Catahoula Lake duck movement

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Catahoula Lake duck movement

Postby Mr.L » Thu Dec 05, 2013 8:05 pm

I have noticed after several hunts that many ducks seem to fly in a northeast direction. I have watched large groups of mallards heading in that direction in the early morning and then after shooting hours flying back. I discovered today that a lot of these ducks are holding on Duck Lake in the Catahoula National Wildlife Refuge during the day. Apparently they have found a safe place to stay. I figured today would be a good flight day with the approaching cold front but the ducks did not do much in our area around Bird Island Point. We only killed two mallards, two teal, and a gadwall.
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Re: Catahoula Lake duck movement

Postby metalworx » Thu Dec 05, 2013 8:52 pm

You had a better day than us
Ring necks was all we had flying around us and some Cans
gt 1854 with a gtr35
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Re: Catahoula Lake duck movement

Postby Toledo » Fri Dec 06, 2013 7:17 am

Once pressured the birds that dont leave altogether get in a pattern of spending most of the day on the duck lake reserve to rest and then feeding on the lake bed at night. Most of the puddle ducks use it as their refuge while most of the divers use center of the lake as their refuge. I know some foks might gripe about it but I think without it you would be seeing even less birds than you already do.

I really wish something would be done to reduce pressure on the lake. Shell limits, reduced hunting times, reduced access, better enforcement of current laws, something.

Ive heard you mention that the only time the hunting is any good is opening days. This is a direct result of the massive pressure on the birds out there. People sit in their blinds all day long, shoot 3-4 boxes of shells per person at anything inside 75 yards when they have birds, and then cant figure out why they dont have any birds outside of opening weekends. Ive hunted the north end enough to know a lot of people up there do what they want when it comes to game laws and none of it is doing themselves any favors in the long run.
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Re: Catahoula Lake duck movement

Postby Mr.L » Fri Dec 06, 2013 4:19 pm

Toledo you are right about hunting pressure being a problem. There are so many people hunting these days that the ducks never get a chance to rest except during the break between splits( which is short this year) or to go set down on the reserve where hunting is not allowed. Today, every hunter has a mud motor or 4 wheeler to make getting to the blind easy. These devices allow people to go anywhere they want to on Catahoula Lake with little effort. In the early 70's, most people would drive their boats up Old River to the lake and walk out to their blinds. A select few had mud buggies or tractors to provide transportation to their blinds. If people had to walk today like I had to then, there would not be nearly as many hunters. I seldom hunt on weekends because there are so many hunters moving around on 4 wheelers or using mud motors. The best time to hunt is on Tuesday through Thursday when there are a lot less people. The popularity of "Duck Dynasty" has also created a lot of Phil Robertson want-to-bes who know nothing about real duck hunting.
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