featuring Drew Keeth
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-many duck hunters Honey Brake can accommodate. Our favorite number is between 18 and 24, but we’ve had as many as 36 hunters in a day. As soon as our hunters limit-out in the morning, we come out of our blinds and give the ducks the rest of the day to come in, feed and rest in the area. That practice helps us have plenty of ducks at Honey Brake. So, if sportsmen want to go bass or crappie fishing or shoot sporting clays, they can do so in the afternoons. Our guests fish Saline and Larto Lakes, as well as Catahoula Lake, and we manage a private lake for trophy bass that also is available to our guests.
Besides the agricultural crops we raise here on the farm, we do a slow draw-down in our moist-soil management areas to promote growth of the desirable vegetation we want for our ducks and reduce the amount of undesirable vegetation on these wetlands. This draw-down also increases the amount of snails and invertebrates for ducks to eat. We manage our lands and our farm year-round for our waterfowl. We’ve proven, just like good deer management can produce more and better bucks each year, quality waterfowl management can increase the number of ducks that come to our property, stay on our property and breed on our property. We’re thinking about and managing our land for waterfowl 365 days per year.
We haven’t talked yet about what most people enjoy at Honey Brake, and that’s our facilities. Our lodge is built well-up off the ground on stilts. Even in flood stages, the lodge never will have water in it. There’s a wooden walkway through the trees from the lodge to the cabins where our guests stay. Again, if we have flooding conditions, our guests have a dry place to sleep and eat, and the scenery from the cabins and lodge is outstanding. Many of the people who hunt with us built tree houses when they were kids. Our lodges and cabins are built in the trees like big-boy tree houses, making Honey Brake Lodge one of the most-unique experiences that a waterfowler can have.
For more information, visit http://honeybrake.com/, or call 318-775-1007.