-Written by International Sales Manager, Joe Holz
Waterfowl love open water, no matter what time of year. Whether you want to winter geese, swans, or ducks on your pond or are looking to extend your waterfowl hunting season, keeping and maintaining open water areas are critical.
Waterfowl enthusiasts know winter can be a tough time for their birds. Less open water means less habitat and a dangerous predation situation, especially at night. If you intend to winter birds on your pond or lake, you need to maintain open water to keep them safe and give them an area to retreat to and feed in to prevent them from flying south.
The success of any waterfowl season greatly depends on the weather. If it stays warm through the fall, the birds prolong their flights south. If fall temperatures cool quickly, your season can be cut short by ice. If the birds see an area iced over, they will keep flying until they find open water.
Duck and goose hunters have successfully used Kasco De-Icers and Ice Blaster units to provide open water during cold stretches in the fall. Since most waterfowl blinds to not have an electric source close by, most hunters that use Kasco De-Icers will bring a generator and head out to the blind a few hours early. Running the De-Icer awhile before daylight breaks will de-ice an area in front of the blind and will attract the waterfowl to your area.
The Ice Blaster unit is unique, in that it is powered by a 12V battery, making portability a breeze. Simply hook it up to a battery and let it de-ice and create realistic decoy movement for you while you hunt, and since it is battery powered, it is silent. It includes collapsible legs and a carrying handle for easy transport and installation.
The success and size of the area de-iced with either style is dependant on things like water depth, length of operation, temperature, amount of existing ice, positioning, and bottom contour, but you should be able to get an area of open water to hunt over without the effort of breaking ice by hand (or foot). This will help prolong your hunting season and hopefully your successes.
Whether you want open water for wintering waterfowl or hunting them, de-icing areas to keep them safe during a long, cold winter, de-icing will help you have a better season.