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John's Journal... Entry 284, Day 1


Where Ducks Always Fly

Editor’s Note: Duck season in most of the nation can best be described as hot, although that term doesn't refer to the amount of shooting you get but instead to the weather with which you must deal. In most duck blinds the past couple of years, Yard Guard has been a more-appropriate hunter's accessory than insulated clothing and mittens. But I learned recently at Deer Creek Lodge in Sebree, Kentucky, that ducks fly throughout hunting season.

Any day you can shoot as few as six or as many as 25 because Deer Creek Lodge is a hunting preserve. But, unlike most duck-hunting operations, the hunt at Deer Creek Lodge doesn't have to end after a morning of waterfowling. At this lodge, you can double-down and hunt ducks in the morning and upland birds or deer in the afternoon. After taking ducks, you may flush as many as 100 or 200 upland birds or choose to hunt forClick to enlarge trophy whitetails with your bow. Besides terrific hunting, the food and lodging are great too. The chef prepares delicious meals as fine as what you expect to eat in upscale restaurants, and the lodge has the comforts of home for you to enjoy.

Waterfowl hunting throughout the lower half of the Central and Mississippi flyways has been bad for the last few years. The ducks haven't come down the flyways in the numbers they once did. And often when they do show up, waterfowling season in most states already may be closed. Getting a limit of ducks, especially all mallards, has been such an iffy proposition that many waterfowl hunters have started going North to take webfoots. To solve this problem, Deer Creek Lodge holds waterfowl hunts on their property that will rival anything you'll experience in Canada or Mexico.

"I usually go to Arkansas six or seven times a year to hunt, but lately I rarely take a limit of ducks," Tim Stull, the lodge manager of Deer Creek, says. "Because I like to duck hunt so much, and many of the hunters who Click to enlargehunt with us like to hunt ducks, our operation has flooded our timber and uses boat blinds and in-ground blinds. Our ducks will come in from several different directions. You'll find just about every kind of waterfowl shot that you can expect to take anywhere here at Deer Creek Lodge. You'll see pass shooting birds and also have ducks that will come straight at you. We try and maintain 2,000 to 3,000 ducks on our refuge at all times. We have rest ponds on either end of our refuge, and our ducks are free-ranging. They can go anywhere they want anytime they want, but they still stay on our refuge. In a morning's hunt, you should see 1,000 to 2,000 ducks, all mallards, and you'll have one of the most-fantastic waterfowl hunts you've ever had."

"Here they come," Will Fletcher, one of the guides at the lodge, told us as a flock of mallards came in from the right. The birds were about 70-yards out. As the we looked over our shoulders, we spotted another flight of ducks coming from the opposite direction about 30-yards away. Turning to shoot the closer flight, I dumped one drake mallard and then spun around and took two more. In about two hours of shooting, all the hunters had experienced more waterfowl action than they had had in two years. All four blinds limited out by 11:00 a.m., and the hunters all agreed that this hunt had to rank as one of the finest waterfowl hunts ever. "I'll put our waterfowl hunting up against anyone's waterfowl hunts anywhere in the world, including those held in Canada, Mexico and Argentina," Stull said.

Click to enlargeAs you might expect, the dogs made the hunt. Black and golden Labradors hit the water every time a duck did. According to Stull, "The dogs greatly reduce the number of ducks we lose. Too, most of our hunters really enjoy seeing the dogs work." Deer Creek Lodge's duck hunt is an integral part of the lodge's overall program. Retrievers are born, raised, bought, sold and most importantly trained at Deer Creek Lodge. For a retriever to be a top-notch dog, he must have the opportunity to make many retrieves during waterfowl season. At Deer Creek Lodge, retrievers are trained regularly. They will make more retrieves in a week than they often will be asked to make in a full season of waterfowl hunting at most places.

For more information on Deer Creek Lodge, you can write P.O. Box 39, Sebree,
Kentucky 42455; call 1-888-875-3000; email deercreek@vci.net; or, visit






Check back each day this week for more about WHERE DUCKS ALWAYS FLY AND YOU CAN TAKE BIG BUCKS...

Day 1 - Where Ducks Always Fly
Day 2 - 140S Or Better
Day 3 - Pheasants, Quail, Chukars and Hungarian Partridge
Day 4 - Why Deer Creek Lodge Raises and Trains Dogs
Day 5 - Deer Creek's Retriever Training Program

John's Journal