For you field hunters

For those who enjoy duck hunting in the fields, this is the place.

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For you field hunters

Postby sapper35 » Tue Jan 07, 2014 10:52 pm

Well here it is guys I have always been a water hunter. Never got into the field hunting but I am going to next season. I have a few questions for you guys that I have tried to research but never got the answer I was looking for. I cam across a farm that I can hunt. The farmer is going to let me build a Levi and flood it. How much area should I flood and how deep should I make it. My first idea a was about 10 acres or so and build a Levi about 3 feet or so high n hold 2.5 to 3 feet of water. Just wondering what your thoughts are. My next question is I know I'm going to plant corn for sure and I know you can get corn that the ears grow lower on the stalk. But should I leave the corn standing n then flood it or knock it all down n then flood or leave it up and knock a little bit of it down and should I make the entire are flooded or leave some of it dry just wondering what you all thpugh. I have a good sized river maybe 50 yes from edge of field to flood it so plenty of water and the soil type varies from silty loam to silty clay loam..hope that's ok soil to flood. Thanks for your time
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Re: For you field hunters

Postby neon58 » Wed Jan 08, 2014 12:52 am

Umm. First thing is when you are talking about simply knocking some corn down mr. Greenjeans will be stoppin by, you will be baiting no ifs ands or buts about it. However you can harvest the corn or some of it or leave it all standing and you should be fine. If you harvest the corn you wont have to put near as much water in it, knee high would be way plenty. Also depends how you plan to hunt it : blind, pit, etc. If you left some standing you would have good cover to hide in. Overpressure will cause the birds to either go nocturnal on you or leave altogether. The flooded corn clubs in my area have self imposed shooting hours and usually let the birds have the place to theirselves the first hour or two and usually all afternoon plus let it sit idle 2-4 days a week esp the first half of season. Most of them leave some corn standing, and plant as early has possible. Sounds like you got a great situation, mite take you a couple seasons to figure out what works consistently. :beer:
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Re: For you field hunters

Postby sapper35 » Wed Jan 08, 2014 6:10 pm

What is baiting...growing corn then leaving it standing n flooding it or growing it and cutting it all down and flooding it
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Re: For you field hunters

Postby sapper35 » Wed Jan 08, 2014 6:32 pm

From my understanding on reading the regs is that growing crops then mowing or cutting them or disking them is considered manipulation which is legal to hunt over and not considered baiting.
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Re: For you field hunters

Postby tornadochaser » Thu Jan 09, 2014 12:25 pm

Anything other than standing corn or combined/silage cut corn would be baiting. You can flood standing corn or harvested corn, but the minute you manipulate the corn in any other manner than normal harvest it becomes baited.

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Re: For you field hunters

Postby sapper35 » Thu Jan 09, 2014 2:40 pm

Ok looks like I have two options lol so what would be best to have cut some and leave some standing n then flood it or leave it all standing
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Re: For you field hunters

Postby micneador » Thu Jan 09, 2014 9:59 pm

Anything other than standing corn or combined/silage cut corn would be baiting. You can flood standing corn or harvested corn, but the minute you manipulate the corn in any other manner than normal harvest it becomes baited.


B.S. on that.

Any normal agricultural practice is legal, ie. Mowing, drilling, discing, burning, harvesting.

So what you're telling me is that the farmer down the road from me did not have a good wheat crop, he mowed it and burned it is baiting. he did not harvest, nor disc it, or leave it standing. Yet we had mr. Greenjeans check it and verify it himself the day before dove opener.
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Re: For you field hunters

Postby Big Hutch » Thu Jan 09, 2014 11:01 pm

Ok guys.

First baiting rules are much different for doves than they are for ducks and geese.

Second, crops can not be manipulated in any way for ducks and geese whether you flood them or not. They must be grown and harvested in accordance with normal (common) agricultural practices for that specific crop according to the local County Extension Agent. If agricultural practices used to produce a marketable crop say you should plant 100 lbs of seed per acre on a prepared seed bed and then cover the seed with 1/4" of soil for good germination you can't scatter 300 lbs of seed per acre on top of unprepared soil and claim you are planting a crop. Likewise if normal harvest scatters 1000 kernels of corn per acre you can't now standing corn to scatter 100,000 kernels per acre. If normal practice is to mow and burn silage you can but if it isn't you can't.

Third, natural moist soil vegetation can be mowed, disced, burned, etc. and then flooded for hunting.

Fourth, dove hunting you must plant according to normal practices. However, once grown crops can be mowed, disced, burned, or whatever you want to do to manipulate it. You just better not flood it for duck hunting.

I hope this sheds some light on a difficult subject.

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Re: For you field hunters

Postby micneador » Fri Jan 10, 2014 9:20 pm

Excuse my error, figured migratory bird laws were for all migratory game, not species specific.

From the feds themselves:

What is Legal?

You can hunt waterfowl on or over or from:

Standing crops or flooded standing crops, including aquatic plants.Standing, flooded, or manipulated natural vegetation.Flooded harvested croplands.Lands or areas where grains have been scattered solely as the result of a normal agricultural planting, harvesting, or post-harvest manipulation.Lands or areas where top-sown seeds have been scattered solely as the result of a normal agricultural planting, or a planting for agricultural soil erosion control or post-mining land reclamation.A blind or other place of concealment camouflaged with natural vegetation.A blind or other place of concealment camouflaged with vegetation from agricultural crops, provided your use of such vegetation does not expose, deposit, distribute or scatter grain or other feed.Standing or flooded standing crops where grain is inadvertently scattered solely as the result of hunters entering or leaving the area, placing decoys, or retrieving downed birds. Hunters are cautioned that while conducting these activities, any intentional scattering of grain will create a baited area.

What is Illegal?

Some examples of areas where you cannot hunt waterfowl include:

Areas where grain or seed has been top-sown and the Cooperative Extension Service does not recommend the practice of top sowing (see section on wildlife food plots).Crops that have been harvested outside of the recommended harvest dates established by the Cooperative Extension Service (including any subsequent post-harvest manipulations).Unharvested crops that have been trampled by livestock or subjected to other types of manipulations that distribute, scatter, or expose grain.Areas where grain is present and stored, such as grain elevators and grain bins.Areas where grain is present for the purpose of feeding livestock.Freshly planted wildlife food plots that contain exposed grain.Croplands where a crop has been harvested and the removed grain is redistributed or “added back” onto the area where grown.
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Re: For you field hunters

Postby neon58 » Sat Jan 11, 2014 4:45 pm

Do what you want but if you do anything to corn besides harvest it and leave one kernel there as a result of anything besides a combine shelling it they will consider it baited and it is hard telling how big an area they might shut down as well. If you want to cut a hole and this applies to millet buckwheat etc.also is to cut or spray the area you want for a hole before the crop starts to make an ear or put a head on.
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Re: For you field hunters

Postby Theduckguru » Sat Jan 18, 2014 1:38 pm

sapper35 wrote:Well here it is guys I have always been a water hunter. Never got into the field hunting but I am going to next season. I have a few questions for you guys that I have tried to research but never got the answer I was looking for. I cam across a farm that I can hunt. The farmer is going to let me build a Levi and flood it. How much area should I flood and how deep should I make it. My first idea a was about 10 acres or so and build a Levi about 3 feet or so high n hold 2.5 to 3 feet of water. Just wondering what your thoughts are. My next question is I know I'm going to plant corn for sure and I know you can get corn that the ears grow lower on the stalk. But should I leave the corn standing n then flood it or knock it all down n then flood or leave it up and knock a little bit of it down and should I make the entire are flooded or leave some of it dry just wondering what you all thpugh. I have a good sized river maybe 50 yes from edge of field to flood it so plenty of water and the soil type varies from silty loam to silty clay loam..hope that's ok soil to flood. Thanks for your time


If I were lucky enough to have what you are potraying, I would flood as much as I could with the ideal depth being 4-8 inches. Try to get an irregular shape with pools and points instead of one big pool. You will want to bring the water up slowly so new food is being flooded during the season. Rather than getting all wrapped up with corn, I would allow some of it to grow natural weeds as ducks love this stuff - especially pintails and teal - smart weed is really good. I would plant some corn that I could mechanically harvest and leave some standing as hides. I would drag some brush piles for natural hides. I would plant barley each spring. Make it a garden and they will come.
Banded Birds - Mallard / Black Ducks, 3 Jack Miners and 25 AVISE. BW Teal - 2, Wood Ducks - 1, Morning Doves - 1, Snow/Ross - 2 (both reward bands), Canada Geese - 11 (2 neck collars)
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