Spring Creek Impoundment Boat Access

shurshot

Six Pointer
Compared to Futch or some others, you really can't access it without a boat, period. That's the point I'm getting at. It's different environmentally, seems to be a true natural environment as opposed to flooded crop fields.
Not trying to be argumentative but your statement leads me to believe you’ve never hunted it. There are 6 blinds total. Only #2 and #4 require some type of small watercraft to gain access. The rest of the blinds you can walk to from the parking lot. And yes, it’s always been a SAV managed impoundment.
 

shurshot

Six Pointer
I think its a combination of more hunters, loss of habitat and loss of public land to hunt. All three kind of go hand in hand. Granted I cant speak for the "good ol' days" of NC hunting, but I have observed all 3 in the 12 years that I have been here. I was talking to an older fella at Big Trout marina one day earlier this year about hunting spots in Hyde County. He was telling me with all the "urban sprawl" going on in the OBX that he thinks there will be condo's all around there (Engelhard) within the next 30 years. He may very well be right.
It indeed is a combo of those things and probably a few more for good measure. Private impoundments were almost non -existent until the 80’s in Hyde. Now they estimate ~1,000. On Goose Creek Island, there are over 30 private ponds, the vast majority are corn impoundments. So what birds are here each winter will find “refuge” on some of these places and only visits a few more in search of food. And as mentioned some places are only used as a “roost” pond. Takes major weather events to break their feeding/resting routine.

I also believe the warmer winters are playing a big role too as to why we have not been seeing the number of birds here as in the past. We will get our calander birds regardless but later on we need some weather birds to take their place. We simply haven’t seen that in the last 5-6 years that I’m aware of.
It’s all a big puzzle that constantly is changing ...unfortunately not to our likings.
 

JONOV

Twelve Pointer
Not trying to be argumentative but your statement leads me to believe you’ve never hunted it. There are 6 blinds total. Only #2 and #4 require some type of small watercraft to gain access. The rest of the blinds you can walk to from the parking lot. And yes, it’s always been a SAV managed impoundment.
I have hunted it. And if you think you can walk in there as a practical matter I’d say that you haven’t hunted it. Blind one appears accessible from the bank but practically speaking you will spend 20 minutes hoofing on the impoundment berm and at least an hour getting the last 200 yards to the blind...if you’re even able to find it. As opposed to Futch which is simply a matter of finding the access across the ditch and walking in a straight line.
 

WolfpackHunter

Six Pointer
Contributor
I have hunted it. And if you think you can walk in there as a practical matter I’d say that you haven’t hunted it. Blind one appears accessible from the bank but practically speaking you will spend 20 minutes hoofing on the impoundment berm and at least an hour getting the last 200 yards to the blind...if you’re even able to find it. As opposed to Futch which is simply a matter of finding the access across the ditch and walking in a straight line.
JONOV is spot on.

There is no "walking in" at Spring Creek. The commission should tell everyone to bring a yak, regardless what blind you have. I wouldn't recommend anyone hunt it without laying eyes on it in daylight. You will be in for a rude awakening if you don't.

The impoundment is thigh deep muck. You will earn every step you take...especially around the blinds later in the season. Every other hunter before you has "wallered" that muck out and it's even worse.

Like everyone else has said...last 5 years it is birdwatching trip...ducks don't even give the impoundment a real look. A few high passes and gone.
 

Clark

Six Pointer
practically speaking you will spend 20 minutes hoofing on the impoundment berm and at least an hour getting the last 200 yards to the blind ...if you’re even able to find it. As opposed to Futch which is simply a matter of finding the access across the ditch and walking in a straight line.
Sounds about average, some WRC marsh waterfowl impoundments take some work to get into, and frequently have soft bottoms. I've spent an hour just making a retrieve, and lost dead birds because the wind blew them away faster than one could wade. Had to swim out a couple times! I do wish they could put in a few bridges over the levee ditches to improve access (lot easier towalk on the levee than to wade in the muck) but I'm sure maintenance is a nightmare. I tried to hunt SP last year and the bridge into #3 was sideways from the storms and unsafe to cross. Long trip to waste, I am 4 hours away. Futch is an ag field with a firm flat bottom, I agree access and walking is easy.
 

JJWise

Ten Pointer
JONOV is spot on.

There is no "walking in" at Spring Creek. The commission should tell everyone to bring a yak, regardless what blind you have. I wouldn't recommend anyone hunt it without laying eyes on it in daylight. You will be in for a rude awakening if you don't.

The impoundment is thigh deep muck. You will earn every step you take...especially around the blinds later in the season. Every other hunter before you has "wallered" that muck out and it's even worse.

Like everyone else has said...last 5 years it is birdwatching trip...ducks don't even give the impoundment a real look. A few high passes and gone.
After scouting the area in person last week, that was my conclusion too. Even with the water drawn down it was still super mushy and both myself and the dog were sinking. Some of the bridges on the map weren’t in place either, not sure if they’ll be setup before season or not, but that ditch looks like it would be pretty deep to cross once they flood the impoundment. I didn’t think the walk along the berm was too bad compared to some of the walks I make in the Croatan, but I wouldn’t want to wade out to the blind. If I draw I’m definitely planning to bring a kayak.
 

cuppednlocked

Eight Pointer
Y'all are getting caught up in what you want to do vs what you have to do.

A "walk-in" does not require a boat and "boat access" means you do. Just because the bottom will kick your butt does not mean a boat is necessary. Pamlico Point is a perfect example of what I'm talking about. You aren't walking to get there. Swimming maybe, walking... never.

Personally, I'm not walking in most NCWRC impoundments when I can float it no matter what the label says.
 

Downeast

Twelve Pointer
I believe that hunting pressure is still the number one problem on Gamelands and there are few if any options to address it. What I mean by "pressure" is not the number of days or even the number of people, but the kind of hunting pressure. By and large hunters have very little invested in the gamelands when it comes to permit hunts. You may get drawn for one or maybe two hunts and that is it for the season. So, many will skybust birds simply because they don't care. If you have one hunt a year and you have driven for hours to hunt you will take marginal shots. I see it every time I hunt GL's. I think many public impoundments get more pressure and disturbance in a week than a private impoundment gets in a season. Say you get an invite to hunt a well managed impoundment and you show up and start skybusting birds at first light. Chances are good that you will be run off the first hour or will never get invited back. But you can go to a Gameland and skybust to your hearts content and be perfectly happy and legal. Now multiply that by dozens of guns shooting at every bird they see for two or three days a week and it won't be long before the birds seek out other areas.

A friend and I jokingly called permit hunts "Five Dollar Foot Long" hunts as that was the cost before the Commission raised the price (but not the quality) of the hunts. And what do you expect for five dollars! :LOL:

If you spend any time on the NCWRC website you will see the word "opportunity" come up repeatedly. And that is true. Government is not in the business of providing quality anything. They cater to the masses at the lowest cost with the lowest quality. Here, they provide you access (opportunity) to go through the motions of duck hunting (getting out there early, setting up, friendship, family, watching the sunrise, blah, blah, blah) but not to shoot a bunch of ducks. I duck hunt one gameland a year only because it is close to my home and the dog enjoys playing around in the boat. I have an "opportunity" to throw out some decoys, load the gun, watch the yahoos and idiots and have a good time. Hey, what do expect for $8.00!


We hunted Spring Creek for several years in a row and I can't recall ever killing a bird. :rolleyes:
 

todobien

Button Buck
In the good ol days you didn't have people surrounding the impoundments blasting at everything flying over.

I think the sheer number of impoundments in the area has allowed the birds to spread out more and move around until the find somewhere cozy and quiet. If you look at Google Earth or other aerials it looks like Goose Creek Island is working to rival the Matt area with impoundments.
 

JONOV

Twelve Pointer
I believe that hunting pressure is still the number one problem on Gamelands and there are few if any options to address it. What I mean by "pressure" is not the number of days or even the number of people, but the kind of hunting pressure. By and large hunters have very little invested in the gamelands when it comes to permit hunts. You may get drawn for one or maybe two hunts and that is it for the season. So, many will skybust birds simply because they don't care. If you have one hunt a year and you have driven for hours to hunt you will take marginal shots. I see it every time I hunt GL's. I think many public impoundments get more pressure and disturbance in a week than a private impoundment gets in a season. Say you get an invite to hunt a well managed impoundment and you show up and start skybusting birds at first light. Chances are good that you will be run off the first hour or will never get invited back. But you can go to a Gameland and skybust to your hearts content and be perfectly happy and legal. Now multiply that by dozens of guns shooting at every bird they see for two or three days a week and it won't be long before the birds seek out other areas.

A friend and I jokingly called permit hunts "Five Dollar Foot Long" hunts as that was the cost before the Commission raised the price (but not the quality) of the hunts. And what do you expect for five dollars! :LOL:

If you spend any time on the NCWRC website you will see the word "opportunity" come up repeatedly. And that is true. Government is not in the business of providing quality anything. They cater to the masses at the lowest cost with the lowest quality. Here, they provide you access (opportunity) to go through the motions of duck hunting (getting out there early, setting up, friendship, family, watching the sunrise, blah, blah, blah) but not to shoot a bunch of ducks. I duck hunt one gameland a year only because it is close to my home and the dog enjoys playing around in the boat. I have an "opportunity" to throw out some decoys, load the gun, watch the yahoos and idiots and have a good time. Hey, what do expect for $8.00!


We hunted Spring Creek for several years in a row and I can't recall ever killing a bird. :rolleyes:
A 12 or 15 Shell per hunter rule would be a good idea on some of the permit hunts. Make you think about blasting.
 

Downeast

Twelve Pointer
A 12 or 15 Shell per hunter rule would be a good idea on some of the permit hunts. Make you think about blasting.
I think that may have come up one time before but there was a lot of opposition. Mattamuskeet has a 1 box per hunter rule if I recall. I met a crowd coming off a GL impoundment one day that had their 3 man limit of woodies (2 at the time for a total of 6) and when asked by the technician how many times they shot it was something close to 150 rounds. That's a box per bird! I heard the shooting and it sounded like a war back there! But they were all laughing and seemed to have had a good time banging away.
 

kahunter

Six Pointer
A 12 or 15 Shell per hunter rule would be a good idea on some of the permit hunts. Make you think about blasting.
I agree a shell limit would be nice. I would also say get rid of blinds but have blind stakes. You have to be within 100' of the blind stake. You can bring in blind material but you have to take it with you. Whomever manages the property can figure on using some time after drawdown to clean up any crap left that they would have used for bushing those ugly blinds every year. Other than that I cant see any way to help the hunting other than limit the number of parties. Like its been said, the state and more people hunting these places just want a place to go. Dont care about the quality of the hunts.
 

coachcornbread

Four Pointer
I have been in favor of a 25 shell limit in all NCWRC impoundments for years, even brought it up on other forums. That just opened a can of worms. I finally found a better solution, I don't hunt public impoundments anymore.
How are we supposed to skim the coots with the rest of the topwaters???
 

DuckyDave

Six Pointer
10 shell limit and you have to carry your empties out too. I am all for liberty and freedom but when some idiots spoil things then government oversight is required.
 

JJWise

Ten Pointer
I don’t know if any of you watch Virginia Outdoors Unlimited on YouTube, but he recently released some results of a study about wintering waterfowl along the coast. Apparently, NC hasn’t seen a drop in numbers as states like VA and MD have. Don’t really know what that means except maybe if people are still having bad seasons, it’s not the numbers of birds that’s the issue but they just have more places to go. Take it for what it’s worth.
 
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