Grasslands Holding Lots of Waterfowl

Large expanses of open water are very attractive to sprig, wigeon, shoveler and teal. The mallard component is smaller on the open water ponds, but the number of overall waterfowl is higher.

Made two trips to the Grasslands last week. Wednesday afternoon I scouted out San Luis NWR and on Saturday morning I hunted the Kerry Cub near Volta.

In both instances, I was impressed by the numbers of ducks. At San Luis, mallards were numerous and on Saturday we were welcomed by teal, shoveler and sprig. Early limits were the rule on Saturday.

San Luis has great mallard habitat with mowed smartweed and watergrass intersperced with clumps of tules just right for hiding. In addition many concrete barrel blinds have been installed over the years. The biggest problem with San Luis is that hunters tend to crowd each other making it difficult for everybody. Bring your mosquito replellant.

The Kerry Club is wide open with swamp timothy galore. Perfect for teal and sprig. It was a pleasure hunting from well placed blinds with plenty of open water between hunters.

I barbecued two teal and a spring when I got home Saturday and they were spectacular. I don’t normally shoot teal because they are small, but these birds were so delicious I will make them a priority when the mallard hunting is slow – which may be more often than I like.

As of Sunday, I’d received two refuge reservations, but took a pass when my friend Jeff invited me to hunt with him. I’ve got two refuge passes for this Wednesday, but haven’t decided whether to act on them or not. Looks like there are plenty of birds, but they get tough this time of year. I’ll report back later in the week.

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