Hey everyone. I'm new to the site and in some ways new to duck hunting. I grew up in eastern North Carolina and hunted and fished with family and friends as a kid. I spent a lot of time in a wood duck swamps in high school and college and occasionally went on duck hunting trips around Mattamuskeet and the Pamlico river with a friend who had land and a boat. After college I got busy with work, marriage and trying to raise a family and my time spent outdoors started to disappear. I have two boys who are now 6 and 8 and the 8 year old has gotten the hunting bug pretty bad. Now that their older, we are starting to be able to spend more time together outside.
In general, as far as hunting is concerned, I have always been the guy that tagged along. I didn't have the land, didn't have the boat or other equipment and always felt like my other buddies had more experience. I was happy following them into the woods and they were happy to have hunting buddy to go along with them.
So, with my boys getting older and my childhood and college hunting buddies scattered to the wind, I now find myself in the position of having to learn this sport on my own (about time, right?). I'm having to figure things out that I never had to figure out before. I've joined a deer/duck club for the upcoming year and I've been spending many afternoons on the public water around Raleigh trying to scout birds, work on identification and to learn as much as I can.
So, I look forward to getting to know everyone on the board and hope to have some good discussions. Thanks in advance for all of the help I know ya'll will provide.
I do have a general question to ask in the hopes of furthering my waterfowl education. I have spent a ton of time on Google earth looking for "ducky" spots near Falls Lake. At least two or three times a week for the past month, I've been driving out there, scoping things out, hiking into backwater areas, etc. I haven't even been carrying a gun...just going out there trying to learn.
I hadn't had much luck until earlier this evening. I had found a good looking spot on Google earth and decided to drive out there. I hiked in and got set about 3:45. Around 4:45 a ton of birds started to fly through this area. From what I could tell, they were mostly Mallards. I probably saw 75-100 ducks. They were all coming from the very back of this cove and flying directly over where I was sitting. They were all on the exact same flight path in groups of 2 to 6. Occasionally there would be a group of 8 to 10. This lasted for about 30 to 40 minutes until I couldn't see anymore. So, like said, they were coming out of the back of this cove/swamp, flying over me (I was about 300 yards from the very back) and then continuing on this same flight path out toward the main lake. In ya'lls opinion, what were those birds doing? Were they loafing / feeding in the back of that place and then flying out somewhere on the main lake to roost at dusk? If that's the case, what's the best way to hunt these birds if I decided to go back to this spot next week? Can I expect them to be back in the same area at the same time? How about in the mornings....would they come back early in the day. Any general advice is appreciated. I'm just trying to understand what I saw and figure out the best way to hunt the spot. Sorry for the long first post. Thanks guys!