Flooded Timber

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Flooded Timber

Postby upwardcalling_7 » Sun Dec 11, 2016 9:39 pm

Hey Guys, I'm just gonna give you the low down real quick. I'm moving to NC for a job in January and had a few questions. Before i get started let me say this, 1) I'm not coming for all of your secret spots 2) I'm not gonna sky blast birds, 3) I'm not gonna set up within 100 yards of someone elses spread five minutes before shooting light, and 4) I plan on doing my own scouting.

With that said I've been duck hunting for 12 years now (yes before duck dynasty aired). It has been my experience that some states have more friendly hunters than others, I'm not sure where you boys fall on this category, none the less here is my question.

As you get towards the middle of the state do you all hunt flooded timber for Mallards? Or do the birds not usually occupy the timber over here on the east coast? The reason i ask is because in different fly ways birds will do different things, for example, in kansas they hunt them over dry fields, a few states over you will rarely get that luxury.

Thanks in advance for any responses.
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Re: Flooded Timber

Postby Raging Woodie » Mon Dec 12, 2016 5:16 am

We have mallards?

Just kidding, if you are after mallards scout, scout, and scout some more. They act pretty much the same across the state. Lakes, rivers, creeks, cypress/tupelo swamps, beaver/mill ponds, flooded green timber etc. They do hit the fields but there is so much private land if you do find a field they are using good luck getting permission. I find them using fields more so in the mountain areas of the state where there is less of a variety of habitats. From my experience NC mallards are pretty versatile as far as what habitats they will use, basically what i'm saying is they have a lot of habitat options and they take advantage of these different habitats. Scout hard and you will be rewarded but you will be hard pressed to find the concentration of mallards like what you are used to. :welcome:
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Re: Flooded Timber

Postby Paul26 » Mon Dec 12, 2016 6:10 am

My first experience duck hunting was in Oklahoma in the late 90's. We laid in peanut fields, on perfectly dry ground, and put out no more than a doz decoys in a puddle half the size of a basketball court. The water was 3-4 inches deep. No dogs.....you just walked over to our birds.

We looked up at clouds of mallard.

When I compare that to duck hunting in coastal NC it is almost like comparing it to a different sport entirely.

I wouldn't trade it, however. The offshore fishing at Ft Sill is pretty spotty.
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Re: Flooded Timber

Postby EastBound&Down » Mon Dec 12, 2016 11:15 am

What state are you coming from?
A good mallard hole is a hard find in NC. They exist, but are few and far in between.
When we see a dozen mallards on a morning hunt we get excited and on the horn to all our hunting buddies and announce "the ducks are finally here, load up and let's go kill them" :lol3:
Well not exactly......but not too far off either
I kill more ducks in one week on public water than you and your "Crews" or "Teams" would even think of killing all season. I work hard, scout and abide by the law...but still kill the crap out of ducks.
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Re: Flooded Timber

Postby upwardcalling_7 » Mon Dec 12, 2016 5:50 pm

I appreciate the input thus far guys!

I'm from Florida and have hunted there the majority of my life but i have been hunting in Virginia the past three years and i have also had the luxury of hunting Arkansas the last two years. So ive been kind of all over the place and seen an abundance of ducks as well as a severe lack of them. When living in Virginia i had to drive an hour and a half to get to the birds but it paid off and i was able to shoot a good amount of puddle ducks from Blacks to Wigeon and Green heads in between. I'm gonna be moving to the northern part of the state in NC, close to Winston Salem. i've already found a few areas i'm going to ride around and check out. i just want to know if i should entertain small holes way back up in trees (do the puddle ducks occupy them in NC) or if i should just stick the larger parts of the lake. Thats my main question.

Follow up question, what kind of birds should i expect around the winston salem area?
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Flooded Timber

Postby Bluesky2012 » Mon Dec 12, 2016 6:32 pm

That part of the state, id imagine you'll be excited to see much of anything other than wood ducks. If you want consistent duck numbers around there, the 1.5hr ride your used to might be getting a lot longer.

I'm not in that part of the state, but ducks aren't a whole lot different no matter where you go. Some small holes will be filled with ducks, some small holes will never see a single one. Scout and see. I hunt holes that range from tiny to big water, and all hold ducks at certain times for certain reasons.

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Re: Flooded Timber

Postby ncbufflehead » Mon Dec 12, 2016 8:20 pm

EastBound&Down wrote:What state are you coming from?
A good mallard hole is a hard find in NC. They exist, but are few and far in between.
When we see a dozen mallards on a morning hunt we get excited and on the horn to all our hunting buddies and announce "the ducks are finally here, load up and let's go kill them" :lol3:
Well not exactly......but not too far off either
If I see a dozen mallards on hunt, I will know that I am no where near where I usually hunt. I have seen probably close to 100,000 ducks in a day but I can't honestly say I don't think I've seen a dozen mallards in a single hunt.
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Re: Flooded Timber

Postby Shurshot » Mon Dec 12, 2016 8:45 pm

Yep, mallards are pretty rare here along the coast. But several decades ago, we used to have very nice hunt able numbers along many of the smaller coastal rivers. The Roanoke River areas were slam eaten up with them. Me and my hunting buddies used to shoot limits of them, along with black ducks regularly while living in the Greenville area. But they slowing started shifting their wintering grounds away from the Carolinas to the point where it is today. Best "mallard" area is still in the RR basin/NE part of the state and good days can be had but most areas will be locked up by private owners and hunting clubs. The piedmont area will hold a few mallards but you'll really have to work hard to find them and yes, they will be back in sticks away from the big water lakes. But its also very crowed over that way and competition is fierce. I wish you good luck .....
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Re: Flooded Timber

Postby Junior Duck Commander » Mon Dec 12, 2016 9:05 pm

if you're going to be in the middle part of the state, you will be hunting wood ducks. You might see a random group of teal or mallards here and there but 90% of what you will see if wood ducks and geese. If you want to go shoot mallards, get a private impoundment and dump corn in it or go to Arkansas or NODAK. That's just how it is, I don't mean to sour your expectations, but its the truth.
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Re: Flooded Timber

Postby Junior Duck Commander » Mon Dec 12, 2016 9:09 pm

Also, spots of "flooded timber" might not be the best spots. THIS IS NOT ARKANSAS. you will find beaver ponds, swamps, mill ponds, farm ponds mostly in the middle part of the state. we have some flooded timber when you cross the fall line (east of I-95), the flooded timber is just cypress/tupelo swamps and you will find wood ducks in these areas mostly. Get out and check things out, look at NCWILDLIFE website to search for public areas and network with people to access private areas. Good luck
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Re: Flooded Timber

Postby quackedout » Mon Dec 12, 2016 10:09 pm

Just to echo what has already been said, NC is definitely not a state where you just go and plan on shooting a limit of mallards. We just dont get the migration of mallards here like arkansas and many states in the mississippi and central flyways. Best and most consistent area is spots off of the roanoke river that get flooded when we have had normal to above average rainfall. Finding flooded oaks and acorns is the key. Mallards love acorns just like wood ducks. Some swamps will hold mallards from time to time but not usually more than small family groups. There is a lake around Raleigh that used to have a good number of mallards 20 years ago, but thats all a distant memory now.
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Re: Flooded Timber

Postby upwardcalling_7 » Wed Dec 14, 2016 4:09 pm

I appreciate all of the feed back from everyone! I've been doing some more research, talking to locals, and it looks like there are some lakes around that hold some decent number of birds. Excited to get out and check em out and see what I can find. Gonna try to hook up with some locals and find some private areas as well. Thanks again for all of the feedback :thumbsup:
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Re: Flooded Timber

Postby Big Fig » Wed Dec 14, 2016 4:13 pm

Over in the I-95 corridor of the state, we can get good numbers of mallards when it gets cold. If December continues to be cold and snowy to the north of us, look for a good push of mallards between Christmas and the new year. I've consistently shot more mallards in NC during that week. But with recent years being warmer, especially last year, I didn't see good numbers of mallards.

Oh yea, I shoot mine in the swamps over beaver ponds. Found some for this Saturday.
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Re: Flooded Timber

Postby Black Coyote » Mon Dec 26, 2016 11:48 am

All the local ponds and jogging lakes are filled with mallards and geese and some divers. All the public game lands are filled with hunters.

When a duck sees 20+ happy ducks hanging out with people, that's where they go, but when they see a dozen suspect decoys in an otherwise empty lake, they know something's amiss.

It's something like getting tickets to the big game and when you get to the parking lot, it's empty, except for a ford festiva and twenty mannequins wearing the wrong teams' jerseys and holding red solo cups. Now they might have beer still, so you might circle and look, but you know something's not right and that you're probably not going to be watching any game today.
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Re: Flooded Timber

Postby dale.m » Tue Dec 27, 2016 10:36 am

Hey man. I'm in the same area. There are places to go here, but just like anywhere it takes leg work to find the birds which I'm sure you are aware of. The biggest hurdle is actually securing permission to hunt the areas that the birds seem to always be going to. Most Piedmont guys I know scout and shoot what they can here and plan guided trips out east when they have the time and money. If you're interested in linking up, shoot me a PM.
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Re: Flooded Timber

Postby 2Stones » Sat Dec 31, 2016 12:19 am

Upwardcalling_7 what part of Florida were you hunting? We lived in the Big Bend for many years and loved it. In fact, hoping to make a trip down before season is out. Good luck in N.C. chess to hunting spots is minimal at best these days. Nothing like when I was growing up here.

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Re: Flooded Timber

Postby HydeMarsh » Sun Jan 01, 2017 7:48 pm

upwardcalling_7 wrote:I appreciate all of the feed back from everyone! I've been doing some more research, talking to locals, and it looks like there are some lakes around that hold some decent number of birds. Excited to get out and check em out and see what I can find. Gonna try to hook up with some locals and find some private areas as well. Thanks again for all of the feedback :thumbsup:


do not mean to be negative but I think the locals you are talking to are either BS'ing you or are not aware of reality. the idea that there are lakes close by that hold decent numbers of huntable birds does not compute.
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Re: Flooded Timber

Postby fowlest1 » Mon Jan 02, 2017 12:57 pm

Swamp + Corn = Mallards :thumbsup:
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Re: Flooded Timber

Postby upwardcalling_7 » Fri Jun 16, 2017 10:30 pm

2stones,

Life got busy and I forgot to check the notification box. My apologies. But I've lived in central Florida my whole life so I know the middle of the state pretty well. However, I have some family up towards the bend and have been able to learn some of that area as well. It's a 3-1/2 hour drive.. but when the ducks are there it's worth it!
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