Are you field hunters crazy?

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

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Re: Are you field hunters crazy?

Postby Pluck-a-duck » Wed Aug 29, 2012 11:50 am

Sorry for typos. In line dumping rice. Harvest in full swing.
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Re: Are you field hunters crazy?

Postby Rick Hall » Wed Aug 29, 2012 1:45 pm

I'd rather have fleas than be in line at our commercial dryers.

Down here to your south, when you find ducks in a goose body, it's a safe bet their feet are wet.
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Re: Are you field hunters crazy?

Postby TooTall » Tue Sep 25, 2012 3:03 pm

I don't think it has so much to do with availability of water. There's PLENTY of water in ND on a wet year, and the ducks still dry feed.

I think it may have more to do with where they are in their yearly biological cycles. Ducks are made to live in wetlands, bottom line. Can they walk on land, yes, but on dry ground they are cumbersome and awkward. They have lived this way for thousands of years prior to commercialized agriculture taking over the landscape of North America. However, in the fall as they are beginning their migration, they are willing to change their natural habits of feeding in wetlands in exchange for the high carbohydrate levels present in cereal crops. They realize that their bodies need large fat reserves and are willing to do what it takes to get them (ie: dry feeding).

As they come further south, ducks aren't as desperate for the carbs and are switching over to more protein based diets to prepare for pairing, breeding, and nesting. Sure they will eat corn if it's in a convenient wet spot or flooded field, but they aren't as willing to leave their natural habitats in search of calories as they were a couple months earlier. This explains why mallards in NY and PA will pile into corn fields, but when those same birds reach MD, VA, and NC, they are rarely found in dry fields. I have seen mallards feeding a dry corn field in Eastern NC once, but it was really cold, Lake Mattamuskeet was locked up with ice, and all the birds were getting ready to move out of the area within the next day.

Geese on the other hand nest on the tundra, often times long distances from water. They are large enough to keep back most aerial predators and are decent at navigating dry land on foot. Thus, they feed on dry land more readily than ducks.


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Re: Are you field hunters crazy?

Postby BBK » Tue Oct 02, 2012 11:37 am

Coming from another Iowa hunter... the reason we dont see ducks feeding in fields is because Iowa is a pass through state. Ducks dont stay here, they fly right through. Most of the ducks in Iowa feed in fields late at night when passing through, but the very few that do stop use fields. There arent many, and there is no patterning them as they are here for a day or two and move on. It makes field hunting ducks nearly impossible. Our locals that stay all year use the marshes, rivers, and parks to eat.

Another influence is our agriculture. Iowa is all corn and beans... duck food. Ducks can go anywhere they want to feed, they dont have to go to certain fields. A duck can stop at any field he sees and feed for a couple hours then continue flying south. No way to pattern or hunt them.

Field hunting geese is a totally different ball game. Iowa has quite a bit of geese that stay here and use fields. There are TONS of guys that hunt fields for geese in Iowa.
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Re: Are you field hunters crazy?

Postby tredwards » Fri Oct 05, 2012 12:38 pm


You make total sense. I agree with everything you said, but I will say one thing. Our refuge system sucks, but it does hold ducks, and it seems that the people that do have success in the field are the ones right next to one of the very few decent refuges we have. But you def cleared the air on why we dont field hunt much, thanks brother.
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Re: Are you field hunters crazy?

Postby tbossart » Mon Oct 15, 2012 5:04 pm

Give me a later Oct cut corn field, a stiff wind and some light better place to kill ducks and geese in my opinion. I have nothing against the water at all....but I prefer the fields and have for the last 20 years exculsively.
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