Pond Duck Hunting

Self Guided pond duck hunting frequently in conjunction with field set hunts. These would be for both ducks and geese. They also have grown in popularity amongst Association waterfowl hunters over the last couple of seasons.

Kansas duck hunting

Pond Duck Hunt

Early season pond hunt. What Danny said about the hunt: "Another good hunt on Mid-America property."

Another Missouri Pond Hunt

New member Elmer with the first 2 greenheads of his career. A gadwall drake as well. Special time when a hunter breaks over into a new discipline.

Long time member Tim with 2 mallard drakes, 2 gadwall and 2 teal.

Do not expect to see pictures of only banger days of maximum limits across multiple species. These picture represent reality. We offer real wild duck hunts. Meaning more days of less than limits than limit days during any season. No release boxes to insure small flights through the morning. The hunt's enjoyment is avoidance of public wetlands mentality of setting up close, sky busting, late setups, stealing flights. And, enjoying the migration in its true form regardless of how good or bad it may be.

New Duck Hunt To Some

Along with this trend is the secondary dynamic. The MAHA partners has become trainers for those that have heard of other duck hunters' pond and field hunt success. They seek information at how to achieve similar successful duck hunts. The impact on the partners has been for hunters to seek them as hunter trainers rather than hunt execution facilitators. This effect is contrary to the Association's purpose.

The more the staff remains focused on providing the resources for hunt execution the better for this self guided duck hunter organization. Hence, the purpose of this article. That is, to give those hunters that want a jump start on do it yourself pond duck hunts and field set hunts what has worked for those that report the most successful seasons.

The do it yourself aspect of pond duck and field set hunts is that our ponds and fields do not have duck blinds. On ponds we do not control water levels We advertise specific ponds or fields as waterfowl hunt locations.


The elements to successful pond duck hunts or field set is scouting. Locate the ponds and fields likely to attract ducks and geese, during season/hunt scout and hunt.

The first method of pond and field location is to review our online map library and find those that list ponds. Some are for fishing. From this starting point draw down aerials for all lease land in close driving distance to known fishing ponds. Seek out other water bodies and interdicting fields. The final step is to scout out additional ponds not listed on the map library and not seen on aerials. This requires foot scouting. There are far more ponds on MAHA leases than can be cataloged.

Always Another Way

An alternative is to use current MAHA duck hunt managed wetlands as a starting point. Seek out nearby ponds and crop fields. Having wetlands and pond/field duck/goose hunt options within a small area works well.

A further refinement would be the same as before relative to our private wetlands locations and that of nearby public refuge areas. Two prime regional locations for such pond and field duck hunt reconnaissance have been north central Missouri around the Fountain Grove public wetlands. A second in southeast Kansas near Neosho and La Cygne public lakes and wetlands areas.

While we list these two well known duck areas, it is they have had less duck hunter pressure than others. The Holt County flooded cropland by Bob Brown and Squaw Creek and that of around Clinton and Urich in southwest Missouri have more pressure. These areas have more local small acreage waterfowl outfitters and accompanying hunter pressure.

Duck Hunter Pressure

Each season duck hunter pressure concentrations and slack varies. This last identification of localities is more to remind folks that if one area is not working the Association has options of where else to hunt.

A pond hunt within a pheasant hunting spot of native grass.

Pond duck hunting

One leg band. Notice the Missouri truck plates.

Scouting and Reservations

During the hunt scouting is the determinate of where to duck hunt. Not preconceived decisions based on aerials or known pond locations.

The best scouting finds ducks or geese on water. Call in a reservation and then hunt that next morning or that afternoon and the next morning. What is the difference? Apparently, a great difference from what the most successful duck hunters have told us.

A pond with ducks on it is left alone the day of discovery. If lucky and observing where the ducks feed/fly around relative to the pond a field set that afternoon out of sight of the pond and in sight/hearing of the duck flight line. Leave that field set decoys in place and reserve that pond for the next morning's hunt. Hunt the pond the next morning or all day. The field set left the previous day is an alternative hunt dependent on limits and how the ducks/geese worked. Repeat at that pond and field until the ducks are pressured off. Or, repeat at another pond or field.

Duck Numbers

Pond ducks are fewer in numbers than on wetlands. They are not call or spread shy. Typically, can be worked for a day or two and then its time to move on.

These hunts are not easy or quick. They are simply more enjoyable as a true self guided hunt. A chance to work call and decoy skills to a higher level than can be done on more pressured wetlands.

To help put these duck hunts into perspective are the number of ponds in a relatively small area. The ponds may cover an area that exceeds 50 road miles and 4 hours to scout. Most of these hunters have in excess of 8 known ponds identified that have good duck holding potential. These ponds were found over time in a trial and succeed or failure mode taking more than a season to develop. The traveling duck hunter at this point may rule out the pond and field duck hunts as an option as too time consuming. That is true to an extent. However, all who duck hunt have days of early limits or simply bad duck days of missed migration or weather not suited to duck movement. Those are the days to scout ponds and fields to develop further duck hunt options.

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