John’s Note: My family always belonged to a hunting club. The lease included 8,000 acres of excellent deer and turkey habitat and a rich river-bottom swamp with enough squirrels to keep our squirrel dog’s tongue hanging out all day. During my senior year of high school, as my dad and I hunted squirrels in a swamp, a huge flight of mallards and wood ducks flew over. We went to the nearby town of Livingston, Alabama, to buy our duck-hunting stamps, and I realized that the University of West Alabama there only was 15 minutes from our hunting lease. I made up my mind that I’d attend the University of West Alabama to study something. While in college, I duck hunted at least two or three mornings a week before class and learned some productive tactics for taking hunting-club quacks. If not for my family’s hunting-club lease and that flight of ducks that came in as we hunted squirrels, I might not have attended college. But, I knew if I could stay in school for four years and graduate, I’d have four years of the greatest duck, deer and turkey hunting of any young man in the country.
You easily can overhunt a beaver pond, a flooded timber area and/or a river or a creek on your hunting lease.
Don’t plan to hunt any one region more than once a week. The more pressure you put on the ducks, the less likely that they’ll stay on your lease. However, you can hunt your ducks more often than once a week if when you watch the weather channel, you see a major cold front about to move into your area. That cold front will push your ducks off your lease and possibly bring in some new ducks. Before the cold front arrives, you may want to harvest some of the ducks already on your lease, and then hunt the new ducks brought in by the cold front as well.
Also, to take more hunting-club webfoots, use compact, light-weight decoys when and where you can. Decoys always help any type of duck hunting, although you can have success without them. Since you can wad up decoys, like Carry Lite’s decoys, easily and stuff them into the back of a hunting coat, you easily can take a few decoys with you when you hunt pothole hunting-lease quacks. I believe decoys can play a critical role in pulling in ducks for you. Do use your duck calls. If you’ve done an effective job of scouting, then the ducks will show up where you expect them. However, if you’re hunting in places where you’ve hunted before, decoys and duck calls can make a major difference in your ability to pull ducks down. I love to deer and turkey hunt. However, when the bucks stop moving and the ducks start flying, I make the transformation from a hard-core deer hunter to a wet duck hunter. That’s why I believe to receive the maximum benefit from your hunting lease, you must consider its duck hunting potential.
To learn more about turkey hunting from the masters, get these Kindle ebooks by John E. Phillips, including: “The Turkey Hunter’s Bible,”click here; “PhD Gobblers;” click here; “Turkey Hunting Tactics,”click here; and his latest eBook “Outdoor Life’s Complete Turkey Hunting,” click here.
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About the Author
John Phillips, winner of the 2012 Homer Circle Fishing Award for outstanding fishing writer by the American Sportfishing Association (ASA) and the Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA), the 2008 Crossbow Communicator of the year and the 2007 Legendary Communicator chosen for induction into the National Fresh Water Hall of Fame, is a freelance writer (over 6,000 magazine articles for about 100 magazines and several thousand newspaper columns published), magazine editor, photographer for print media as well as industry catalogues (over 25,000 photos published), lecturer, outdoor consultant, marketing consultant, book author and daily internet content provider with an overview of the outdoors.