Monday, April 25, 2011

When is the best time to duck hunt in Mississippi, Arkansas, or Louisiana?

Another question that is posed to me with every new hunter that calls. What is the best time to come? When is the best time to kill ducks in Mississippi,Arkansas, or Louisiana? According to Trey Smith on our facebook fan page, it is anytime the season is open. That is true because any day hunting is better than any day in the office, but I have to give paying cutomers an answer to this question. I have found that the best time to hunt in the south is in the weeks between Dec. 15 and Jan 25. This is when most bag limits are filled by our hunters here at Mossy Island Outfitters. Here is a graph for overall number of duck kills per hunter:

Then I have people that only want to come when there is a good chance of mallards being killed. So here is a graph of mallard kills per hunter over the past five years.

Next week we will show total numbers by species by the week here at Mossy Island Outfitters. So I hope this will help many in how they make their decision in not only hunting with me, but when they head to the south to hunt ducks. These graphs are very representative of the hunting in this time frame of Central Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana. Call to book your hunt today at Mossy Island Outfitters at 1-877-699-6677 or 662-392-4740 or go to our website at .

Rocky Leflore

Monday, April 18, 2011

Are Yall Killing Ducks?

This is the number one question asked to me by hunters on the phone before they come out. The biggest mistake I ever made in my guiding career was telling a group we were killing mallards and we weren't. I learned a couple of things from this mishap on my part.
The first thing I learned was I am duck hunting service and not a mallard killing service. Mallards have become so unpredictable, I can't just really rely on shooting just them to run my business. Second thing I learned was to always tell the truth and nothing but the truth when people call. So I now always give the truth when somebody calls. Most of the time we are killing ducks. It just may not be the kind they want to shoot. We have always had access to old catfish ponds and working catfish ponds in our guiding rotation. It seems the ducks (shovelers, bluebills, and Canvasback) that sit on these ponds arrive here and never leave throughout the season. So it makes for some exciting shooting for some clients that may kill one to two ducks all season in some of their honey holes at home. So now when people call and ask if we are killing ducks, I always ask which species they are talking about. Some people may just want to go to a mallard hole and kill one big duck compared to a limit of other ducks when things are slow, but I find most people want to shoot. Shooting always make customers and also myself happy and as long as we are killing ducks I am happy. I think the only time I get frustrated in this business is when a customer doesn't pull the trigger enough to fill a limit. So if that happens in my guided duck hunts I will always take the customer out for a free afternoon hunt.  I hope to see all of you soon at Mossy Island Outfitters.

Rocky Leflore

Monday, April 11, 2011

You might be a Topwater!

Topwater- I think the definition of a topwater would be a duck hunter, new to the sport that obsesses over it. I mean that is all they think about. They try anything and everything to kill a duck. They present themselves in public as an expert and make sure all around them know how good, the gadgets they possess, and how obsessed they are with their sport. So topwater I would probably say is all about the presentation of yourself in duck hunting to people around you. All of us were newbies and totally obsessed with duck hunting at one time or another. I will be the first to say I did a lot of things on this list at one time or another and I was obsessed with duck hunting. So as you read these please don't get mad at me for listing them because I did most of them. I actually was Topwater of the year in 1997. So here they are (just finish each statement with you might be a topwater):

If you try to load 3.5 into a 3 inch gun,
If you have camo makeup on your face after the hunt when you make it to town to grab breakfast,
If you wear your calls into the restaurant,
If there is nothing older than two years old in all of your duck hunting supplies,
If you have a dog named delta or gumbo,
If you put camo makeup on your yellow dog,
If you have more spinners than regular decoys,
If you have to many duck hunting stickers on your truck,
If Drake or Under Armour is your number one brand in your closet for all your clothes,
If you have a duck tatoo,
If you use a Primos Shaker feeder,
If you have more chokes than shells,
If you can't clean your own gun, (I fit into this one, I have to get a client to clean it for me each year)
If all your duck bands came from EBAY,
If you think your banded bird was banded in Laurel, Maryland,
If you use duck cocaine or hen-n-heat in your hole,
If  you copy or quote more than three things from The Duckman,
If you park a red or yellow 4-wheeler beside your blind in full site of ducks,
If you think you can shoot two daily limits because of the possession limit law,
If the only comeback you know is the Arkansas hail call,
If all your camo matches to the T,
If you don't know what a grebe is, (that's me, i thought I had a rare coot)
If you buy Drake old school camo,
If you have a dog named drake or avery,
If you hunt public land and set up 50 yards or less from the next group and refuse to hunt with the other party next to you even after being asked to,
You try to kill a duck 75 yards or higher,
If you use confidence decoys,
If you don't know how to load your gun,
If you shoot more ducks on the water instead of hovering,
If you own a call coozie,
If you blow a Canada call when specks are flying two miles high over you,
If your ring tone on your cell phone is duck chatter,
If you use camo toilet paper,
If you just happen to have your handy dandy hand held crow call on your duck lanyard.
If you have chrome exhaust on your outboard or mud motor for your duck boat

If you know of any more that need to be added please leave them to me where I can add them in the comments section.

Rocky Leflore

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Flooded Timber or The Field?

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?
Will Primos with a group at Mossy Island Outfitters hunting the field. Notice the variety of ducks!

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.
Nice flooded timber hunt with some clients!

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

Rocky Leflore