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Duck Hunting Flooded Grainfields

Flooded grainfields are consistently among the most productive waterfowling hotspots
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by Wade Bourne

Our flooded field couldn't have held more promise, or turned out more disappointing. Corn borers had invaded our landowner's field, and fallen stalks and their golden grain lay everywhere. Bad for him, but good for us. After he salvaged what he could from his crop, we dammed up the field's drain culvert and started pumping in water.

With so much food available, and based on this field's location astride west Tennessee's Obion River, an old, established flyway, we were sure our new lease would be one of waterfowl plenty.

Our flooded field couldn't have held more promise, or turned out more disappointing. Corn borers had invaded our landowner's field, and fallen stalks and their golden grain lay everywhere. Bad for him, but good for us. After he salvaged what he could from his crop, we dammed up the field's drain culvert and started pumping in water. With so much food available, and based on this field's location astride west Tennessee's Obion River, an old, established flyway, we were sure our new lease would be one of waterfowl plenty.

But when hunting season started, our expectations were dashed. Each morning, flight after flight of ducks would pass overhead, and most would ignore our 60 acres of flooded corn, our big decoy spread, and pleading highballs.

This behavior defied everything we'd held true about duck hunting. Flood some corn and the birds would come, or so we'd believed.

But this proved untrue in our case. After two seasons, we gave up on this lease. We didn't need a third strike to know we were out.

On the other hand, I've hunted flooded fields that ducks and geese couldn't resist. You'd see them at a distance, and they'd be locked and coming.

Continuous flights would work until we bagged our limits; then we'd leave, and the field would fill up with birds.

Thus, such spots can be fields of dreams, or domains of disappointment. They can provide some of the best shooting in waterfowling, or some of the greatest frustrations.

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