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Thread: Flight pond

  1. #1

    Flight pond

    Hello,

    just a few questions for those of you with experience of flight ponds (this is my first go) . iv been regularly feeding my flight pond since the begging of August and I've had about 15-20 Mallard coming in regularly in the evening over the last week.

    First of all, When do you start to shoot the pond? should i begin to shoot it in September or is it best to leave it until it gets colder.

    I have read that as it gets colder and food gets more sparse the duck will increase in numbers, is this a common occurrence? if so how much of an increase have you experienced in the past (i know it will depend on the flight pond and other factors but I'm still interested).

    Iv also got 5 call ducks on the pond, 4 ducks and a drake, shall i get rid of the drake? i have been told that his presence will discourage the ducks to call as often.

    Many thanks

  2. #2
    No idea about getting rid of the drake. The most important thing, besides feeding, is to visit the pond each morning to drive off the duck so that it does not become a daytime roost. Drive them off and they will bring more back each night. Don't wait to get loads coming in, they can get fed up and suddenly disappear. we found that once you have about 20 coming in at flight time, the following night you will have enough come in to shoot 20. Lots of teal seem to put off mallard with all their squabbling. Get some water snails living there to attract pochard and other divers.

  3. #3
    I haven't triple checked this but when you say call birds do you mean live decoys? Pretty sure that is illegal in the UK if you were to shoot over them. Worth a check.

    From my experience I would think that come harvest time the birds will be feeding in the fields and once that is all hovered up they will return to the ponds. Then winter comes, as does the rain and creates splashes and pockets of water all over the shop which they invariably love and stay away from the ponds. That is if the ice hasn't already taken over in which case the pond can be scuppered anyway unless there is some open water or a real draw for them to come in. So for my advice I would say start in early October as this also gives this years ducks a chance to fatten up a bit, and shoot sparingly, like every 2 weeks at most. They soon learn that the pond that 'lights up' when they come in is not a safe one!

    I often leave it too late - like November on my bits and you know what, they are never there when I come to shoot them! Saying all this though each pond is different depending on size and area so it really is a case of get out, see what happens and use your best judgement. The above are a few helpful learnings from up here though!

    Edit - found this on BASC ''The use of sound recordings and decoys of live birds tethered, blinded or maimed is illegal. It is also an offence to cause or permit such methods to be used.''

    Not saying your call birds are though as I know nothing of your set up but this is a murky area for me and a heads up if anyone knows better. Couldn't find much more info though.
    Last edited by ChrisWill184; 24-08-2015 at 22:13. Reason: some research

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by JTO View Post
    No idea about getting rid of the drake. The most important thing, besides feeding, is to visit the pond each morning to drive off the duck so that it does not become a daytime roost. Drive them off and they will bring more back each night. Don't wait to get loads coming in, they can get fed up and suddenly disappear. we found that once you have about 20 coming in at flight time, the following night you will have enough come in to shoot 20. Lots of teal seem to put off mallard with all their squabbling. Get some water snails living there to attract pochard and other divers.
    Thanks jto.

    Il try to make it there on the way to work to push them off the pond. Can you do this too early? As i would have to do it at about 6.00am. Also would i find water snails in small streams? Plenty of those near my house.

    Regards

  5. #5
    Hi chris,

    I meant call ducks, as in the domesticated breed of minature duck. I was led to believe that this was acceptable. They are free to go where they wish, fed well and no harm is done to them at all. Could some one please clarify if this is against the rules.

    Thanks for the info, il have to monitor the pond a bit longer i think and then decide on when im going to shoot it. Sounds like one early on would do no harm.

    Thanks

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Kudu101 View Post
    Thanks jto.

    Il try to make it there on the way to work to push them off the pond. Can you do this too early? As i would have to do it at about 6.00am. Also would i find water snails in small streams? Plenty of those near my house.

    Regards
    A keeper once told me that scaring ducks off a pond in the dark was a NO, NO, but I don't know if that would be right. There would be commercial sources of water snails, I would think, aquarium supplies? I think they breed quite fast.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Kudu101 View Post
    Hi chris,

    il have to monitor the pond a bit longer i think and then decide on when im going to shoot it. Sounds like one early on would do no harm.

    Thanks
    Don't try to be greedy, as soon as there are a couple of dozen coming it, shoot the next evening. If you wait for hundreds, you may be disappointed. We have had over 80 off one pond(several shoots) by the end of September, without call birds. Never stay shooting until no more duck are coming in, leave some to form a 'lead-in' for the following nights.

  8. #8
    Start shooting ASAP because as soon as the stubbles open up and with all this rain your ducks will be gone. Best on a windy evening and with little moon so not going to be good as we are rapidly approaching a full moon. Best to feed just before dusk and its difficult to stop ducks roosting durring the day but helped if you do not over feed. I have had tiny flight ponds for decades and just selectively shoot drakes. I don't shoot a lot but I do like roast mallard.

    D

  9. #9
    The only ting about shooting early in Sept is the ducks are a pain to pluck as often still a few blood quills about. Sometimes birds will still be a bit smaller too.

    Every pond is different and will depend on wot is in the general area (how close to rivers, big ponds/lochs or shore) all will make a difference to ur pond. It will also improve over time as more ducks learn there is feed there year on year.

    Just decide wot sort of bag/sport/bangs u want and go when u have enough duck to give u that, but as others have said sometimes leaving for a big bag is a mistake if weather changes and fields flood (stubbles gor grain or grass for drowned worms etc)

    I've never chased duck of ponds before and still get decent flights, quite often duck do not like sitting on a small pond throu day but will flight in at night from the big safe water they've sat on all day. But i would not distrub ducks in the dark, that would stop them coming.


    Wouldnae worry about getting snails either, never heard of that before either, but unless ur pond is deep enough u won't really attract diving duck anyway. Possibly different where u are but very few ponds/lochs in my area attract diving duck and very few end up in the game bag

  10. #10
    if it were me i would get an early go in youve put the time and effort in youve got a good few ducks coming in so youve earnt a shoot, dont over shoot it tho wild ducks do not stand up to pressure at all to much shooting will just drive birds away maybe once now and then once a month after that and keep your eyes open for any teal around christmas. I shoot on what i can only discribe as a small splash of water about a foot/foot half deep and the size of 2 sqwash courts which apears once it gets wet enough in a small corner of a feild right next to the river avon i have no dog so i have to be super selective over which shoots i take so as they land on dry land or into the splash (incase your wondering ive only ever lost one duck in all the years of doing it) i walk about 3/4 mile to get there carrying decoys netting ect and then back with anything ive managed to bag its a total pain in the ar5e to get to and the most flustraighting times can be had there as you watch ducks fly 10-15yrds behind you up the river knowing you cant shoot at them but in fairness i feel more of a conection to the countryside and all thats in it there than anywhere else and the memorys i have of being sat down there are also some of the fondest i have and i hope you get as much enjoyment out of your duck shooting as i have

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