Editor’s Note: The South usually is the worst place in the world to hunt early-season ducks. Canada and the Northwest and Midwest have been the Mecca of early-season duck hunting. However, one place in the Southeast that will rival the duck hunting in Canada and the Northwest is Honey Brake Lodge in Jonesville, Louisiana. Many swarming flocks of waterfowl pile into Honey Brake. To find out why, Mossy Oak has interviewed Drew Keeth, general manager of Honey Brake Lodge. Keeth and all his guides wear Mossy Oak camouflage, because Mossy Oak patterns like the new Shadow Grass Blades blend-in so well with the duck blinds.
We have about 14-different species of ducks that come down the Mississippi Flyway to Honey Brake. We have some of the largest numbers of canvasback ducks wintering on Catahoula Lake as can be found anywhere in the nation. Many hunters come from the East Coast just to hunt the canvasbacks. We have about 8-different species of diving ducks, and the rest are puddle ducks. Our goose population primarily is snow geese, blue geese and specklebellies, and this year we will be able to harvest Canada geese. During the special light geese (snows and blues) season, our region will have tremendous flocks of snow geese and blue geese end enjoy very-liberal limits.
One of the unusual aspects of hunting ducks at Honey Brake, especially for first timers, is deciding what type of duck hunt they want. Some hunters want to take a limit of legal ducks, regardless of the species. These hunters often will fill their limits within the first 15 to 45 minutes of their hunts. Other hunters who only want to harvest certain ducks like mallards, pintails and/or canvasbacks may have to stay in the blinds a little longer. They may watch 50 to 100 ducks come into the blind and light on the water before they can shoot those special ducks.
After we finish duck hunting, we come in to the lodge and enjoy a big home-style breakfast. We have some of the finest meals to be found anywhere in the South at our lodge. If our hunters don’t put on an extra 2 or 3 pounds while they’re here, they must have an awful lot of willpower. After breakfast, hunters can take a nap, shoot sporting clays or go crappie or bass fishing. We have plenty of slab-sized crappie and big bass on Catahoula Lake. Some of our guests want to video or shoot digital photography from the blinds after the duck hunt, and we also offer deer hunting. The deer on the farm believe those soybeans and corn have been planted just for them, so we have some high-quality deer available for bowhunters and gun hunters. And, besides delicious meals, there’s always plenty to see and do at Honey Brake.
For more information, visit http://honeybrake.com/, or call 318-775-1007.