The drought is the main problem. We are almost 14″ under the normal for this year and that doesn’t include the 8″ under we were last year. Things are DRY. I am actually watering some of my garden – the strawberries and asparagus, some mums I planted this fall, and a few other things. Bottom line, for the ducks (or rather the hunters!) is that there is no water in the places we normally hunt such as Unit 4 at Four Rivers Conservation Area. As a result we have had to go to draw areas such as Schell-Osage Conservation Area. There isn’t as much water there either. Less water, less area for the ducks to spread out on and more pressure by hunters where there is water.
The second problem is the warm weather. The ducks don’t have to feed as much so they sit their little hineys in the wildlife refuge and don’t have to get up and go look for food. That means fewer ducks flying and less available to the hunters (can’t go in the refuge to hunt, you know! That is why it is called a “refuge”!).
Anyway, suffice it to say the hunting has been tough. The recent cold weather has helped and here are some pictures from some of our recent hunts.
These are the friends that came down from Wisconsin, Jim and Jackie and their dog, Blaze.
We had a very successful hunt! Ended up with 10 mallard ducks and figured before they came down that we would be lucky to get ANY! God is surely good! Jim hunted with the Hunter for two more days after this and they had one really good day and one not so good day, but all in all I think Jim and Jackie had a great time.
The same day Jim and Jackie left, Allen and Dale from Texas drove up. They had some pretty good hunts also but were only here for two days. This was a very successful day in the Tourist Hole!
Yesterday it was back to just family. Here is RJ, our nephew, Big Brother, The Hunter, and The Hunter’s dad, Grandpa Mike. They got the very last pick for places to hunt in the draw, but ended up making the ducks want to come in. All four of these guys are very aggressive callers – they don’t just “suggest” to the ducks flying by that they want to come down to visit, they “demand” they come down and their calling is VERY effective! The Hunter is particularly aggressive and Big Brother and RJ have learned from him. I would have loved to hear them calling yesterday (even thought I probably wouldn’t be able to hear today!) and bet they sounded like a whole herd of ducks!
Hunting has been tough, but good! Now I just still need to get my deer, but for now duck hunting takes the front seat!