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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, I was wondering if anyone can offer me some pointers as a foot soldier at farmington bay? I have gone out several times (admittedly none this year. I just finished my elk hunt) and have never been succesful beyond a couple coots. I just started hunting last year and don't know much unfortunately. I have a dozen decoys and a couple calls I practice with pretty regularly. I have hunted from a couple of the ponds off the south parking lot and the dike that runs east to west across from the main boat launch. Thanks in advance!
 

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Hey guys, I was wondering if anyone can offer me some pointers as a foot soldier at farmington bay? I have gone out several times (admittedly none this year. I just finished my elk hunt) and have never been succesful beyond a couple coots. I just started hunting last year and don't know much unfortunately. I have a dozen decoys and a couple calls I practice with pretty regularly. I have hunted from a couple of the ponds off the south parking lot and the dike that runs east to west across from the main boat launch. Thanks in advance!
I don't know Farmington bay, but I want to stay stick with it. I am self taught, and my first year was just like yours.

You best tool to get on birds is to go to the dwrs site, and check out the interactive maps they have. Be sure to look out for canals, and just look for where looks good on the satellite, then get out there and eye ball it. It's a lot of work, but if you're starting from scratch, it's a good way to go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I don't know Farmington bay, but I want to stay stick with it. I am self taught, and my first year was just like yours.

You best tool to get on birds is to go to the dwrs site, and check out the interactive maps they have. Be sure to look out for canals, and just look for where looks good on the satellite, then get out there and eye ball it. It's a lot of work, but if you're starting from scratch, it's a good way to go.
for sure thats the best way to go about it. I just am unsure of what kind of areas ducks prefer ( aside from the dang rest pond). I dont know if they will stick to pockets of water so to speak or prefer a more open area. farmington bay is such a mixed bag of it too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The best advice I can give for FB is to hike as far back as you can.
I appreciate it. I have hiked to the end of turnpin a few times. Admittedly I am sometimes to lazy to hike it carrying my laundry bag full of decoys and my normal pack haha. My laziness is compounded by the fact that I have found no success there either. Lots of good pictures of the sunrise though!:grin:
 

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Farmington Bay consists of 22 miles of dike and 126 water control structures that managers use to control flows.
Here's what I have found.........There are places there that you can consistently shoot birds all season, but they are few and far between. Have other options and backup plans if one area doesn't pan out. The birds use different areas at different times of the year. Don't be afraid to try a random area or a new dike, you may get a surprise. Sometimes you won't have to walk all that far to get into the birds, it just depends on the time of year you are hunting an area.

If I have to stay out there all day to shoot birds that's what I do. I take food and drinks with me and I don't throw out 12 dozen decoys at my first spot, I may throw out a half dozen or so to see what if anything is going to come in. If nothing happens in an hour I pickup and move to another option area. Take binoculars with you and just watch around you to see where the birds are going and if it's possible to get to them.

Most of the walk in areas at Farmington you will only need a dozen or less decoys, and a spinner if you have one. Whatever you feel comfortable carrying will work. Set your decoys in a "W" or "J" pattern. I used the "W" pattern there yesterday and every duck that came through dropped right in. I was hunting a small pocket with 10 decoys and a spinner.

There are dikes that run East and West and dikes that run North and South, don't be afraid to try them all. You will figure out where some good spots are if you keep doing what you are doing now. Good luck!
 

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Farmington Bay consists of 22 miles of dike and 126 water control structures that managers use to control flows.
Impressive stats. Did you count all of those water control structures yourself?

Listen to Fowlmouth. I hope I can reach his level of expertise someday (then I might even find some cinnamon teal come January). I would also add:

Try to get out there on a good stormy and windy day and you'll learn far more than you will on the sunny and calm days, when fewer birds are flying (Sunday and Monday are looking good, BTW).

I'm still kind of a FB novice, but for me (and most others I've talked to) it's been really slow lately, which means a slow learning curve. But what I am finding is that there is an absolutely enormous array of opportunities there. Whether you want to walk 201 yards from your car and pass-shoot coots, set up 12 dozen decoys and a layout boat, or walk/bike for miles and push through hundreds of yards of phrags, you should be able to find something that works for you and gets you away from everybody else (unless you're shooting coots 201 yards from the truck, in which case you will not get away from everyone else).

The only real success I've ever had there came when I decided to try to use the boat traffic to my advantage. Watch where the birds go when the airboats and mud boats drive by, and figure out a way to either pass-shoot or decoy them.

Don't be afraid to think outside the box, either. I've found one spot that treats me quite well, and very rarely gets hunted (In fact I've hunted it 6-8 Saturdays over the course of three seasons and have never had to share it with anyone). But that's because you'd have to be a little bit crazy to ever think about hunting it. Sometimes the best solution is the one that no one else thinks of.
 

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I agree with fm. Ducks love the pot holes. there so many out there. just find a nice one and set up and see what happens. just keep your shots over the water if you dont have a dog. Right now it taught hunting. good luck and stay at it. it all will come together for you.
 

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Potholes. Google Earth is your friend. Let the ducks show you where they want to go. They all go to the same places over and ovet. You can have two identical potholes but the ducks will only use one. Binoculars are also your friend.
 

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It's hard to tell what's water and what isn't on google earth...?
 

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Google earth is not up to date. I have used it this year and what I thought might be flat rolled phrag turned out to be new growth about 6 feet high. LOL! Also some holes are dried up.

From what I can figure out the images are from sometime in March 2015. Water is easy to spot the lime green color on water surface is algae blooms think of it as water then zoom in and look for dark green and that is phrag. also some water is easy to spot as it is dark. but can be confused with phrag. https://goo.gl/photos/33qg6F4qZTv69rnV8

My advise is to get out and scout early in the morning have a high vantage point and glass. You will see ducks leaving or going in to places and you want to be where they are going in the next morning. try to mark the location on google maps on your phone with a star. and walk to it. always have fresh batteries or back up charger when you hunt this way.

Good places to glass are the foot bridges or goose egg island.

Good luck and hang in there. it will come and you will be rewarded. It's hard work getting a good spot to hunt. And like fowlmouth said always have a back up or move to the birds just don't sit there and watch them fly 200 yrds away from you try your best to get to them or at least in there flight path.
 

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Or go rent a plane and have someone fly you over FB as you take photographs and make notes...make sure you're out of skybuster range though, that seems to be about 3000 feet higher than ground level at FB
 
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Or go rent a plane and have someone fly you over FB as you take photographs and make notes..
Unfortunately it can't be done. that part of the sky is restricted air space due to the airport, My buddy is a pilot and we talked about that and the closest he can get to that area is just east of antelope island. But once we hit the causway we can fly over Howard slough and Ogden bay, Harold crane, the spur and bear river bird refuge. may take a quick look at Salt creek and public and fly back down and land at airport #2. trying to get my hands on a camera and a good lens for long range. I have a decent video recorder that will zoom 40X optical maybe I will use that instead. Now I just need to get the _____ to go up in that small plane. LOL!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Or go rent a plane and have someone fly you over FB as you take photographs and make notes...make sure you're out of skybuster range though, that seems to be about 3000 feet higher than ground level at FB
haha I think that might be a little low for them. I think I have seen some people take shots at things higher than that.:shock:
 

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With Farmington, I would make 2 recommendations.

1) sacrifice a day with the binoculars, and watch the birds. If you're planning on hunting the impoundments on the south west side (near the crystal unit) get up on one of the bridges over the dike and just watch the birds during the hunt you're intending (morning or evening) and then go set up there the next day.

2) watch the weather. If we have a big storm or lots of wind, all those ducks out on the great salt lake shoreline will come pouring in. On those days, most of those ducks don't really know where they're heading either and will buzz around looking for other ducks. 6 decoys is all it takes on a day like that. Pay attention to channels, and other landmarks, because the ducks will follow them in and out of the marsh. I've got a primary location and 2 back up plans for windy days that seem to regularly produce.
 
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