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Public Land Diver Hunting

by Ben Cole January 22, 2019

Public Land Diver Hunting

Public land hunting can be some of the most rewarding hunting one can do in their career. There’s an, at times, overwhelming challenge when hunting these waters or any other public land hunting. The challenge is locating large, huntable groups of ducks on vast expanses of open water as well as stiff competition from other hunters. 

Recently Jared Force, Jesse Force, Zack Childers and myself raced up river in hopes of acquiring the spot where large groups of bluebills had been spending the day. With a 15 minute boat ride behind us we began setting a makeshift blind amongst the tree top, which had fallen, and set decoys out in patterns known for finishing divers. Unlike other ducks, divers prefer following long lines of decoys instead of spreads thrown for puddle ducks.

 

As the decoys floated about, large groups of bluebills began passing our spread just out of shooting range. We noticed something wasn’t right after this happened multiple times. After changing the spread multiple times, small groups and singles finished every time within shooting range. Our shooting was relatively decent as we charged towards our daily limit. 

 Although the hunting was stellar, our boat decided to fail as birds were being retrieved. Boats can have a mind of their own at times and tend to fail at the worst possible moments during a hunt. With every option on the motor exhausted, the realization was made that the killswitch wasn’t functioning properly, thus enabling the motor to fire. It was a simple fix but aggravating to be floating through the spread while your limit flies by. 

At the end of the hunt we were one bird shy from our 4 man limit of bluebills. Spending time with guys that share your passion for hunting waterfowl is nothing to take for granted or something that will soon be forgotten. Needless to say, despite our boat malfunction, hunting in Alabama has been rather decent for divers this season. In total we have harvested over 200 birds, Goldeneye, canvasback, ringneck, bluebills and gadwall, On this vast expanse of water and hope this trend continues for years to come. 





Ben Cole
Ben Cole

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