Southern Wood Ducks and Squirrels
Slow-moving streams wind their way through hardwood bottomlands in the southeastern United States. Towering oaks on the stream banks attract hungry squirrels in the fall, and the acorns the squirrels miss often plop into the water below, where they're relished by resident and migratory wood ducks.
Hunting this combination of species requires little in the way of gear. With a canoe or small johnboat, a stealthy hunter can bag a limit of wood ducks and a few squirrels with the same shotgun during the course of the same float. Hip waders will help you stay dry while you drag your boat around logjams and across sandbars, and binoculars are handy for helping you to spot loafing wood ducks and feeding squirrels in the distance. A dip net will help you retrieve both ducks and squirrels that fall in the stream. Just be sure to fetch the squirrels quickly; they don't float very long.
Even if you don't have a boat, you can dress in full camouflage, leave the decoys at home, and just stalk your way down the creek bank, watching for ripples on the water and shaking limbs in the trees. It doesn't get much easier, or much more fun, than that.
Gulf Coast Cast and Blast
Though you can shoot a limit of ducks and catch a few redfish nearly anywhere along the Gulf Coast, the marshes of southeast Louisiana west to Corpus Christi, Texas, really shine for pursuing this exciting combination. The Gulf Coast is one of the most important wintering areas in the United States for all kinds of ducks. Pintails, gadwalls, redheads, and green-winged and blue-winged teal are among the species found here in abundance.
Cold weather usually sets in by the late season. But during November and December it can be warm enough to fish in shirtsleeves by early afternoon. That's a good thing, too, because in addition to the duck hunting, the best shallow-water inshore fishing in the world can be found right here.
Giant bull redfish at the mouth of the Mississippi River near Venice, Louisiana, are notoriously strong and willing to bite. Wade fishing for the "Texas Trio" of speckled trout, redfish, and flounder is popular in the Laguna Madre, and it's not unheard of to catch fish within sight of a duck blind. Just stash a heavy-action spinning rod spooled with braided line and a small tackle box containing some jig heads, soft plastic shrimp, and maybe a topwater lure or two in your duck boat.
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