Many public-hunting areas are open for waterfowl season during deer season. Often public-hunting regions have specific days set aside for gun deer hunting. On these days, you often can hunt waterfowl and small game. In many public-hunting areas, you’ll find flooded timber, oxbow lakes, slow-moving creeks and streams just off the main rivers or creeks. So, early in the morning, use your john-boat or canoe to look for waterfowl. One of the quickest and least-expensive ways to find waterfowl on public-hunting lands is to fly over the land in a small airplane. Mark good concentrations of waterfowl as way points on a hand-held GPS receiver. Then check these places for ducks, while scouting before waterfowl season.
Many times, you’ll find that these backwater and flooded-timber areas will have acorns floating on the surface that ducks will eat. The acorns will be pushed-up against the shoreline by the wind and are also deer hot spots, since deer will walk the water’s edge and eat the acorns. Let’s face it, getting to your deer stand by boat is a hassle. Boat hunters may have to get up an hour or more before other hunters to load up their boats, hitch them to their vehicles, drive to a launch site, put their boats in the water and travel to the site before daylight. Then they still have to find sites for their tree stand or ground blind. These reasons are why most deer hunters don’t go to their stand sites by water. But you have the opportunity to hunt where most hunters don’t hunt and take the bucks with your CVA muzzleloader that most hunters never will see. You have a greater chance of not only getting your buck, but being back to your hunting camp or home earlier than most hunters.
By: John E. Phillips, longtime waterfowler and outdoor writer.
If you have a story about using a boat or waders to get to a spot to take a big buck, let us know. We want to hear from you.