Hunting is one of the most fun hobbies that you can get yourself into. When it comes to the sport of hunting, duck or waterfowl hunting is widely considered to be one of the most difficult.
Hunting by itself can be a very intimidating hobby. No amount of reading or research will properly prepare you because the important knowledge can only be gained in the wild.
If you are new to duck hunting, you probably have many questions. Fortunately, you have found the right article. Today, we’ll be sharing some useful beginner tips for hunting ducks. This guide is written to answer most (but not all) of your questions about waterfowl hunting.
Duck Hunting Tips For Beginners
Below are the must-know tips that any beginner should know about hunting ducks in the wild.
Have The Right Gear
Most people will say that buying the gun is the first step to waterfowl hunting but we beg to disagree. The right camo suit or jacket is the first thing that you should invest in. During the beginner, you will need to observe the birds in the wild and this is best done by leaving your gun in the truck.
Getting the right camo will depend on your hunting location. For example, if you’re hunting in an area with lots of dead grass, a lighter grassy camouflage would be best.
After your camo suit, you’ll definitely want to get waders. Ducks love being on the water, so expect to get wet. A good rule of thumb is to find one with a more breathable design. Then, you can get your decoys, firearm and shells, and other optional supplies like duck calls, blind bags and more.
Scout The Ideal Spot
The best way to find the best duck hunting spots is through the internet. Search your local area and there should be plenty of locations to start your hunting adventure.
Once you have narrowed down your results, you can go visit each location for scouting. Through scouting, you can identify the resources available. Things to look out for are the nearby food and good cover. In most cases, ducks will eat aquatic plants, small fish, insects, and crustacean.
It’s always a good idea to find multiple hunting spots. Ducks tend to stay away from areas where their friends keep dying. Keep scouting until you get familiar with the area, and this might take a few trips.
Setting Up Decoys
The key to a successful hunt is through a properly set up decoys. This means that you should have a good spread of your decoys. Conduct a wind check to identify the best position for your decoys and blind.
Ideally, you want the wind to come from the back so the birds will come landing right at you. A good set of drakes and hens, grouped by similar species should be a good place to start. For a good spread, set up your decoys to form the letter “J” so it allows a clear landing zone in the middle.
Quacking And Calling
For a beginner, the simplest tip would be to act and sound like a duck which also means learning the basic “quack.” After you have a good grasp on how to do a basic quack, you can do some advanced calling techniques like mating or feeding calls.
Avoid doing so many calls since it can sound unnatural.
Basically, when a duck quacks, you should answer with a single quack as well. The only way to get better at duck calling is to practice over and over again.
Know The Duck Species
The last thing you’ll want to happen is to have a brush with the law while hunting.
Duck hunting is a severely regulated sport and each of the species has its own limits. So you will need to know your duck species to avoid getting into any sort of trouble. Not all species are considered fair game and it’s imperative that you know which species are allowed for hunting.
Limits and regulations can change from year to year, so it’s always best to know the current trend. If you are not sure if a duck is fair game, then don’t take the shot. Otherwise, you’ll end up paying some hefty fines or even have your firearm seized.
Ready To Hunt?
Duck hunting is definitely not for the faint of heart.
There are just too many challenges in the field and things tend to not go the hunter’s way. So this sport is only recommended for the most dedicated hunters.
However, don’t get us wrong.
There’s nothing more satisfying than taking a shot and taking down your first bird. Keep these tips in mind and you’ll be on your way to hunting success.
Grab a couple of friends and enjoy hunting in the wild.