provided by John E. Phillips
Richie McKnight, from Dawson Springs, Kentucky, is a travelling duck hunter and has been a Mossy Oak Pro since 2005. You can see his adventures on Traffic Hunters TV on YouTube and go to his Facebook page. “I got really interested in duck hunting when I was fairly young,” McKnight explains. “And, duck hunting just stuck with me like white on rice. I don’t think we killed any ducks when I was young, however, the experience of watching older hunters call and pull the ducks out of the sky totally fascinated me. So, I’ve been duck hunting ever since.”
My third favorite place to hunt waterfowl is my home state of Kentucky. I have a home place not far from the house that ducks like. Late in the year, we’re fairly successful at taking ducks here in Kentucky. I hunt in Providence, Kentucky, on Clear Creek Wildlife Management Area. Although we have several natural sloughs we hunt, we also have some Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP) land that we flood. In those man-made flooded spots, we plant Japanese millet. The ground on these WRP lands that we flood stays wet most of the year. The grounds are too wet to plant corn or beans, however, the Japanese millet grows really well in this moist soil.
The ground is more or less swamp ground there, and even though we try to drain it long before the season arrives, any small amounts of rain these areas get through the spring will keep these swamp holes full of water. We also have discovered, that by planting the millet in these swamp holes, the millet attracts and holds good numbers of ducks. We only hunt there about two or three days a week. And then we let it rest for four days. That way, we can keep ducks in the vicinity - even during the late season. We also don’t overhunt any one of our spots - never hunting the same places on two consecutive days. In Kentucky, we’ve got about 600 acres total that we can hunt. So, we try and hunt different locations. That way we can control the amount of hunting pressure each of our sites gets, and we don’t over-pressure any of these locations and drive the ducks out of any one area of the farm.
In Kentucky, the majority of ducks we take will be mallards. But we usually have a mixed bag including teal, wood ducks and mallards. I’ve hunted ducks all over the U.S. - including Illinois, Texas and the Northwest. But the older I get, the more I enjoy duck hunting close to home in Kentucky.