Duck Creek CA UpdatesMore posts

Drawn to Wetlands

Jan 27, 2012

Unless you’re chasing some snow geese during the Conservation Order, the 2011-2012 waterfowl season has come to a close. However, there is still game to be pursued. Feb. 1 is the opening day of swamp-rabbit season on Duck Creek, and it closes on Feb. 15.

Now this may be a stretch, but I came across a picture that makes a literal link between ducks and rabbits. The duck-rabbit illusion is similar to other “trick” pictures where you can potentially see two different images within the same picture based upon your point of view. I thought I would take this illustration one step further and apply it to wetlands like Duck Creek.

Click the video tab on this page to see the "Drawn to Wetlands" video.

Enjoy, and good luck swamp rabbit hunting.



Image of a swamp rabbit
Swamp Rabbit


The wet winter has made the worksite inaccessible for large equipment and the contractors have not been able to go in and finish up their work.  All of the blinds in Units A and B are slated to be demolished.  As you have seen, not all of them have been taken care of at this point.

To Bandtaker 1: My brother and I used to hunt ducks back in Field 37 when it was a dry field and they had it opened. There were ducks using it then so I am sure they will be using it more now that they are renovating the B unit. The problem I see with using the blind is that although we may take care of it when we hunt it, others will not and this will educate the birds to steer clear of it. It is probably best that the blind be removed. Just my opinion of the past experiences I have had on Duck Creek. I call them blinds the sore thumbs of the area. Lol

I recently noticed Blind 37 in north b unit is still intact. Looks like it may become a hotspot for duck hunting in the near future with the new levee system delivering water all around it. There were some ducks using all around it that sunny day. Any plans for pumping the water out of it and maybe covering it to keep water out until duck season?

Hey Experienced, I do agree I believe that Keith and the rest of the crew will do a good job managing the area for waterfowl. It seems that every year gets a little better. Good Job Duck Creek Staff!!!

Darin and Bandtaker the amount of fat on ducks is usually more indicative of food availability and lack of need for significant migrations. ie They did not have to migrate a lot or often this year. I agree that nice food plots of corn and milo would be great, but I killed many fat birds in marshes with only native cover. If the weather cooperates the Duck Creek staff will plant appropriate food plots, just cross your fingers for a good hatch(water up north) and steady migrations(drawing a few low numbers helps also). Keith is a hard worker and will take care of his part here.

i watch the ducks numbers and it seens that places that have more ducks are ones that plant more corn. i have hunt places like grand pass, eagle bluffs, ted shanks it has seen that they have always plant more corn

To bandtaker 1: I hunted all three areas and the birds that I harvested were all about the same. Some were fat and some were not so fat. I believe that corn is a good food source but it doesn't last long. Most of the corn I seen this year was picked clean before the bulk of the mallards showed up. Coots and early migrants get the bulk of the corn. I would like to see MDC plant more sourgum than they do. I remember in years past when they planted it, this would always attract waterfowl and there would still be plenty of it left around when the later birds, like mallards, showed up. Not only that, it was cheaper to plant and also when it freezes up it was easy pickin's for the ducks. Just my opinion. Hint Hint MDC!! LOL

I was lucky enough to hunt Otter Slough, Ten Mile Pond, and Duck Creek this year. I was successful in killing a few mallards at each location. When I cleaned the mallards from each location I noticed that the mallards killed at Otter Slough had thick layers of fat, were healthier looking birds and weighed more than any of the birds killed at the other two locations. Otter Slough had an abundance of Flooded Corn Food plots. This waterfowl hunter is convinced that the Corn Food Plots has a substancial impact on the health and well being of the waterfowl (and other species) population. Yes other nutrients were and are necessary for a well balanced diet for waterfowl. But my opinion is the location with the MOST CORN is the most beneficial for the waterfowl. Just hope Duck Creek Can catch up with Otter Slough in the amount of Corn planted in food plots. Has there ever been a comparison/study done concerning this issue?

Darin - It is our intent to utilize natural barriers such as tree lines, waterlines and the newly constructed low profile levees to separate hunting parties. Planting trees in strategic locations will continue over the next several years and until they get large enough to be effective barriers between hunting parties, we will likely separate units with marker poles where necessary. The ultimate objective is to create a natural looking and functional wetland which allows optimal hunting with the least amount of disturbance between hunting parties.  It is going to be an evolving project for sure.

I was just wondering how the hunting units will be separated in the A and B due to there being no levees in the area? Will it be separated by marker post? Thanks!!

Flooded corn food plots are over valued by most waterfowl hunters.  They are an important component in providing a diversity of resources across the entire wetland, but flooded corn is not the limiting factor in attracting and holding waterfowl on the area.  You are not being a pest with your questions and it was not my intent to be vague with my answer.  I apologize if it seemed that way.  We will plant corn food plots but there are many uncertainties with the construction project that we need to get cleared up before we can begin planting any food plots or manage any moist-soil vegetation.  I will post an area update this summer which will provide some better insight into what will be available for the 2012 waterfowl season. Thanks for your continued interest of Duck Creek Conservation Area!

Yes, corn is and will be used in our food plots.

When you say "Typically we will plant 15% to 25% of the area in food plots" will ANY of those food plots include CORN? Hate to be a pest about this but you do not seem to want to give a direct answer to a direct question.

Bandtaker1,I responded to Darin's similar question earlier last month in the January 3rd post have copied my response from that date below.On January 17th, 2012 at 10:50am cordek said:Darin - Unit A and B will managed primarily for desireable species of native moist soil vegetation consisting of millets and other grasses, smartweeds, bidens, etc. Food plots will be utilized to achieve some of this management objective, not so much for a source of food, but for the rotational areas they provide for soil disturbance which is necessary to provide the robust response of annual vegetation the following year. Cockleburs, unfortunately, are and ever will be established in these wetland pools. They will respond to moisture conditions in the soil and the amount of other established vegetation more than anything else. We can mostly eliminate the growth of cockleburs by properly drawing the water from these pools and promoting the desireable plants but there are always problem areas which require additional treatment, either with herbicide, water, or fall discing. Typically we will plant 15% to 25% of the area in food plots, fall disc 25% to 50%, and leave 35% to 50% standing moist soil. It doesn't always work out this neatly and it is going to take a few years to figure out the individual characteristics of each of these new areas as well as establish areas where we want trees to grow vs. areas we want to remain free from trees. Unit A and B will be managed similarly in the future to how we have managed Unit A the past 5 years.

Are there any plans to plant ANY corn in the new Unit A and Unit B for the 2012 waterfowl season?

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