I live near the Dawson Forest and can tell you its really a waste of time far as duck hunting is concerned. There is a decent sized pond a short walk from where the folks park trailers and begin horse back riding. I don't think they allow hunting on it. There is a marshy area on the right as you drive in, sometimes holds a few wood ducks. You could try floating the Etowah River but you probably should take .22 with you for squirrels, might have more luck with them.
Going Hunting without a trained retriever is like going on a honeymoon without a bride!