Roosting Question...

Discussion in 'Habitat Forum' started by The Old Taz, Sep 11, 2017.

  1. The Old Taz

    The Old Taz Senior Refuge Member

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    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    My property has several smaller ponds and one larger 3 acre impoundment (moist soil surrounded by corn). Every morning a couple hundred mallards, woodies and teal land in the impoundment, loaf all day and then go to roost around 7:45 every evening.

    My problem is that about half of these ducks roost in another small pond on my property about 100 yards from the main impoundment. Another hundred or so ducks from elsewhere roost in this pond too. No ducks roost in the impoundment (but they were earlier).

    My fear is this, come opening morning (September 23rd), when we start blasting all of those roosting ducks will take off in a hurry.

    I know I have many options that include these...

    - be there when they come to roost now and hope they roost elsewhere

    - scare them off the roost opening morning and hope they trickle back in to feed

    - do nothing

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Bender

    Bender Elite Refuge Member

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    Location:
    Cleansing Waters of Lake Minnetonka, MN
    I presume you'd rather not have them roosting at your place but just coming to feed or loaf during the day?

    I've never had an issue bumping ducks/geese off an area in the dark but that has always been in areas where the birds are migrating through VS. permanently staged.

    Hunting is going to spook some birds obviously, but I would think it would be okay to bump the roost ponds in the dark using a method that will displace te ducks, but perhaps not give them an obvious association with the hunting to come. Some creativity might be required. If you bump the roosting ducks in the dark in a way that they are confused when they leave I would think that's better than an early opener association with gun blasts at dawn. Shooting a few as they come in will educate the fewest birds so the loss of whatever you had roosting will be less impactful if the roost birds have gone elsewhere.

    My. 02 cents if it was my property or decision...
     
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  3. The Old Taz

    The Old Taz Senior Refuge Member

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  4. WHUP ! Hen

    WHUP ! Hen Elite Refuge Member

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    Location:
    Northeast Missouri
    i had that problem on my WRP project years ago. I would get there before light and honk my pickup horn and walk out in the pool and
    whistle, talk, let the dog splash around anything but shoot my gun. They would flush and after an hour or so would return a few at a time. Don't shoot or they will never come back.
     
  5. The Old Taz

    The Old Taz Senior Refuge Member

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    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    My hunting partner came by yesterday and we are thinking about this option for opening morning. There were about 200 ducks sitting, sleeping, tipping and playing within 20 yards of my blind at 4:00pm.

    Last night after they roosted in the small pond I gently scared them off with a cellphone...200 or so ducks lifted, did a couple loops and relanded in the pond after I left.
     
  6. duckbuster5901

    duckbuster5901 Senior Refuge Member

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    Location:
    maryland
    Some impound owners in my area don,t shoot mornings because of similar problems. Instead they shoot from about 1pm to 3pm in afternoon on small groups returning for evening. they get out before large groups are returning to overnite roost. Quite the spectacle about 15 minutes after legal shooting time watching many, many birds returning to roost.
     
  7. hannibal

    hannibal Senior Refuge Member

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    Sep 3, 2013
    Location:
    Iowa
    We have had our place for 11 years now and it took a while but we soon realized that our place was an afternoon "use"/"roost" place. We are next to a Conservation Area and the pool that is next to us is the exact same……….the best hunting is in the afternoons. We are blessed to be next to a refuge so we have a good supply of birds all the time but if we want to kill birds (on non-push days) we have to hunt the afternoons. It is just the nature of the place. There are pools on the Conservation Area that do very well in the mornings but there are pools that just don't do as well in the morning. Just like ours. We learned to live with it and love it. We can now leisurely wake up and have a nice breakfast and then go out in the afternoon for our shoots……….it is actually pretty nice! With that said on push days we still get to the blind in the morning and take advantage of newly arriving birds but once they get established in the area it is afternoon hunting for us. We do try to get in and out if we can but honestly does not seem to really make much difference. If we have wind and sun we generally have good bird movement in the afternoon.

    Every place is different. Just takes a little experimenting and you will figure things out.

    Good luck.
     
  8. bullpinnie

    bullpinnie Elite Refuge Member

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    Location:
    St. Louis
    sleep in. wait for the sun to come up. Shoot small groups from 10-2.
     
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  9. JFG

    JFG Elite Refuge Member

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    Coastal NC
    Exactly^^ !
     
  10. The Old Taz

    The Old Taz Senior Refuge Member

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    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    There is a small update. I've been watching the birds the last 3 days and they are beginning to leave to roost a little earlier and roosting elsewhere. Last night I watched 6 or 7 large groups (30 to 50 ducks per group) slowly leave to roost in different directions. None of them went to my roost pond like they were before. There were a few dozen woodies and mallards that came from elsewhere that did roost on the roost pond. I walked back to my impoundment just after dark and it was empty.

    I went for a walk back this morning just after 8:00 am and my impoundment was full of ducks. Small groups were trying to land at this time but not many.

    I hope this pattern continues. Historically my impoundment has only produced in the morning. I've tried late mornings, afternoons and evenings and only did well once on a late season goose hunt.
     

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