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How To Have A Successful Duck Hunting Season

How To Have A Successful Duck Hunting Season

A Waterfowl Hunters Guide For Dominating The Waterfowl Season And Filling Coolers With Meat

Duck Hunting Season

Nothing Better Than Duck Hunting Season (Photo By TimberHunt)

My favorite time of the year is winter when the temperatures drop and duck hunting season is in full force. During this time the ducks and geese from Canada begin moving south. This can also be a very stressful time for most duck hunters because it takes a lot of work to be successful. Knowing the right locations to hunt, understanding the weather patterns, knowing how wind affects the ducks, and searching the forums and social media for reports are all vital for making adequate decisions for your next duck hunting trip. Stress is something all waterfowl hunters should keep in check. Everyday life can be a challenge and stressful enough without adding your favorite hobby of duck hunting to it. During duck season often times you will have friends text and call from the blind when they are on the birds. This can lead to unnecessary stress and and build pressure that can turn a waterfowl season into the dumps fast. There are several factors that duck hunters should consider to keep their lives and stress at bay. Allow us to take it back to the basics so you can have an amazing season and find the love for duck hunting that you have always had.

6 Steps To Keep Your Waterfowl Season Stress-free And Enjoyable

1) Preparation Is Key In Duck Hunting

Dog for Waterfowl Hunitng

Preparation Is Key To A Good Hunt (Photo By Scouting Outdoors)

Unfortunately you can not go to just any body of water or field and set up and expect to have ducks fly in. It just does not work like that. Duck hunting requires extensive preparation before the hunt that can help make for a successful trip. Every now and then you will get lucky and set up in the right spot and shoot your limit within the first hour of sunlight. It as if the stars aligned in your favor. The weather was perfect, the wind was just right and the waterfowl did exactly what you wanted them to do. The majority of duck hunts do not work like this and require the groundwork to be layed prior to the trip. There have been many days after work that scouting for new spots occurs. This is paramount for finding the right locations that hold the birds. Another thing that helps is following the weather. Weather often can make or break a trip. Hit it to early and the ducks will not be there. Hit it to late and the ducks have moved south. Follow the weather is another critical area for duck hunting. Lastly, prepare your time accordingly. Plan trips in advance that way you can get the time off from work and not miss hunts with your friends. It is simple things like this that help keep the stress levels down and keep you happy doing what you love.

2) Do Not Overthink Things, KEEP IT SIMPLE

Simple duck hunt

Simple Duck Hunt (Photo By Ducks Unlimited)

When starting out duck hunting it can be overwhelming thinking about all of the gear you need to set yourself up for success. There is clothing of all types with various camo patterns and layers for different temperatures and weather. There are so many different kinds of guns, decoys, calls, and whatever else waterfowl hunters need that can cause headaches for the average duck hunter. The more you go waterfowl hunting, the more you will start to see what exactly works. You will have your favorite gear that you use time and time again on ever trip. This takes us to our point, keep it simple. Resist buying things you do not need. Stick to your bread and butter and only take what you need on a duck hunting trip. By keeping it simple this will eliminate the stress of having to much and knowing exactly what you should be using to hunt. Simple only adds to the enjoyment of the hunt and that is what ever hunter needs while out in the field.

3) Set Goals For Each Hunt

Setting duck hunting goals

Set Goals For Every Duck Hunting Trip (Photo By Kids Hunting)

What actually defines a successful waterfowl hunting trip? Is it the amount of meat you bring back? Is it the pictures you post on social media? In our opinion what defines a successful trip is what you learned. Every duck hunting trip is different. You will encounter new challenges every time that can often be the cause for stress or the reason a trip went bad. As a duck hunter it should be your goal to learn as much as possible to use in future trip. By setting goal for yourself you can then base your trip on whether or not you accomplished all your goals. One thing to point out is these should be attainable goals. Unrealistic goals that can never be achieved will only add to a bitter waterfowl season. A good way to keep moral high this waterfowl season is to keep your goals simple. Several good goals could be:

  • Catching up with friends or family while hunting
  • Training your hunting dog how to retrieve
  • Bagging a select species
  • Scout new areas to hunt
  • Trying new decoys or setting up a decoy spread in a new way

By setting goals you have something to obtain and a better reason hunt. It will also allow you to learn more and better your waterfowl hunting experience.

4) Be Picky Who You Hunt With

Hunting buddies: pick your partner

Pick Your Hunting Buddy Carefully (Photo By Youtube.com)

Hunting is not like fishing, the more the merrier is not always a good thing in duck hunting. Although goose hunting is a whole different beast. I wouldn't goose hunt with less than 8 friends. In duck hunting sometimes finding enough ducks for everyone can be a challenge. A two man limit with a friend is a great feeling. This same amount of ducks with 6 friends can leave you wanting more. This is why when duck hunting you should have 2 or 3 friends that you go with regularly. Try to hunt with someone who knows more than you. This way you know they know what they are doing and hopefully you can learn a thing or two. Maybe you have a friend who is inexperienced in duck hunting. Going together can be a great time to teach and allow them to pick up things that may be hard in a group setting. By having those close friends you will always have a partner to call anytime you want to be out in the blind.

5) Document Your Trips 

Documenting a waterfowl hunting trip is important for remembering the details. A year from now you will not remember the details to a specific trip unless something out of the ordinary happens. Keeping records for specific things like species bagged, the location and land features that were used to your advantage while hunting a location, GPS coordinates to ponds not on maps, names and numbers of landowners properties you have been granted permission for access to their land, and how the ducks react to the surrounding conditions are are critical for improving your future hunting trips.

6) Always Respect Other Duck Hunters

respect other hunters

Respect Other Waterfowl Hunters (Photo By Youtube.com)

Respect for other hunters is something that should be mutual. Setting up in the same area can ruin two peoples experiences not just your own.  It is often these crowded conditions that lead to bad hunting trips. This is always the concern when hunting public land but it can be avoided with a little respect. Instead of causing conflict be the person who resolves the conflict. Invite the other group to hunt with your own group if you are set up in close proximity to each other. This will avoid the headache of sky busting and personal confrontations that can lead to physical confrontations. If every hunter respected each other there would be no reason to even write this. If you cant resolve a situation you encounter in the field then just pack up and find another spot. This will prevent you anger and irritation and not ruin a duck hunting trip.

By remembering these 6 steps it will keep you stress-free while allowing you to enjoy your hunting trips and have a successful duck hunting season. If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please feel free to leave us a comment below or email us at info@HFDepot.com. We would love to hear about your successful duck hunting trips and see everything you bagged. We would also love to see all of your duck hunting kills so make sure you send us all your great duck photos to be featured on our social media pages. So get out there duck hunting this year and have a successful duck hunting season. 

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