When the hunting season for ducks draws close, you need to be prepared for the event. It is not just about hunting; you need to hunt and kill one too. It is a way of showing that all your hunting efforts have paid off. Duck hunting is fairly easy, but always to each person. Sometimes you might think it would be the easiest thing to do, only to end in disappointment. All that should not worry you even if you are new to duck hunting. Below, you will get some important things and tips that every duck hunter should know before indulging in the hunting process.
1. Best places to duck hunt in the United States
Of course, it is not as if each place would be ideal for hunting the ducks, but getting to know one would be a time saver for you. For a duck hunter who is looking to fulfill his dream of the best hunting experience, the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland could be a starting point. The location has over 150 different rivers flowing around thus it should be easy to find puddle ducks and even sea ducks. Essentially, you would be spoilt for choice as to which species to hunt.
Another common place for easy duck hunting would be in Venice, Louisiana. It has a great environment that would be great for both the ducks and the hunters alike. The rivers in this place are home to millions of ducks and other types of birds. You can always have an easy time hunting the ducks in such a location.
The other places great for duck hunting in the USA include the following;
- Paul Island
- San Francisco Bay
- Salt Lake City
- Seattle, Washington
The list might not be complete, but these are the best places for you to enjoy a hunting activity.
2. When to duck hunt
Just like any other type of animal, the ducks have their hunting season. It is not always that you will find them waiting for you to hunt them. It depends on the game rules of a place. Some will have to control the duck population first before they can allow the hunters to come into the fields for hunting.
The weather too is an enormous influence on when to duck hunt. The different weather patterns will have an effect on how the birds behave, so knowing about the weather conditions could be quite helpful to the hunter.
In the case of a storm, it would be quite hard to find the ducks, as they will be moving to the protected areas. Such areas include the river backwaters, timber openings or the lee side of an island. It should be easy for you to know exactly where to find them, simply look for places with shelter.
The time of the day could still be influential in terms of hunting the ducks. Mostly in the morning and late afternoon would be ideal. The ducks retire to their shelter at night, so find them at such a time would be hard.
3. Gear for duck hunting
There is no way you would just go out hunting and forget about your camouflage. Wearing one would always give you an advantage over the other hunters not wearing one. For those looking to hunt in the marshes, a brown with grass-like pattern would be ideal. Hunting in wooded areas would require you to wear a camouflage with a leafy pattern.
The camouflage alone is not enough; you would still need a weapon to shoot the ducks. Most hunters would opt for the 12-gauge shotgun for duck hunting. A semi-automatic would still be nice when you need to take out several ducks in a place without having to pull the trigger each time. Whichever the gun you choose, make sure to take more time to practice with it so that you do not end up missing a lot when hunting begins.
Additional optics would be great for your hunting skills. You can opt for additional optics for your gun or simply separate where you can now watch the ducks from far before taking the shot.
4. Setup fundamentals
The setup fundamentals simply mean what you need in overall to duck hunt successfully. Actually, not a lot is required as you might have seen from the other tips above. You would want to make sure that you have the hunting license first. Not many places would allow you to start hunting without a license. Now proceed to arm yourself with the right gun. The best gun will help you with better hunting always.
Other than the common things such as gear, ammo, calls and decoys, you might also consider getting yourself a fetch or hunting dog. The dog would be responsible for finding the ducks that you would have shot and bring it back to you. The dog has to be well trained or it will just scare the ducks.
Here is how to train your dog to be suitable for duck hunting
5. Duck calling and Decoys
As a way of tricking the ducks into coming to where you are, calls and decoys are used. The decoys have been in use for years now and they always pay big time only if you can be patient. A decoy generally will be a model of the duck that you place in the fields close to the water points and wait for the ducks to come towards it. The decoys are often realistic, so expect the ducks to think it is one of them.
This video should show you the best way of setting up the decoys
What would be great is when you get to combine the decoys and calls. Calls are designed to produce the same sound a duck would do. It is crucial that you get to play around with the calls to ensure that you can reproduce the same duck sound. Whenever the other ducks get to hear the sound, they would come running thinking it is another duck and that is when you take your shot. It is not that easy, you always have to exercise patience when hunting.
As you can see, the activity of duck hunting can be fun too. It all depends on just how much you are willing to take it. You can always use the common hunting methods and still get the job done. The next time you are thinking of what to hunt next on your bucket list, then always consider the ducks. You will always have a fruitful hunting session.
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