Call to Ohio River Duck Hunters

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Bridgeman, Jan 16, 2016.

  1. Bridgeman

    Bridgeman New Member

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    As most of you know I duck hunt the Ohio River from Portsmouth Ohio (mile 356) to Louisville Kentucky (mile 602), but I mainly hunt around Maysville Ky (mile 408). This has been the worse season I have had in over 45 years of hunting the Ohio River. How are you other Ohio River Hunters doing? I have shot 4 ducks in 4 hunts.
     
  2. SoutheastHunter

    SoutheastHunter New Member

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    Hi Bridgeman, I always appreciate your post. But I have also struggled hunting the river this year. Undoubtedly it has been the weather, but even today after driving 3 miles of river we saw only 7 buffleheads. I hunted several counties in South East Ohio over the month I had off while on break for college, and have averaged about 2 birds a hunt. I've been hunting for about 13 years now, and this has been the roughest year yet. Hope is on the way though. Today most were in fields, but with the Temps going down it should get good. A lot on lakes that will soon be froze.I hunt anywhere from Parkerburg, WV to Crown City, OH
     

  3. OnTheFly

    OnTheFly Banned

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    It's been pretty slow. I hunt just above meldahl dam
     
  4. Dan_O

    Dan_O Well-Known Member

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    I hunted geese in western ohio today and we were covered up in ducks in the field too bad it's out. Hunted the river by Dayton Friday, only saw a hand full of ducks. But yes over all It sucked this year.
     
  5. fallingfowl

    fallingfowl Active Member

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    Hunted Lil Miami this a/m decent amount of ducks, we ended with 2 blacks and 2 greenheads. Should have had a few more. River deeper than I anticipated both our guns got wet going in causing for freeze up issues and not firing on a couple occasions. The boy also went over his waders at 0700 this a/m so after the first hour I couldn't bare keeping him out any longer with his wet a--. I'll give him credit he never once complained he was cold or wanted to go. I think he felt worse for his dog who looked like he came out of a snow cone machine.
     
  6. pjf

    pjf Anti Media Pro Staffer

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    There was a push of ducks on this end of the river at the beginning of November. Early compared to normal. Many were gone from here once the season came in. There is more hunting pressure here than I have seen in 40 years on the river including during the week. Saturdays are a love fest if you like duck boats. Very few crop fields to hold the birds, and the pressure moves them on to some where else. Also seeing more urbanization of the resident geese. Overall I would say it is the slowest year I have seen in my 50 years of hunting. On a positive note we have seen several Eagles which is cool and has become the normal over the last 7 or 8 years. On another positive all the big $$$ spent on big Jon Boats and 150 hp motors has been good for the economy and I enjoy seeing them driving up and down the highway about 11 am each day:eek::shocked::cool:
     
  7. WCFB1

    WCFB1 Active Member

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    The pressure has increased most places not just on the Ohio. There's one field in particular I hunt and can be easily seen from a local high way. This year there has been the same group hunting it every weekend whether birds using it or not. Just ridiculous. These are the jacks that see 10 geese in a field and get an erection and never allow birds to build up. Add that on top of farmers turning their fields early and there's nothing to hold birds. One particular roost I have access to over 20 fields around it and only two are not tilled. And out of those two I have the jacks I described above hunting the hell out of the one field. I'm waiting till it does get stacked and I'll camp on that mfer and when they show up tell them you've hunted it enough my turn :)

    Areas 10 years ago where I saw zero hunters are now crawling.
     
  8. tjeep

    tjeep New Member

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    By far my worst year on the river, hunted Sat, Sun and Monday. Finally some birds on the water, big flocks of Mallards rafting in the middle of the river, would not work. Seen several big groups of Goldeneye and a few Cans. Should've had limited Sat, poor shooting on my part. Sunday was bust as I tried some new spots. Killed 3 Goldeneye before Dog and Gun Froze up Monday morning. Very few geese around. Seen several new boats over the weekend Northern Zone Boys must be coming down, one boat was setting up in my normal spot Sunday morning, so i headed down river, didnt fire a shot. My dogs are about to give up on me
     
  9. cmrosko

    cmrosko Member

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    Over the past 10 years I've noticed increasingly significant changes in the way that many farmers plant and harvest corn and beans that leaves very little in the field that migrating waterfowl and other birds can feed on. I think this has had a significant effect on whether or not migrating birds are attracted to spend time in a region specially during mid to late season. It has also had a devastating effect on upland birds too.

    Over the past 4 years or so I've also noticed increased hunting pressure and activity to the point where I quit hunting some of my old time favorite spots. It just isn't as enjoyable to hunt when you can't work birds.

    Couple this with the changes in weather patterns and things have become pretty crappy for many waterfowl hunters.
     
  10. MaktheQwk

    MaktheQwk Well-Known Member

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    I agree and believe in the theory put forth by a lot of waterfowl biologists, and that is after the North American Wetland Conservation Act was passed, New York state so aggressively pursued NAWCA funding and installed thousands of acres of wetlands in the Finger Lakes region of that state
    that they effectively shifted the migratory patterns of the boreal forest populations of blacks and mallards further east. Of course, those were birds that filtered down through our neck of the woods. Combine all those new wetlands with thousands of available acres of harvested beans and corn, and the ducks have just adjusted their migratory routes away from us. I believe this goes a long way in explaining why we are seeing fewer birds than years ago.
     
  11. Ragtime

    Ragtime Active Member

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    All the tillage you see this year was due mainly to the dry fall.

    Haven't been doing it as long as you guys but what blows me away is the tenacity of our competitors. Things they will do/attempt to try and prevent our success is mind blowing. Smile and work harder I reckon.
     
  12. Ragtime

    Ragtime Active Member

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    Automatic row shut off and these news combine heads are making it a bit tougher that's for sure!

    Corn residue management continues to be an obstacle as the hybrid genetics are improving.
     
  13. mslater

    mslater Active Member

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    Always seem to be more birds in fields harvested with John Deere combines... my observations may be slightly biased.
     
  14. Ragtime

    Ragtime Active Member

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    Well that took long enough!!!!!
     
  15. mslater

    mslater Active Member

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    Lots of tracked up fields from spring planting, spraying, even wheat harvest led many farmers to plow fields this fall. We even plowed bean stubble just to level up tracks from the sprayer.
     
  16. WCFB1

    WCFB1 Active Member

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    Competition is definitely fierce these days. Lets face it, duck hunting is not like deer hunting where you can find deer in any patch of woods. Numerous people are trying to get on the same properties. Many of which are already being hunted by others. What kills me is people don't care that others got permission before them. In years past I use to walk away from properties like that, but now seeing how many people have came in after me I have a new mentality these days. Unfortunately, once you get a group of idiots in it's hard for birds to build up. And a DA or two can ruin an area in a heart beat if the owners will let them in.

    I have learned one very important concept this year...nothing lasts forever, especially when it comes to duck properties (unless you own it and many of these are well out of reach for the average joe). Eventually you will lose spots. And it is very tough if not impossible to replace some of these spots. It's crazy how just a spot or two can make or break your waterfowl season, even your waterfowl hunting future.
     
  17. cmrosko

    cmrosko Member

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    In regard to the modern farm practices that leave next to nothing but mud across much of the landscape throughout the winter I think that any farm that receives federal subsidies should be required to include a specified minimal amount of that acreage maintained for wildlife conservation. Such as incorporating cover crops in planting and after harvest and leaving a percentage of grain crop unharvested through the winter. Pennsylvania requires some (but not enough) of these practices on State land agriculture leases. When done right it can significantly benefit wildlife. The American hunting community and other wildlife oriented groups should organize a push for this. I'm in...

    [​IMG][/URL][/IMG]

    See;
    Animal Enhancement Activity – ANM34 - Leave standing grain crops un-harvested to benefit wildlife


    http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/PA_NRCSConsumption/download?cid=stelprdb1240369&ext=pdf.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2016
  18. oldschool

    oldschool Active Member

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  19. mslater

    mslater Active Member

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    I think cover crops are a great idea. We invested in an air seeder that fits in place of the liquid tank of our high clearance sprayer. We overseeded about 500 acres of our own corn ground around Labor Day. Most of the seeding included annual rye, Crimson clover and either radish or rape seed. The deer love it! The picture below is a field of winter wheat that was seeded into standing corn late September.
    As far as leaving any standing crops I'm not interested unless you're willing to fund it.
    ImageUploadedByOhio Waterfowler1453332585.062031.jpg ImageUploadedByOhio Waterfowler1453332713.456763.jpg ImageUploadedByOhio Waterfowler1453332762.883431.jpg
     
  20. Ragtime

    Ragtime Active Member

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    You know what else is a good idea Mslater - Piña Coladas ;)