Georgia Hunting Land For Sale South Carolina Hunting Land For Sale North Carolina Hunting Land For Sale Hunting Land and Recreational Property For Sale

Opening of Waterfowl Season

Flying Mallards1November 22 marks the opening of the first regular waterfowl season. This is the first of the split season and runs through Nov. 29. For many the opening of waterfowl is when hunting begins. With a maximum of a sixty day season, hunting ducks is a sprint, and not a marathon like our deer season in South Carolina.

There is a lot to say about hunting ducks, entire volumes have been written about methods and the madness. But suffice it to say, that if the ducks are not there, you are just sitting in the cold. This is where early season scouting is imperative.

Scouting for roosting areas, feeding areas, resting areas and flight patterns will enhance the experience. Good calling, and decoys are important but even the best caller cannot call a duck that is not there to begin with.

Most of the larger reservoirs hold a good population of ducks and geese. (Make sure and read the requirements of where you can hunt and shoot) These reservoirs are a great place to start, from the back waters to the deep coves with ample cover, these will under normal circumstances offer the best chances.

Early season decoying is essential to having success. Most hunter believe the early season in the south consists mostly of wood ducks. And to a large degree this is true. Bus as I say, I will prepare for big ducks also and occasionally will fill my limit of big ducks on opening day.

Decoying is a art, most successful hunters in South Carolina will opt for the adage of ‘less is more’ when it comes to decoying for ducks. Cory Holecomb of Liberty, SC say he seldom will use more than six or eight decoys. And if hunting smaller bodies of water will use one or two. “It’s about building confidence in the ducks, and if they see more decoys than they normally see it will spook them.” Holcombe says. When placing the decoys Holcombe will place a few mallards in a wide “U” shape and a string of divers out thirty yards beyond the mallards. All total never more than a dozen decoys. Holcombe says that the ducks will always land inside the “U” which is never more than twenty five yards from his blind.

For early season ducks, steel and alternative shot is required. But what size and what kind. I have never been one to get excited about shooting 3 ½” shells at anything. The punishment it places on me all but equals that of the quarry. Instead I will opt for the 3” shells in size # 3 for most ducks. This seems to be the best size for my shooting. Others will choose # 4 or even # 6 for ducks. And this really depends on what kind of shooting you are doing. Foe decoyed ducks, certainly the # 6 will be very sufficient.

Like a lot of hunters, I also carry a different size for the geese that may come in to the area. For instance last season, the second day of the season say me sitting in the same hole where the day before I killed a limit of mallards and nothing but a flock of geese descended into the pond. Slowly switching shells, I removed the 3” # 3 and replaced them with the 3 ½” BB for the geese. A few minutes later and two geese lay floating in the pond.

Early season ducks is really far from the peak of the season. But for a good start to the waterfowl season, the early season offers better weather and fast action. It is not uncommon to find flocks of Greenwing Teal and Wood ducks together, these small fast flying birds offer a lot of challenging shooting and will test the measure of most waterfowlers. Either way, remember that the limit is a combined limit and varies depending on the species.