Attracting more ducks

Duck Hunting for puddlers like Mallards, Sprig (Pintails), Black ducks, Widgeons, Woodducks, Teal, and other ducks.

Moderators: Token, duckbuster06, The Cat Island Drake

Attracting more ducks

Postby Carolina Pride » Thu Aug 26, 2010 2:09 pm

I hunt in southeastern north carolina. I have two ponds between a corn field and a swamp. In the process of fixing food plots for deer and turkey around them. Is there anything that I can plant around the banks of the ponds that would be good for ducks. Thanks for the help.
Carolina Pride
hunter
 
Posts: 24
Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2010 4:01 pm


Re: Attracting more ducks

Postby looseheadsurfer1 » Thu Aug 26, 2010 4:26 pm

Rice, Jap Millet. Depends on your depth from what I understand. i think rice likes to get its feet wet but is finicky on depth. Jap millet i think is not so much. Do a search on it. I think you need to plant coming soon too if you want to make this season. Wish I was closer I'd come help ya. I am down by Savannah maybe you are close enough I can give you a hand on the weekend for some hunting. Good luck. Sounds like your working on a great setup lucky dog.

Chufa is also something that will attract ducks, but also Turkeys later.
looseheadsurfer1
hunter
 
Posts: 42
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 8:23 pm
Location: Lowcountry South Carolina

Re: Attracting more ducks

Postby Carolina Pride » Mon Aug 30, 2010 7:12 am

Thanks for the help and the offer to help. Most of our work is done during the week. Didn't knew chufa would attract ducks. Spent the weekend working on food plots and stands. We plan to start on the ponds in the next two weeks. We also have some timber that will be flooded come the first of nov. Thinking of planting millet there. Water depth will very from 1 to 3 ft. The hunting not the best but we are working on it. Get with me once the season comes in we might be able to set something up. I have family that live in sav.
Carolina Pride
hunter
 
Posts: 24
Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2010 4:01 pm

Re: Attracting more ducks

Postby tenfingergrip » Tue Aug 31, 2010 6:29 am

The rice and jap millet suggestion is a good choice. However, I think you're a little close to being too late at this point to do any good for the duck season. Both probably need to be planted by the end of Aug at the latest. Each has a maturity of between 70-90 days with rice being the longer. I'd go ahead and try some Jap Millet, but do it now. It's pretty cheap and if it didn't make a head, you haven't lost a whole lot. You can just broadcast it around the edges of the pond, where it stays wet and it will germinate. Jap millet will also reseed itself and can last a couple of seasons. If you can control your pond water, it works better to drop the water, sow the millet and raise the water back up after the millet matures. It will fall over and the tops will be in the water for the ducks. They'll also pick the tops if they are exposed above the water.

Try some rice next year as well. Rice will continue to grow under flooded conditions. Let the rice come up, then flood to where the tops are exposed and that will keep the weeds out.

Chufa will work but it needs to be planted around May/June timeframe. It needs to mature, die out and leave the nuts below ground. The mallard ducks and other puddlers will root in the soft mud for the nuts. If you have turkeys, it's like cocaine to 'em. Once they find it, they're hooked. Plant it in light soil, even sandy, and it works best as the turkeys have an easier time scratching for it. Lime at about 1 ton to the acre and fertilize with 10-10-10 at about 600 lbs to the acre. I like to plant mine in rows with a planter, making it easier to keep down the weeds with a cultivator. You can also spray chufa with a combination of 2-4-D and Poast to keep out the weeds. Call the NWTF and they will send you a brochure on planting and caring for chufa for the turkeys. If you get a good stand the first year, you can generally just disk it twice the next year, in May and then in June and you'll have a larger crop that second year. Replant only if the turkeys have eaten it all.

Good luck. (I'm also in SE NC and manage some large wildlife tracts for clients that include several waterfowl impoundments.)
User avatar
tenfingergrip
hunter
 
Posts: 1742
Joined: Sat Aug 09, 2008 7:43 pm
Location: Eastern NC

Re: Attracting more ducks

Postby Tango2Echo » Thu Sep 09, 2010 7:07 pm

I'm in Bladen county. Smartweed (waterpepper) can be hand broadcast around the edges. It's expensive. Jap millet is cheap and should be planted around Aug 1st for the Mid-November opener. The millet needs dry gound to get started, but once its up it will grow wet. Spray a pre-emergent and nitrogen before planting. Can you control the water level in the ponds? You may want to think about pumping one pond into the other and planting and then flooding it just before the season. I have access to diesel pumps.

Ducks in NC will eat chufa, but its about 50th on their list of food choices. We tried for 5 straight years to plant it in one of our impoundments for turkeys, but the deer, hogs, and turkeys never let it get an inch tall. Acorns/Corn/Millet/Smartweed are what you want. Are your primary ducks woodies? Do you have divers on the ponds? I can help you with the Ringnecks or Scaup if you do.

t2e
Tango2Echo
hunter
 
Posts: 60
Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2009 6:52 pm

Re: Attracting more ducks

Postby Carolina Pride » Fri Sep 17, 2010 11:09 am

I'm in Robeson County. No we can't control the level in the ponds. The ponds were originally made for irragation purposes by my wife's granddad. They have gone down hill since he passed away. My brother in laws and I are trying to get them fixed and improve the hunting at the same time. When it comes to different species of ducks all we get are woodies with the occasional mallard. That is one of the reasons we're trying different things. Want to improve the hunting. putting in food plots for deer and turkey. limiting the turkeys to one per hunter per year. We have imposed a family fine for killing bucks under a 6 pointer and because of the amount of does we have on the property we are going to focus more on them, but even they have to be over 100lbs are there is a family fine. Now we are trying to do something for the ducks. We have thought about jap millet in the timbers were it floods but i guess we're a little late for that this year. Now that I know what to plant and when maybe we can try it next year. when is the earliest jap millet can be planted.
Carolina Pride
hunter
 
Posts: 24
Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2010 4:01 pm

Re: Attracting more ducks

Postby Tango2Echo » Fri Sep 17, 2010 3:55 pm

Late is more important than early with Jap millet. You'll want to plant next year around the 3rd week in July or 1st of August. Time it where the ground is dry when you plant, and then a good hard rain a couple days later. Spraying a pre-emergent to limit
Johnson grass and weeds beforehand is a good idea. Once millet is a couple inches high it doesn't matter if it rains a bunch, but if it rains too much when it is trying to get up, it will rot in the ground. Also, if it doesn't get enough rain right after planting it will not germanate. It is tricky, but man when you get it right!!! I usually get hair from the barber shop and put it up all around to keep the deer out, or limit how much they eat when it is growing. Once the seed stalks form deer will not eat it anymore.

Cover is probably the most overlooked part about building an impoundment or attracting ducks to an existing area. Ducks have a "morning feeding area," a "day roost," an "evening feeding area," and a "night roost". You want that day roost and night roost undisturbed. You also want standing timber and bush around and in an impoundment. In one of my impoundments we planted cyprus trees and water oaks which are both about 20ft tall now. The idea is to make it look "ducky" and not just an open watershed like a pond. Last year was the first year out of 6 that ducks really used that impoundment. There were several hundred woodies, mallards, ringers, scaup, shovelers, and teal using that 3 acre hole. It was planted in corn, with the corn left standing, and millet around the edges. We never hunted it. Why, well, we mave have killed some ducks there, but about 20% of our ducks are return birds from previous years. They will remember getting shot at in a "new" place alot more than one that ducks have used for years. It takes time for an impoundment or duck pond to "mature" just like it does for a deer. Our oldest impoundment is 15 years old this season, and is 12 acres of flooded corn. Last year you could have taken 3 guys in there every day of the season and limited on woodies, mallards, blacks, and ringers in about 3 minutes. We hunted it twice a week and every hunt but one was a limit for each gun. It is just an old field in the middle of nowhere that we dyked and put a water control gate in and then ran a pipe down to the swamp. If I showed you that place in May you would laugh and say I was crazy to think I could kill ducks there.

Anyway, good luck and good hunting.

Oh, put up some wood duck boxes. It is alot of fun to see the ducks use them. We have about 100 up now, give or take. We have about 90% nest rate and about 70% hatch rate. Figure an average of 8 birds per box and that's about 800 birds per year that are semi-resident.

t2e
Tango2Echo
hunter
 
Posts: 60
Joined: Fri Sep 18, 2009 6:52 pm

Re: Attracting more ducks

Postby Carolina Pride » Fri Sep 17, 2010 8:06 pm

I've never thought of wood duck boxes. Might have to try it. We try not to over hunt an area. We never hunt the same place more than once in a week. Our problem is most of it is public land and other people hunt them everyday it seems. As far as not enough water that's the problem we ran into with our deer food plots so I took the fire truck and soaked them a few times. but I didn't feel right for the tax payers so I filled the truck back up using the water from the house. Didn't have to but I felt like its was the right thing to do. Thanks for the advice.
Carolina Pride
hunter
 
Posts: 24
Joined: Wed Aug 25, 2010 4:01 pm

Re: Attracting more ducks

Postby mnobles23 » Sat Sep 18, 2010 1:07 am

Wood duck boxes are a great thing! Here's a guy I have dealt with in the past and he does really good work. One of the nicest guys I have dealt with too.

http://www.telwoodworking.com/
User avatar
mnobles23
hunter
 
Posts: 184
Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2009 11:35 am

Re: Attracting more ducks

Postby jmoducks » Tue Sep 21, 2010 2:29 pm

i would use wild rice..you can find it by the bag on the internet..puddle ducks love that..especially late season ..the rice holds an inch or so under the water and the ducks love it
jmoducks
hunter
 
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Sep 21, 2010 2:14 pm
Location: Red Hook, New York

Re: Attracting more ducks

Postby Timbergreen » Wed Jul 24, 2013 9:49 am

Hey if your looking to plant foods like Japanese millet, smartweed, milo, corn, buckwheat and rice for ducks, in swamps or natural habitats you need to check out SwampWreck.com. These guys kill a lot of ducks every year by planting their beaver swamps, cypress breaks, ponds, river bottoms and low grounds. They have figured out how to control water and grow duck food to turn natural habitats into impoundments. A lot of people don't have the ability to construct a 5-10 acre impoundment with flooded corn every year. But almost every duck hunter has a pond or beaver swamp they have access to. Manipulating natural habitats for ducks is a cheaper alternative than building an impoundment and anyone can do it. I went to Swampwreck.com over the spring and found out how to manage my beaver swamp and this summer planted it all in Japanese millet and Milo. I followed their general idea and i couldn't be more pleased. My crop is knee high and I have high hopes for this season!
Timbergreen
hunter
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Jul 23, 2013 5:12 pm


Return to Puddler Duck Hunting

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests