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Author Topic: Corn ponds and duck patterns  (Read 3755 times)

Offline JBG

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Re: Corn ponds and duck patterns
« Reply #75 on: June 14, 2018, 04:14:07 PM »
Sorry I was meaning to say birds stacking up on golf courses and baseball fields away from public hunting areas, thus keeping birds in an area that cant be hunted. 

Offline vandeman17

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Re: Corn ponds and duck patterns
« Reply #76 on: June 14, 2018, 04:28:58 PM »
Sorry I was meaning to say birds stacking up on golf courses and baseball fields away from public hunting areas, thus keeping birds in an area that cant be hunted.

On that front, I look at it as part of the normal course of life and something we have to deal with no matter what. Now if guys were out there hiding in bunkers and dugouts, waiting for a flock to come in it might change my mind  :chuckle:
" I have hunted almost every day of my life, the rest have been wasted"

Offline Mfowl

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Re: Corn ponds and duck patterns
« Reply #77 on: June 14, 2018, 04:32:48 PM »
The corn used to get cut now we leave some standing.  The guys I have talked to shoot limits at decoying birds.  Would you guys in EWa rather see those corn complexes planted in grapes instead of corn.  What about golf courses or highschool baseball fields, isnt it safe to say those are a safe haven for birds?  I would much rather have a chance to hunt ducks in a area that they orbit around than to not have a food and water source.  Birds will not stay on huntable public land if you can hunt 7 days a week.  You guys seem to think if the complexes go away you will hve the same number of birds pouring into the public areas.  That wont happen due to the hunting pressure they will get.

Baseball fields and golf courses aren't designed for the soul purpose of holding 10's of thousands of ducks or more throughout the hunting season. I have hunted public lands near some of these corn complexes. I have spent several mornings watching empty skies only to later see ducks materializing from no where and plummeting from great heights in to the corn complexes just a few miles away. I have also seen incredible tornados of ducks that lift up when the shooting starts only to settle right back in after the hunters quickly fill their limits. I have seldom ever benefitted on public land from the hunting that takes place in the corn complexes. :twocents:
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Offline JBG

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Re: Corn ponds and duck patterns
« Reply #78 on: June 14, 2018, 04:36:24 PM »
MoMarsh is going to have to come up with a golf course "bunker blind" now.  @mfowl its kind of like watching a raft of 5,000 birds sitting in the middle of the Columbia, frustrating as hell, until the barge comes along hopefully. 

Offline Mfowl

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Re: Corn ponds and duck patterns
« Reply #79 on: June 14, 2018, 04:41:57 PM »
MoMarsh is going to have to come up with a golf course "bunker blind" now.  @mfowl its kind of like watching a raft of 5,000 birds sitting in the middle of the Columbia, frustrating as hell, until the barge comes along hopefully.

The Columbia is not manipulated for the purpose of holding rafts of birds in the middle.
Fish hard, hunt harder!

Offline vandeman17

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Re: Corn ponds and duck patterns
« Reply #80 on: June 14, 2018, 04:44:13 PM »
MoMarsh is going to have to come up with a golf course "bunker blind" now.  @mfowl its kind of like watching a raft of 5,000 birds sitting in the middle of the Columbia, frustrating as hell, until the barge comes along hopefully.

Now you might me on to something with the blind idea!  :chuckle:
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Offline full choke

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Re: Corn ponds and duck patterns
« Reply #81 on: June 14, 2018, 05:47:24 PM »
The corn used to get cut now we leave some standing.  The guys I have talked to shoot limits at decoying birds.  Would you guys in EWa rather see those corn complexes planted in grapes instead of corn.  What about golf courses or highschool baseball fields, isnt it safe to say those are a safe haven for birds?  I would much rather have a chance to hunt ducks in a area that they orbit around than to not have a food and water source.  Birds will not stay on huntable public land if you can hunt 7 days a week.  You guys seem to think if the complexes go away you will hve the same number of birds pouring into the public areas.  That wont happen due to the hunting pressure they will get.

15 years or so ago, before the complexes, we did have more birds on public land.
That is the whole point of this thread- corn complexes pulling and holding the majority of ducks. There is no dispute that these complexes are altering migrations and flight paths. That is why you plant them.
I hate the argument that these complexes are "good" for the ducks. How did ducks ever survive before them?
Winter is coming.

Offline hunterednate

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Re: Corn ponds and duck patterns
« Reply #82 on: June 14, 2018, 05:56:08 PM »
The corn used to get cut now we leave some standing.  The guys I have talked to shoot limits at decoying birds.  Would you guys in EWa rather see those corn complexes planted in grapes instead of corn.  What about golf courses or highschool baseball fields, isnt it safe to say those are a safe haven for birds?  I would much rather have a chance to hunt ducks in a area that they orbit around than to not have a food and water source.  Birds will not stay on huntable public land if you can hunt 7 days a week.  You guys seem to think if the complexes go away you will hve the same number of birds pouring into the public areas.  That wont happen due to the hunting pressure they will get.

Baseball fields and golf courses aren't designed for the soul purpose of holding 10's of thousands of ducks or more throughout the hunting season. I have hunted public lands near some of these corn complexes. I have spent several mornings watching empty skies only to later see ducks materializing from no where and plummeting from great heights in to the corn complexes just a few miles away. I have also seen incredible tornados of ducks that lift up when the shooting starts only to settle right back in after the hunters quickly fill their limits. I have seldom ever benefitted on public land from the hunting that takes place in the corn complexes. :twocents:

My experience exactly. The area I've hunted the most over the last decade is DIRECTLY adjacent to one large flooded corn complex, and within a five mile radius of several others. Corn ponds on those properties have increased, and the public hunting has gotten worse. Much worse, in fact.

And...the corn pond hunters are good hunters. Smart hunters. They don't shoot into big flocks, they hunt strategic times of day, they rotate which ponds they hunt, how many guns per pond, etc. ALL for the purpose of keeping birds on their property and OFF public land. These hunters/outfitters are disciplined, work hard, and their tactics work.

But that's what makes it such a lousy situation for public hunters, especially as the number and size of corn ponds expand season after season.

Offline JBG

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Re: Corn ponds and duck patterns
« Reply #83 on: June 14, 2018, 06:13:08 PM »
https://wdfw.wa.gov/about/regions/region2/waterfowl_surveys.html

These show waterfowl counts in the CB including eagle and sugar ranch.  Lots of birds there but usually double the number of birds on surrounding public areas. 

Offline h2ofowlr

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Re: Corn ponds and duck patterns
« Reply #84 on: June 14, 2018, 08:15:10 PM »
https://wdfw.wa.gov/about/regions/region2/waterfowl_surveys.html

These show waterfowl counts in the CB including eagle and sugar ranch.  Lots of birds there but usually double the number of birds on surrounding public areas.

It would be nice to see 2016 & 2017.  Most of those clubs have improved habitat or added more corn ponds like eagle lakes.
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Offline JBG

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Re: Corn ponds and duck patterns
« Reply #85 on: June 14, 2018, 08:50:24 PM »
I think they had to stop due to budge cuts.  The numbers that we do have show public areas still holding plenty of ducks.  Hunting pressure and weather have way more influence on a successful outing.  People want to blame the complexes for a lack of birds but have you ever gone out to the pubic areas a week or so after the season.  Ducks Everywhere!!  I feel like with social media these days everyone thinks they should be getting a limit of green each time they go out.  Also the newbie's expect to have the same success as guys who have been at it for years.  With duck hunting especially public land the 80/20 rule is at play.  You need to spend 80% of your time scouting and 20% hunting.  Taking that approach will make you part of the 10% that shoots 90% of the ducks.   :twocents: :tup:

Offline hunterednate

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Re: Corn ponds and duck patterns
« Reply #86 on: June 15, 2018, 01:23:07 PM »
https://wdfw.wa.gov/about/regions/region2/waterfowl_surveys.html

These show waterfowl counts in the CB including eagle and sugar ranch.  Lots of birds there but usually double the number of birds on surrounding public areas.

Hmmm...I may be reading the data wrong, but it looks like these counts support the argument that corn ponds keep ducks OFF land open to public hunting, rather than improving the public hunting opportunity.

Like this data here:

https://wdfw.wa.gov/about/regions/region2/surveys/november_21_2013.pdf

According to the second most-recent count (Nov. 21, 2013), there were over 21,000 mallards between "Eagle Lakes" and "crab creek hunt clubs", compared with 575 mallards on Potholes Reservoir, 270 on the Frenchman Wasteway. There were larger groups of birds on the reserves, but again - not areas open to hunting.

5000 mallards in the "Sugar/Bailie" category, but that includes a LOT of land not open to public hunting.

Keep in mind, this is only late November, too: ducks hit the corn ponds even harder in the rough conditions of Dec/January, and public spots grow more competitive due to limited open water.

This data seems to show that ducks would be MUCH more evenly distributed throughout the basin if corn ponds complexes were reduced or outlawed.

Offline vandeman17

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Re: Corn ponds and duck patterns
« Reply #87 on: June 15, 2018, 01:38:08 PM »
My uncle is a well known dog trainer and trains the dogs of one pretty big corn pond outfit in the basin. I hunted it twice many years ago and it sure is a sight to see and quite the stream lined process. When we hunted it, we were told to wait for "the call" when the birds were there. Both times I went, the head guy estimated that anywhere from 25k-30k birds were there and I completely believe him after seeing it first hand. The way they ran it was to systematically put hunters out in different blinds on different parts of the property. We were told to try our best to only shoot green and to not shoot at birds that were in flocks larger that 3-5 if possible. The other rule was that limit or not, we were out of the blinds by 8:00 so we could be to breakfast by 9. I picked their brains while we were there since many of my public spots were within a 10-20 mile area away. They talked about how they found that by hunting them the way they did, the birds basically never left ponds or if they did, it was to bounce to some fields and then back. That is 25k-30k birds that pretty much lived there because they had running water so the corn ponds didn't freeze...

Did I enjoy the hunt? Meh, it was pretty neat but not my style as it was really more just shooting rather than hunting. I asked my uncle if next time I came, if I could just bring my camera but I guess that is frowned upon.
" I have hunted almost every day of my life, the rest have been wasted"

Offline JBG

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Re: Corn ponds and duck patterns
« Reply #88 on: June 15, 2018, 02:27:30 PM »
Maybe a legal beagle on here could chime in but can you outlaw a practice on private land but allow it on public?  Arent there lots of Quality hunt areas that are public and that flood with grain on them?  Should that opportunity be done away with?

Offline h2ofowlr

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Re: Corn ponds and duck patterns
« Reply #89 on: June 15, 2018, 02:32:11 PM »
My uncle is a well known dog trainer and trains the dogs of one pretty big corn pond outfit in the basin. I hunted it twice many years ago and it sure is a sight to see and quite the stream lined process. When we hunted it, we were told to wait for "the call" when the birds were there. Both times I went, the head guy estimated that anywhere from 25k-30k birds were there and I completely believe him after seeing it first hand. The way they ran it was to systematically put hunters out in different blinds on different parts of the property. We were told to try our best to only shoot green and to not shoot at birds that were in flocks larger that 3-5 if possible. The other rule was that limit or not, we were out of the blinds by 8:00 so we could be to breakfast by 9. I picked their brains while we were there since many of my public spots were within a 10-20 mile area away. They talked about how they found that by hunting them the way they did, the birds basically never left ponds or if they did, it was to bounce to some fields and then back. That is 25k-30k birds that pretty much lived there because they had running water so the corn ponds didn't freeze...

Did I enjoy the hunt? Meh, it was pretty neat but not my style as it was really more just shooting rather than hunting. I asked my uncle if next time I came, if I could just bring my camera but I guess that is frowned upon.

This is the only way some of the folks with money know how to hunt.  Over food.  They wouldn't be very successful otherwise.  I have witnessed it first hand on a few occasions.
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