Ducks are good in freshwater ponds

Faith, Kennedy and Grace Vaughan posing with hunted Geese near China.

January is one of the very best months to be a duck hunter. The regular gun season on deer is closed across most of the state, and with that down time, it’s easy to work in more waterfowl hunts. It’s cold, there are very few mosquitoes, snakes are scarce and more birds are moving into freshwater ponds and the coastal marsh with each passing cold front.

This past weekend, I made a hunt with the Thunderbird Hunting Club near Bay City. This particular club leases thousands of acres and turns a huge portion of it into freshwater ponds. All those ponds are set up to grow the things ducks like to eat, plus they act as rest areas for both ducks and geese.

Three of us ended up on a 50-acre pond that looked like the right spot to be hunting. We arrived well before sunrise and the windward shoreline looked like it had snowed overnight. Come to find out that snow was a ton of waterfowl feathers. Big time numbers of ducks and geese were using the pond as a rest area during the day. Needless to say, it was one of the top spots to be that morning. Our hunt started out slow, but about an hour into legal shooting time, things began to change. All sorts of ducks began to filter back to the pond to feed and rest. We ended up with an easy limit that included pintails, teal, scaup and spoonies...

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Robert Sloan is the outdoors editor for The Examiner. E-mail your favorite photos or hunting and fishing experience to sloan288 [at] aol [dot] com for possible publication in the paper.