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Wildlife Habitat Improvement Series: Beaver Creek Trophy Club
165 Views - Posted: February 15 at 7:00 am

Nestled in the heart of South Carolina’s Piedmont lies Beaver Creek Trophy Club. With more than 3,200 acres of pines, cutover, and swampland, Beaver Creek has the basic habitat components to back up to their name as a trophy club.

Beaver Creek is a relatively new organization, but with a foundation of good members, a good philosophy, prime habitat and a solid plan to become one of the best clubs around.

The 32-member club has already put quality bucks in the South Carolina record book. Last September, founding member Danny Kennington of Heath Springs dropped a 232-pound, 32-point buck that sported a 22-inch spread and 10-inch bases.


Naturally occurring aquatic plants will offer waterfowl a more complete, longer-lasting buffet than do grains planted in impoundments that are only temporarily flooded. Jump-start impoundments
232 Views - Posted: February 15 at 7:00 am

For the landowner ready to covert a section of property over to a moist-soil management regime or a permanent aquatic community, specific plantings will jump-start the impoundment and attract have ducks in the first year. While annual grains — corn, sorghum, millet, rice and buckwheat — can be planted around the edges and on mud flats; these plants must be cultivated accordingly with specific herbicides and seasonal care to get a good seed crop during the season. And since these plants are annuals, they must be replanted every year.

For the best results, landowners should plant perennial species for a longer-lasting and more-efficient solution. While often planted for turkeys, chufa is a perfect duck food. Banana water lily, native to the southern states, is one of the best to plant and is gaining popularity across the South. It is an ideal solution for landowners looking to convert their temporary impoundments over to permanently-flooded habitats.


Banana water lily is a great aquatic plant to help jump-start a moist-soil management program. Get ducks and keep them
245 Views - Posted: February 01 at 7:00 am

Each fall and winter, flooded areas along the eastern seaboard get bombarded by the annual migration of waterfowl, and duck hunters are always on the prowl for new ways to get more birds into shooting range. From new calls and revolutionary decoying devices to the various grain mixes planted in impoundments that are temporarily flooded, hunters are always going to the drawing board, devising plans to improve their hunting experiences. But the typical dry-land impoundment may not always be the best way to attract and retain a substantial portion of the migrating flock at the time when it matters most. 

For years, the typical agriculture field with perimeter dikes and a reliable water source has been the ideal setup to get a visit from the migrating flock. And no doubt, these dry-land impoundments can be super duck magnets if planted correctly and controlled effectively.  Ducks are suckers for fields flooded with carbohydrate-filled grains, yet, the majority of these impoundments only provide a temporary food source that often gets depleted quickly. And since they are only flooded for a short period of time, these fields are only important to ducks on a part-time basis, with a very limited grocery selection available. 


Chris House of Wilmington shot this drake ruddy duck or “butterball” on a New River diver hunt. Fill out a bag limit with oddballs, butterballs
171 Views - Posted: January 15 at 7:00 am

While most of the ducks on the New River are lesser scaup, other oddball ducks can help fill out a daily bag limit of six that can only include two scaup.


A good retriever can make a duck hunt on the New River even more enjoyable. Bumpers boost canine confidence
128 Views - Posted: January 15 at 7:00 am

One of the most enjoyable aspects of hunting ducks on big, open waters like the New River is watching a trained retriever making a long, difficult retrieve.


Holman Byrd’s scaup (left) and canvasback decoys were made from cedar and tupelo; he also uses cork, which he says is indestructible. Indestructible decoys? Make your own
204 Views - Posted: January 15 at 7:00 am

Diving ducks come into the decoys flying extremely low, often barely above the surface of the water. When using large decoy spreads, low-flying waterfowl like scaup and canvasback can draw fire from hunters that riddles decoys with shot. That’s one reason Holman Byrd makes many of his own diving duck decoys.


Know your limits, regs, times
270 Views - Posted: January 15 at 7:00 am

Every year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service conducts aerial surveys to estimate the breeding population of waterfowl across Canada and the northern United States. Hunting seasons and regulations are set for all four flyways, with the population estimate taken in to account.


Leslie Mills killed this huge buck on Clay Creek Hunting Club property in 2011. Wildlife Habitat Improvement:
460 Views - Posted: January 15 at 7:00 am

Minutes from Charlotte and just south of the state line in Chesterfield County lies Clay Creek Hunting Club. Consisting mostly of planted pines, agriculture fields, oak ridges swamp and creek bottoms, Clay Creek has almost the perfect collection of habitat types to support a wide range of game species, but trophy whitetail bucks are the primary emphasis for this seasoned group of hunters, and they see the results of their work in a real way.


A brace of lesser scaup, aka bluebills, is a distinct possibility for hunters heading to the New River. Go take a dive! Big, open-water hunts for diving ducks is what North Carolina’s ‘coastal’ New River is famous for
526 Views - Posted: January 01 at 7:00 am

North Carolina’s New River of the east is a wide, salty estuary, quite a contrast to the winding, freshwater New River of the state’s northwestern corner. Among the shortest of coastal rivers, it flows from Jacksonville to the Atlantic Ocean.


The Yentzen The Yentzen
261 Views - Posted: January 01 at 7:00 am

Sure-Shot pioneered the duck call market with their patented double reed design. Today, the original “World Champion” Double Reed Duck Call created by George Yentzen and Jim “Cowboy” Fernandez back in the early 50’s is back. Designed to exact specs from an original, this Sure-Shot game call delivers quality craftsmanship at an unbeatable price.


A bill in Congress proposes raising the price of the federal waterfowl stamp from $15 to $25. Bill introduced in Senate would raise duck stamp price to $25
1360 Views - Posted: December 31, 2013 at 12:00 pm

A U.S. Senate bill was placed in the hopper Dec. 19 that would boost the cost for a federal waterfowl stamp from $15 to $25.


Carlton Tompkins of Capt. Froggy's Guide Service said aggressive calling is usually not required when hunting diving ducks or sea ducks on the Pamlico Sound. Tone down your calling for diving ducks, Pamlico Sound guide says
1114 Views - Posted: December 25, 2013 at 6:00 am

Waterfowl hunters who have cut their teeth hunting swamps and small bodies of water for puddle ducks shouldn’t expect to have the same success on big-water, diving ducks without changing calling techniques, according to Carlton Tompkins of Capt. Froggy’s Guide Service.


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