Guests - If You want access to member only forums on FM. You will gain access only when you Sign-in or Sign-Up on Fishing Minnesota.

It's easy - LOOK UPPER right menu.

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
PokieGuy1331

DuckHunting in GR Arera

13 posts in this topic

My wife and I will be retiring in the Grand Rapids area and I would like to rekindle my duck hunting urges. I spent 9 years in Bismarck, ND where we had some fabulous hunting. I am old fashion in that I love to hunt over decoys in open water, particularly divers when the weather turns cold. I am looking for some ideas as to lakes with fresh water shrimp,a public access and land. The possibility of leasing some land is a possibility but would need to be something a retired person could afford. Thanks for your help.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

coming from ND you are going to be REALLY disappointed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sled is correct. Stay in good standing with your pals in ND.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I grew up duck hunting in that area, and things have been going downhill alot. You dakotans are stealing all our ducks!! wink.gif If you want to hunt the more traditional areas, they're right, you will be very disappointed. In lakes that use to have tens of thousands of ducks now you're lucky to bring home a limit between a couple of guys.

It's not a total loss though. One thing you're gonna wanna learn real fast in that area is beaver ponds. The number of ducks has been down alot in the last 5-7 years, and they're really hard to peg down in the popular spots in your area cuz they get shot out real quick, i.e. white oaks, the river, bowstring river, etc. What happens is the ducks get shot outta these spots and look for sanctuaries in the form of secluded beaver ponds that have alot of cover in the woods. They can be hard to get to but I've seen ponds the size of a football field holding 1-2000 ducks in years where everyone else is struggling to get 10 shots a day out. The beauty of these spots is since these ponds are sanctuaries, the ducks come in dumb as can be. The key to finding these spots is watch where the ducks fly after getting shot at in a lake or river. For instance, if you're out on squaw lake (a very popular rice lake with good #s of mallards and ringers) and you see flock after flock of mallards going northwest after they get shot at, grab a topo map that shows all the little streams and flowages and start walking the streams. It takes alot of time and ALOT of walking, but eventually you'll find 'em and it is worth the effort! Don't forget to bring the shotgun w/ when you're walking streams cuz you'll flush up plenty of grouse. It's also very nice because you're guaranteed to be the only one hunting them once you find it. There is one thing to be careful of, though. Since these ducks are comfortable here, if you go w/ 5 of your buddies and blaze away all day, they're gonna look elsewhere, so hunt it lightly. Take a few ducks a day out and they'll keep coming back. Another thing to keep in mind is that alot of ducks roost in these ponds. A late evening shoot can be great! Hope that helps. If you don't wanna put in the work and don't mind some company, try the places I previously mentioned plus winnibigoshish and leech for the late season ducks and any place you can find wild rice for early ducks. Hope that helps!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Big water can be busy, and you really need the boats and equipment to handle it - if not be careful. I agree that the smaller ponds and creeks can provide all the shootin' a guy needs. Do some wandering, if you've some time on your hands. Maps will help, but nothing beats setting up a "trapline" of spots to check! Great aerial photos can be found online as well - they'll give you a head start in unfamilier territory.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I usually hit the area a couple times in the fall and do okay. We typically sit in a bay that funnels back to some swamp and woods and get a few ducks. We go on a little lake by Marcell. Mostly pass shooting so they're not easy to hit, but definitely fun. It seams that the first hour of the day is the best and then they really slow down moving. We then go chase some bass all day. We call it "castin and blastin".

You'll be disapointed if you compare it to NoDak, but you picked one of the most beautiful areas in the world to retire at. Where will you be living?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a lakehome on Pokegama

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the duck hunting has improved around our area. we have had great success in the rice. the beaver ponds have been ok if you can find a new one with new growth, and as it gets later in the season check out the bigger lakes.

Jason

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pokieguy, I agree with Jason, from my experience the hunting the last few years has been better. The classic duck lakes still see ALOT of birds. Hunt later in the season, use bigger and better spreads and get to the choice spots before the next guy and you will get good shoots.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the biggest people have is they hunt memories. Well spot "x" should be good this year because it was last year. That isn't always the case. A little scouting goes a long ways. I'm also fortunate enough to be able to hunt during the middle of the week, so there's less people.

No this isn't North Dakota, but you can still have some awesome shoots!

Brian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We hunted a point on a lake last year when the wind was blowin out of the East. It was the most fun we had shooting at late season ringbills. We didn't hit much but my son and I had alot of smiles when it was done. Next morning the wind was blowing the opposite way and we didn't shoot one shot. There is nothing better then duck hunting. We will be back to the G.R. area next season. We are pumped!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't hunt ducks anymore(quit years ago) but sure had some good shoots on Deer Lake up near Effie (by "Deer Lake Charlies" some folks may remember the little privately owned watering hole)....of course it was years ago and not sure how the duck hunting is up there anymore....used to hunt out of deer acres resort and set up "dekes" near the mouth of the river there...great blue bill hunting,(rafts of ducks would fly between Nett Lake and Deer Lake)great memories!...also "white oaks" near deer river(Mississippi river)...other areas are little winnie.....Leech(big waters here)....and other smaller area lakes.....also used to hunt various beaver ponds(mallard thing) near "Togo",up the Holstrom spur and Lofgren logging trail....kendall logging road...The Dentabo logging road....used to stop in at "Togo Joes" after the hunt grin.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Woa!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0



  • Posts

    • moderation
      What about Super America at Pike Lake? I think they do the same, with better hours. they refill out of big tank.
    • vanwalleye
      Nice thats what I like to hear, was doing an annual trip to LOW with my buddies, but to be quite honest biggest fish I ever saw in 10 plus trips was 27 inches, I caught 3 bigger than that on the pond last year, and hey I can stay in Wright county where I live and catch 10 inch walleyes.. I don't make it up to that end of the lake ever, usually fish the south end..Bought a wheel house this year, would loke to set it up as base camp and hopefully be able to head up toward that end and do some exploring..And thanks for the input, thinking there is a lot of readers and not many writers on this site nowadays...
    • eyeguy 54
      yepper
    • icepike 1
      Lake Marion is completely iced over. Hopefully we won't get much snow and be fishing soon.
    • popriveter
      Silver lake in New Brighton is iced over. I'm going to count one week before checking thickness on my early ice spots. Could be fishing next Friday if all goes well.