|Guide Don Farmer welcomes Drake Field Experts to Clay Co.|
A planned duck hunting trip to the Midwest was nearly derailed by the 2018 Lowcountry snowstorm. Treacherous driving conditions on secondary roads all around the county made getting ready to go out of town a little more difficult. Learning to walk on ice over the next day or two became a necessity, and little did I know this lesson would be helpful very soon in the Midwest. Driving twelve hours to hunt in Northeast Arkansas revealed that the areas we planned to hunt were frozen over, and we would have to hope for a deep thaw.
|Impressive numbers of waterfowl at nearby Lake Ashbaugh|
Claybird Outfitters near Peach Orchard, Arkansas is run by duck guide Don Farmer. He invited several Field Experts with the Drake Waterfowl Systems company to come and hunt the first weekend of January. Normally this is an ideal time to gather for fellowship and to hunt some ducks. However, the same cold air that brought unprecedented snow to the Lowcountry, was in place over Arkansas all week without rain, causing the entire area to freeze over.
|A rustic lodge with a touch of vintage duck calls and decoys|
A short drive to the Lake Ashbaugh conservation area, 525-acres of prime duck habitat that is not hunted, proved that not all the waterfowl had left the area of NE Arkansas. If I had not seen it with my own eyes I would not have guessed that tens of thousands of ducks were using a single hole of open water at this waterfowl preserve, but that was the case. These ducks had agitated the water in a small area so that the freezing temperatures were unable to close off this area to them. Truly a marvel of nature, these ducks take turns staying in place to swim around while some fly out to dry feed in nearby fields.
To view the entire feature article in the newspaper click on Colletonian.
To view past blog entries about duck hunting with Drake Field Experts click on Filming 2016 Migration Nation TV show - September Geese - 2013 - 2012 - 2011 - 2014 S.C. State Duck Calling Champion
To view past blog entries about hunting ducks in the Midwest click on Filming Ducks Unlimited TV show
To view past blog entries for late January duck hunts click 2017 - 2016 - 2015 - 2014 - 2013 - 2012 - 2011 - 2010 - 2009
To view past blog entries about hunting wood ducks click 2015 - 2014 - 2013 - 2012 - 2011 - 2010 - 2009
To View past blog entries from Mossy Oak Gamekeepers Magazine click Fall 2017 - Spring 2016 - Winter 2016 - Fall 2015 - Summer 2015 - Spring 2015 - Winter 2015 - Fall 2014 - Summer 2014 - Spring 2014 - Winter 2013