Late-season duck hunting at Beaver Dam Lake

Bright lights from Mike and Lamar Boyd’s duck boat penetrated the pitch-black pre-dawn darkness illuminating a decoy spread and large duck blind in one of history’s most famous duck hunting holes. Lamar Boyd guided us to the blind and we quickly unloaded our gear and got ready to hunt.

This was no ordinary blind we quickly found out as Mike Boyd turned on the lights and quickly lit a propane stove and made a pot of coffee. Richard Sims, Tommy Akin, John Gordon and Mike Jones joined us on the hunt with the Boyds and guide Garrett Holland. We enjoyed a cup of coffee and engaging conversation before the lights went out and dawn broke.

Quick work

Suddenly the sky lit up and ducks filled the air as Lamar Boyd called to them from the left end of our blind and Holland chimed in from the right end. These two expert duck men gave their best come-hither calls, and it didn’t take long before a group of mallards broke off and spiraled downward toward our blind and disappeared behind us at the last second before dropping down into our decoy spread.

“Pow, pow, boom, boom, ka-boom” roared our shotguns as the ducks tried to escape. Amazingly, we’d killed six from one group. This is what people from all around aspire to do when they come to Beaver Dam Lake to hunt.

“Nash Buckingham was raised hunting at this lake and later he became a nationally known outdoors writer who wrote short stories from the early 1900s to his death back in the 1970s,” said Lamar Boyd. “It became famous for the characters he brought to life in the stories, and he was a very captivating guy who also hunted here in his later years. That’s what put Beaver Dam on the map and why people want to come here today.”

A historic lake

Over the next two days we experienced some of the most rewarding duck hunting I’ve ever experienced. Lamar Boyd and Garrett Holland enticed many wary ducks right into range of our decoy spread and we enjoyed some fine shooting. But the historic nature of the lake and national hunting implications made it even sweeter.

“This is one of those places that ducks have visited for eons, and they’ve been imprinted from generation to generation, and they just keep coming back,” Mike Boyd said. “There’s only a handful of places that I’m aware of that will stand the kind of hunting pressure that’s been put on this place for over 100 years. Every morning is like a new day, and it hits the refresh button and new ducks come in.

“Back in the 1980’s I shot a banded greenhead from Saskatchewan and 6 years later I shot another banded greenhead in the same blind and it turned out to be one that was banded by the same man at the same place in Saskatchewan! I don’t believe that can be a coincidence either.”

Just imagine ducks coming to Mississippi from Saskatchewan year after year and stopping at the same spots. It’s amazing to think that the ducks have some type of natural GPS system that allows generations to keep returning.

Plenty of options

If you are looking for some fantastic January duck hunting, then there are plenty of opportunities along the Mississippi River from Natchez to Tunica. All you need to do is locate an area that has water, feed nearby and cold weather and an expert guide to bring the ducks in.

For information on hunting with Beaver Dam Hunting Services contact Mike or Lamar Boyd at (662) 363-6288, or online at www.beaverdamducks.com. Due to their successful guiding record they’re usually booked from year to year by the same hunters, but they sometimes have a few openings.

About Michael O. Giles 407 Articles
Mike Giles of Meridian has been hunting and fishing Mississippi since 1965. He is an award-winning wildlife photographer, writer, seminar speaker and guide.

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