Duck Hunting Forum banner
1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,699 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As my buddy and I drove around in search of geese last Saturday, we stumbled across something that made us feel better. Brand new wetlands on state game lands. We saw Woodduck boxes from the road behind the trees. We went in to see what the deal was. Six new ponds and nesting stands for mallards and bunch of woody boxes (at least 20), and bulldozer tracks still frozen in the ground. I can't wait to scout this new place in the summer. I have always wanted to see how in the hell wood ducks fly into those boxes. One bad note; we found one wood duck box shot all to hell with buck shot, slugs and a few holes from a rifle. Why? We tried to fix it the best we could but the GC is gonna have to replace it.

When I see stuff like this I have no problem paying 15 bucks for a stamp.
I hope everbody else respects this new area and does not over hunt it. What scares me is that it is easy to get to and will be an easy set up for a hunt. I am not going tell anybody around here what I found. Call me selfish. It should be a great early inland season spot. Untill summer...who knows.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
380 Posts
Snafu518 said:
I have always wanted to see how in the hell wood ducks fly into those boxes. .
I Seen it Many Many Times!

Funny, they all have Different ways of getting into the Boxes.

I have seen,

Hens land ontop of the Box, lean over, look into the hole and then do a Sumersault into the box.......

Hens Fly STRAIGHT into the Hole (You hear a nice little BANG) Makes you think they get knocked out when doing this!

Hens Fly to the Hole, Grab hold with their Feet at the opening and hold there for a minute then Crawl in.

Nice thing to see! :thumbsup:

If you want to see this, start watching these Boxes late March to mid to late April.
I'm just Guessing that Time Frame becuase of were you are in Pennsylvania!
Watch EARLY in the Morning, just after Day light to 7-8 am.

Stake out a few Boxes and be there before daylight and set in the Brush and Watch.

It is VERY Interesting and Fullfilling to see these things.

If you Realy want a Rush, Start checking Boxes of your own, not ones on SGL's in the Evening after the Hens have layed all their Eggs and are incubating.
Just Be prepared for the hen to Set tight till you have your Face right at the opening of the Box.

I Check mine a few times during the Incubation Season to make sure things are ok. Have yet to have a hen Abandon the nest because of it.......Sometimes they will Set tight and not move when you check them, other times they will Fly straight over your head after you have opened the box! I've "Candled" Eggs to see were they are in the Incubation to try and be there for the ducklings to come out of the box and had the Hen set Tight while I removed and Replace Eggs back under her!

Biggest Problem I have in my area is alot of hens Dumping in 1 nest box.

Had 1 year were there was over 25 eggs in 1 nest.
only half hatched!

I have yet to see the Ducklings leave the nest, seem to miss it by a day or 2 each year!

My Brother use to do Photography for Ranger Rick Magazine and Outdoors Life. He has MANY Pictures of the Ducklings leaving the nest!

Something else to add........The Furthest Natural Woodduck Nest we found from water was about 2 miles from the Nearest Water.
My Brother watched this hen for 4 years take Ducklings on a 2 mile walk down the side of a Mountain, Thru a Pipe under the Highway to the Susquehanna River!

I Know this was a LONGGGGGGGGGGGGGG Post, just want to give you some insight of what you can find and See! :thumbsup:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,091 Posts
WWD, Probably your best post yet!

As for the boxes being 20' up---what a fricken waste. Hard to maintain, and very dangerous too! :pissed: A guy here in MN fell from 14' up and broke his back a few years back while maintaining a box. :eek: They only need to be 9' up, a 6 to 7' step ladder can then be used-more stable and safer working height and to boot it off the same rate of nest usage per scientific studies. I mount mine on highway hat channels steel posts with the bottom 8' off the ground--hard for somebody to fool around with it this way and yet not too high. I also highly recomend a cone shaped metal predator guard below it and placed the nest away from trees/overhanging branches (***** in the trees and squirrels jump 20' easily to it and take over the nest for their use). Also when mounted on poles there will be no tree splitting the box in a few years due to its growth. Or you can mount it over water too away from the shorline/cattails too and skip the predator guard as the water acts like a natural barrier. Remember that the bedding needs to be replaced each year, so placement is important so you can get at them beofre they start nesting. Often up North we do this on the ice-real easy then to mount it over water. Use hamster bedding pine/popular wood chips that can be bought at any pet store for the Woody bedding. About 4" deep is about right.

If you want to know how to make a woody box, go here: www.mnwaterfowlassociation.org it is listed in I think the education heading. I use RS Cedar so they last a long time. Do NOT use treated wood as the fumes are toxic to the eggs, and I wood keep away from plywood /chip board too due to the glue fumes. The boxes cost about $20 with the RS Cedar and various hardware + the pole cost too. Also used 1" i.d. well pipe(available at well drillers) works too for a pole. You use 2- "U" shaped bracketts(kind of like a muffler clamp) available at a hardware center. Make sure you add 2 extra pieces of Cedar across the grain on its back side - otherwise when you tighten it up to the round pole, it'll split the back of the box. You can buy the box from the MWA for about $30 + shipping I think. Some guys will order one so they see up close how the cuts are made for a pattern and then buy the stuff locally :thumbsup:

I've been maintaining many Mallard hen and Woody boxes for many years now so I know the Dos and Donts from the experince of hard knocks. If any of you guys have any questions, please feel to send me a PM or email and I'll be glad to help you out. :thumbsup:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
380 Posts
h2ofwlr said:
Remember that the bedding needs to be replaced each year,
I don't agree with that.

I do clean mine out each year to an Extent.

My Brother and I sat and talked about this some years ago and I did a little test with 2 boxes that were used each year!

My Brother told me to think about what happens in Natural Tree Cavities that Hen Woodducks come back to each year.
No one cleans them out.

I would go in, in Late Feb and clean out any unhatched Eggs and anything that either Squirrels or Owls had placed in the boxes. I would leave the Down, Egg shells, pine shavings in the box.

Hens came back and nested!

My Brother was making a point to me and I learned from it.
He said a Wood Duck is not a True Vegetarian! They will eat insects, and the Larvea of insects.
By letting the nesting material in the box, you create a "Nest" for the insects to be in and a "Treat" for the Hens while they are on the Nest!

He kept Stressing on who cleans those Natural Tree Cavities for the Woodducks!
No one!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,091 Posts
And I disagree with you.

Sorry but 2 nests sure as heck is no scientific study. :umm:

Often the snow/rain over the winter gets in the hole and the bedding is wet. Repalce it with dry bedding right now in the deep south and by March int he Northern states. Bottom line is that there will be a higher usage if maintained each year. You through out the old eggs, etc--is that not maintaining them each year? If the bedding is dry, do just like you said, but more often than not it is wet, so replace it. My point really is that they need to be checked every year for best results.

And way too many guys put up a hen killer box on a tree next to the shoreline and then they fell smug as they did "something" to help---but it is located where every **** in the country travels and they raid/eat the hen/eggs. It is documented here in MN that up to 80% of the boxes mounted on a tree are predated by racoons! :eek: :pissed: Thus mount it on a pole with predator guard and away from trees, etc... so the **** can not climb up, down or jump to it and better yet 30+' away from over hanging limbs to keep those pesky squirrels away.

As for the bugs-you are wrong about that--often parasites will nest-the iddy biddy ones that you hardly see. Yes the ducks eat the bigger ones like spiders, grasshoppers, etc. But the little ones in the nest can make her abandon the nest. The first few years of a new Cedar box, you can just use the pine/popular bedding. But after the cedar smell wears off, add about 20% cedar shavings to it as the bugs do NOT like the Cedar smell ( that is why cedar lined closets are used-to keep moths and other bugs from eating clothes in storage).

Remember the idea is that using a predator guard and pole mounted and with fresh bedding it to make it as safe and inviting as possible for the hen to nest there and pull off a successful hatch. :thumbsup:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
380 Posts
h2ofwlr said:
Cedar box
We made over 200 Boxes about 10 years ago out of Cedar and handed them out. Have YET to hear from anyone that Woodducks have Nested in them!

I put up 30 out of them 200 and took them down 3 years later, Owls Were the only thing using them......All my Pine Boxes were used in the Same area but the Cedars were not used by Woodducks!

We are going to have to Agree to Disagree on this!

I never said I did a Sceintific Study, I said I did a Test on 2 boxes.

I leave it up to the Biologests to do them Studies, I place Woodduck Boxes out to Create More Woodducks for Me, You, My Buddies, Guys I Don't know, the Waterfowl Watchers and the Youth!
If I test something and Find it works I go with it!

I have a Park that has a 1/2 Acre pond on it. 10 years ago, I got an idea to place 2 woodduck Boxes on it, My Brother, A Waterfowl Biologest and some guys I know who have been waterfowl Hunting for Ages, All said Woodducks would not nest there because of the People Traffic, Baseball Games, Dogs being run in the Pond, Ect........

These 2 Boxes are the BEST Producing Boxes I have out!

Was no Sceintific Study to it, just did a test and it worked!

If it Works for you, GREAT! If it Works for me, GREAT!

IDEAS, That is what needs to be put into the minds of ALL Waterfowl Hunters to Create MORE!

If they place boxes out and find my way or your way does not work, then they can try their own way??!!??

:thumbsup: :thumbsdown: ??????
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
380 Posts
Snafu518 said:
So did you guys hear I found a new wetlands on state game lands? :getdown:
Yes, I saw that and my Best Advice to you is, Keep it "Mum"

Try not to let many others know about it and let them Stumble onto it like you did.

My 1 Buddy and I did the same as you did about 6 years ago, found a SGL in York County that had a Newly Built Wetlands way back in.

We used it to take some kids we got interested in Waterfowl hunting too......Someone else found it and Now, Everyone and their Brother knows about it. Everyone Has the Right to Hunt it, Seeing We all paid for it with our Hunting License here in PA!
Would be nice if a Few learned the Term, REST IT!

This Wetlands held Alot of Woodducks, Teal and Mallards.
Those Boys had a Blast Everytime we took them in there!

There Still is Ducks using it, but they tend to fly in After Hours or Fly out before Light....

Enjoy it while you can! :thumbsup:

We found another place, Right Smack Along a Major Interstate that is SGL's.....We been hunting it for about 4 years now and Everytime we are asked were we are shooting when we get back to the parking lot, the Same Answer is Said, "Along the river".
I know, someone will wonder into it like we did and it will be all shot up.....Until then, 3 Guys and a young Boy are not telling were it is, and will Enjoy it till the Rest find it :thumbsup:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,091 Posts
Woodywoodduck said:
h2ofwlr said:
Cedar box
I put up 30 and took them down 3 years later, Owls Were the only thing using them......All my Pine Boxes were used in the Same area but the Cedars were not used by Woodducks!
Hmmmmmm I guess the 75%+ rate of usage of my CEDAR boxes is fluke then and the 90% usage in the test area out by Willmar Mn was fluke then too :umm: :rolleyes:

We are going to have to Agree to Disagree on this!
:yes:

I have a Park that has a 1/2 Acre pond on it. 10 years ago, I got an idea to place 2 woodduck Boxes on it, My Brother, A Waterfowl Biologest and some guys I know who have been waterfowl Hunting for Ages, All said Woodducks would not nest there because of the People Traffic, Baseball Games, Dogs being run in the Pond, Ect........ best 2 producing boxes
I agree, these little suburban and even urban ponds produce quite well. But you need the bottom of the boxes up at least 8' off the ground so kids and adults are not banging on the box. I have found that if there is a quieter area of the park, it is better. They also view dogs as foxes(predator), so best to keep the boxes away from dog excersize areas.

And finally, yes Snafu it is good that they are enhancing for wetlands in your area. But is it not better to protect those existing natural wetlands already established with the $? That earth work costs a lot of green.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
598 Posts
That's great that you found that land to hunt. I did the same thing the other day.

It's kinna funny because we used to have a pit in this field before the state bought it about 5 or 6 years ago. When we hunted it, it was the best hunting I've ever been on in my life. It joins up with a major refuge that is probably holding around 20-30 thousand ducks right now.
When the state bought it, I figured since it joined with the refuge that it would now become part of the refuge. Apparently I was wrong. One of the guys that used to hunt it with us said we could still hunt out there, and I didn't believe him at first but he said he went out there last weekend and killed his limit within an hour. So I'm goin with him out there this weekend. The best thing is, I have not seen anyone hunting out there since the state bought, they are probably like me and thought it was part of the refuge. Nobody knows for now and it's gonna stay that way. I'm gonna have to come up with some lies for when I tell people where I went huntin. :mrgreen: :salude:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,091 Posts
FYI guys, I've posted a "HOW TO" on the nests/boxes in the conservation forum. :smile:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,312 Posts
snafu,

it's always great to see our $ at work for what it's intended for. i hope you have great success in your new spot. if people there are anything like they are here, i wouldn't tell a soul about it. the place will be over run...that is the only problem with SGL.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
I was thinking about building a few boxes on my private land. If you are building on private land where there will be no kids or anyone banging on the boxes or anyone even near the boxes, is it necessary to have them that high off the ground or would like 5 to 6 feet above be OK.

I'm new to waterfowl hunting and would like to start doing some different things on my land. I was thinking about putting the boxes on a canal thats about 15 feet wide and about 8 foot deep. There are no trees around the canal, it runs between 4 fields. I've seen several ducks in it before. Does this sound like an ideal place to put boxes?

Any info would be appreciated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,091 Posts
The lowest Ideal height of highest % of useage is 9' (per scientific study)up. I have some where the bottom is 6' up, but I just do not get the uasage as thous just 3' higher.

I'd try it, but keep the boxes at least 300' apart for highest usaeage and lessen the chance of egg "dumping".

Oh here is another tip:

Mount the box so that the hole faces the water on ponds, etc. And if convenient, facing the the East. They think the hole shows up "black" (higher contrast) in the morning sun light when they often are searching for nesting sites. The jury is still out though as to exactly what the reason is-but it is the most plausible. :thumbsup:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
380 Posts
h2ofwlr said:
I'd try it, but keep the boxes at least 300' apart for highest usaeage and lessen the chance of egg "dumping".:
What have you read, Tried or Heard about the Woodduck "Condos"? The ones with many Boxes on the same pole or tree.

I will be trying something like this, this spring.

h2ofwlr said:
Mount the box so that the hole faces the water on ponds, etc. And if convenient, facing the the East. They think the hole shows up "black" (higher contrast) in the morning sun light when they often are searching for nesting sites.
From the way we have placed Boxes, East is the Best Facing, with South being the next.

North and West are used, but not as much as the East and South Facing Boxes!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,091 Posts
We tried that (Condos) at the local waterfowl chapter about 10 years back. 3 - 18' 4x4 posts sunk into the ground 4' with 2 - 2x6s across the 3 sides to mount the boxes to. 1 box had 68 eggs in it as I recall :thumbsdown: others had 20+ dumped. Only a few nests ever actually hatched.

Density is an issue for them. They need their own space(nesting territory)for the best reults.

Being I know the same species do not like tolerating others, I thought maybe different species would be more tolerant. So, I've been experimenting with combo Mallard hen and Woodie boxes on the same pole---but it is not looking too good. I've yet to have a double on the 6 combos. :( Because of the cost of the pole and predator guard, it could be used for 2 nests, I thought it maybe a more cost effective way do structures.
Thus I think from preliminary results they need elbow room for best reults too.

Here is some interesting facts I learned yesterday--- 1 successful Mallard hen hatch from the Mallard hen cylinder nest, equates to 60 acres of grasslands under ideal conditions of 50 nests per sq mile (considered good density) and 20% success rate (also considered good) of nests in the grasslands. :eek: Now if it was 10% success rate like it is in many areas where there are lots of predators---then it is = to 120 acres of grasslands production. Considering the costs of land, actually it is a very cost effective way to help raise Mallards. Often you can get 80% success rate with a MHN, so if 5 MHN were put out, and 4 were used and you had lots of predators, those 4 nests would produce as many ducklings as 3 qrtr sections of grasslands. :thumbsup:
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top