Why?

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Why?

Postby luie b » Fri Oct 11, 2013 6:53 am

I've always wondered, how come where I hunt (ponds and fields 5 miles from the Mississippi) I never ever see anything but mallards and woodies? I understand why I never see divers but why are there no other puddlers? Do any of you guys that hunt the Mississippi ever shoot anything else? I've just always wondered this because in the first 2 weeks of the season I shoot mostly woodies and after that nothing but mallards and geese are in the area. Why is this?
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Re: Why?

Postby rism » Fri Oct 11, 2013 8:13 am

Not absolutely sure Luie but I can venture an estimated guess based on 50 yrs. of duck hunting. Mallards are true only true grain field species. So when they leave the river or refuges to feed around here they usually go to the corn fields. That's when we get to shoot them trading back and forth between feed, water and rest areas. Pintails, Gaddies, Teal, are tru "dabblers". Although they will also feed in grain fields, especially after a freeze up, they do as the name implies. Millet, hogweed, duckweed, Walters millet, smartweed and all the natural moist soil plants that grow in shallow water / mud flats make up the balance of their diet. Also by the time we get to good hard freezes and the mallards start working the "freeze line" the rest of the ducks go on south. Pintails and Widgeon are open shallow water ducks. They don't like confined spaces to begin with. I hunted Pintails on the west coast a lot when I was in the Navy years ago. Their tactics amazed me then as they do now. Hope this helps and it's not from an expert, just a lot of "duck days" under my belt. Any Wildlife / Waterfowl biologists out there please chime in. Excellent question coming from an interested young man.
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Re: Why?

Postby luie b » Fri Oct 11, 2013 8:42 am

You might be onto something... because I usually don't have great spots until after freeze up. Don't get me wrong I still see ducks on good days but nothing like after freeze up. For my spots after freeze up instead of a good day of hunting being seeing 5 small groups of ducks, the difference is on a good day after freeze up I see tons of groups totalling 2-3,000 in an afternoon on a flight day. Maybe I'll get lucky this year and get a gadwall or widgeon that was lost :lol3:. Now thinking about I remember the first year I hunted when all I did was throw out my 4 duck decoys onto the pond and hope the ducks would fly close enough for me to pass shoot I remember crippling a ringneck that flew by, broke my heart that I didn't find that duck because it would've been my first duck...
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Re: Why?

Postby KillerKowalski » Sat Oct 12, 2013 10:10 am

Other puddlers don't like you. And, I have shot divers in farm ponds.
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