Wednesday, January 22, 2014

2014 Black Swamp Plantation Duck Hunt in the SRP

Mallards in the late January sunshine

With the end of duck season just a few days away, waterfowl hunters will be very active this weekend. The end of season duck hunt at Black Swamp Plantation in Robertville will bring together a large group of hunters to gun for released mallards, but also to eat afterwards and enjoy fellowship. Using up the last of your steel shot shells while picking up a limit of four mallards helps to end the season on a good note.
Manager Bill Mixon sends Bullet to retrieve a duck
This Jasper County property is under easement with Ducks Unlimited and it drains a large volume of water that is heading to the nearby Savannah River. Otherwise known as the focus area Savannah River Preserve or SRP. Owned by the timber consulting firm Wise Batten Inc. in Estill, the property is actually made up of several historic inland rice impoundments. These areas have since been converted into pine tree production and hardwoods, but Wise Batten is reclaiming these areas for the sake of duck hunting endeavors.
With nearly 200-acres of new ground fields that can be flooded, the loggers have been busy on Black Swamp in their quest to open up this niche in the flyway that welcomes wood ducks and teal to drop by. Stumps have to be removed prior to planting for waterfowl but manager Bill Mixon has a knack for setting the table in order to attract wildlife. For our hunt on January 17 we had a special guest from Beaufort in our midst. Brantley Harvey is a former Lt. Governor who enjoyed state politics during his law career. Harvey did not hunt, but rather he regaled us with his stories and brought young gun Kevin Dukes from his Harvey & Battey law firm to get in a duck blind. Slightly north of 80 years old, it’s always exciting to be around an octogenarian that will still rise early and take part in waterfowl rituals because of his love for the outdoors.
Breakfast at the Gathering Shed after the hunt
A full moon guided our footsteps as we walked to the duck blinds before sunrise, in the cold and clear conditions. Wood ducks were seen flying the treeline before shooting time, and when the first shots were fired it stirred up a bonanza of release mallards. Instructed not to take any low shots, a drake greenhead I knocked down wasn’t quite dead yet. Dukes questioned whether I could walk to the duck and retrieve him before he got away, but when I returned to the blind with my quarry I explained that I am at my best when in the field.
Traditions like any end of season duck hunt will tide us over until next season when we will eagerly anticipate the migrating ducks that have come South to meet us once again.

To read this eature story in the newspaper click Colletonian.

Hunt host Wise Batten and happy hunting friends

To view past blog entries from Black Swamp Plantation click 2013, 2012.


  1. "This Jasper County property is under easement with Ducks Unlimited"

    What is DU's stance on these "ducks" that migrate via a cattle trailer?

  2. Pen raised mallards. Screw Canada, we'll make our own locally.

    Way to further smear the name of waterfowl hunters fellas. Was it a fair chase hunt?

  3. I love duck hunting but the wild birds have migrated westward and don't look like they will be returning. We have no reason for them to come here, or stay here. It's nice to be able to shoot mallards at the end of the season, released or wild. Keep up the good work guys!


    1. Really? Thats about as lame as it gets. You're gonna post as someone else to try and give them a black eye because you're unethical and foolish practice is getting rained upon. Like I said, poser and follower.

      And it's ccleroy

  4. You are a bumbling fool to believe that, you really have no clue do you........."They have all migrated westward" Really? Wow, enlighten us some more.