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My Summer Project

H20fwler

5 year old buck +
Started work on putting in two shallow wetland ponds this past Monday. The first one is around two acres kind of shaped like a big horseshoe or a capital H with short tops 4 1/2'-5' deep with a real gradual slope.

First thing we did was cut all the tiles and dig them back and plug them:

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East side of pond;
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West side of pond;

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The second pond is going in today it is around one acre and will be kind of kidney shaped. I'll post up a pic of it as soon as it is dug out.
 
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H20fwler

5 year old buck +
As of last night on bigger horseshoe shaped pond,
East side;

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The dirt pile (spoil pile) from the road, it was important to me to try and block the ponds and field as much as possible from the road. I will be planting 4'-5' hemlocks and white pines staggered across the top along with some tall native grasses. That should deter the road hunting some.

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Either starting on back pond today or Monday.
 
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woodduck

5 year old buck +
Keep those pics coming as you progress.
 

Redonthehead

5 year old buck +
Nice! Is this primarily a duck pond?

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H20fwler

5 year old buck +
Just wanted water for everything and to help hold deer&turkey on the property. There is a good size river about 400 yards to the north and a lot of ducks and geese travel it in the fall so it should pull some of them in too. I am going to put a few wood duck nesting capsules in. This farm is around thirty acres with about 13.5 acres of mixed hardwoods on it, I put in a little fruit orchard of around twenty apple/pear this past spring that I am going to be adding too.
The tillable was mostly all a big clover plot up until two weeks ago when I cut and baled it and disked it up, after the ponds are in I'm going to plant a bunch of warm and cold season grasses and a decent chestnut grove. Next spring is going to be really busy planting and working on sexying it up for wildlife, trying to develop a great hunting spot for the family for generations to come and give me something to mess around with.

This is what it looked like a couple weeks ago before we started;

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beau_cephus

Yearling... With promise
Just wanted water for everything and to help hold deer&turkey on the property. There is a good size river about 400 yards to the north and a lot of ducks and geese travel it in the fall so it should pull some of them in too. I am going to put a few wood duck nesting capsules in. This farm is around thirty acres with about 13.5 acres of woods on it, I put in a little fruit orchard of around twenty apple/pear this past spring that I am going to be adding too.
The tillable was mostly all a big clover plot up until two weeks ago when I cut and baled it and disked it up, after the ponds are in I'm going to plant a bunch of warm and cold season grasses and a decent chestnut grove. Next spring is going to be really busy planting and working on sexying it up for wildlife, trying to develop a great hunting spot for the family for generations to come and give me something to mess around with.

This is what it looked like a couple weeks ago;
Will you be pumping water on it from a separate water source, or will rain fill the ponds? I'm looking at possibly doing a 2-3 acre pond on some land, how long did it take to dig each pond?

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H20fwler

5 year old buck +
I'm going to let nature fill them, it took about four days on the big pond (2 acre) because of the shape and a day and a half on the smaller kidney shaped one (one acre).

Finished the back pond Tuesday morning and got the dirt piles seeded in.

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H20fwler

5 year old buck +
The wetland ponds are pretty much finished, had the slopes seeded in with Kentucky blue just to keep the slopes from eroding until they fill up' it has been a crazy dry summer here. The big pond is shaped like a horseshoe with the shallow run off end leading off of it making it look like a like a capital H, it goes from 4' in the deepest part to about a foot and a half. They will look so much better when they fill up.
The smaller kidney shaped pond is three and a half foot at deepest to a foot and a half. The water level will fluctuate with the wet and dry seasons but should hold a decent amount of water year round, at least enough to be great for watering and give the ducks&geese something to get wet in.

The big pond east end;
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Big pond west end;
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Small pond;
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Friday night we got about 3/4" of rain and........

about a foot of water in the deep ends of ponds!

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Already had a few shore birds checking it out this afternoon...the water is holding.
 
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H20fwler

5 year old buck +
At the smaller back pond furthest from the road the deer have definitely found the water, tracks all over around the edges and a few where they were going right in to investigate. So it's working!

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Bill

Administrator
They look great!
 

H20fwler

5 year old buck +
In the last week we have finally gotten some really good rains, the grasses have taken off like crazy and the ponds are filling up. The deer and turkeys are really using the kidney shaped back pond.
Both only need to go up a couple feet to be full.

Big pond east side;
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Big pond west side;
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The top of horseshoe on big pond;
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The back kidney shaped pond;
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H20fwler

5 year old buck +
The ponds are filling up, we had a little over 2" of rain last week. The front pond is about half full but the back kidney shaped back pond is close to full.

The back pond has really been getting the bulk of the wildlife attention, almost every time I go back there I flush mallards or wood ducks off it. The biggest flock so far has been twenty plus mallards. And both ponds are covered in deer tracks, I'm going to have to put a camera up on them to see what visits, I'm putting wood duck nest boxes up in them them this winter.
 
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Catscratch

5 year old buck +
I love it! I've always been attracted to water. Those pond will be a great addition to your land. I like the shallow slopes you put on them.
 

H20fwler

5 year old buck +
I grew up on a farm and took for granted that I would always have "our" own land to hunt. I lost my mother when I was young and my Dad remarried a few years later. A little over twenty years ago my Father passed without having a good plan for his estate. I was thirty years old with young kids of my own and the step mother sold off everything leaving me pretty much high and dry with no family land. So I knocked on doors and hunted other peoples properties, I lost some over the years to being sold, leased or the owners having family members wanting to hunt, always knowing those places were temporary and could be lost to me from year to year.
So I started saving and waiting for the right piece of property to come up for sale...I stopped buying new vehicles every few years and got by with what I had, I worked all the over time I could get and banked as much of it as I could afford.
A couple years ago after gently badgering a landlord that I had hunted on for years she agreed to sell me a small property and I was in position to buy it! I put in little food plots and planted some fruit trees, then a year later a friend I hunted on called and asked me if I was interested in buying his farm five miles from the other. I couldn't believe it the place had size and crazy potential being river bottom ground, thirty acres with thirteen of it old hardwood woods. We kicked the price around some and I was able to buy it too. I put in a real orchard and dug the two wetland ponds this summer.
I can't get enough of just spending time there.

As only a landowner knows it is really something sitting up a tree on your own land planning future projects and admiring the work you have put into a place and knowing you own it hell deep and heaven high.

Last night as I sat in my stand appreciating my good luck considering myself very blessed as I watched wood ducks land in the pond with a doe and fawn feeding right below me.
My view from the stand yesterday, I'm going to thin out a few trees this winter so I can see the pond better while I hunt.

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Catscratch

5 year old buck +
Touching story with a great ending! I love the look of your place and fully understand where you are coming from. Good job!

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ToddG

5 year old buck +
Congrats. Place looks awesome.
 

buckdeer1

5 year old buck +
Looks great,know what you mean I spend more time planning habitat than thinking about hunting
 

H20fwler

5 year old buck +
I had this past week off and hunted every day.
From the stand each morning a few ducks would splash into the back pond , teal, mallards and wood ducks...but in the bigger front pond waves of ducks kept coming and going flocks from a few to fifty, at any given time there were at least two hundred ducks on the front pond quaking, cackling and whistling all day long. In the evening right at dark they would lift out in one big flock going to wherever they roosted.
There were lots of mallards with a few black ducks, wood ducks, gadwall and few pintail sprinkled in. It was pretty neat sitting there watching deer come and go in the stand while listening to the ducks echoing through the woods. I could not believe with the wetlands being dug just this past July that they were getting used so hard already.

Early in the fall a few ducks were on them and I kept waving my boys off during the first part of our split waterfowl season because I wanted to get ducks used to using the ponds and didn't want to spook the deer. Well after the past couple weeks of having the ponds loaded and with the second part of duck season coming in this past Saturday there was no holding them back!

Saturday morning the three of us were in the weeds on dove stools along the edge of the woods and it was a flat out duck hunters dream.....I cant describe how awesome it was for me shooting ducks on our own place with my two boys. We hunted it Sat and Sun morning and this morning it had frozen over, FANTASTIC weekend.

My youngest with a fistful of ducks;

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A stud drake greenwing;

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The boys;
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H20fwler

5 year old buck +
Front pond looks like a skating rink today, water needs to go up about a foot more yet. We hid along the woods right where my truck is parked for our duck hunt.

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The back pond today;

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I'm going to put the wood duck boxes up the end of January.
 
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