Duck Hunters' Forum Sponsors

Why we all love a good mallard shoot

Discussion in 'The Duck Hunters Forum' started by MarshmanDon, Mar 15, 2020.

  1. MarshmanDon

    MarshmanDon Senior Refuge Member

    Messages:
    774
    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2019
    Location:
    Maryland
    What l Like about Mr an Mrs Mallard is if
    You can speak there language you can
    Can carry on a conversation which is cool.
    You take your big bore call ,you can break.
    Them down from the o zone.lf your good
    Enough put them in the hole right in front.
    The blind. I use the same call ,They are
    Beautiful even the hens .can decoy. Straight down a stove pipe if he wants to. When
    You can get them down in trees on a sunny
    Day you can hurt them .Then sometimes
    You can't even get them to tip a wing to you.
    So thats here some stories about mallards
    They socialize with all ducks so it doesn't matter if you don't have a good mallard story .l Love all ducks especially mallard hens so when you've got them right try to
    Lay off the hens.So tell us about your
    Great days .and your not to good days.
    Pictures , dogs ducks ,guns smiles this one
    Is mostly for the Mallards !
     
    WHUP ! Hen likes this.
  2. MALLARD MAGICIAN

    MALLARD MAGICIAN Elite Refuge Member

    Messages:
    5,090
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2001
    Location:
    Cache River Bottoms, AR
    Picture worth 1000 words they say 7A44040B-217E-419E-AF7E-E6D0EC17C90B.jpeg 3F1891BB-7AAC-4A33-A970-608A39C3A276.jpeg FBFDF891-3BC1-4196-BFE7-26ABE8FD032E.jpeg 62DD6F04-9CA3-49D3-8C2C-1164BD092576.jpeg CB0F2E5C-EFE6-4C6D-9821-388D8DCAD01A.jpeg
     
  3. MALLARD MAGICIAN

    MALLARD MAGICIAN Elite Refuge Member

    Messages:
    5,090
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2001
    Location:
    Cache River Bottoms, AR
    F82A90B2-CD04-4C4E-9C9C-7E3F3CB5FEE1.jpeg E52D5CA8-DF7F-4405-A37C-75B681AB3083.jpeg A22112CD-2969-4474-84B7-7F1A2BE9CA06.jpeg
    71618DBC-9A83-4B9B-9036-BA64A8C1E503.jpeg
     
  4. MALLARD MAGICIAN

    MALLARD MAGICIAN Elite Refuge Member

    Messages:
    5,090
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2001
    Location:
    Cache River Bottoms, AR
    The first picture is my youngest 1st ducks killed in 2013.... last pictures were from 2020...
    I hope these pictures and memories of mallards = family time for my boys...
     
  5. MarshmanDon

    MarshmanDon Senior Refuge Member

    Messages:
    774
    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2019
    Location:
    Maryland
    Great job Love seeing all that Green .
     
  6. Backwards bleed

    Backwards bleed Senior Refuge Member

    Messages:
    430
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2020
    Growing up hunting mallards on the central Platte river was some of the best times in my life.
    Every morning we would get to the blind early and my uncle would quarter back us on how to set the decoys for the day. We would deploy 8 dozen herters 72 deeks, just the way he wanted it done. We would be in the blind well before sunrise and watch the river come to life. First little bunches of green wings would buz by the deeks or make a splash landing in them. Soon the eastern sky was turning orange and I could hardly wait! The dogs and every one in the blind (all family members) were silent in thought and anticipation. Shooting time seemed to approach at a snail's pace. For me a boy of 10 years old, the the wait was unbearable.
    There was a large irrigation impoundment 15 miles to the south west of our location that held massive concentrations of mallards and other waterfowl. There was no grain near that area in those days. Most of the grain fields were around our location or were miles to the east of us. We were lucky enough to have many pop corn fields that were close to our blind. Man do the ducks love the smaller pop corn kernels. Every morning at day break wave after wave of mallards would fly the south channel of the Platte river due east to feed in the stubble. The flight would usually last till around 9am. None of these ducks would even look at our spread as they winged their way off to glean the fields. In those days the limit was by point system. As we waited for the mallards to return, we would pick off a handful of teal to fill our bounus 10 point ducks that were needed for the day.
    The return flight of mallards would begin around 9:30 or later depending on the weather conditions. Flock after flock of corn haulers would come back up the river and readily decoy into our stool. The shooting was fantastic. I have never since or will I ever again have such good hunting. Wow how beautiful it was to see those large flocks of mallards with heads shining in the sun as they rode the wind on cupped wings with their orange feet out.
    My uncle was a purist and a champion conservationist. We were only allowed to shoot the drakes. Hens were never intentionally shot at and rarely ever killed. If a young member shot a hen they would recieve much ribbing. If an adult accidentally shot a hen, it was their responsibility to put a 5 dollar bill into the jar at the cabin. The contents of the jar was given to D.U. at the end of the season. Nobody was allowed to hunt ducks unless they would eat them as well. I have to admit I gagged down alot of duck when I was young. I eventually acquired a taste for them.
    The hunting remained the same until the early 90's and then things began to change. Grain fields had popped up everywhere, and changed the flight pattern. We began to shoot many more canadas and less mallards as the years rolled by. Eventually the lease was lost and four generations of hunters had lost their favorite spot in the world.
    Thankfully the memories and all of our family stories about the place will last forever in my mind.
     
  7. CookMan

    CookMan Elite Refuge Member

    Messages:
    3,667
    Joined:
    May 29, 2015
    Location:
    AL
    It is magic! The best there is in duck hunting.
     
    MarshmanDon likes this.
  8. Rick Hall

    Rick Hall Elite Refuge Member

    Messages:
    11,799
    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2002
    Location:
    Klondike, Louisiana
    That^^^, and mallards back-peddling front and center are big and slow enough that most anyone can hit one - given three chances. My pothole is well off our marsh's mostly little duck-beaten paths, and tall trafficking mallards have saved many a hunt for my parties. Missed topping last miserable season's species log by just two or three birds, so while our duck fortunes dwindle, mallards have become all the more important at my "mudhole blind".

    And in the spirit of at least being able to feel like I went down swinging, I've become a volunteer in biologist, Paul Link's, telemetry study of our remaining coastal marsh mallards, which, like waterfowling, has been both fun and miserable, sometimes simultaneously, depending on location and weather conditions:
    upload_2020-3-16_6-17-20.jpeg

    And it's been something of an eye-opener in terms of how strongly skewed toward drakes and mature birds the few hundred I've helped catch to date have been. While it doesn't always seem so at the blind, there are apparently a whoooole lot more drakes than hens and precious few birds of the year making it down here. 'Least for the past couple winters.

    I'm not nearly smart enough to know what that really means, much less what to do about it. But I do know it's changed my personal attitude toward shooting hens from avoiding them because they aren't pretty on the strap to avoiding them because what I see under the net may be telling me something the current science can't. Don't know, but reckon giving them the benefit of the doubt can't hurt.
     
    JP, FriedPotatoes, metalworx and 4 others like this.
  9. Backwards bleed

    Backwards bleed Senior Refuge Member

    Messages:
    430
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2020
    Rick it is beginning to alarm many hunters. What and the heck is going on with the mallards? I can guarantee there are way less of them now than there was back in the 70s and even the mid 80s when they dropped the limit to 3! The long term averages say that there is not a population down trend. I might be wrong, but my theory is that now we get an accurate count of birds due to global imaging. Back when there use to be a ton of mallards, the bird counts were only an estimated guess. In the days before google earth there were many areas that were too far away to get any kind of survey, arial included. I think they grossly underestimated the amount of ducks that we use to have. The spectacle of ducks on the marsh blocking out the sun after the first volley of the day, is a sight that I havent seen for a long time now. It use to happen at least a couple times each year on some of the rainwater basins I hunt in Ne. All of the young hunters do not even know how big the concentrations of ducks were. Just 30 yrs ago my buddies all over the country were all seeing tons of ducks. Now almost everyone I know around the country is crying the same thing. Where are all the ducks! I am very alarmed.
     
    JP and JRS like this.
  10. Rick Hall

    Rick Hall Elite Refuge Member

    Messages:
    11,799
    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2002
    Location:
    Klondike, Louisiana
    I suspect that agricultural drainage and expansion has decreased the upland nesting habitat around water such that the pond count portion of the fall flight forecast formula now carries more weight than appropriate. But I'm no biologist, and my understanding of their work is woefully inadequate.
     
    JP and Backwards bleed like this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice