I have this question asked to me every time someone calls me about a guided hunt. My response is always, "we will hunt where the ducks are". I am not really trying to be a smart ellic when I respond in this way. I have both opportunities in my array of places to hunt. I am not like some Arkansas guided duck hunts having only the flooded timber to hunt. In my opinion duck hunting has changed over the last twenty to thirty years. When I first started duck hunting, really the only places that had water were the old cypress brakes and some flooded hardwoods and all you ever killed were mallards, gadwalls, and wood ducks. The only time you really saw a flooded field was after it rained and there was a low spot in the field that didn't drain. Fast forward to today and everybody that has a pipe in a field stops it up, floods it, and rents it out. Also factor in all the old fish ponds that have been drained down and planted in row crop and flood in the winter time which plays a huge part in holding ducks.
If someone were to ask me where I would prefer to guide a group of clients. I would say the fields. Why you ask?
1. More opportunity for shooting
2. Because of the food source, sooner or later they are gonna come to the food.
3. More of a variety of ducks
4. I have killed ducks in the field whether cloudy or sunny.
1. Difficult to hide. (made easier when layouts were invented)
2. Full Moon sooner or later will get you.
3. Can spread you out with to much water. Your 3 acre hole can turn into a 30 acre hole with a good rain.
4. Have to be able to be very versatile.
5. Can freeze up easy.
Where would I prefer to hunt if it were just me and a buddy? I would tell you straight up it is the flooded timber. Because to me it is not about the killing anymore.
1. I can hide more easily.
2. Ducks have only certain places they can get down through the timber.
3. In your face shooting action.
4. Feels like the old days every time I do it.
1. Depends on a lot of rain or well water.
2. You can't hunt it on a cloudy day.
3. You may have to boat in which can be dangerous sometimes in the dark.
4. Your are depending on gadwallls mostly and the only thing dependable about a gadwall is they aren't very dependable.
There are advantages to hunting in the field or the timber. The main thing about it really when it comes down to the nut cutting is being where the ducks want to be. If I missed some advantages or disadvantages in your opinion please post them in the comments section