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Mallard Duck Hunting

Top 10 Tips for Duck Hunting

There is something about hunting that brings us back to our roots. A flock of ducks is an exciting sight, but you can easily blow a prime opportunity with an ineffective strategy.  The basics of duck hunting may seem simple, but like any activity there are always tips and tricks to help you improve whether you’re just starting out, or if you’re a seasoned pro.

By following our top ten tips, you’ll help avoid common errors and improve your success on winter waterfowl hunts.

  1. Go in and set up at least half hour before sunrise. The earlier you’re ready, the less disturbance you will cause.
  2. Use as many decoys as you physically can carry.
  3. Bring an extra box of shells. There’s nothing worse than finding yourself in a prime position surrounded by birds, and suddenly you realize you’re out of ammo.
  4. Bring an extra layer of warm clothing and waterproof gear. Things happen – such as a shift in winds or an unexpected rain cloud blowing through. Staying warm and dry is key!
  5. Scout 3 weeks prior to season opening at early dawn and dusk. This will give you the lay of the land before the hunt. Being familiar with your surroundings improves your chances of success when it’s go time.
  6. When shooting, keep your shots within a 30-yard range.
  7. Prior to pulling the trigger, lead your bird by 4-6 inches.
  8. When the bird hits the water, make a focal point of where the bird went under. 
  9. For the best tasting meat, clean your birds within an hour and a half of being shot.
  10. Refine your call skills with YouTube videos. This can be said for ANY endeavor you try from duck hunting to how to cast with a bucktail lure. YouTube is filled with endless videos of folks sharing their expertise and experiences, and here’s the best part: it’s FREE. Whatever you’re trying to master, chances are there’s an in-depth video out there covering that topic.

Waterfowlers have proven to be some of the most resourceful of all sportsmen throughout history, with their combined approach of calling, decoying, and plain old “woodsmanship”.  Once you’re comfortable and familiarized with the basics, you’ll quickly be on the road to get out there and enjoy one of the world’s favorite outdoor past times.