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Fake Pond Tricks Ducks Into Landing
When their favorite duck hunting pond dried up last fall, Steve Weisman and his son Curt decided to fool the ducks by creating a pond out of plastic.
  Where there had once been 3-ft. deep water there was now only a dry bed. So they put heavy black plastic down to create the illusion of water.
  "A lot of people couldn't believe how real it looked," says Weisman. "Apparently it looked real to ducks, too, because we had pretty good hunting success."
  First, they had to clear out a 3-year growth of slough grass, clearing a 100-ft. sq. area. They didn't have a mower that could handle the tough, clumpy grass so they used gas-powered weed trimmers to clear a 100-ft. sq.area. Then they used an ATV-mounted blade to smooth out the ground and clear away most of the trimmed grass. Next, they laid down a 50 by 60-ft. section of heavy black plastic. "We made the plastic smaller than the trimmed area because we figured any passing ducks would feel safer landing if there was an open perimeter around the śwater,' says Steve.
  A piece of plastic that big billows in even a moderate breeze and they knew that if the wind picked up, it would blow away the plastic. So, they buried the perimeter edge of the plastic in a small dirt trench. Then they stepped back a ways and looked at their handiwork. "Amazingly, the plastic had a watery look to it," says Steve.
  Next, they placed some old flat-bottomed decoys on the plastic. While Steve set out the decoys, Curt dug up a couple of clumps of slough grass and placed them on the plastic to further enhance the look of a real pond.
  The first morning of the hunt, they were pleasantly surprised to see that heavy dew had added even more realism to the illusion of water. It was a sunny day, but they still shot half a dozen teal and a couple wood ducks. The following day was even better. A short rain before daylight added little puddles on the low spots in the plastic, and an overcast sky helped add to the illusion. That morning they bagged four mallards and two teal. But one teal got away.
  "At daybreak, we heard wings and the soft quack, quack of a greenwing teal as it set to land on our plastic pond. It slid a few inches on the slick plastic and then flopped over onto its belly. It righted itself, flapped its wings indignantly, looked around, and then flew off. We were laughing so hard we never even fired a shot," says Steve.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Steve Weisman, 3812 153rd St., Estherville, Iowa 51334 (ph 712 362-7046).

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2004 - Volume #28, Issue #5