American Hunter - December 2020 - 32

knowhow
WATERFOWL

PULLING DUCKS
IN LOW-VIS SITUATIONS
Photo: Author

By Jeff Johnston, Field Editor

V

Photo: Jon Draper

olumes have been written about the pitfalls of
over-calling and about the benefits of minimalist,
small-water setups. But that doesn't apply to all ducks
in all situations. Some scenarios require giving birds
all you've got to attract their attention and coax them into places
they might otherwise fly by. 
Recently I witnessed a great example of the art of decoying
ducks on historic Beaverdam Lake in the heart of the Mississippi
River Delta. I was amazed to witness high-flying birds that I otherwise wouldn't have known were there had they not dropped
through the treetops seemingly out of nowhere and into our hole
after our guide blindly hailed them. Certainly, flooded timber
hunting amid Mississippi's blackwater swamps is specialized,
but it proves successful hunters must employ tactics based on
the given scenario rather than preconceived notions of how one
should call ducks based on habit or tradition. Consider the following tips for scenarios with limited overhead visibility, perhaps
on brush-choked ponds, wooded creeks, in flooded timber and
during foggy days just about anywhere.

C

In
yo
b
G
fl

Photo: Jon Draper

While there is truth to the fact that ducks go where they want
to go, it's also a fact birds only land where they can land. They
fly overhead along their journey searching for a desirable place
to feed, dabble and rest away from danger. Under vast canopies of timber, ducks may not be able to see the water or other
ducks, nor do they have room amid the leaves and limbs to
land if they did.
"If you are hunting private land," says Duck Commander's
Justin Martin, who knows a thing or two about flooded-timber
hunting, "cut key limbs or even a few undesirable trees such
as water hickory or elm to create a small pocket of open water.
december 2020 ❘

H2020_12_Know-How.indd 32

Photo: Author

Give Ducks a Landing Zone

Birds don't need a big hole to be able to land, but they do need
a hole. If you can't cut trees, look for natural openings and set
up there."
Birds overhead will see this open water amid a sea of green
jungle and naturally focus on it to take a better look. When they
do, you must be ready to coax them both audibly and visually.

32 ❘ americanhunter.org

10/15/20 3:57 PM

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http://www.americanhunter.org

American Hunter - December 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Hunter - December 2020

Contents
American Hunter - December 2020 - Cover1
American Hunter - December 2020 - Cover2
American Hunter - December 2020 - 1
American Hunter - December 2020 - Contents
American Hunter - December 2020 - 3
American Hunter - December 2020 - 4
American Hunter - December 2020 - 5
American Hunter - December 2020 - 6
American Hunter - December 2020 - 7
American Hunter - December 2020 - 8
American Hunter - December 2020 - 9
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American Hunter - December 2020 - 31
American Hunter - December 2020 - 32
American Hunter - December 2020 - 33
American Hunter - December 2020 - 34
American Hunter - December 2020 - 35
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American Hunter - December 2020 - 78
American Hunter - December 2020 - State_1
American Hunter - December 2020 - State_2
American Hunter - December 2020 - 79
American Hunter - December 2020 - 80
American Hunter - December 2020 - Cover3
American Hunter - December 2020 - Cover4
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