Something About Those Ducks! Waterfowl Seasons Opening Soon
Dr. John Woods 11.04.20
When my father returned home to Southeast Missouri after WWII, he and two other buddies bought 40 acre parcels each for duck hunting. The area was then known as Ten Mile Pond, which is now a state owned waterfowl management hunting area. Back then this area attracted thousands of ducks and geese. It was an excellent waterfowl area and still is. At about 8 years old, this is where my brother and I got our initiation into duck hunting. Dad built an enclosed duck blind that was more like a small cabin. It had a big swing open shooting window, a long bench for resting, and a cooking area on the far end. The adobe cooking grill kept the blind toasty warm. The boat was stored under the blind when hunting.
Dad used dynamite to blast a giant hole out front to collect water. The edges of the pond was sowed in milo sorghum to attract the ducks. Water and food made for the right mixture. The blind could easily handle 3-4 hunters secure and comfy during nasty winter duck weather. I haven’t duck hunted for years now on my deer hunting property. For us it has been a matter of priorities of managing 600 acres for whitetails, wild turkey and small game. State biologists say the wild pigs are a scant couple miles north of us. We’re ready for them, I think. We’ll see.
There are three natural water holding duck ponds on the place. We’re probably fifty miles east of the main Mississippi River waterfowl flyway, but some years the ducks and sometimes geese, wander our way. There are always resident wood ducks around every season in the adjacent swamp, but seeing flocks of mallard greenheads is a true bonus. This may be the year to buy a duck stamp.
A couple of the ponds have high grass, cottontails, and other natural structures available around their perimeter to craft a hunting blind of sorts. At least one can fashion a manmade screen to hide behind. These can be constructed in a variety of places around the ponds to favor the best shooting conditions. Throwing out some food seed would be a good bet, too. With preparation, readiness to duck hunt can be initiated. Ironically, these duck blinds could also provide pond level deer blinds for animals slipping in to drink. Hoping the winter conditions produce flocks of ducks our way, I’ll be ready to try to snap shoot a few of them. Dad would be proud of the effort.