Throughout the upper Midwest thousands of acres of harvested corn and soybean fields exist during the fall waterfowl migration. Just add a roosting area holding mallards such as the refuge of a state wildlife management area and you now have the beginnings of some great mallard hunting. This scenario exists across the Midwest and thousands of mallards will take advantage of this food source at some point in the fall. It is important to note that this article is referencing dry fields, not flooded which would only be a bonus but rarely happens as the majority of are tiled.
Once temperatures start dipping below the 55 degree mark we begin scouting nearby corn fields or watch and follow ducks leaving a WMA refuge or roosting area. Depending on just how cold it is ducks may feed both at day break and late afternoon. While it will be tempting to try and sneak ducks after finding them you will be much better of setting up a decoy spread the next morning or that evening. If only a duck or two is needed to fill our limits we most often pick up versus shooting at and educating a large flock to save the location for another day .
Hunting in the Midwest Canada geese can be very abundant during our season and the majority of waterfowl refuges are shared by both geese and ducks. Even if Canada goose season isn't open or we're within a goose refuge, we still use Canada goose decoys for their extra visibility and confidence factor. We have found this combination of duck and goose decoys to be very effective in pulling distant ducks into our spread along with finishing them. And if goose season is open a few extra dead geese are also a nice bonus!
With most duck hunters attention focused on water opportunities to harvested grain fields are most often over looked. Besides the bonus of escaping the crowds of public areas the real bonus is that the same frustrating stale educated ducks found on public WMAs are much easier fooled in the fields. This style of hunting is most often action packed as feeder flocks are most often large with numbers of 20 to 300 birds, and in some cases even more.