You are thinking about acquiring a new hobby that will get you up off the couch and away from that perpetual honey-do list, and you are wondering how to duck hunt. A duck hunt seems like a great way to spend some time hanging out with your buds. Ducks can be very tasty and you can have lots of fun getting some fresh air and the smell of gunpowder in your nostrils. There are several ways to go about hunting ducks, depending on where you live and what resources you have available.
To duck hunt, you will need:
- A shotgun, although some wild men do use a bow and arrow. Number 3 shot works well. Lead is no longer allowed in most areas so steel is a good choice
- Waders, so you can hunt from the water or retrieve your ducks
- A duck call
- Camouflage of some sort. Camouflage hats or nets work well
- Your hunting area's regulations as to season and bag limits
- An appropriate license, carried in a zip-sealed plastic bag with your wallet
- Some dry boots and clothes, since you will probably get wet and muddy
- A trained retrieving dog or boat. In a pinch, you can also use a fishing pole to retrieve your ducks
- Decoys. Although you can hunt without them, they are very helpful to lure ducks into your shooting lane.
Going on your duck hunt:
- Find a place to hunt. Most waterfowl hunters stalk their prey on ponds, lakes, and streams. Look for wetlands that allow duck hunting or ask permission to hunt private property. Your local game and fish department will often have prime hunting locations in their publications. Scout these spots, looking for feathers or duck sign.
- Track the migration. Huge flocks of duck will move in and out of your area depending on migration patterns. Your fellow duck hunters across the country keep track of the migration, and this information is invaluable as you learn to duck hunt.
- Keep covered and quiet. Wait for your birds under tree branches or in reeds, sitting quietly. Camouflage yourself as much as possible. If you have decoys, put six to ten out in a tight pattern easily within your shooting range.
- Use your call. Human noises are not good, but duck noises are! You will often hear the birds before you see them. Call to them a few times to attract them to your area. They will usually circle to land into the wind.
- Have a blast! As the ducks come in for a landing, lead a bit in front with your shotgun and get your bird. If you don't get him that time, you'll have another opportunity as the duck takes off. Enjoy your duck hunt!
Resource: Ducks Unlimited