5 Ways to Become a Better Waterfowl Hunter
Duck Hunting Tips every waterfowl Hunter should Know
Get a Pair of Binoculars and Use them
Looking for ducks through the binoculars
In the last ten years duck hunting has become so popular that it is difficult to have a decent weekend hunt. The volume of hunters has increased beyond the amount of hunt able public spots have to offer. I have watched birds stack into a hole the morning before duck season opened just to have then run out by the time opening morning comes around. When scouting, it's very important not to spook the birds the you plan to hunt. Ducks are not dumb animals and when you take a mud motor and run through the middle of them, not all the birds will come back. Divers do not spook as easily and will return to the same flat a few times. However, puddle ducks start leaving the first time you spook them. You will see their numbers go down the more times you run them off until you are left with no birds to hunt. So do yourselves a favor and buy some Nikons.
Stop Calling so Much
Duck calling in the swamp (Photo Credit:www.Realtree.com)
Duck hunting is not a duck calling competition. There are only two situations where you will even need to blow your duck call.
- Let the birds know your there. When hunting in the timber or a slough sometimes you need to call to pull birds off the flight line down to you. Hunting in the timber in the central states you need to call more than usual to work the big groups and pull migrators.
- Keep the birds on line. If you're not in a great position or great spot sometimes you need to soft call to keep the birds on line and get them to finish. For example if the mallards are landing right out of gun range on the third or fourth pass try giving them a few quacks or whistles when you see them pick up their wing beats.
Too many times have I seen birds flare from a call during late season. If your where the birds want to be there is no reason to call. And don't forget that ducks are not dumb.
Get a jerk String. Or two
Jerk string for duck hunging (Photo Credit www.Duck.org)
The absolute most effective tool that I have found for duck hunting is the jerk string. I once watched a fifteen man limit of teal, widgeon, and gadwall shot over two ducks on a single jerk string. A source of motion on the water makes the decoys look like they are swimming, feeding, and playing naturally. If you want puddle ducks to decoy in your face, get a jerk string. Use it on the edges of your holes in your decoy spread or use it alone in small ponds or swamps.
Get a Remote for your Mojo or Leave it at home
Get a mojo decoy remote (Photo Credit:www.MojoOutdoors.com)
Teal love spinning motorized decoys and geese hate them. That is my conclusion after 20 years of duck hunting. I have since gotten into the remote game with them. I leave it on for ducks till they can see the decoy spread then I turn it off. And when we hear geese the spinners immediately turn it off. Some times puddle ducks like spinning decoys and some times they don’t. I honestly believe it is due to how many spinning decoys they have seen on the way south.
Keep the sun and wind at your back
Winter day of duck hunting (Photo Credit: East Coast Waterfowl)
If the suns out, stay between the sun and the birds just like a fighter pilot try to keep the sun at his or her back. It keeps the birds from seeing you and helps you see the birds. Sometimes it's tough to help but you have to hide better when sun is in your face. Ducks see UV light and the sun produces a bunch that reflects off some surfaces. Watch out for exposed reflective surfaces such as exposed skin. Cloudy skies you have to hide and be still, period, because the ducks see better on cloudy days.
Wind can make a hunt or ruin a hunt. Puddle ducks use the wind the majority of the time. Ducks use the wind in order to slow their speed prior to landing. Therefore, they want to land flying into the wind. Set your decoys accordingly by running a long line for divers or making a pocket for puddle ducks. Ducks do not like flying over land or trees in order to set up for a landing. I have had some great diver shoots on crosswinds hunting rivers and lakes, but in this case we generally had plenty of room for them to work.
If hunters follow all these waterfowl hunting tips I can assure you that you will be more successful and produce more limits of ducks and geese. And remember the most important factor when it comes to hunting, be where they want to be. Find that X.
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Happy duck hunting to all our waterfowl hunters!