Scouting waterfowl hotspots leading up to season opener
There is no shortage of water to hunt this fall for ducks and geese, and while that abundance can be a good thing, it can also mean you’ve got to work to find the most active spots. It also means you might find some good waterholes that have been less productive in the past.
I’ve got one of those lined up so far for this fall. The duck activity I discovered was completely by accident. While sitting on a treestand on opening morning of whitetail season I kept getting distracted by the whistle of wings overhead. Small flocks of wood ducks kept cruising through, and when I left, I realized they were working a cattle pond with some overhanging oaks.
The pond has been hit or miss for me over the years, and at best, has produced a few birds. If the woodies using it this year so far indicate anything, it should produce limits.
This is the thing about small-water duck hunting, and in some cases, bigger-water adventures. If you can get eyes on some hunting locations (especially from a distance with binoculars or a spotting scope) you can clue yourself into the local hotspots or eliminate areas you expected to be good but aren’t for reasons only the ducks know.
As the season progresses and more ducks enter the state from the north, scouting isn’t always necessary. When you’re hunting early-season ducks that are often summertime residents sticking around into early fall, a little effort can make a hunt worthwhile.
This goes for old-standby spots and new water, too. It’s also a great way to scratch the itch a little as we wind down to the official opener.