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Prepare Now for Waterfowl Season



Prepare now for Waterfowl


As autumn is fast approaching it’s time to start thinking about your waterfowl properties. Elliott Recreational properties has many excellent waterfowl properties in the Carolinas and Georgia to choose from. While the eastern flyway isn’t what it was a generation ago, we still get our share of ducks and geese in these eastern states. Hunters in the Carolinas and Georgia harvest over a half a million ducks annually.

We have noticed a few Mallards appearing already and the resident wood ducks and teal are here in good numbers. While wood ducks make the majority of the bag for most hunters, we still get in the eastern flyway a good selection of ducks. Green-winged Teal, lesser-scaup, ring necked ducks, and mallards make the majority of species harvested. But we still get a good selection of at least 15 other species in our states. Including but not limited to; Black duck, ruddy duck, mergansers, widgeon, bufflehead, redhead, canvas back, and pintail, among several others. A variety of bags enhances the hunt.

Landowners in the Carolina’s and Georgia need to be thinking about attracting and holding ducks on their properties. Most landowners will focus on the puddle ducks unless they boarder large bodies of water such as major river systems or lakes and reservoirs. Puddle ducks are the wood duck, black ducks and mallards prefer shallower water and marshes and swamps. Creating this habitat is essential to not only attracting these ducks, but also holding them. Flooded timber is a great place to start. This habitat will attract ducks in large numbers due to the food available and cover. Hunting flooded timber is a very productive method of filling your daily bag limits.

Some landowners will construct blinds in flooded timber, others will hunt from small boats such as sneak boats, jon boats and kayaks. Personally, I prefer wading into these areas and looking for good cover. Standing beside a large tree or behind one will keep you hidden and allow for excellent shooting. If using a decoy spread in flooded timber, less is better. A few decoys scatters about will be enough to attract ducks, and if its legal, motorized decoys such as  Mo-Jo duck will definitely attract them into your area.

This season the daily limit is  birds of a variety of species and gender. Make sure you know what you are shooting at before you pull the trigger. Some good guides for duck identification while in flight is published by the US Fish and Wildlife agency entitled “Ducks at a Distance a water-fowl identification guide and is found at; www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/birds/duckdist/index.htm. Ducks Unlimited and other water fowl organizations also have guides to assist with identification of birds.