Six Tips For A Successful Duck Hunt

As soon as duck season rolls around, we have no doubt that you want to head out there and start getting some shots off. Before you do, however, there is a little bit of preparation that you will need to do. It is not much, but it can mean the difference between a successful duck hunt and a bit of a bust.

Planning Your Hunt

Picture of Duck Hunting Dog 2You will be surprised at how many people will refuse to plan their duck hunts. They just want to get out there and shoot. However, if you want to be successful, then just like everything else in your life you are going to need to have a plan in place. Without a plan, you are just relying on luck. Thankfully, planning your duck hunt is not going to be all that difficult!

Firstly, in the days leading up to the duck hunt, you are going to want to start monitoring the weather. The weather will play a key role in the blind and the decoy that you will be using. Of course, if the weather is none too decent, you probably will not want to be out there anyway. Basically, the weather is going to dictate the gear that you are going to be bringing along.

If you can make it to the area, then scout around before your planned hunt. Ducks are very predictable animals. This means that they tend to land in the same locations repeatedly. Get a feel for where they are landing. This will give you your prime hunting area. If you can’t make it to the location, then look up details online. If the area is a prime hunting area, then you will likely find that plenty of people have discussed it before.

Choose Your Equipment Wisely

The success of your duck hunt is going to hinge on your equipment. Now, in most places in the United States, you are going to get one chance to go out and hunt each year. Well, a couple of chances, but the seasons are short. This means that you are going to have a lot of equipment sitting around and doing nothing for the better part of the year. A few weeks before you head out, we recommend that you check all your duck hunting gear is in working condition. If anything is broken or looks like it will give up the ghost shortly, then replace it.

If you are planning to bring new equipment along, then make sure you know how to use it before you head out. It is going to make your life a lot easier. We are not sure the ducks would appreciate random swearing coming from you when you realize you have no idea how your best duck call works!

While we are on the subject of equipment, before you leave, it is important that you check whether there are any shiny spots on it, particularly your weapon. Even the smallest amount of glare can scare the animals off. Obviously, this is the last thing that you want to happen. A small amount of paint will be able to eliminate most shine.

Pattern Your Gun Before You Leave

It is important that you pattern your shotgun before you leave. Basically, the ammunition that you are using needs to match your choke and your gun. There are so many people who do not do this. If you are using the wrong ammunition, then you are just not going to hit anything. The only thing you are going to end up doing is scaring the ducks.

There are ways to camo paint your shotgun using stuff sitting around the house, without spending a dime… case in point:

Picture of Homemade Gun Camo Setup

Duck Calls. Duh.

Some people are abysmal at duck calls. Thankfully, for those people, we have put together a few guides which we seriously urge you to check out. If you want to reel some ducks in, then you need to master the art of the call. Teaching you how to call is going to be out of the scope of this guide. However, we do want to mention that you must not overcall. It can be tempting. After all, why would a duck not want to hear tons of other ducks? It means safety, right? Well, as we mentioned before, ducks tend to be very smart animals. To them it does not mean safety. To them, they become suspicious. After you learn about the different types of calls, check out our list of the best duck calls for the money.

Train Your Dog

In the off-season, we recommend that you try and keep your dog sharp. A few exercises in the lead-up to the duck hunt certainly would not go amiss. It just gets them in shape and ensures that they still know what they are doing.

And While You’re Out There…

Do you know the hallmark of a good duck hunter? It is the ability to change something on a whim. If you are stuck in your ways and you are not hitting anything, then you are never going to hit anything. As simple as that. Ducks are not stupid. They know what you are doing. If ducks are not landing or they are circling before disappearing, then you need to change your set-up. There is plenty that you may need to do here. This includes:

  • Resetting your decoys
  • Moving your blinds
  • In many cases, you may need to camouflage yourself a little bit better.

You must remember that animals are very cautious. If they get even the slightest inkling that something is wrong, then they are just not going to avoid landing. You need to make the place seem as safe as possible.

Picture of Duck Blinds

There is more to a successful duck hunt than the information that has been listed on this page. However, all this information is going to help you get off to a good start. Make sure that you put it to good use – if you do, you will up the amount of ducks that you are going to be able to nail. Of course, when you do this, you are going to end up having a ton of fun at the same time too! Plan, plan, and then plan some more. It may sound boring, but it is worth it. 

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