Road Trip

Discussion in 'Nebraska Flyway Forum' started by Patodor, Aug 23, 2017.

  1. Patodor

    Patodor Senior Refuge Member

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    Feb 25, 2017
    My father and I have a road trip in the works for some mid fall (Oct-Nov) waterfowling. One of the areas we're considering is the Rainwater Basin as it would appear to have a decent concentration of publicly accessible small water. It also happens to be a shorter drive than ND in case that water winds up too small.

    Any helpful info you'd be willing to part with would be much appreciated. I'm not looking for your spots, or even which parts of the basin are more productive than others... we're accustomed to the miles spent scouting. I'd just like to get a sense of what to expect; typical depths and bottom, accessibility, how much pressure, that sort of thing.

    Admittedly, we're out-of-state. Would prefer to minimize how much we hunt like it. Grateful for any help.
     
  2. marshmadness402

    marshmadness402 Refuge Member

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    Nov 6, 2012
    Location:
    Lincoln, NE
    The rainwater basin area can be spectacular, but it can also be terrible. Lots of pressure can make for stale birds. On years when the water is spread out, more birds will hold. Unfortunately, I fear this year is not going to be one of those years. Weekdays will be your best option, and don't be afraid to sit it out. Late morning/early afternoon can be great once everyone else has gone home.
    Most of them are relatively shallow, knee deep or less. However this year I bet if you find water, you may find some deep spots. Rains were more concentrated the last couple weeks. Muddy bottoms makes for tough walking; a large sled can be invaluable.
    Don't be afraid to look into the Sandhills also. Lots of water and variety of species, but can be hit or miss. Keep in mind that if we have an early cold blast (lows in mid 20s), both places can freeze up quickly as they're traditionally shallow.
     
  3. kaiserduckhelm

    kaiserduckhelm Senior Refuge Member

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    Jan 28, 2007
    Location:
    Nebraska
    Sandhills right now has great water and lots of ducks. Basins not so much.
     
  4. orrghead16

    orrghead16 Senior Refuge Member

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    Mar 1, 2003
    Location:
    Omaha
    Wait for a year where there is water. Go to Nodak or sandhills this year, not sure what the big KS wetlands look like this year.

    Basins can be one of the best places to hunt in the country. Unfortunately, this is entirely dependent on water from rain. The DU episode filmed in 2015? The basins were soaked. This year? The basins are 1 cut above dry. Average June-Aug rainfall is usually ~15 inches. Basin average right now is 8; 2016 (worst in a decade) was 6-9; 2015 (good) was ~20 with areas >>. Going to be tough for the ones that know them like the back of their hand, let alone for the first time. They are the heaviest pressured area in Nebraska. Dry years you will never have a basin alone. Its just like Arkansas or Nodak or Cheyenne bottoms, no water means no ducks.

    PO
     
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  5. nebgoosehunter

    nebgoosehunter Senior Refuge Member

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    Panhandle
    A rare PO sighting haha. ;)
     
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  6. habitatman

    habitatman Senior Refuge Member

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    nebraska
    With 90% of our wetlands gone in Ne. that leave us with 10% and not all of that is public. This is enough wetlands for the waterfowl if we have the water to put into them. Solar is cheap form of power if we could get it. I see DU has put a solar power well for cows on it new wetland north of Utica. I see a lot of farmers are going to solar power for irrigation for there corn. We need to make the NGPC & FWS fine a way to do this. 50 year ago we were loosing the wetlands left and right. A group of sportsmen that I was apart off at that time petition FWS & NGPC to fine a way to save the wetlands an that is way we have all the WMA's today. DU could be big, by helping doing this, RWJV could to. We could get some grants to see how this would work. But I do know that we the sportsmen of Ne. need to stand up and do something. Every basin with water in it now is getting over hunted and a duck can not fine a place to stay but over night. I have hunted the basins for over 65 years and I have seen it all. The good the bad and the ugly. It is getting Ugly.
     
  7. huntineveryday

    huntineveryday Senior Refuge Member

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    Aug 26, 2013
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    Nebraska
  8. Patodor

    Patodor Senior Refuge Member

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    Feb 25, 2017
    Before this thread gets buried, I'd like to thank you all here and to those that have sent a PM. The generosity doesn't go unappreciated. It's apparent we'll need to be flexible on our itinerary, so good thing our planning has only started. Look forward to the challenge. The scouting will be fun, just as long as it leaves time for hunting.
     
    marshmadness402 likes this.
  9. blinddukisland

    blinddukisland New Member

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    Oct 14, 2010
    Location:
    North Bend, NE
    Shoot me a PM. I might be open to taking you out for a day or two. No im not a guide or outfitter and dont want money. Just would like to expand my hunting circle and show folks some amazing sites in our great state. I hunt on private ground on the Platte River in eastern Nebraska. Can give more details in a pm if youre interested!
     

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