scouting checklist
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By ahepler2188 - 2/17/2014 9:39:01 AM
Spring is coming may be further away for some with all the wonderful snow and ice. This was my first year duck hunting ever. my hunting partner and I decided to give it a shot and add to our time out in the field. We learned a lot about it this year and didn't do so bad. I wanna get my scouting started early this year so thought i'd start making a check list that people can add to on things to help scouting and things to look for while scouting.


-topo map
-duck ID book (one that has good plumage ID)

Things to look for:

-How close is the closest refuge? it doesn't have to be a designated refuge near me we have a quarry that was made to be a drainage escape for a development. This fall/winter it has held thousands of geese and ducks at any given time. Divers and puddle ducks alike it mostly held 5-10 species at any time during the winter. and this refuge was is less than a 10 minute driver from all our prime hunting spots.

-Check online maps: google earth or DU's migration map are great resources to find water. sometimes you have to search for little potholes and then make a trip to determine if they are seasonal or permanent  potholes.

-Obtain permission from landowners  who have water ways. Small creeks and ponds may hold ducks and may produce very well especially for local ducks that know the area. If landowners are not open to allowing hunting ask if you could put up some wood duck boxes on their property.

-Use a boat to scout main lakes. Depth levels are high in lakes during spring an summer so it may be easier to scout from a boat rather than taking a hike through thick fields. you will be able to cover more ground and maybe find a good place to put a blind. hard to access spots around the shores may show good cover. look for large trees that extend out into the water. these may give you room to move out on the shoreline when water level are down during the season.

those are just some plans for my spring scouting. please add ideas. again I'm green to this and it would be nice to hear others ideas.
By arkansashogs18 - 4/4/2014 10:57:22 PM
If there's a public spot you already know about, motor (or paddle) in and see if you can't find a spot/hole that's a little bit harder to get to, but looks ducky. Google Earth has made a lot of hunters lazy, but since the map is often from times other than duck season, nothing beats physically scouting it. What looks like unhuntable water on Google Earth may be the honey hole if you can find it. From personal experience, the very best hole on my farm looks like nothing more than a tiny break in the trees when using the internet, but it's the spot I hunt 90% of the time. Nothing can beat scouting in real life, and remember; with public land, the more out of the way, the better.