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Duck Hunting Gear- what are the essentials?

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Duck Hunting Gear- what are the essentials?

Old 01-07-2015, 02:26 PM
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Default Duck Hunting Gear- what are the essentials?

I just got a golden opportunity to duck hunt tomorrow and the only thing I have is a 12 guage shotgun. I don't own anything camo, no waders, etc.

I am an invited guest and everything is taken care of excpet what to wear. Anyone have advice on brands of waders, gloves, etc? Gonna be cold as hell- about 25 degrees at day break on Friday. How many layers will I need? Hand warmers, etc.?

Mainly just need to know how to stay warm and how much camo I need- head to toe or just a jacket and hat? We will be in a boat in a duck blind.
Old 01-07-2015, 02:36 PM
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Three good layers.

Polypropylene thermal underwear. This is your wicking layer.

Then I like a Cotton/Wool blend of thick shirt or long sleeve T or Sweat shirt type of second layer. Then I normally put a pair of thick sweat pants over my thermals. These are normally camo or some drab color of Brown or Green. Camo prefered since you may layer "down" when the sun comes up.

Then a good set of quilted coveralls and then a thick Quilted jacket. These are always Camo.

Tobaggan style knit hat and those mittens that fold back to become fingerless gloves. Brown, Black or Camo.

Ducks can see real well... real well. Camo or drab out everything or they will see you move. Hand movement.... etc... People often black out their cheeks and nose with makeup too.

But make sure you can still shoulder a gun with all this. Down is even better outer jacket wear if you can afford it but it must stay dry and it seems overkill for one hunt.

I like Smartwool socks and Insulated boots. Your in a boat so lets assume its going to be dry. But make sure they are water resistant. They often leak a tad. If my feet get cold... Im cold.

Maybe throw in a cheap camo poncho to keep the whole thing dry if it rains.

Good luck.

As far as hand warmers and electric socks...well.. I never use them so Ill let someone else chime in on those. The best thing is a thermos full of hot coffee!
Old 01-07-2015, 02:36 PM
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25 degrees is rather warm for a duck hunt.

Is it a field hunt? Or open water? Layout hunting or in a blind?

Taking a boat?

Gotta figure out what type of duck hunt you're attending before any decision of gear or clothing can be made.
Old 01-07-2015, 02:42 PM
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Essentials????

Scotch and coffee
Old 01-07-2015, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by zgilbert View Post
Essentials????

Scotch and coffee
Oh SNAP!

Wish I had thought of that.
Old 01-07-2015, 02:50 PM
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Underarmour/thermal layer. Wool socks (don't be afraid to double up. From here it is somewhat personal preference. I'll usually go heavy flannel under a well lined camo parka. If it is going to be super cold I'll double the bottom layer under my Neoprene bootfoot waders. Gloves. If it is going to be windy you want a face buff. I don't use gloves, I wear a camo hand muff (can't feel the trigger with gloves thick enough to work worth a damn) Camo beanie.

Keep your face/head down until told to shoot. Don't mess with a bird call, because a novice call can spook off the birds. Let the guys you are hunting with take care of it. Ask if they want help setting up the decoy rig before hand.

Remember, you are'nt moving around much. It gets cold.
Old 01-07-2015, 02:51 PM
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You say you'll be in a blind in a boat.

Camoflage: When I have hunted under those conditions, I only needed camouflage on jacket and hat. The boat/blind should conceal you from the waist down at a minimum, possibly conceal you entirely. Depends on the blind.

Warmth: What you wear depends on how windy it will be. It's duck hunting, so let's assume fairly windy. Insulated boots and insulating/wool socks (waders in a boat hunt may be unnecessary- ask your host). Insulated underwear. Wool pants or insulated overalls or 5mm neoprene waders. heavy wool shirt. Insulated windproof camo jacket- I buy Columbia brand hooded parkas with zip-out lining. Both outer shell and liner are camo, so you can wear one, the other or both. Thinsulate insulated gloves or mittens with a slit palm that let you get your trigger finger out for shooting. Gloves don't need to be camo, but most of mine are camo. Insulated camo ball cap , earflaps helpful at the temps you'll see. Between the cap and the parka's insulated hood, your head will stay warm.

If you do shop for waders, be aware that thing to watch is that the boot and inseam both fit you- waders fit varies a lot and some in my boot size have inseams way too long. I like the Lacrosse brand for fit and quality. A set of waders with 5mm neoprene and 1000 gram insulated boots will keep you nice and warm from the waist down, will cost $150-$200.
Old 01-07-2015, 02:52 PM
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Ducks, if hunting in SC bringing ducks with you will greatly improve your chances of seeing some.

All kidding aside, water proof or neoprene gloves, warm jacket and layers like above said. Try to wear quit stuff not too much Velcro and noise making materials.

You don't have a lot of time but cabelas waders are my favorite choice and I currently have a max prairie wings insulated jacket.

I wear two pairs of socks, one normal pair and then I wool pair also holds my pants in place when putting on my waders.
Old 01-07-2015, 02:53 PM
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Point... waders in a boat can actually be dangerous... if you end up OUT of the boat in deep enough water. Find out how deep the water will be traveled over before deciding between waders and coveralls.

start argument now..... 1 ... 2... 3...
Old 01-07-2015, 02:53 PM
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And facemask
Old 01-07-2015, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by chrisrack View Post
25 degrees is rather warm for a duck hunt.

Is it a field hunt? Or open water? Layout hunting or in a blind?

Taking a boat?

Gotta figure out what type of duck hunt you're attending before any decision of gear or clothing can be made.
literally every one of those questions was answered in the OP....
Old 01-07-2015, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by boatn19 View Post

You don't have a lot of time but cabelas waders are my favorite choice
A pair of Cabela's hunting waders is like a sore peter....... you just can't beat it

I pretty much wear Sitka gear exclusively, but I also hunt 60+ days a year. It might be just a little bit overkill for one hunt unless you piss benjamins when you wake up in the morning.

I'd ask the guys you're going with what to get. If they say waders, then go spend some good money on cabelas waders. You can sell them after the hunt for probably not much less than you paid. I hear they have a great return policy too... but I would never do that......

Everything else can be done on the cheap. Surely you have a thermal shirt. Throw that on under a hoodie, then go down to army surplus and get a cheap camo jacket. Wal-Mart will have good enough cheap gloves and a beanie.

This part may seem counter intuitive, but always dress in the cold into cold gear. When driving to the hunt I wear just my base layer and NO SOCKS (usually just crocs). I leave everything in the back of the truck unless the waders are wet from the day before and it's freezing. The fastest way to get cold is to sweat in your gear in your 72* truck then jump out into the 25* weather. You will warm your gear up by just launching the boat.

Also, do yourself and your friends a favor, and get a face mask. It will keep you warm, and half of the fun is watching the birds work. One of the quickest ways to flare birds is to shine your white face in the sun, they'll see it every time. If you just wear a mask you can look up; and you don't have to keep your face in your lap until it's time to shoot.
Old 01-07-2015, 03:50 PM
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I agree that chances are you won't need waders since this is a boat/blind hunt.
Find out.

The mask everyone has suggested is a definite. I always wear a camo mask when waterfowling. Always.
Warm camo hat, warm boots, warm glovies. Layers.
I'd buy some cheap uninsulated camo that's too big so it will fit over everything.
This way you aren't blowing cash unnecessarily on gear you may not wear again.

I've taken to buying the cheap uninsulated camo as an overlayer pretty much all the time.
It doesn't bother me when I tear it up, which I was always doing.
Still do, but it doesn't bother me now.
Old 01-07-2015, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by ryan darrow View Post
This part may seem counter intuitive, but always dress in the cold into cold gear. When driving to the hunt I wear just my base layer and NO SOCKS (usually just crocs). I leave everything in the back of the truck unless the waders are wet from the day before and it's freezing. The fastest way to get cold is to sweat in your gear in your 72* truck then jump out into the 25* weather. You will warm your gear up by just launching the boat.
Great point. Never sweat into your clothing and get it wet before getting into the cold. You'll just end up colder. Layer up as you get out into the atmosphere your going to be in. But this is when the layer contacting your skin does become the most important. It must wick that away and then there has to be a layer to absorb it.
Old 01-07-2015, 04:14 PM
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Nobody else mentioned it but bring ear plugs. Hunting in a boat you will be in close proximity to one or more other shotguns blasting right next to you. Helps to have hearing protection in close quarters.
Old 01-07-2015, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by sea fever View Post
Nobody else mentioned it but bring ear plugs. Hunting in a boat you will be in close proximity to one or more other shotguns blasting right next to you. Helps to have hearing protection in close quarters.
fair point. I can't stand em, but you won't be listening to the birds and responding with a call, so go for it.
Old 01-07-2015, 04:19 PM
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Might try a pair of those electronic ones then. You can listen or even enhance sound but it knocks out anything above damage level. 85-90 decibels and above I think they mostly do. I have a pair I use at range just so I can talk to everyone else and hear them. And I sometimes listen to a game though my iPhone with them on stand for that matter. They are useful.
Old 01-07-2015, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by sea fever View Post
Nobody else mentioned it but bring ear plugs. Hunting in a boat you will be in close proximity to one or more other shotguns blasting right next to you. Helps to have hearing protection in close quarters.
And you won't hear the guy calling the shot either.
State and Federal duck stamp along with SC basic hunting license. Camo is over rated, brown or olive color jacket will work just fine if you follow directions (Don't Move). People act like nobody ever killed ducks prior to the reality and infomercials pimping the latest camo queer fashions.
Old 01-07-2015, 04:24 PM
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If you are in a boat just camo, facemask/paint, good gloves, STEEL SHOT and good to go.

If it is going to be clear take sunglasses

Thermos of coffee and if you have one Heater Buddy

No need for waders if you hunting out of boat/duck blind as long as you do not have to walk through water

Federal and SC duck stamps
Old 01-07-2015, 04:28 PM
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Sit at home in the warm and have three buddies on their way back from Smith Island to bring me a couple of ducks. They should be dropping by any minute.

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