Tango2Echo wrote:I've had good success planting smartweed and jap millet around the edges of small flooded timber areas. I just hand broadcast in late spring around the water line. In my area we usually have a bit more water in winter than in the spring, so it "floods" the plants. I also put out alot of woodduck boxes as soon as the season is over. This has helped more than you can believe. I have 16 boxes in a small swamp, maybe 10 acres. 15 of them had successfull hatches this year, 10 last year, 3 the year before that. That swamp now holds 120-200 "resident" woodies all year. The birds still move around, but they know where "home" is. We hunted that swamp once a week last season, 3 guys, and shot limits of woodies on every hunt. (9 birds) Also, shot some GWT, BWT, and mallards, one hooded merganser, two ringnecks, and a drake pintail in there last year. Five years ago that swamp dead and duckless.
Tango2Echo wrote:I buy smartweed through a local NWTF chapter, although there are a number of online sources for it. Just do a Google search. Raw cedar and cyprus work best for the woodduck boxes. The 2" pipe is fine, but you will still need to put a predator guard around the base to keep coons out. Hooded Mergansers and GWT have also nested in my boxes. Wait until after the season to put the boxes out.
Too many guys put no time into the conservation of our ducks and wetlands. I enjoy managing the resource as much as hunting it. It doesn't have to take a ton of money or time to do either. We spend about $3000 per year split four ways to lease, manage, plant, and maintain close to 500 acres for waterfowl. Some of the places held no ducks a few years ago. We have over 100 nest boxes out total, and plan to add 20-25 more this year. I don't tell people about our hunts around here because they assume you are baiting. They don't know that managing the property can be more effective. I've never put one kernel of corn out for ducks, and we shoot 500-1000 birds per year.
I also bought 161 acres in Ontario, Canada. ($16,000) My wife is from there, and I usually hunt 3-10 days per year there. I let a local farmer plant corn on the front 80 acres, allow his family to deer hunt, and in return he plants a 50 acre impoundment in jap millet. Wanna guess how many ducks, geese and swans are in that field and impoundment? The net cost to me is nothing, and yet we have had un-real hunts in there.
duckman27 wrote:Yeah I Plant 50 lb bags of corn about two feet off the shore about a month before season aand then keep dumping corn until season starts
duckman27 wrote:I put the corn out to keeps the ducks there because sixty woodies on a small pond makes the acorns go away pretty fast. I keep it legal and stop two weeks before season opens
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