Thursday, January 17, 2013

Wood Duck hunting in the late season

A drake wood duck harvest is always a success story
Extra! Extra! Practice makes perfect!

Hooray for the wood duck! 2013 proves again that the Lowcountry duck hunter has much to be thankful for when considering the wood duck. The daily limit for wood ducks is three per gun, which was increased by one duck from a limit of two woodies per gun just a few years ago. The daily limit for a mixed bag of ducks is six per gun, but right now Colletonians will be hard pressed to find that kind of success. However, three wood ducks in the bag is not too far-fetched to conceive. Wood ducks are very adaptive to habitat scenarios such as rivers, creeks, swamps and even isolated wetlands. Unlike other ducks that prefer wide open spaces, wood ducks are not only fine with woodland environs, they thrive in them. A wood duck can dodge tree limbs and branches with agility, and is just big enough to absorb a few glancing blows from branches if need be when landing. Woodies can offer some great wingshooting! Finding water right now can often mean finding some wood ducks. Drought conditions persist in the Lowcountry, despite several inches of rain in late December. The lack of water holes in the woodlands can serve to concentrate wood ducks, so if you can identify a water source, then you may find some ducks. Look around the edge habitat of the pond for feathers, and the acorns, which are their number one food source.

Two woodies in the woods on 1/17/2013

To read more of my feature article on the end of duck season click Colletonian.

To view past blog entries about wood duck hunting click here.

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