Duck Hunting the lower Mississippi River

Discussion in 'The Duck Hunters Forum' started by Redlabhunter, Oct 10, 2017.

  1. Fowler267

    Fowler267 Elite Refuge Member

    Messages:
    8,792
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2016
    2011_03020035.JPG None of these were taken directly on the river but they are spots that I probably never get to hunt more then once a decade or so with those water levels
     
    freefall likes this.
  2. Rick Hall

    Rick Hall Elite Refuge Member

    Messages:
    8,487
    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2002
    Location:
    Klondike, Louisiana
    That Bayou Club boat wreck was actually far from the Mississippi and on much, much safer water. Fog can be a killer most anywhere.

    (If you've hunted with that club, you were in some pretty tall cotton.)
     
    freefall likes this.
  3. burgawboy

    burgawboy Elite Refuge Member

    Messages:
    1,181
    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2002
    Location:
    Tarheel Country
    Up until that morning....
     
  4. bill cooksey

    bill cooksey Elite Refuge Member

    Messages:
    8,489
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2000
    Location:
    Bartlett, Tn., USA
    I hunted woods and fields from Moss Island to Chickasaw that season. At the height, I was putting in at the foot of the bluff in places I'd never seen water during duck season. Strange to be several miles from the river but still be in its current. Running green timber with Mississippi River current flowing through was interesting. I was relieved when the water dropped enough to actually drive all the way to the levee to launch.

    Actually left some great spots because it was impossible to pick up dead birds. By the time you got the blind down and boat underway, less than 60 seconds, current had pulled them way out of sight through the woods. One spot I hunted several times had a big can thicket just downstream from the hole. If you killed ducks just right they would jam in the cane. It wasn't really a hole they wanted, but you could get enough in for a good hunt.
     
  5. Chicken

    Chicken Elite Refuge Member

    Messages:
    2,053
    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2013
    Location:
    Arkansas
    Listen, I have hunted the real lower Mississippi more than all of these numb nuts. If you don't play on the river (which it sounds like you don't) don't go out there. Most likely you will die. Can it be good? Sure can! but if you don't know were to hunt at different levels, don't know where rock dykes are, don't know how to read tug boats, don't know how to read foam on current, don't know how to read current, don't have experience on big water, don't know where sand bars are than you will probably die. Where you are talking about has a lot of river traffic. How do I know? You can take a guess. Oh after you think you've got all that handled be prepared to get trespassing tickets even you know for a fact that you are in the right.
     
  6. Chicken

    Chicken Elite Refuge Member

    Messages:
    2,053
    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2013
    Location:
    Arkansas
    no this won't work
     
    CanardNoir likes this.
  7. bill cooksey

    bill cooksey Elite Refuge Member

    Messages:
    8,489
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2000
    Location:
    Bartlett, Tn., USA
    My nuts are as sensitive as ever, thank you very much.

    The rest is true. I've never hunted below the White.
     
  8. bullpinnie

    bullpinnie Elite Refuge Member

    Messages:
    4,318
    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2000
    Location:
    St. Louis
    Sound advice!

    When I was younger I count never afford quality gear, and all of my equipment was suspect ( especially my boats, & motors). Don't be stupid ( like I was). You need to have your **** pretty tight, to run the big rivers. I've had some close calls, and also have rescued a few folks that would have certainly died if I hadn't helped them. We have a couple of guys die every couple of years just north of St. Louis. the last few years, most of them have only been a couple hundred yards from the launch.
     
  9. TheDuckSlayer

    TheDuckSlayer Elite Refuge Member

    Messages:
    8,739
    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2002
    Location:
    Mobile Delta
    Anyone who doesn't wear a PFD while under power on the 'Sip has a deathwish.
     
  10. CanardNoir

    CanardNoir Senior Refuge Member

    Messages:
    119
    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2013
    Location:
    Louisiana
    First - read T. Nash Buckingham's numerous accounts of his hunts along the Lower Mississippi (south of the River's confluence with the Ohio River);

    Second - Understand that hunting the River is very similar to hunting the marsh's edges to the Gulf, i.e. day-to-day changes in the water level, and sometimes frequent traffic (and, tug boats will not stop to see if you're O.K.);

    Third - the danger to your person, property, and gear is at least 2Xs greater than hunting any other body of open water, because of the ever-changing currents, resulting undertows, along with the occasional-late-season ice flows; and

    Fourth - while the riparian law varies from state along the River, generally hunting the River will constitute hunting from a boat, because when you set foot on dry ground - That constitutes trespassing on private property!

    Back almost 50-years ago (circa 1970), when I had to hunt the River because it had both ducks & Canada geese - I would risk everything for a chance to emulate one of T. Nash's classic shoots. One January hunt we ran from just below Memphis to Cat Island in 17-degree weather, and because the Arkansas rice fields were froze solid and waterfowl had no other open water. That hunt was in fact a great one, but the following year on the opening weekend we made the same run in 60-degree weather but our 16' bass boat was swamped by a tug on the return trip. We all survived but the hunt was made about six-hours longer and much wetter for the effort.

    About 20-years later, I had a 15' custom V-bottom pad-boat built by a bass boat manufacturer, with sealed compartments and maximum level flotation (in that boat I could jump a tug-boat's wake and laugh at them). And I considered myself seasoned enough to hunt the River alone (with my retriever). With 18-gallons of fuel, 75 h.p., float-coat and pants, and plenty of shotgun shells, I left the dock on Tunica Cutoff with clear skies, before 3 a.m. I ran the lake then hit the River heading downstream to a West Bank willow chute about 5-miles below the old oxbow T. Nash often hunted. Long-story short - I bagged a limit of mallards, watched (by count) more than 100 woodies come to roost in that willow slash before sundown. But on the way back, I hit a submerged log in the River which broke in half a single blade of my 3-blade prop. So with no spare, I ran off-plane at a vibrating 1,500 rpm, but made it back to the landing by about 10 p.m.

    Needless to say, I bought two more props and was running the River again, two-days later. But I'm (a little) smarter than that now...

    And here is something to always remember about hunting or fishing the River. Way Back - during the 1800s - the decoy carvers of that day depended on the downstream flow of stumps and sometimes logs, for stock from which their wooden counterfeits could be produced. There was in fact more timber (especially cypress) harvesting back then with less focus on erosion, but large limbs and the occasional stump, still find their way into the River's flow, today. But that's just one more risk if you wish to hunt where T. Nash use to bag waterfowl.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2017

Share This Page