I'm new to duck hunting this year...and love it! Being an avid grouse and turkey hunter, it's definitely the best of both worlds.
Anyway, my question is for any New York or Northern hunters. This past weekend, Saturday and Sunday, I had to wade out about 20 feet to break through ice that formed over night to get the decoys in, I'm using half a dozen. My question is, if the season is open until January 1st (Southeastern Zone) where could you possibly hunt, other than jump shooting mallards off streams, which I'm not into, since any pond, or lake that I'm aware of will be frozen solid? Next few nights are supposed to be in the 20's. I'm hunting a large pond (probably about ten acres) with nice shallow marshy areas I thought would be ideal for the puddle ducks. It does get nice flocks of Geese, but I don't have the calls or decoys for Geese. Would I be better off going that route?
Secondly, I have not seen anything other than mergansers (lots!), since I don't plan on eating them since I understand they're not good eating, I haven't shot a duck yet. No problem calling the mergansers into the decoys I just don't plan on shooting them. Do we get any decent flights of ducks through Central New York (Syracuse to Albany)? Does it pick up or is this about it?
Love the sport so far, in fact I've hunted every Saturday and Sunday morning and evening since shortly after the Northeastern Zone opened in early October, I would just love to see a mallard or two, or three, or four, or...
Any thoughts? Thanks for your help.