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Duck Hunt Rotation

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The following is a rotation list for self-guided duck hunts on central Texas lakes within 90 miles of Austin.  We will hunt either Granger Lake near Taylor, Stillhouse Hollow Lake near Salado,  Belton Lake near Temple, or Somerville Lake near Somerville in their Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs).  All four lakes are administered by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (CoE). 

I, Randy Rowley, can take up to three adult hunters (four counting me). As my boat’s motor is broke we’ll walk in (up to a mile walk one way).  We’ll either hunt from shore on buckets, stools, or sitting on our rears or stand in the water next to trees.  We’ll use natural cover.

We’ll split the vehicle gas.  We’ll also stop at Whataburger on the way to the lake.  We also might stop for lunch on the way home.

Granger does not require a CoE lake hunting permit.  However, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) leases Granger’s WMA’s; consequently, a TPWD Public Hunting Permit is required.  The cost is $48/year.  If we decide to hunt Granger we will hunt in the San Gabriel, Willis Creek, or Sore Finger WMAs.  Granger is 41 miles from my house.

Stillhouse and Belton do not require a TPWD Public Hunting Permit nor a CoE lake hunting permit (see If we decide to hunt Stillhouse we will hunt in the Union Grove WMA on the island (the side depends on the direction of the wind).  Stillhouse is 11 miles further from my house than Granger, so we’ll have to leave 15 minutes earlier than we would if we were going to hunt Granger.  If we decide to hunt Belton, we will hunt either the Owl Creek or the Iron Bridge WMAs.  Belton is 36 miles further than Granger, so we’ll have to leave 45 minutes earlier than we would if we were going to hunt Granger.

Somerville does not require a CoE lake hunting permit.  Nor does it require a TPWD Public Hunting Permit in the CoE day hunt area (you will need one if you hunt in the TPWD day hunt area; you also must hunt out of your boat at least 200 yards from shore if you hunt in that area).  Somerville is 54 miles further than Granger, so we’ll have to leave an hour earlier than we would if we were going to hunt Granger.

Hunters who want to participate must sign, if they have not already, a lifetime FCS Liability Waiver.

I will lead hunts on the following days:

  • Saturday, 11/18/17
  • Saturday, 12/02/17
  • Saturday, 12/23/17
  • Tuesday, 12/26/17
  • Monday, 01/01/18
  • Saturday, 01/06/18

What to Bring

Bring your license and stamps, gun, shells, headlamp or flashlight, bucket or stool, calls (optional), chest waders (breathable are recommended as you’ll get hot quick walking in and out), camo hunting clothes (including a face mask or face paint – absolutely essential), snacks (optional), and drinks (optional).  I recommend Winchester Xpert shells or equivalent in 2 shot (the 1550 FPS variant), chambered for 3 inch (if your gun is also chambered for 3 inch).  I do not recommend anything smaller than 4 shot.  10 gauges and 3 1/2 inch shells in 3 1/2 inch chambered 12 gauges are overkill for ducks, in my opinion.  I usually starts out with an improved cylinder choke.  If the ducks aren’t coming into the dekes (and my only shots as passing shots) I’ll switch to a modified.  Steel shot (if of adequate size) will kill ducks.  There is no need for Hevi-shot, Tungsten, Bismuth, etc.  You’ll pay a lot more for those shells and they aren’t needed.

I have 93 decoys (23 redheads, 14 pintails, 13 gadwall, 13 teal, 11 mallards, six canvasbacks, six buffleheads, two widgeons, a pulsator duck, two quiver ducks, a motorized duck, and a wind duck (that I only use when it’s windy enough to spin the wings and when it’s too windy to use the motorized duck).  In addition, FCS has 33 decoys (25 teal and 8 wood ducks) in its inventory.  Combining my decoys and the FCS decoys I have 126 decoys.  However, I’ll only bring decoys for the types of ducks found on the lake that we’re going to.  For example, I’ve never seen canvasbacks or buffleheads on Somerville or Granger, so those will stay in my garage when we go there.  Plus we’re limited to what we’ll be able to carry, which will be at most around 36 decoys.

We will hunt until 9:00 – 10:30 AM, depending on how the ducks are flying and the weather conditions (ducks often fly longer when it is overcast).

After a hunter goes on a hunt he or she is moved to the bottom of the rotation. If I contact a hunter and he or she cannot go I will contact the next person on the list.

Being on this rotation is a privilege and is not a FCS membership benefit. I can and will remove a person from the rotation for any of the following reasons (this list is not all inclusive):

  • Not hunting in a safe manner, including deliberately not following my instructions during a hunt.
  • Not paying for your share of the gas or fixing items (that are not yours) that you broke (including decoys that you shot and sank).
  • Not helping during a hunt (including not helping get the boat back on the trailer).
  • Not controlling your dog during a hunt.
  • Indicating that you will attend a hunt and then not showing up.
  • A pattern of being more than a few minutes late.
  • A pattern of canceling at the last minute.
  • Not returning my phone calls and/or emails.
  • Not complying with the FCS Safety and Shooting rules, Hunting and Fishing Rules, and Game Law Clarifications during a hunt.

The following people are on the Duck Hunt Rotation for the 2017 – 2018 season:

  1. Ian Daniels
  2. Ryan Rowley
  3. Garrett Eklund
  4. Jake Dumaine
  5. Wayne Weilnau
  6. Binh Chu
  7. Ken Miller
  8. Colin Jackson

The following people are on the permanent Duck Hunt Rotation:

  1. Roy Brigman
  2. Tim Price
  3. Kevin Wall
  4. Harry Biggs
  5. Bill Bebee
  6. Jerry Stafford
  7. Thomas Palmer
  8. Jim Gault
  9. Jim McGee
  10. Robby Wilson
  11. Will Peterson
  12. Justin Painter
  13. Ron and Nathan Petru
  14. Ron Palmer
  15. Bruce Crockett
  16. Bill Smith
  17. Ron Denison
  18. Wayne Weilnau
  19. Jeff Cates
  20. Kyle Wickham
  21. Brian Suter
  22. Steve Bird
  23. David Lesser and son
  24. Mike Thibodeaux and sons
  25. Jonathan Sherwin
  26. Kelvin Cheung
  27. Jeff Peterson and sons
  28. Mike Calio
  29. Robert Butts
  30. Sam Martin
  31. Ian Daniels
  32. Binh Chu
  33. Chrispy Harden
  34. Ken Miller
  35. Ryan Rowley
  36. Burl Fulenwider
  37. Garrett Eklund
  38. Colin Jackson
  39. Jake Dumaine

Let me know at (my preference) or 512-922-2484 if you would like to be added to this rotation. You do not have to be an FCS member to be added to this rotation.

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