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Thread: Creation of duck flight pond

  1. #1

    Creation of duck flight pond

    Assuming you had all the space available and full permission, what is the ideal design for a flight pond for mallard and teal.

    I am interested in shape, kidney, round, long and narrow, is it better to scallop the edges.
    What about presence of islands and depth variation.
    Should one take into account prevailing wind direction and sunset so the pond is facing in the best direction for shooting.

    Realistically what area of water would one need for a reasonable flight, say 3 guns looking to bag a dozen duck every month.

    Where should one position the pond - near to a watercourse, away from trees.

    Do you need a fresh supply of water coming in or can one get away with natural supplies, seepage, rain water?

    Sorry Guys questions, questions - thanks

  2. #2
    I can't answer all of the above questions, but will throw in my tuppence worth for you to read in the hope that some of it may be useful to you.

    If you have a small water source running through it, that helps in that the water is refreshed and when things get to freezing, there's usually still some clear water, so ducks favour it over other totally frozen ponds. It doesn't have to be that big, some I see are around 30 feet across. Not sure that shape is that important, possibly look at something pleasing to the human eye and a shape where a shooter can stand and reach most parts with his shotgun. An island is desirable, somewhere for the ducks to be on land and feel safe from predators. As for depth, if it's going to be used solely for flighting wild duck, shallow is good, about the depth of a Mallard upended in the water, although deeper parts aren't a problem. If you intend to use it for reared duck, deeper in places is good, but in either case, nice shallow margins where ducks can feed from the bottom are a must. They're hardy things, ducks, but if the location is open to wind, planting some bushes/trees around will make it a bit more inviting.

    I guess from what you say, that you'll know not to shoot it too often. I wouldn't shoot it at all at first, even if there are a few duck coming in until you know that there's a good following. I certainly wouldn't shoot more than once a fortnight and mostly less than that. When you do shoot, try to stop before they've all come in, to ensure every duck that uses it isn't frightened off as that may result in having to build up a following from scratch again.

    Hope that's given a bit of food for thought.

  3. #3
    Although never blessed with the option of design & build I have been lucky enough to work a couple of derelict ponds back into decent flight ponds , the best one was a long fairly narrow 200m x 30m that had a slight bow shape .After the initial work of dragging dozens of fallen trees of various sizes out , clearing rubbish ,and the thickest undergrowth iv'e ever seen we ended up with a stretch of open water at most a metre deep in the middle & to one end ,the majority being 600mm to 100m to the bank .One day with a machine graded the bank & shallows & that was it water wise. We took out several ash trees either end to give a flight path in & out , built 4 hides out of some willow , which grew at an astonishing rate , then started to feed it .The results were ever three weeks 2 or3 of us enjoyed an evening on the ducks , with a normal bag being around 15 this continued for about 5 years till the farmers son returned home , he then took over control of the shooting ,including the pond , which he shot every week till it was ruined. We did get 5 great years shooting though .

  4. #4
    I've only built a couple of small ones on a rough shoot I used to run but as stated they dont need to be deep at all a foot was the deepest point of min I think I had one that was about 20 ft by 30 ft and one that was about 50 ft by 30 ft wide as others have stated a few trees around the edges help break wind up a little and also give cover for guns , only other advice I can offer is dont over shoot it , we shot every 2 to 3 weeks and that seemed to be aboutright , watch out for mink and Charlie's hanging around a few traps and snares are always a good idea
    There are no perfect men in this world ..... Only perfect intentions

  5. #5
    The Game Conservancy produce a book that will answer all your questions, it's called "Ponds and lakes for wildfowl". It deals with planning consents, the shape of islands you can build to best suit the ducks and just about everything else you could wish for.

    Blindness to suffering is an inherent consequence of natural selection. Nature is neither kind nor cruel but fiercely indifferent.

  6. #6
    I think Basc possibly do something similar to the above too.

    Plenty of shallow margins and have sides/banks very gentle tapered so duck can waddle out easily. If possible a unusal shaped pond with a few bays will give it more shelter
    Think most points have been covered really, ducks usually land into the wind so bear that in mind prevailing wind when ur thinking of placing butts, wanting ducks to be crossers or coming straight on
    Consider access for getting feed up to it, but u also want it so it is not disturbed so away from busy footpaths or farm gates etc (pretty obvious really)
    Althou would it help a flight pond as moving daytime duck off?

    I'm hoping to scrape 2 out this spring nothing very big, 1 will just be 2 very close together about 15 ft sq ish each and a bigger one further down, won't have room for an island. Islands aren't that important for predators but they do give a lot of shelter (videos of foxes swimming out to the island in middle of rutland? water and stealling eggs and swimming back without breaking them, think 00's of m)

    It's impossible to say if u will get ur bags, will depend on where ur ground is; a crap pond next to a river/shore will shoot more and more often than a well designed pond well off normal flightlines.
    While trees can be useful for cover u also want clear lines off sight so u can se duck silotted aggainst the sky, if on edge of a wood u would lose sight of the ducks as they dropped below tree line

    Basically when i look at a site i try to picture where butts/guns would be where wind usually is so the way ducks should approch, do u have a decent sight line and plenty of room for the 3 guns and then design or move ur pond trying to visulise ur shooting position and work from there (hope that makes sense to u)
    Last edited by countrryboy; 15-10-2013 at 23:36.

  7. #7
    Thanks for all your feed back -been a big help.

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