"Off the Flyway" Duck hunting

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"Off the Flyway" Duck hunting

Postby luie b » Mon Feb 11, 2013 10:09 pm

Kinda have a unique question here. I want to hunt a few places that are what people would consider "off the flyway." They're about 15-20 miles away from the Mississippi but the area has a very good sized creek and the area has a lot of farm ponds. The creek I spoke of that is about a mile away holds about 100 or so wood ducks in the first half of the season and even a few flocks of mallards lurk around there. I have a few ponds in this area that I can hunt that I've never tried before. I know there are ducks in the area, but not specifically on my property but neighboring properties and I want to attract them to our property. I plan on planting millet on both of these holes and even thought of various other things to attract more mallards and woodies. If I get in my crops planted and everything do you think being "off the flyway" would be hard to attract more ducks? I know when ducks get stale around here they seek new places to feed and they scatter to the wind but I'm thinking I can attract ducks to our property by just a few bunches so I can scrap a duck or two when the hunting on my other spots closer to the flyway get slow. You guys have any experience with decent hunting spots "off the flyway?" And you don't have to give away any location details I don't aim at stealing spots.haha
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Re: "Off the Flyway" Duck hunting

Postby jaysweet3 » Tue Feb 12, 2013 4:33 am

Most off hunting is off of the X. Planting food is a good idea, but it may take a season or two, for the ducks to really commit. If the food takes, maybe lay off of it for a year.
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Re: "Off the Flyway" Duck hunting

Postby BEDB » Wed Feb 13, 2013 9:47 pm

If you can get food and get ducks that would be great but I would really really rest it! Otherwise it could be a one and done deal.
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Re: "Off the Flyway" Duck hunting

Postby luie b » Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:04 pm

BEDB wrote:If you can get food and get ducks that would be great but I would really really rest it! Otherwise it could be a one and done deal.

Yea these two places I'm just wanting to be places I can hunt so I rest my other 2 holes that are closer to the river that I usually hunt too much. Usually when I rest my holes I go deer hunting with my bow because I like doing both but sometimes I just want to duck hunt and sometimes when the rut's on I just want to deer hunt. Sometimes it's great having two hobbies and sometimes it really sucks having to choose...
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Re: "Off the Flyway" Duck hunting

Postby aunt betty » Fri Feb 15, 2013 7:30 am

You aren't off the flyway.
East central Illinois is.
Try hunting ducks 100 miles away from the river in the duck desert. :wink:
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Re: "Off the Flyway" Duck hunting

Postby lostpup » Fri Feb 15, 2013 8:57 am

Aunt Betty we hunt for the sun rises and breakfast. Not killing birds over here.
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Re: "Off the Flyway" Duck hunting

Postby BEDB » Fri Feb 15, 2013 10:41 am

luie b wrote:
BEDB wrote:If you can get food and get ducks that would be great but I would really really rest it! Otherwise it could be a one and done deal.

Yea these two places I'm just wanting to be places I can hunt so I rest my other 2 holes that are closer to the river that I usually hunt too much. Usually when I rest my holes I go deer hunting with my bow because I like doing both but sometimes I just want to duck hunt and sometimes when the rut's on I just want to deer hunt. Sometimes it's great having two hobbies and sometimes it really sucks having to choose...

I understand. What river are you near?
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Re: "Off the Flyway" Duck hunting

Postby luie b » Fri Feb 15, 2013 6:52 pm

BEDB wrote:
luie b wrote:
BEDB wrote:If you can get food and get ducks that would be great but I would really really rest it! Otherwise it could be a one and done deal.

Yea these two places I'm just wanting to be places I can hunt so I rest my other 2 holes that are closer to the river that I usually hunt too much. Usually when I rest my holes I go deer hunting with my bow because I like doing both but sometimes I just want to duck hunt and sometimes when the rut's on I just want to deer hunt. Sometimes it's great having two hobbies and sometimes it really sucks having to choose...

I understand. What river are you near?

Mississippi.
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Re: "Off the Flyway" Duck hunting

Postby Doug Hodges » Fri Feb 15, 2013 6:54 pm

I hunted ponds and lakes in the hills of north central Arkansas this year and killed more than when I went to the "flyways" it can be done.






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Re: "Off the Flyway" Duck hunting

Postby luie b » Fri Feb 15, 2013 6:55 pm

It's kind of hard to ask for advice from most duck hunters in my area because 80% of them will tell you that you can't kill good ducks away from the river and they begin and end their season every year from opening day to freeze up and are I guess too good to hunt corn fields or ponds and creeks. But then I guess setting decoys every day is just too much of a burden because they leave theirs out all season, they look like crap and are in a blob so no wonder why they educate ducks real quickly and can't decoy them and have to skybust. I'm proud to be a run and gun duck hunter.
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Re: "Off the Flyway" Duck hunting

Postby wanapasaki » Fri Feb 15, 2013 7:20 pm

I'm literally 150 miles off the flyway and have several good spots that have adequate food and water, and I get a fair amount of action, but nothing like being on the 'X' You get a decent grow in there months before the season and maintain it, I imagine you should have some pretty good numbers show up
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Re: "Off the Flyway" Duck hunting

Postby ilgoose » Tue Feb 19, 2013 11:49 am

luie, Where are the ducks roosting for you? River, refuge, etc... Are either of these places in the flight path for the ducks? Not all the ducks in our area are killed on and along the river. I have killed ducks in places I never would have thought possible as it is out in the middle of nowhere. A lot of times these places aren't as consistent at being on or near the river, but ducks can still be killed. 10-15 miles isn't really all that far for a duck to travel. I have seen them go 60-70 miles a day, one way just to feed then return to the refuge. Anything is possible.
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Re: "Off the Flyway" Duck hunting

Postby aunt betty » Fri Mar 01, 2013 1:28 pm

Sorry but my avatar is a bit misleading, or not. Let me explain.
I grew up in Champaign and still live there. About 5 years ago I discovered N.E. Arkansas and haven't hunted in Illinois much since then.
I KNOW what it's like to hunt off the flyway because I did it.

Clinton Lake, Lake Shelbyville walk-ins, and the ditches I'd jump ducks out of in Champaign County are about as far from any "flyway" as is possible.
Yet there are still some ducks there. Some years lots but only because certain special conditions drove them there from somewhere else. Most years not so much. There were many times I felt I was lucky to just see a duck on days I went.
There are surely some East-Central Illinois hunters who can verify this. :biggrin:
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Re: "Off the Flyway" Duck hunting

Postby E MAN » Fri Mar 01, 2013 2:19 pm

aunt betty wrote:Sorry but my avatar is a bit misleading, or not. Let me explain.
I grew up in Champaign and still live there. About 5 years ago I discovered N.E. Arkansas and haven't hunted in Illinois much since then.
I KNOW what it's like to hunt off the flyway because I did it.

Clinton Lake, Lake Shelbyville walk-ins, and the ditches I'd jump ducks out of in Champaign County are about as far from any "flyway" as is possible.
Yet there are still some ducks there. Some years lots but only because certain special conditions drove them there from somewhere else. Most years not so much. There were many times I felt I was lucky to just see a duck on days I went.
There are surely some East-Central Illinois hunters who can verify this. :biggrin:


I can verify.
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Re: "Off the Flyway" Duck hunting

Postby noweil » Sun Mar 03, 2013 9:41 am

Louie,

Trying to plant something to draw ducks to your pond is more work tan hunting the birds where they want to be.
Last edited by noweil on Mon Mar 04, 2013 6:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: "Off the Flyway" Duck hunting

Postby luie b » Sun Mar 03, 2013 8:49 pm

The work from planting wildlife crops doesn't bother me one bit. I'm a wildlife management kind of guy and plant lots of food plots for deer, turkey and manage grasses and brush for rabbit and quail. Adding duck management is just gonna be another thing under my belt so I really wanna do it. The spots mean a lot more to me because it's the farm I've always hunted for my whole life. I'm gonna seek out some new areas to hunt because I've found some areas this year I didn't know holds ducks but they do.
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Re: "Off the Flyway" Duck hunting

Postby luie b » Sun Mar 03, 2013 8:51 pm

luie b wrote:The work from planting wildlife crops doesn't bother me one bit. I'm a wildlife management kind of guy and plant lots of food plots for deer, turkey and manage grasses and brush for rabbit and quail. Adding duck management is just gonna be another thing under my belt so I really wanna do it. The spots mean a lot more to me because it's the farm I've always hunted for my whole life. I'm gonna seek out some new areas to hunt because I've found some areas this year I didn't know holds ducks but they do.

What I'm trying to get at is my "season" don't really ever end because once hunting closes I start running trail cameras, improving stands, planting food for wildlife and doing anything to help the wildlife on the farms so that the next season can be an even better one.
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