New Shadow Grass Blades, The Latest Evolution in Waterfowl Patterns

The folks at Mossy Oak introduced their first waterfowl camo pattern back in 1986.  The pattern was Bottomland and it was designed to hide hunters in the flooded timber shadows by incorporating the dark and light patterns and colors of bark and soil.

Bottomland worked great in its intended environment, but it didn’t help hunters hide as well in the grass and cattails of pond edges and fields.  Mossy Oak’s design team recognized the need for a pattern that would work in these conditions and, in 1995, added blades of grass as an overlay to the Bottomland pattern to make a new pattern called Shadow Grass.  Now, there was a pattern that would work in almost any waterfowl hunting environment in North America.

Over the years, the Mossy Oak team has continued to enhance and improve their waterfowl patterns.  As digital imaging techniques improve, designers were able to add more detail and shadow to their patterns, giving them an almost 3D effect that broke up the human outline when viewed from any direction.

The evolution continued with improvements to Shadow Grass in both color and detail until the year 2007 when a new pattern named Duckblind was launched.  Duckblind was built on a base background of true dirt colors with different tones to represent wet and dry ground. Then, elements of millet, wild oats, corn stalks, phragmites, Johnson grass, soybeans and native grasses were added. The unique shadows enhance depth, while the muted shades of brown, tan, gray and soft black work well for blending into virtually any waterfowl environment across the country.

All of this leads to today and the introduction of the new Shadow Grass Blades pattern.  I asked Larry Moore, the Director of Research and Development for Mossy Oak Camo about the new pattern and what went into its design.  He replied, “The development of Blades took two years of research and element collection across the entire waterfowl flyway systems.  We carefully selected grass that was true to color and detail to represent any water edge or open field.  Because of the success and long run of original Shadow Grass we arranged the grass blades in a similar fashion and used a natural straw like background to utilize a naturally dirty look of mashed down or repeatedly flooded grass.  This created the look found in original Shadow Grass and allows the flooded timber hunter to use it as well as the field hunter.”

When I asked how they went about designing a pattern that works everywhere, Moore explained that the new Blades pattern has grass types found from Minnesota to Louisiana or California to New England.  These grasses were then carefully blended into a natural reproduction of some of the photos taken on location to match a wide array of settings. The precise arrangement of individual blades of grass, whether windblown, broken or bent, onto a background of thatch consisting of lesser or dead grass creates the perfect pure grass pattern. In addition, carefully placed shadows were added to create depth and further break up the human pattern. “Blades will work anywhere you have grass and dirt and I think that is everywhere”, Moore said.

After viewing the new pattern, I think it will blend perfectly into the pond edges and fields just about anywhere ducks and geese are hunted.  My biggest problem with darker waterfowl patterns is their tendency to blob out from a distance.  When viewed by a high flying duck or goose, that dark blob fairly screams “hunter”.  The overall light tone of the grasses blended with just enough shadow in the new Blades pattern should avoid that problem and help waterfowlers blend into just about any cover.

Delta Goes Live With Duck Cam

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EGELAND, N.D. — All across the prairie each spring, a dramatic struggle of nesting hen ducks to protect incubating eggs and survive in a grassland habitat teeming with predators plays out.

Skunks, raccoons, foxes, opossums and other toothy critters looking for an easy meal threaten to destroy the nests. Ultimately, the drama boils down to a hen — literally a sitting duck — trying to hide her eggs and herself in the grass for more than three weeks to hatch a brood of fluffy ducklings.

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Now, you can watch! The Delta Duck Cam, a streaming webcam placed near an incubating wild duck, is your live, real-time window into the life of a hen on a nest in North Dakota.

Read more!

How to Start Duck Hunting

Submitted by: Caleb Wilds

WARNING! Duck hunting can be highly addictive and may change the way you spend your time, money and energy!

If you want to learn the art of duck hunting there are a few basics you need to get started.  I’m not going to lie, it is possible to go to your local sporting goods store and buy a dozen duck decoys and go to your honey hole and have a good hunt. Even a broken clock is right twice a day. But what I am going to recommend is going to help you have more enjoyable, successful hunts.

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When someone asks me about duck hunting the first thing I say is once you start it is hard to stop. The second is I am serious. I have converted a lot of deer hunters into duck hunters. The third thing I tell them is before you go out and spend a lot of money on decoys, waders and other hunting accessories go on a couple hunts first and see if you really do like it. Even though I love it! It is not cut out for everyone.

Ask a buddy– Having a friend who knows what they are doing is a big asset to have when you first start out. Even if you don’t have waders, decoys or even a spot to go to they more than likely will. So you won’t have to worry about wading in the water to retrieve ducks and decoys or where to go. They might even have a pair of waders you can borrow. The other bright side is it gives you an opportunity to ask questions and learn about the do’s and don’ts. I can’t emphasize enough on asking questions. Because the more you know the better chance you will have of having a successful hunt when you go out on your own. A friend can also help you identify breeds of duck you are shooting and help make sure you are hunting within the regulations.

If you don’t have a friend to show you the ropes the second thing I recommend is go on a guided hunt or two. They are professionals and more than likely the reason they are guiding hunts is they know what they are doing and usually have a high success rate. Another good thing about being guided is the only thing you need to bring is you and your gun and it will give you a taste of the sport. Again ask a lot of questions. Learn as much as you can and they will usually have good pointers for beginners.

Places to Hunt- If you don’t have anywhere to go hunting go online and look for public hunting lands. You can usually find lakes that allow hunting to the public. But if you want a little less competition spend a little time and gas and drive around looking for waterfowl and once you found them ask the property owner for permission. You might get told no a few times. But you will never find a place unless you ask. Offer your services to help around the property doing work in exchange for permission to hunt will also help you get your foot in the door.

Decoys- A dozen decoys to start out should do. I will recommend getting mallard decoys as they are the most persistent breed of ducks in North America and most other breeds will land with mallards. Don’t forget a decoy bag. In a perfect world I always recommend setting up with the wind at your back and set the decoys in a U or hook with the biggest group closest to you. I know it is not always possible so you can set up with the wind coming from your side and never set up with the wind blowing in your face.

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Remember do your homework and scout ahead. You can have all the decoys in the world and the ducks still won’t come if you are not where they want to be. The only point of decoys is to get them to land where you want.

Concealment- You will never shoot any ducks if you stick out like a sore thumb. Use natural grasses and vegetation when you are building  a duck blind. Ducks have very good eye sight and can see color better than we do and depend on that to keep them safe. Also having a roof or some sort of cover over your head  will help hide you more and come  in handy later in season when the birds become more weary and fly around a couple of times before committing.

Shotguns and Shells- There are an assortment of shotguns and ammo to choose from and you really can’t go wrong with any. You don’t have the best of the best shotguns that are semi automatic and chamber three and half inch shells. A 12 gauge pump that chambers three inch shell will do just fine. In fact many hunters use a pump and brag about their dependability. It’s also important to pattern test your gun to see what shell and choke combination gives you the best result. If you have to choose one choke I recommend a modified for most beginners and many waterfowl hunters prefer them. Try and refrain from sky busting. Even if you are having a bad day, all that results in is wasted shells and injured birds that you will not retrieve. Remember no lead!

Waders- Wader’s one of the most important things to have when duck hunting. A pair of hip waders will get you around. But a good pair of chest waders will get you all most anywhere. Waders aren’t a thing to go cheap on either. Go ahead and spend the money and buy a good pair with at least 800 grams of insulation. The more insulation the better! If you don’t you will get cold and miserable and give up before you even get started.

wilds_studio5Calls- Buy a double reed and instructional CD. You will be able to learn while you drive around. Even if you are only able to give a quack it will help make your spread look more realistic. The number one mistake most novice callers make is they call too much and you are better off leaving it at home until you become a decent caller and understand how it should be used.

Conservation- Once you get hooked I recommend that you get involved in waterfowl conservation. They do a lot great things for the sport and make sure that great duck hunting will be here for years to come.

J.B. Mud Motors – One Tough Mudder

Motorized decoys, great sounding acrylic calls, performance enhanced shot shells – they are all expensive but are useless if you can’t get where the birds are.  Experienced waterfowlers will be quick to tell you, they agree.  Rivers, lakes, creeks, backwater sloughs, flooded timbers & flooded fields are great places to find ducks and geese but they’re also home to mud motors.  Although not a brand new technology, high-performance mud motors also have become an accepted and reliable method to get duck hunters where they need to be.

561593_480255368685483_1460265153_nWhether you are using a common 1436 Jon, 2072 Jon or a layout boat, investing in a mud motor is a no-brainer.  With a mud motor you are able to navigate through the toughest marshes quickly and safely.  Unlike traditional outboards, surface drives and long shafted mud motors move vertically on the boat’s transom ensuring you don’t shred your prop’s cotter pin and allow you to use little water to get from point A to point B.  They also are air cooled instead of water-cooled, allowing you to use little water or mud for longer distances.  Let’s not forget those freezing cold mornings when you can just start it up out of the water while you get all your gear ready!

Constructed of an all-steel frame and either chain or belt-driven, J.B. Mud Motors out of Chattanooga, TN are producing a very durable, inexpensive – high torque surface drive.  J.B. Mud Motors, a father and son duo set out to create not only a reliable and afford able surface drive mud motor but to also bring the best value to our customers “the working man”.  They have done just that.  They offer their 6.5 HP for $1675.00 , a 13 HP for $2,650.00 , and their 15 HP for $2,750.00 plus sales tax.  We don’t want to forget the cost-to-own either.  J.B. Mud motors also require little maintenance.  A little chain lubricant here and there and change the oil.

The 6.5HP J.B. Mud Motor is the only one that is chain-driven, all others are belt driven.

UPDATE AS OF 5/6/14:  “We will be adding the 20 HP and the 25 HP in about a month or two!”

JBMM 6.5 HP $1675.00

JBMM 6.5HP $1675.00  Chain-Driven

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JBMM 15 $2750.00

JBMM 15HP $2750.00 Belt-Driven

The torque is what I like”, said Chris Inman a J.B. Mud Motor customer.  “We had a jon boat loaded with a few guys and about 250 pounds of gear and my motor was pushing us on top of the ice, allowing us to break through and get to our spot.”  Chris also mentioned how he hunts with guys with other top-of-the-market mud motors and he can go anywhere they can.

Click here for a video of J.B. Mud Motors!

 

Swap Out

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Rating: 10/10 Comfort and Versatile.

As lanyards start to take a positive ascent in the world of game call accessories, one great manufacture continues to stay ahead of the game.  Heavy Hauler Outdoor Gear and their “Swap Out” lanyard has got to be the most versatile and comfortable quality lanyard I have ever worn.

Call lanyards have become extremely abundant during the last few years.  With social media at the aid, you can search Facebook and have more results than you could image.  For some people,  making lanyards has become just a hobby while others have started small businesses.  But for Heavy Hauler, lanyards are more than just that.  Heavy Hauler takes lanyards and mixes in some awesome innovation.  Mixing high-quality braiding, neoprene, clips and swivels to make the Swap Out one of the most desirable lanyards on the market today.

Contains strap and two detachable braided lanyards.

What comes in the package.

The Swap Out features a Neoprene neck strap (featuring Max-4 camo and premium stitching), 2 detachable braided sections (green & tan – black & tan),  8 braided call haulers (with clips so you can position them where you would like) allowing for 4 calls to be hanging and tangled free and an additional clip for a whistle.  Have the 2 braided sections allows you to carry 4 calls on the lanyard with 4 more in your blind/pit bag.

Heavy Hauler has an accessory for this great accessory, the Quick Attach Duck Straps.  They use the same clips as the call braided section, so within seconds you have switched from calls to ducks hanging around your neck.  Great for that day when you reach your limit!  Simply undo your calls from the neck strap and clip on the Duck Straps.   You are now  ready to carry your birds back to the truck!  Watch this video of Jason Bird (Owner) as he demonstrates how to do so.

The Swap Out has become one of the most popular and sought after call lanyards since it’s introduction into the waterfowl market.  If it doesn’t say,  “Heavy Hauler”, it’s not the original Swap Out and can be found in retail stores for $34.99 which is an amazing price for such a versatile product and the Duck Straps are only $7.99!

I’m giving this lanyard a 10/10 simply because it’s everything I need with no complaints.  It’s just myself, this lanyard has been given an average of 4.8 stars from all the major sporting goods stores.

 

Dumpin Ducks

8855555Looking for a proactive waterfowl Facebook page?  Our Featured Facebook Page category is just that.  We find great pages and feature them here

DumpinDucksInc, better known as Dumpin Ducks with their cool and modern logo design, new video intro (CLICK HERE TO WATCH), cool shirts, barrel decals and window decals have just over 5,200 Likes.  Sharing season photos, off-season photos, holding contests and offering guided duck hunts one of the hottest states – Arkansas.  They also have partnered up with some great companies in the industry such as Muddy Water Camo and Kick’s Choke Tubes, ultimately making their contest very popular.

Go give them a “Like” and tell them DuckHunter.net sent ya!  https://www.facebook.com/DumpinDucks

Delta Waterfowl Research Spans North America

dwavatarBISMARCK, N.D. — For 75 years, science has been the cornerstone of Delta Waterfowl. Research shapes the conservation programs and management policies that help put more ducks in the air, year after year.

“It’s been our history — research defines what we do,” said Dr. Frank Rohwer, Delta Waterfowl’s president. “Research drives us and our programs, and it should always drive wildlife management. We’re committed to finding things that work.”

From duck studies to hunter satisfaction to land management, Delta Waterfowl researchers employ cutting-edge technology and science to find the breakthroughs that will shape the future of waterfowl management.

Here are the research projects that Delta is currently working on or collaborating with partners to complete.

  • California Water Scarcity: California’s water supply is highly controlled, leaving little for ducks and geese. As partners with University of California-Davis and the U.S. Geological Survey, this study probes how less water will affect wintering waterfowl populations and ultimately, could influence future water policies.
  • CRP and Landowner Attitudes: To the detriment of ducks, the Conservation Reserve Program is slowly disappearing, partly because of waning participation. This study will shed light on the views of farmers and ranchers, and how conservation management programs can be improved.
  • Predator Management: Results from 2012 demonstrated the effectiveness of predator management in the parklands of Manitoba and areas of low nesting cover in North Dakota — both known for chronically low nest success. This ongoing study continues to explore the effectiveness of trapping predators and their relationship with nesting ducks.
  • Mottled Duck Management: Mottled duck breeding success is low along the Gulf Coast — but not on manmade islands in Louisiana’s Atchafalaya Basin. Delta researchers are studying predators and vegetation to learn why.
  • Pacific Flyway Mallards: The goal is to update data on where Pacific Flyway mallards breed and nest so future conservation and management efforts can strategically target specific habitat. Delta is partnering with Dr. Todd Arnold of the University of Minnesota.
  • Chesapeake Bay Phragmites: Phragmites compete against desirable native North American plants, negatively affecting wetlands and waterfowl. Delta is partnering with researchers at Utah State University to find out how to best manage these invasive species.
  • Wood Duck Harvest: When bag limits increase or decrease, what are the consequences on duck populations? This study in Nevada by Dr. Chris Nikolai monitors wood ducks as various hunting regulations are experimentally manipulated.
  • Winter Habitat and Breeding Ducks: In the 1980s, research found a relationship between winter habitat conditions in the lower Mississippi Valley, and breeding success the following spring. This study partners with researchers at the University of Georgia to update the data to see if the same patterns exist today.
  • ALUS Evaluation: Delta’s Alternative Land Use Services has shown great promise as a means to conserve and enhance Canadian wetland habitat. Several ongoing evaluation projects will test effectiveness and landowner reaction.
  • Hunter Satisfaction: Why are duck hunters hanging up their waders for good? Luke LaBorde of Louisiana State University surveys waterfowlers in the Mississippi Flyway to shed some light on the problem.
  • Habitat and Nest Success: LSU student researcher Maria Bianco seeks to determine how proximity to roads, field edges, abandoned buildings, tree rows and wetlands affect duck nest hatching rates in North Dakota.
  • Duck Hunters’ Thoughts: With the continual decline in waterfowl hunting participation, Delta Waterfowl is partnering with various entities to develop the capacity to assess hunter satisfaction annually.

For more information, contact John Devney at jdevney@deltawaterfowl.org(888) 987-3695 Ext. 218 or Frank Rohwer at frohwer@deltawaterfowl.org.

Mississippi Flyway Waterfowlers

About

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MFW , Is dedicated to building partnerships in the waterfowl industry to support youth hunting. MFW staff and sponsors strive to Take youth Waterfowl hunting as much as possible. We also get kids products they can use while perusing Fowl .
Mission

To form various partnerships with local and nationally recognized waterfowling industry leaders. So that we may teach , promote and mentor to the youth about our great sport. And teach about the word of God.

Company Overview
With a demising population of waterfowlers on the rise, it is up to our youth to carry on the traditions of their mentors, but also develop through safe and legal practices set forth by our government. To accomplish this goal, our younger generation must be brought up in an environment that promotes their best effort while reinforcing personal respect.
Mississippi Flyway Waterfowlers will have a target market of children ages 6-17 years of age. We believe this is the time in a child’s life when the biggest decisions will be made that will directly affect their lives forever. The goal of this program is to identify the children who might have a turbulent transition into adulthood and potentially derail their lives. The focus to each individual child will be different but the goal remains the same, teach the child through the sport of water fowling, to make positive changes in their lives to be the best they can be.
General Information
Mississippi Flyway Waterfowlers is a organization specializing in the mentoring of our local youth throughThe word of God, a program specifically designed to introduce adolescents, ages 6-17, to the sport of water fowling in Mississippi Flyway area. The program will form various partnerships with local and nationally recognized waterfowling industry leaders. Mississippi Flyway Waterfowlers goal is to foster commitment, hard work, and dedication to the art of water fowling while also promoting social friendships, strong interpersonal skills, and individual responsibility that can continue throughout adolescence all the way into adulthood.With a demising population of waterfowlers on the rise, it is up to our youth to carry on the traditions of their mentors, but also develop through safe and legal practices set forth by our government. To accomplish this goal, our younger generation must be brought up in an environment that promotes their best effort while reinforcing personal respect.
Mississippi Flyway Waterfowlers will have a target market of children ages 6-17 years of age. We believe this is the time in a child’s life when the biggest decisions will be made that will directly affect their lives forever. The goal of this program is to identify the children who might have a turbulent transition into adulthood and potentially derail their lives. The focus to each individual child will be different but the goal remains the same, teach the child through the sport of water fowling, to make positive changes in their lives to be the best they can be.Mississippi Flyway Waterfowlers will provide and atmosphere for a child to learn and grown through paring with adult mentors throughout the water fowling season and off season. Events will be held annually for the children as a whole while individual time will be spent with the children as well through hunting and fishing with need to personalize with their mentor to develop the positive skills needed in life while also learning the art of waterfowling.

Mississippi Flyway Waterfowlers
“Where Kids Can Talk Fowl”

Nathan Waibl Founder

Hot New Gear

1.  Hard Core Decoy’s Elite Blind Bag

Elite Blind Bad by Hard Core Decoy

Elite Blind Bag by Hard Core Decoy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A new product for the 2013/2014 season, the Elite Blind Bag is a large sized bag for the long-staying waterfowler.  Check out some of the really cool features:

  • High-impact, waterproof bottom
  • Full featured, spacious design
  • Padded foam sides
  • External thermos or beverage pocket on the side
  • External accessory pocket with five loop choke tube holder
  • Zippered water-proof pocket
  • External clothes strap, great for rain jacket/poncho
  • External tool Velcro pocket, great for the Hardcore Loppers
  • Non-slip shoulder strap
  • Easy grip handle
  • Easy opening/closing zippers

Take a look by clicking HERE!

 

2.  Toxic Calls New Avicide Series

Avicide Duck Call by Toxic

Avicide Duck Call by Toxic Calls.

 “The design isn’t the only “sick” thing about Toxic Calls” -Phil

The Avicide series by Toxic Calls. When flare and flash is not a term in your vocabulary. The AVICIDE series by Toxic is what your looking for. The guys over at Toxic have taken their Meat and Potatoes calls the NBD, NBD2 and the TBH. They produced them in a Black with White letters or White with Black letters and put a killer price on them. These calls are the exact same calls as their super popular custom calls, they just removed the flare. With a sounds that have been turning birds to their death, these calls have been labeled “AVICIDE”.

Buy yours now at Wing Supply – only retailer to have this call!

 

3.  Dakota Decoy’s X-Treme Mallards

Flock Headed Mallards by Dakota Decoys

Flock Headed Mallards by Dakota Decoys.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dakota Decoys throws a game-changing mix into your spread!

  • Most life like, hand painted finish
  • Drakes go through a 24 step painting process, and the hens go through a 16 step painting process
  • 6 different head styles in each dozen
  • Multiple heads come attached , and will spin a full 360 degrees
  •  Slightly over-sized, measuring 16” in length
  •  They have a weighted keel designed with the hunter in mind
  • Added cleat to the front of each keel to lengthen or shorten lines to the desired depth
  • Packaged in dozen packs with 7 drakes with 4 unique head styles, and hens with 2 head styles

 

4.  Heavy Hauler’s Raft O Ducks

Raft O Ducks by Heavy Hauler Outdoor Gear

Raft O Ducks by Heavy Hauler Outdoor Gear.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whether hunting divers,  puddlers, or honkers always be on the X with The Raft O’ Ducks decoy anchor system.  Watch it by clicking HERE!

  • Set it in many different formations.
  • Easy to get ready as well as taking it down 
  • 2 built in 1.5 lb H-shaped anchor/line keepers
  • 18-30″ drop lines with 4” snaps and large swivel clips
  • Drop lines are made of tangle resistant 400 lb mono filament 
  • 150 feet of heavy braided mainline rope

Ducks Interrupt Pursuit

Portland, OR – On duty Police Traffic Officer Mark James got more than what he typically expects on a pursuit.

James’ dash-cam video released by the the Portland Police Bureau, started out with what looked like to be a routine stop.  However, it was anything but routine.  With the up-beat music starting, James starts his pursuit of a car going 52 MPH in a 35 MPH zone.  The car quickly leaves the screen not to be seen again.  Still in his pursuit, James notices a hen and her ducklings walking the lane divider.  Without questioning himself he stops his pursuit and guides the ducks to a safe ditch.

This isn’t the fist entertaining video release by the Portland Police Bureau.  Shortly after the “Harlem Shake” craze, they posted this YouTube hit as a PSA (Public Service Announcement).