Late Season Mallard Ducks, 2016 ND

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Duck hunting is addictive, especially if populations in your area are high, or you are located near one of America’s great flyways. This hunt takes place in North Dakota where they have the best of both worlds- abundant local birds and poised at the flood gates as ducks and geese pour south from Canada. If you’ve never hunted in the Dakotas for waterfowl, make it a starred item on your bucket list with a foot note to hunt pheasants while you are there. The Dakotas are a wingshooting paradise with abundant food and water sources to feed and hold ducks and geese. As you will see in this video, the ground is bare and a harvested cornfield is the optimal place to set up, especially with lay-out blinds and a good spread of decoys.

Timing is Important

As good as waterfowl hunting in the Dakotas can be, weather plays a critical role. As ponds and lakes freeze over in Canada, ducks and geese are bumped farther south for food and fresh roosting places. Conditions in this cornfield are ideal due to crop waste for food and abundant birds on the wing. Notice the effectiveness of the decoys, hunter camouflage, and decoy deployment. Although you can’t see the full decoy spread, you can bet they are positioned so that ducks land into the wind and with a vacant area between dekes that basically says, “land here” to passing flocks. Liberal limits are another aspect of the Central Flyway where a team of hunters can take enough green-heads to make sumptuous winter meals or a banquet at season’s end. it’s difficult to know what loads these hunters are using, yet this type of decoy action works best with modified chokes and denser pattern steel shot. If your season hasn’t gone well, just click and enjoy the action:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6f1C4y8c_s

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Joe Byers
Joe Byers has more than 1,000 magazine articles in print and is currently a field editor with Whitetail Journal, Predator Xtreme, Whitetails Unlimited, Crossbow Revolution, and African Hunting Journal magazines. He’s spent the last three decades depicting the thrill of the chase and photographing the majesty of all things wild. Byers is a member of the Professional Outdoor Media Association and numerous other professional and conservation organizations.

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