Day 44: Lots of blind wary ducks

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screen-shot-2017-01-06-at-5-40-08-pmIt’s a duck hunter’s dream wrapped up in a duck hunter’s nightmare. There are tons of ducks flying down from the north. Some high, some low — all looking for a place where the water isn’t turning into ice. That’s the dream. The bad news is, they have been shot at for a couple of months in a dozen or more different states. They are getting call and decoy shy.

Reports this morning indicated some real good success for many hunters, but mostly for those that adapted to the conditions. Ducks are wary of blinds and big decoy spreads. Hunters are starting to reset their spreads in some places, matching up hens and drakes in pairs in the spread instead of all kinds of ducks everywhere. That’s to match up with the fact that this time of year, most of the ducks are matched up in pairs. A majority of the birds being killed seem to be teal and gadwalls, but there are mallards here too.

If ducks are shy of your spread, change it up a bit. Or if you can and need to, leave it altogether. Hunt from a treeline or cover up well and hunt them right off the levee in a one man blind with a small spread of decoys. Make sure your blind is well brushed and touch up spots that need it. The bottom line is there are ducks here. Good luck and be safe out there.

It’s going to be bitterly cold for a few days. And when it thaws out, things should get even better. Many of those ducks that are passing us by will come back to feed. That’s the dream plan, anyway.

Banded