowl hunt. We are thinking five of us for six days with five of them hunting. One of us will not hunt one day to scout for the next day. For the guys or gals reading this who have traveled out of state how do you get your possession limits legal. Do you just eat a pile of duck to keep your limits legal or give it away? Can you process it into sausage and transport, I'd think you have to have wings attached to transport, right? Curious.
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Old 01-20-2016, 07:17 PM   #2
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Default Re: North Dakota





yes to some of your questions. We eat a bunch, we give some away; and yes you have to leave a wing or the head on the bird to transport across state lines. I can't answer about having the birds processed and the legality of same.

are you field hunting or hunting water? Typically we scout in the afternoons and hunt the fields in the a.m. It works a lot better to have two trucks on the road scouting. I wouldn't see any reason for someone to have to set out of hunting each day. just my thoughts.

We do throw in waders and some floater decoys in case we find a really good loafing pond and don't have a field hunt locked in. always have a back up plan.
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Old 01-20-2016, 07:33 PM   #3
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I planned on mostly field hunting, from what I've been told that's the way to hunt up there and leave the water alone. I heard the locals get rowdy if you try the water. With that being said I will take my waders and floaters for a back up plan. No way I'm driving 10-11 hours to not hunt. I wasn't sure how to scout. I was just afraid if it's cold enough they would only be feeding once a day in the afternoon like they do around where I hunt. I'm sure they probably feed all day with the numbers and habitat up there?
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Old 01-20-2016, 09:00 PM   #4
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Default Re: North Dakota

Never had any locals give me crap for hunting water. Most farmers are like you want to hunt what? Buy beef! Drive till you find a nice amount of ducks on a pond, kick them off, throw out a dozen decoys and have at it.
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Old 01-20-2016, 09:05 PM   #5
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We hunted the Devils Lake area for 15 years. The last year we struggled big time finding spots to hunts. Out of all the spots we have gained access over the years, only 1 place would let us on our last year. We went to a new area of North Dakota this past season. We had no problems finding spots to hunt but it didn't hold the duck numbers like Devils Lake did. Just warning you it's not easy finding places to hunt like it used to.
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Old 01-20-2016, 09:50 PM   #6
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Default Re: North Dakota

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Originally Posted by layout View Post
I planned on mostly field hunting, from what I've been told that's the way to hunt up there and leave the water alone. I heard the locals get rowdy if you try the water. With that being said I will take my waders and floaters for a back up plan. No way I'm driving 10-11 hours to not hunt. I wasn't sure how to scout. I was just afraid if it's cold enough they would only be feeding once a day in the afternoon like they do around where I hunt. I'm sure they probably feed all day with the numbers and habitat up there?
Like mentioned before, going out of state you differently don't want to have all your eggs in one basket so being able to hunt fields and water is a must. For water, remember to throw in a marsh seat and decoy pole (especially if no dog is available)

As far as hunting the water, I think residents will be upset if you hunt the roosts is what the majority talk about. A mid morning or early afternoon loaf spot, I don't think they get as upset.

Crock pot is a great item to have in the hotel for cooking ducks as you can throw them in the pot in the am and let cook for the whole day and have a simple meal prep at night when you roll in.
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Old 01-20-2016, 10:04 PM   #7
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I'm definitely taking two crockpots. So, and I'm not trying to pick scouting tricks, but do the birds mainly feed in the mornings up there? Or do they do twice a day? I would never hunt a roost. I will be taking 2 if not 3 dogs. I will have a 8 month Drahthaar by then and a well seasoned lab too. Marsh seats are great idea. Sounds like we might be dragging a trailer up, huh! Gas price for the trip just went up.
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Old 01-20-2016, 11:22 PM   #8
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Default Re: North Dakota

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Originally Posted by layout View Post
I'm definitely taking two crockpots. So, and I'm not trying to pick scouting tricks, but do the birds mainly feed in the mornings up there? Or do they do twice a day? I would never hunt a roost. I will be taking 2 if not 3 dogs. I will have a 8 month Drahthaar by then and a well seasoned lab too. Marsh seats are great idea. Sounds like we might be dragging a trailer up, huh! Gas price for the trip just went up.
In October birds should be feeding twice a day. Hunt in the morning and scout in the afternoon unless you hunt a pothole you might hint a little mid day.

I wouldn't think twice about taking the trailer. In addition to being able to take more gear you'll also be able to keep your stuff dry and secure by locking the trailer up.

As far as keeping birds a five days trip isn't so bad. Remember you can keep three times the daily bag limit so worst case scenario you'll have to eat or gift two days of birds. If hunting is that good personally I'd eat what I could then become more selective of what I shot. If that didn't work maybe head home early or go bird hunting for a day.
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Old 01-21-2016, 08:21 AM   #9
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Default Re: North Dakota

This past October I went up with my uncle, his buddy and met another two guys he knows. We where there for the non-resident opener. The town we were in was packed with out-of-staters. One of the guys grew up in the area we hunted (zone 1). It was great because he had the housing and ground connections for us. We did hunt some PLOTS ground and primarily hunted fields. There is a bunch of it PLOTS ground out there, but you have to put the miles on the truck to see where the birds are feeding in the fields. LOTS of miles. If you have trouble finding them in the fields, don't be afraid to set up in a field adjacent to big water and between loafing ponds; it worked for us one afternoon. Since it was non-rez opener, it kept the birds moving; once Monday-Tuesday hit, it got really slow. It didn't help that it was 60 degrees either.

We did a couple evening hunts on a slough that was 40 yards by 60 yards. Kicked up a bunch of redheads and blue bills and put out 6 deeks and a spinner. They all came back in small numbers; needless to say, we burned through a bunch of shells! From what I saw, not many hunt the water, but we did see a few groups hunt water in the morning. As far as feeds: we saw a morning and afternoon feed.

You definitely need a trailer. We had two dogs, layouts, food, clothes, coolers and 4 doz FBs. Both the trailer and truck bed were packed full. The guy we hunted with also had his trailer full; at times, we could have used more deeks. I got horrible gas mileage; especially when trying to run 80 on I29. We grilled up a bunch of duck one night, but we left the wing on and brought most of them back.

I had a fun trip. Probably wont go back every year, but maybe every couple!
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Old 01-21-2016, 10:09 AM   #10
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Default Re: North Dakota

After hunting in ND a couple times I have learned a couple things.

1. Ideally you need to be able to pick up and leave for a week, don't plan the trip a month ahead of time. Its too hard to guess the weather and figure out when the birds will get there in huge numbers. (If your hunting Mallards & Canadas)

2. If you dont drop everything and go on a dime. Be prepared for all hunting conditions.
a. Hunting fields - I agree with most people, scout afternoon and hunt the morning in the field. Maybe add mid day water hunt if you have time before scouting.
b. If you hunt water, Scout the morning until 8:30-9AM find a spot with birds to bump off, and hunt until 2-3PM, then go scouting again.

3. The fact that you can hunt anything even if its not posted draws a ton of people to the area, along with the waterfowl numbers. Here's the secret. A lot of land is posted, there are very few fields/water that you want to hunt that are not posted. I'm sure there are areas that are better than other, but I haven't been to one.

If I was you, I would consider going to Missouri or Kansas later in the season. It might be cheaper, and at least you will know when the birds are past you.
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Old 01-22-2016, 09:53 AM   #11
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Default Re: North Dakota

One thing to remember if it hasn't been said already, you can't shoot geese after 1PM in October. Also, it takes up less space in the cooler to keep a head on rather than a wing.....unless you have a 500 qt Yeti LOL
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Old 01-22-2016, 10:18 AM   #12
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Default Re: North Dakota

Its been awhile since we have been but did like most said, we hunted mornings and scouted in the afternoons. On scouting, we would rack 2-300 miles scouting almost everyday and most of that being gravel. Also be prepared to haul a$$ on gravel or get used to pulling over. First day we were there, driving what I thought was pretty fast 30-40 and about got run over by the residents. They run about 70 on gravel or at least were we were at.
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Old 01-22-2016, 10:38 AM   #13
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Point the truck northwest and drive another 8 hours and get well into Canada. Night and day difference.
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