Life finds a way

Discussion in 'California Flyway Forum' started by bojingles, Sep 6, 2017.

  1. bojingles

    bojingles Elite Refuge Member

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    our thinking was that since the weeds were mowed-not cut, they should continue to grow with water, as they have been growing and re-seeding/heading out since they were mowed a few weeks ago without any water. Of course, their growth is stunted due to being moist soil based plants (smartweed and watergrass/barnyard grass, whatever it is), so we were going to try and flood and leave the boxes wide open to create more of a mud flat for a couple weeks--unfortunately we will need to flood up in full starting in a couple weeks as our field feeds some others down the line and we owe it to those members to have water by the opener (their fields were not mowed and have excellent growth) We were hoping that the shot of water will generate a little quicker growth, cause some more re-heading and/or at least keep the current seeds on longer. My understanding is both barn yard grass and water grass can grow well in a flooded field so long as the water is only half way up the stock--so will be an interesting experiment at least.
     
  2. Calikev

    Calikev Elite Refuge Member

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    That field is already well past the point maturity and seeded up so you probably won't grow much more of that in there this fall. It does resemble some sort of barnyard grass or millet-watergrass strain so you probably will get ducks in there on it if you flood it. I would say mow some of it and leave some of it standing if you can. Who knows how they will use the field but it does have some seed value and I've seen ducks hit sprangletop and alkali bulrush when other food sources are lacking. It isn't swamp timothy or regular watergrass but I think you can still get a feed on it.

    The water doesn't have to be half way up the stock for them to feed on it. Dabblers will hit the shallower stuff as once manipulated the seeds will be all over there anyway. Keeping stands of it together if possible will create some mass in there that will attract inverts later on so you can have good use again once the weather is right. Mowing it all down will reduce the inverts you probably will get in there but that is your call on how much open water-cover you want to keep.

    Kevin
     
  3. bojingles

    bojingles Elite Refuge Member

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    Kevin

    The picture of the filed with the barnyard type grass is not the one we are trying to get growth in--its the field in the first picture I posted of which is hard to see given the lighting. On the north side of the field we have smartweed re-sprouting heading already, albeit sparse. In the south side of the field and some parts of the north we have tons of the barnyard grass that was previously cut/mowed by the farmer a few weeks ago for apparent weed control purposes. I presume it was already headed out when it was chopped so we probably have a ton of seed already in the field but we are hoping that by shooting some water on it now we can get some height out of the weeds for cover for the ducks as well as possibly additional re-seeding/heading. Although I would admit its unlikely, I was very surprised to see the smart weed growing back and re-heading out after it was mowed, and without any additional water/irrigation. Some stocks are as tall as 12-14 inches with others still stunted a few inches tall but with new growth.

    The comment about keeping the water halfway up the barnyard grass stocks was more about not killing that grass when trying to encourage new growth. When it comes time to flood up for the season, we will probably keep the water 6-8" deep, or just deep enough to float a super mag decoy in.

    We were pretty bummed about our field getting mowed this year but it is what it is and the farmer is going to do what the farmer is going to do. We are optimistic however as the majority of fields on our club were not touched by the farmer and full of feed. In my experience however in hunting fallowed fields the hunting isn't necessarily great because of the food source per se; the cover/loafing aspect is equally important. last time we were fallowed we killed the majority of our ducks between 8-10 and they would bomb in from hundreds of yards high on a mission. The only thing that made logical sense was the fact that they could see the thick, tall, flooded vegetation and recognized it as a safe natural loafing area.
     
  4. bojingles

    bojingles Elite Refuge Member

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    52746910197__6BB3FE72-F153-4334-AD09-8668102A2FA5.JPG IMG_0813.JPG.jpeg Thought I would post an update. Water finally hit the north side of our field a week ago and filled up the north side a day ago and water starting on south side of the check. Pretty incredible to see how quickly the water grass/barnyard grass and smart weed perk back up after a little water. The second picture from the top is of the far north side of the field where water has been on it the longest and the first pic is the check dividing the south from north side. To the south of the check you can literally track the water by where it's green versus where the vegetation appears to be dead. Will watch and see what it does over the next couple weeks but looking good so far. Keeping the water as low as possible. Can't tell from pictures but only two inches deep or so
     
  5. bojingles

    bojingles Elite Refuge Member

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    A further update. Video link attached. Moral of the story--it grew, it grew fast, and actually re-headed out in just a month. Mix of smartweed and barnyard/watergrass. Ducks have been thick. Field in the video is the same field in the picture above.
     
  6. greenheadguy09

    greenheadguy09 Senior Refuge Member

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    Good for you! :tu That last video ought to make your tail feathers stand up! :l:l
     
  7. Calikev

    Calikev Elite Refuge Member

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    Looks good. Pretty sweet to get the growth in there and even some new seeds before the season. Even sweeter to see the birds responding to it. Should be a decent shooter this year and hopefully they don't hammer it too hard early and feed it out.
     
  8. SutterduckHunter

    SutterduckHunter Elite Refuge Member

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    Your field is looking good! That should be a season long shooter regardless; unless it floods out.
     

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