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Waterfowling in the 1970's & 80's
LSF Member
Joined:
01/20/2007
From Southcentral, MN
Posts: 3731
Anybody here old enough to have hunted way back in the day? I started shooting at age 11 which was back in the early 1980's. Lots of ducks back then.

opening day, if I remember correctly, was always the first Saturday in October. Trying to reminisce, I believe our bag limits were mostly teal, woodies & where we hunted, the occasional mallard.


What did your bag limits consist of back then?

Posted on: 2016/9/4 16:07
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Re: Waterfowling in the 1970's & 80's
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Joined:
12/20/2004
Posts: 138

Posted on: 2016/9/4 16:54
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Re: Waterfowling in the 1970's & 80's
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Joined:
12/20/2004
Posts: 138

Posted on: 2016/9/4 17:00
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Re: Waterfowling in the 1970's & 80's
LSF Member
Joined:
05/10/2007
Posts: 18
Hunted just before we had the early teal season. Seemed like we always had ducks around, but then the tile started to go in, and things have changed. This was mostly Kandiyohi County.

Posted on: 2016/9/4 18:31
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Re: Waterfowling in the 1970's & 80's
LSF Member
Joined:
01/14/2007
From Central MN/Blackhoof
Posts: 341
We had access to two spots on the same farm, one pothole out in the middle of corn, and one way back in the woods. Teal, mallards and the odd diver now and then in the big field pond, mostly woodies and mallards in the other.

We graduated to big-water diver hunting after my Dad showed us how to make simple not-quite layout boats.

I had to take '78 off because of that. I was cutting out the bottom of a new boat using a pattern and some special low saw horses we made specifically for this. I hit one of the metal sawhorse brackets, the circular saw kicked back so fast that the blade guard never had a chance to cover the blade. I took off the top of my kneecap, severed a bunch of nerves, and made a mess of the quad. Spent most of that fall in a wheelchair.

And did my Dad show any sympathy? Heck no, I still get crap from him every time we are working together and pick up a circular saw....

Posted on: 2016/9/5 10:12
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Re: Waterfowling in the 1970's & 80's
LSF Member
Joined:
01/20/2007
From Southcentral, MN
Posts: 3731
Ouch that sucks!

I remember one season where it got real cold right before the opener. We had a bunch of woodies eyed up but they moved out & some divers moved in. It was a nice exchange.

I also remember that if you shot a goose, it was a HUGE deal! It was cause for celebration and us & our neighbors would get together in winter & make the goose along with a couple ducks. Good times!

Posted on: 2016/9/5 11:10
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Re: Waterfowling in the 1970's & 80's
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Joined:
09/05/2016
Posts: 13
I was 12 in 1962. My Dad and three of his buddies leased a slough in Sherburne county. Where we hunted is now a waterfowl sanctuary in the Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge. We would take off from the metro area around 4:00AM. and meet at Brown's
Cafe for breakfast. I think that was where Hwy 169 met Hwy 10.
I always had hot chocolate and wheat cakes. We drove through a farm yard and then on a small road next to a corn field to reach the slough. We dragged three small wood duck boats through a bouncy mat of bog about twenty yards and now we were floating in crystal clear water three to four deep. The slough was full of aquatic vegetation that ducks love. Our blinds were simply pushing the duck boat into the cattails. The hunting was excellent. We usually had our limit in two hours. We had that lease for two years. When we lost the lease we tried different areas one being Watkins where a flock of Pelicans flew over and somebody yelled"Geese"and they dropped a couple. I moved to South Dakota and now I can enjoy quality waterfowling.

Posted on: 2016/9/5 18:19
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Re: Waterfowling in the 1970's & 80's
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Joined:
08/26/2015
Posts: 27
I grew up in Willmar where duck hunting was a big deal. I remember a little from the early 70's. Dad usually had one slough he hunted. He brought ducks home, not sure how many. I tagged along at times. There was a woman on the west side of town who cleaned birds in her house. feathers were all over. Someone told me she charged 50cents a bird. There was a midweek opener and when I arrived home from school my dad and his buddy had close to a possession limit in the garage. Mom cleaned birds during that time, plucked and waxed.

It was dry in the mid 70"s and I got in on the shooting. it was dry and we had access to a semi-private lake. Teal all over us on the opener. Lots of shells were shot and I think we ended up a couple over the limits. Don't get me wrong dad wasn't a hard core poacher, maybe more of an opportunist. If the opportunity was there he had a hard time holding back. Went to bigger water later in the season. We shot quite a few ducks and did not need to scout all over 3 counties to do it. I remember the bills in particular

There was one year that northern MN had a late opener due to drought and fire danger. We were out on a large lake that day. It was cold and skim ice was on the small water. I don't think we shot anything that day but ducks filled the skies and poured into that lake all day long. A memorable hunt.

One specific incident I remember. We were hunting a point on a large lake late in the season. (there's a cabin there now). I go for a little hike. My dad shoots and I get back. He said, "right over there is the biggest Greenhead I ever got in my life" We had to look it up is was a Common Merganser.

We never had a dog till the early eighties. We had a good one for a couple of years till it got hit by a car. My dad replaced it a couple of years after that with a male that had a mind of its own.

Posted on: 2016/9/6 7:51
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Re: Waterfowling in the 1970's & 80's
LSF Member
Joined:
08/26/2015
Posts: 27
Continued:

In the late 70's Lac Qui Parle became the big deal. Sky busting and buckshot. It took lots of shells but we were proud of the occasional goose we got. Even if someone a half mile away hit it and it happened to die in front of us.

Even the 80's were good. Limits on opener were the norm. There was the mid-season lull and then the big push. We had also become more mobile and hunted multiple locations.

91 was a memorable year - lots of birds. Drought again and a thirty day season. I hunted 27 of them in some way thanks to flexible work schedule. I lived near the cities and mostly hunted Sherburne Refuge. I got out of the cities and went west just ahead of the Halloween storm early in the morning. It was still a blizzard out there but nothing like the cities got. I didn't shoot much but I do remember going to bed early at my moms in spite of game 7. Not a huge fan anyway but I woke up just in time to watch the twins win. I was exhausted.

Today I am in ND and still shoot a few ducks but mostly I chase roosters and Walleyes. Duck hunting is young mans game. I go duck hunting and I am tired, but it is no problem to chase roosters and first light and go catch some Walleyes after that.

Posted on: 2016/9/6 8:11
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Re: Waterfowling in the 1970's & 80's
LSF Member
Joined:
07/31/2007
From central mn
Posts: 4362
Pretty sure I started duck hunting when I was in 5th grade,early 60's,never forgot the 1st hunt with my h&r 20ga single shot,my 1st duck was a woodie,small lake near Bemidji,later in the day when my old man was knapping I would hunt the logging trails for grouse.Stayed in a small resort with wood burning stoves for heat.

By mid 70's we would headed to Roseau because they had Canada geese up there,only a 10 day Canada goose season back then and if ya tagged one it was a real trophy.

Later in the years we hunted lac qui parle area hard,lead shot was legal and so was ditch hunting(pass shooting),scratched up enough cash for a sxs 10ga,man that thing was acanon,fun times!

My old spots out there for ducks on wma's went south when they started the youth waterfowl hunts,local birds were shot up and gone by the time our regular season started,miss those days.

Posted on: 2016/9/6 11:28
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