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.
I’m often asked how we hunt our ducks. We hunt our early-season ducks just like you hunt ducks at any time of the year. We scout and see where the most ducks are before the hunt. Then we leave the lodge before daylight. Last year, we took ATVs back and forth to the blinds, because our region had had a severe drought. But if we continue to get the rains like we have this summer, we probably will go to our blinds in duck boats.
We have 90 pit blinds and 6-8 floating blinds out on Catahoula Lake. Most of the time, our hunters don’t even have to wear boots. They can hunt wearing penny loafers or deck shoes. We have really-easy duck hunting. We let the ducks tell us when we need to move from one blind to another. If we have plenty of ducks coming in and get our limit in the first 30 or 45 minutes of legal shooting time, we leave that blind. The ducks still can come into that area, and we may return to that blind for a second morning. We always try and find places during the afternoons where the most ducks are coming in before the next morning hunts.
We have certain places on the farm that we call duck holes. By that I mean, the ducks will continue to come into these places whether they have any hunting pressure or not. So, we always have a place where our hunters can get a limit of ducks. In these duck holes, you can be wearing a blue jump suit and waving a red flag, and those ducks still will come and light in those duck holes. We also have some blinds we only may hunt one day per year. By scouting every afternoon, we can put our hunters in the spots where they’re most likely to be successful.
I’m a diehard Mossy Oak Bottomland fan, but Mossy Oak’s new Shadow Grass Blades pattern is especially good when we’re hunting in the marshes. In the duck blinds, we prefer the darker Mossy Oak colors, because when the covers are over the blinds, our hunters and guides are invisible when wearing darker-colored camo patterns.
For more information, visit http://honeybrake.com/, or call 318-775-1007.