I am from Minnesota and a student at UND. My friend and I have been wanting to try North Dakota waterfowl hunting since we got here three years ago. This year is finally the year. However, we do not have the general familiarization of the area to find descent hunting spots. Where are any locations within an hour and a half of grand forks that would be suitable for my friend and I to hunt with a small 12 foot boat. I am used to hunting the backwaters of the Mississippi where potholes and small channels funnel off the bigger water. Is there anything like that near me? I am willing to put in the time to scout areas, I just don't know what areas? Thanks.
Great to see a fellow UND brethren on the site ! When I was in college, one of the great starting places for most people in the area is Kelly's Slough about a 45 minute drive from GF. It is a federal refuge and due to the proximity to the air base and GF, it does get a ton of pressure. However, this general area can be a gem during the week when the masses are working.
Also, if you are going to hunt in No.Dak., your going to need to learn to hunt like a native. The first thing you need to do is drive the boat back to Minnesota and leave it there! You are going to be hunting prairie potholes, and most don't have enough depth to even to float your duck boat After you have scouted the Kelly's Slough area, head out east on Highway 2 and look into the Michigan - Lakota area. Great area, used to be very good for snows and blues, but that has changed drastically. I would look for hidden, small 0.5 - 1.0 acre potholes that have good emergent vegetation. You don't need cattails to necessarily have a good mallard slough. My best advice, see if you can befriend a local farm kid/collegian who is into hunting. I still have several friends that I met from my dorm that were farm kids and had excellent hunting on their land. Also, you will gain valuable insight into the nuances of pothole hunting.
Bioman pretty much nailed it. The only other thing I would add, is to do a lot of driving and find the roosts. When you see a blanketed slough(you'll know a roost when you see it), just hang out for awhile until they start flying. They'll probably end up dropping into a feed field, or a small pothole adjacent to the feed field. If you want to hunt the water, target that pothole over the roost and you'll be able to consistently shoot birds all year. Although tempting, if you take a shot at the roost you might find yourself doing more driving for the next time.
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