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wag

feeding and setting up a new flight pond

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i have noticed a few people asking about feeding flight ponds just lately, so i have pinned this, so people can look and take some advice from myself and others ..

 

 

starting off a new a flight pond ,drain ,

 

if i get a new pond or drain that i can shoot for ducks , i go have a good look around it to see were the shallow ends are and good feeding points , i also have a good look around the area it is in to give me some sort of idea what kind of wildfowl it would atract ..

also were to put hides, if you have permission to put them up .

 

feeding a new flight pond , drain

when feeding the pond, i normally put 2 buckets full down at the begining of the season and then leave it for a couple or more days, then i go back and see what has gone if nothing has gone again , i leave it for another few days then go back and check again if some has gone , i will go back the next day to see how much more has gone .

 

if the feed starts going well , i will drop back to 1 bucket a day because ducks are greedy and they will eat as much as you put in for them .if you have serious amounts of ducks coming then you can feed 2 buckets , i find that 1 good bucket full a day will feed up 200 mallard plus teal ...

 

spread the feed in the shallows over a good 25 to 35 yards if it is a big pond then you can feed in 2 or 3 places again over the same distance , "dont" just chuck it in one place ducks love to dabble and up end and move about ...

 

what to feed a flight pond

there is loads of feed that you can use to feed wildfowl , i find that some of my ponds do better on barley than wheat ,but you can use , wheat , barley , potatoes, grass seed , dried peas , plus loads more ,

 

if you a using potatoes , or any cereal crop that has been dressed ready for drilling by the farmer , just beware that they can release chemicals and acids into the water that could do harm to any fish thats there, so just check with the farmer before you start to feed ....

 

you can put some decoys in for a few days to attract wildfowl , i always take them out once ducks start taken the food ..

 

using duck hides

 

again check with the farmer or land owner first before putting hides up ..

 

i find if there is alot of reeds in the pond , i just stand in them with chest waders on, if not then i will consult with the owner to find out what materials they would be happy with me using , if they will allow it, i like to use the old potato pallets then fill in the gaps with reeds and leave a gap one end to get in and out .

 

other than that i some times use straw bales then burn them at the end of the season you can use camo hides , i find they blow about in the wind and can put ducks off from flighting in .

 

postioning your hides

i try and look for the best advantage point of the ducks entering the pond, then i will place the hides there, i also try and put them the opposite end to the sun set "if" possible , so it gives the most light as it gets dark, so you can see the ducks come in

.

 

when to shoot the pond , drain

 

i feed the ponds for a good 4 weeks before shooting ,even if the ducks are cleaning the feed up every night for a good few days , i will then go and find a good advantage point well away from the pond and watch it for 3 to 4 nights before shooting it, so i have some idea of whats coming in , i take a clicker with me to count them in ...

 

i then look at the weather forecast for the next few days, so i can decide when to shoot the pond, if you are inviting any guests let them know well in advance .

 

shooting the pond

 

if i invite any guests , i never shoot myself ..

 

if you have invited guests arrange to meet early, so you are not rushing about and leave it too late , i always set the rules to the guns, so they know what they are doing and not left in the dark on what they can shoot and cannot shoot .

 

i take a clicker with me and get in a safe place where i can see any ducks being shot, so i can count the shot ducks myself because you always get the guns shooting at the same birds and counting them to their gun and when you pick up at the end of the flight, you have more ducks been shot than you have picked and spend a good part of the night looking for birds that have not been shot ....

 

 

after you have shot make sure you have picked all your empties up and then feed the pond after. when the dogs have finished stiring all the mud up and it dont settle on the feed so the ducks can't find it to feed ..

 

always come away with letting a few ducks come in without being shot at , i always go back the next day to see there is any empty cases been left and work the pond with the dogs to see if there is any ducks have been left ....

 

keep feeding after you have shot they will come back and just go through routine again , ...

 

i hope this is of help to anyone starting out good luck

 

if you think , i have missed something out please feel free to let me know ...

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Very much appreciated that wag, thanks, will start feeding my pond when I get chance.

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hi mark, sorry i missed this one, it would be possible to do this but if you get rain over night or through the day , then it could bring the water level up and cover the feed and wash it away it does not take alot for ducks to change there feeding patterns especially mallard because they are so greedy .... also you get cattle and sheep on the river banks and they love to eat your feed that you put in for the ducks, i would say try it but monitor if very carefully ,..

 

also check with the farmers to see if there shooting rights cover the river also the banks too.. because it could belong to the E.A or the local water authoritys and i have known them to prosecute people before for shooting without permission ...once again sorry for my late reply hope this helps ..

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hi mark, sorry i missed this one, it would be possible to do this but if you get rain over night or through the day , then it could bring the water level up and cover the feed and wash it away it does not take alot for ducks to change there feeding patterns especially mallard because they are so greedy .... also you get cattle and sheep on the river banks and they love to eat your feed that you put in for the ducks, i would say try it but monitor if very carefully ,..

 

also check with the farmers to see if there shooting rights cover the river also the banks too.. because it could belong to the E.A or the local water authoritys and i have known them to prosecute people before for shooting without permission ...once again sorry for my late reply hope this helps ..

 

Cheers wag, I will look into this for september.

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Just wondering how small can a flight pond be to work? I'm not after numbers, just a brace every month or so. I'm digging by spade which is not as implausable as it may sound as I'm digging around a spring in a wet part of a wood. I have a few square yards test dug in an hour. It's near my back door so very handy to feed. There are plenty of ducks in the area but not much water to entice them on my patch.

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great article wag

 

we (local club) obtained written permission off the EA to shoot their land surrounding ours on the estuary.......always worth asking and getting it made official.......they will prosecute if you "trespass"

 

cheers

 

sean

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Just wondering how small can a flight pond be to work? I'm not after numbers, just a brace every month or so. I'm digging by spade which is not as implausable as it may sound as I'm digging around a spring in a wet part of a wood. I have a few square yards test dug in an hour. It's near my back door so very handy to feed. There are plenty of ducks in the area but not much water to entice them on my patch.

 

 

i'm so sorry i missed this, you must be very keen if your digging out by hand and very much respect to you for having a go , i have a very small splash i shoot later on in the season its no good antil mid way through the season because of water shortage , i dont shoot big numbers but it's good for half a dozen ducks in a flight , the size of the splash is no more than 25ft across it attracts only teal with the od shovler ....

 

if its in a wood then you could have some great sport if it attracts teal , i have a flight pond in a wood thats holds great amounts of teal in the winter when the teal are flighting to the pond they come through the trees and all you here is there wings smacking the trees as the come through to the pond its great to see ....

 

 

just put some feed down with a couple of decoys in and see how it goes if they find it then i assure you , you with have some great sport shooting it..... good luck and keep us posted :thumbs:

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i'm so sorry i missed this, you must be very keen if your digging out by hand and very much respect to you for having a go , i have a very small splash i shoot later on in the season its no good antil mid way through the season because of water shortage , i dont shoot big numbers but it's good for half a dozen ducks in a flight , the size of the splash is no more than 25ft across it attracts only teal with the od shovler ....

 

if its in a wood then you could have some great sport if it attracts teal , i have a flight pond in a wood thats holds great amounts of teal in the winter when the teal are flighting to the pond they come through the trees and all you here is there wings smacking the trees as the come through to the pond its great to see ....

 

 

just put some feed down with a couple of decoys in and see how it goes if they find it then i assure you , you with have some great sport shooting it..... good luck and keep us posted :thumbs:

 

Thanks Wag,

 

Sounds encouraging, although I guess the pond will only measure about 15 yards by 4 this year and maybe a little extra each year after that. The attached picture is taken at the end of March when the water table was up to ground level. Now it has dropped about 2 foot althoough the pool in the foreground is still full as it is directly on a spring. I might enlarge that hole and leave unconnected to the rest of the pond so that there will be a small permanent pond. I've found that it is a lot easier to dig dry clay than it is to dig mud and I got a good bit dug yesterday where the dog is in the pic.

 

I guess this pond will fill with the first heavy rains of autumn/winter.

 

Sounds like a lot of work for some marginally worthwhile duck flights. Considering it will provide me with decades of use I think I am just about sane!

FB

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i'm so sorry i missed this, you must be very keen if your digging out by hand and very much respect to you for having a go , i have a very small splash i shoot later on in the season its no good antil mid way through the season because of water shortage , i dont shoot big numbers but it's good for half a dozen ducks in a flight , the size of the splash is no more than 25ft across it attracts only teal with the od shovler ....

 

if its in a wood then you could have some great sport if it attracts teal , i have a flight pond in a wood thats holds great amounts of teal in the winter when the teal are flighting to the pond they come through the trees and all you here is there wings smacking the trees as the come through to the pond its great to see ....

 

 

just put some feed down with a couple of decoys in and see how it goes if they find it then i assure you , you with have some great sport shooting it..... good luck and keep us posted :thumbs:

 

Thanks Wag,

 

Sounds encouraging, although I guess the pond will only measure about 15 yards by 4 this year and maybe a little extra each year after that. The attached picture is taken at the end of March when the water table was up to ground level. Now it has dropped about 2 foot althoough the pool in the foreground is still full as it is directly on a spring. I might enlarge that hole and leave unconnected to the rest of the pond so that there will be a small permanent pond. I've found that it is a lot easier to dig dry clay than it is to dig mud and I got a good bit dug yesterday where the dog is in the pic.

 

I guess this pond will fill with the first heavy rains of autumn/winter.

 

Sounds like a lot of work for some marginally worthwhile duck flights. Considering it will provide me with decades of use I think I am just about sane!

FB

 

its most defently looks like you have a task on your hands , is there no way you can get a digger in that area to help you even a mini digger ? , i hope all the hard work pays off for you i really do ... well done on how far you have got so far ..

 

 

regards wag

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Unfortunately access is difficult even for a mini digger as it would have to pass through an oak plantation which hasn't reached thinning stage. I'm happy enough to spend an odd hour after work with the spade and shovel (an antidote to sitting at a desk all day). I reckon that by the time I have 10 hours clocked up I will have a pond capable of attracting a few teal at least. There is a large pond a couple of hundred yards away (out of my bounds) which isn't fed and is rarely shot so there are lots of ducks around. I'll start a seperate thread when I get a few more pics. Hopefully I can prove a point that a duck pond can be achieved at absolutely zero cost.

 

My next project is the construction of a timber stand alone high-seat/tower for deer shooting. This will overlook the pond so charlie better watch out!

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Cheers Wag,

 

Some helpful advice as i have a small pool i flight have got half dozen or so but it seems as if they have moved off i will give your advice a go and see if i can draw them back as there is a lot of small waters and a river near each other.

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We have a small circular pond, about 40 foot across, with a little round island about 8 foot across towards one end. In the past we have fed this with barley and had quite a few teal in on it. On a cold winter's evening after a day out roughshooting, two or three of us would come back to this pond and have about 20 to 30 minutes of exciting shooting just before last light, and perhaps shoot 6 or 8 teal as they flight in - in small packs of 10 or so at a time. They would only arrive just as it got almost too dark to see - but when we got to know the pond and the times the birds came in, you could arrive about 15 minutes before the first one and just have a short wait to give your eyes time to adjust to the dark.

 

From late November through to the end of January we would do this every fortnight or so, and a bit more often at the end of the season - maybe should a 30 to 40 in the season. We have a large estuary nearby, so presumably the teal came inland from there in the cold winter nights for a little more shelter. There was another small pond nearby, so the ones we didn't shoot could go there without being too disturbed. Sometimes in the real cold days in late December, we would have 100+ crammed into the little ponds during the day as well.

Edited by rosspti
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if your pond is big enough you could make a raft out of barrels and pallets and tie piece of rope to it.you can feed it and ducks can rest on it aswel instead of goin on the bank where there could be a fox lurking around

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Feeding my flight pond.

 

Hi there I have just recently put down 300 mallard on my release pond. I have had problems in the past with feeding the ducks on the water every day since they were 6 week olds and comeing up to shooting time they won't leave the ponds through the day and It takes alot of effort to get them off. I'm thinking of changing to feeding from hoppers to minimise me being around them too much. If anyone has any tips or pointers it would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance

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