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Duck Hunting Thistlewaite WMA

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Anybody ever go hunting for wood ducks at Thistlewaite WMA?? If so I would love to talk and possibly swap some info. You can email me at bsonnier1126@yahoo.com
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I've deer hunted in thistlewaite for years, I've seen people stand on the pipelines and shoot wood ducks. I'm not sure of where any small ponds are but if you find some I'm sure you won't have any problem killing woodies. I've seen thousands flying over at day break, it'll be tough finding them in all those palmettos!
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Thanks for that info. I have hunted there for the past 3 years with some mixed reviews. Sometimes it was great sometimes with was poor. I have always thought about setting up in the pipeline just to see.
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Just find a small pond or creek somewhere with acorns dropping into it! The guys I saw shooting them off of the pipeline had to chase the cripples throu the palmettos and it's hard enough finding deer in them I don't know how they found ducks
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Defiantly will give it a shot this Saturday for opening day!!
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Shouldnt be much competition a lot more deer hunters out there than anything, goodluck!
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Thanks, All of the deer hunters worry me sometimes because a few holes that I like to go to are deep in the woods and defiantly surrounded by many deer hunters. Last year while walking out I passed two different deer hunters and they were NOT VERY HAPPY WITH ME, but there isn't a think I can do about it because my hunts typically end by 9am and deer hunters are still in their stand at that point. Sometimes I go by myself and I have to keep a lookout for them.
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I personally like when there's a lot of people walking around in thistlewaite, the more people the better hunting is how it's always been for me over there. I've killed 3 deer out of thistlewaite and always saw more and had better luck when there was more people moving around!
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Just curious, but where do you mostly hunt deer at? I really like to go down to the end of signo road and hunt way back in that area. I have also done a lot of hunting at the end of plant road or east plant road.
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   yatman
A word of warning on wood duck hunting on the pipeline toward the back parelling the limestone road. There is a private landholding that is off the pipeline and also crosses it and the road within Thistlewaite WMA. You should ask the GW to go over a map with you, so as you don't cross into the private area. That area is hunted for the large bucks that roam in that thicket. The boundary zigzags through that area so be carefull of trespass. I have hunted woodcock for years and have seen many ducks cross the pipeline but their flyway is very near the boundary. The bucks and ducks tend to hold in the woods near a slew that is both private and public. As with most WMA the private landholders within tend to want all of the area too themselves, Hey if you saw the horns I've seen maybe you would too. The one I saw two yrs ago almost had me wanting to deer hunt again after about 15 yrs, but I am a diehard bird hunter. Good hunting and take some kids with you..
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I've been hunting down east road past 3-4 seasons, used to hunt down Peckham Rd and thistlewaite Rd a little past the bridge on the right, done best down east road.
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Thanks for that info Yatman. I actually have a brother in law that is a game warden in Louisiana. I will have to look at the maps again and try to figure out where that would be and ask him about it. Do you still hunt Thistlewaite a lot if you mostly hunt ducks now? I am looking to possibly trying to find a duck lease up around the middle part of the state because the ones along the coast are just way to $$$$.
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With hunting on East road have you ran across any decent sized waterways in that area? I haven't been through there ever and was just curious to see if I need to maybe scout it out for some good waterways?
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I've never come across any waterways on the east road. I honestly have no idea where any of the duck hunters go in thistlewaite theres just not enough water. I started hunting Sherburne for ducks last year more options out there.
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   yatman
To answer your question, do I still hunt there. Not much, maybe 3 hunts a year. I use to only hunt there for ducks and woodcock but switched to hunting the basin. I hunt a lease north of the Mgt area near Whiteville and it's also $$.. I can remember more than a few yrs ago seeing 100's of birds there wood-ducks and a few mallards, and shooting limits of both with 6-10 hunters. The area held a lot of water in large ponds and coulees but the area has been logged and drainage changed. My lease started off great but warm weather brought only mosquitoes..If you can find water you should do a limit. Sherburne Mgt area has a lottery hunt for ducks on the south farm area, you may want to check that one out.
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Thanks quackquackboom and yatman for all the information. I Think I will start to look at maps and possibly go scout out Sherburne to expand my options to ducks.
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No problem, just be ready for the crowds at Sherburne people will sleep with they're boats backed up to the launch out there or be sitting in the holes at 2 am. I'm about to start going north to Richard k Yancey and Dewey wills to try and find new places to duck hunt hopefully the drive will be worth it I just hunt out of my kayak or walk in. A lot less people in Thistlewaite though!
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Not to discourage you but there's no shortage of people at yancey and there pretty hardcore as well it like any other public land you work you butt off its fine but no relaxing weekend hunting for ducks for sure
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I appreciate that comment and I defiantly will try to hook up with someone that knows a little about the area to show me a little and I am pretty sure I will defiantly run into some hardcore people, but in the end I need to expand my options so I have to give this a shot.
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I'm sure there's just as many people just looks like there are more options to scout at Yancey and Dewey wills, everyone knows every hole in Sherburne and it's just a race to them.. Plus haven't been seeing many birds at all yet.
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Yancy and Dewey Mills is quite a drive from my house. It would defiantly be atleast a 1 1/2 drive and Sherburne is closer. I will just have to try my luck, for this year at least, with Sherburne and hope to possibly get in some decent hunting. I will have to go try some of those lottery hunts also.
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I hunted the lottery last year at south farm with two of my buddy's and everytime we started working some ducks they would drop down to come in to us and the guys a couple hundred yards away would shoot them they killed about 10 mallards and we shot one teal, it sucked. But I'll be out there this year going to try it again especially late season, goodluck to you
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   Crawl79
There are plenty of places to kill wood ducks in TW especially when there is water in the woods. I don't want to give away my spot or anyone elses holes but look at a topo map of the area. Find any areas that have the symbol for marsh (swamp) go walk to them and check them out. Some spots are a mile or more walk. Others are less than 100 yards from shell rd. It can be hit and miss but if have some options can be great.
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Defiantly agree that there are plenty of wood ducks at TW, but I would really like to expand my options for killing other types ducks besides just wood ducks.
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I'm hell bent on killing some mallards this year all I've killed is woodies, greys, and teal I'm trying to find some mallards that's why I want to start hunting other places especially up north.
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I hunted Sherb for 6-7 years up until about 3 years ago... Used to get up @ 1:00am so I could be at the launch @ 2:00 just to get the hole I wanted to hunt. 9 times out of 10 I was the first person there, I'd wait with my boat in the water til I saw headlights coming down the road then I'd haul ass LOL. Problem with Sherb is they've allowed the grass to close up all the holes. Back in the day what I refer to as 'the prairie' was a beautiful cypress bottom with open water. I spoke to a biologist out there once and he said that they used to kill tons of birds out there, even a few pintail and widgeon. I emailed ldwf religiously asking if they could spray to open it back up and the only response I received was hey didn't have the funding to spray from an aircraft. They said it needed to be done in the air since 'the prairie' is inaccessible via airboat.. Which is bs to me because anyone one with access to the Internet and google earth can see there's a well established trail heading up there. Buddy of mine said they sprayed a good bit along the nature trail bayou which is great for the sky busters that sit along the trail but does nothing to improve habitat for the birds in my opinion. My point is, that maybe if a good bit of people started emailing them about spraying the prairie maybe it could possibly get done. That would not only improve the habitat for the birds but it would give hunters access to more areas to hunt and therefore potentially stop the idiots, like myself, from getting there 2 hours before its legal just to secure one of dozen holes that are currently huntable. Maybe if that happened I'd actually start hunting there again lol
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I have been talking to people about Sherburne and that is what they are telling me that I will have to get there around 1-2 am just to get a decent place to hunt. I am planning on going scout out a few spots in the next week or two.
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What area is the prairie that your talking about is that the open marsh looking area on the right side boat launch? I paddled back there last year in my kayak and it was all grass what looked like a marsh area on google earth.

You can pretty much see all the open holes on Google earth i haven't found any honey holes that can't be seen on Google earth it's just who's willing to wake up early enough and get there first!
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Yes, that was 95% open water less than a decade ago. I actually went deer hunting there yesterday with a buddy of mine. And I'm glad I quit hunting there after riding around the area a little bit. He told me there were at least 20 boats lined up at the boat launch opening weekend and no one was launching until 4 o'clock because of the game wardens. I can only imagine the mad dash when the clock hit four to get to the seven hunting holes LOL.
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