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Marshall Duck Unit
Posted: 21 August 2013 05:24 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Has anyone hunted the Marshall Duck Ranch unit lately?  I am wondering if they have established blinds built, or if we need to bring our own.  Also curious if there is water in the ponds for early season…has anyone been over there in the past few weeks?

Thanks everyone!

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Posted: 22 August 2013 03:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Yes they do have blinds during the regular season. I was up there a couple weeks ago and it looked like blind B was up. I didn’t walk back to any of the other blind sites though. Unfortunately there isn’t any water in the ponds right now. Towne Lake has some but not much water. I’m not sure if you have to hunt from the blinds during early season or not. I’ve only been up there during regular duck season.

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Posted: 26 August 2013 09:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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When there is water, how deep does it get under typical conditions?  Can you recover birds with waders? Or do you need a boat/dog?

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Posted: 27 August 2013 11:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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The water up there last year was very shallow. I think the water levels are controlled. I don’t remember being anywhere where the water was over the knee of my waders. The area is considered a walk in so a boat isn’t necessary but the walk is pretty lengthy. Depending on which blind you get you might not be able to get setup in time. If you have access to a boat I would recommend launching in Henry and parking the boat on shore as the blind sites are marked on the river. From there its a short walk to the blinds.

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Posted: 28 August 2013 07:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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That’s good to know, thanks.  I was wondering if you (or anyone) were knew of any other sites in that general area that are suitable to walking in (I have access to a small, shallow draft jon boat, but would prefer to walk in if possible).  On line, it looked to me like Banner or Donnelly might be options and the Woodford, Sparland, the rest of Marshall and De Pue wouldn’t be.

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Posted: 28 August 2013 12:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Duck Ranch at Marshall, Donnelley, Banner Marsh, Rice Lake, Snakeden Hollow, Double T and Emiquon are all sites that have walk in access. I think Double T and Snakeden are more for goose hunting though. I’ve never hunted Donnelley, Snakeden, double T or Rice Lake walk in either. So I’m not sure what kind of length the walks are, how big the crowds are or how the hunting is.

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Posted: 28 August 2013 09:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Thanks again, for the info.  Are Banner and Rice reasonable hunts without a boat?  That is, can you get to a blind and recover your birds with waders?  (by the way, I think your right about Double T, I called there a few years ago, and I thing its primarily geese and you bring your own layout blind)

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Posted: 29 August 2013 12:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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I think the rice lake walk ins are flooded corn so the water isn’t deep. You can wade after your birds at Banner in some places but be VERY VERY careful! Since it’s a strip mine area there’s a chance you can float your hat in a hurry. However I think all of the blind sites at banner have a little john boat on shore for people to use to set decoys and pick up birds. They don’t have motors but they do have paddles. Make sure you kill them dead though, I can tell you from experience that chasing a crippled bluebill around with paddles can be really really frustrating!

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Posted: 29 August 2013 10:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Thanks, again, for all the info.  We used to use a little blow up rubber raft that would have been more suitable to a swimming pool than a lake to pick up our birds.  Haven’t duck hunted for a while (actually never since I moved to Illinois 10+ years ago), but looking to get back into it.

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