Locust Grove in Sumner, Missouri is one of the best waterfowl hunting spots in the country. MoMarsh founder, Ira McCauley, has spent years farming for ducks and improving his property. At Higdon Outdoors, we’re lucky enough that Ira invites us to share the blind with him at least once a year. This year we got to earn our keep a tiny bit by working on some of the water structures that keep the ducks coming back.
Every levee, every pool, every tree, and every plant are planned. That’s 420 acres, eight ponds and at least six water structures that all have to be maintained and improved. This day our job was to work on the water structures. It costs a lot of time and energy to pump water where you want it to go, and with the recent flood, Ira had lots of water. We just needed to make sure it stayed where he wanted it or got to where he needed it to go.
It's also important to control the depth of the water in each pool. It was the perfect learning opportunity for Power Calls founder, Kelley Powers, and Beau Brooks, both of whom manage their own properties in Tennessee and Washington respectively. Ira took us all to school with his first structure which was essentially a pipe sticking out of the ground when we started. Ira brought along an elbow and PVC pipe that we cut down to size. Once attached, it allowed us to pivot that elbow up or down to adjust the water depth precisely and inexpensively.
Water structure number two was completely different. It used in-line risers which were familiar to Kelley who uses the same structure on his farm back home. There’s a channel through the middle where you can add or remove flashboards. The more boards you add, the deeper the water depth and the fewer boards, the shallower. It’s a simple but effective system that allowed Ira to keep all the free water afforded to him by the flood. He’ll still have to whip out the Warthogs (floating pumps) to top everything off, but he had a great start for the season.
After brushing in a few Versa-Blinds and Inivismen, we were back in the duck blind. We walked out with straps full of Wood Ducks, GW Teal and Greenheads and a greater appreciation for the work that goes into making the ducks fly.
WHAT WE USED ON THE HUNT
- 7 dozen battleship mallards
- 3 Mallard Drake XS Pulsators for water motion
- 2 Floating Flashers for motion
Blind: Permanent Blind
- Ira: Power Calls Ignition (cut-down)
- Beau: Power Calls Ignition and Static Whistle
- Kelley: Power Calls Impulse AA
- Brook: Power Calls Prototype
Shot Shells: HEVI-XII #2s