The Duck Blog

Realtree waterfowl editor Brian Lovett has been an obsessive duck and goose hunter for more than 30 years, chasing his passion on the Dakota prairies and the marshes and open water of his home state of Wisconsin. He's been a writer and editor in the outdoors industry since 1991.

  • Whiffling: Ducks and Geese Put On a Twisting Show

    We love watching the landing approach of any duck or goose , our heartbeats accelerating and focus narrowing as a distant bird suddenly morphs from a casual passerby to a cupped-and-committed volunteer. But when you add whiffling to the mix, the excitement level ratchets up another notch or two. When...

  • Things You'll Never Hear During the Duck Hunting Opener

    Public-property waterfowl openers evoke many images, including those with lots of birds … and lots of hunters. The situation is ripe for exchanges and conversation. But let’s agree there are some comments you’ll never hear during a public opener. Here are a few tongue-in-cheek examples. “Gosh, those guys at the...

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Waterfowl Shotguns: 5 Critical Features

Want to start a fight? Find a room full of waterfowlers , and make a declarative statement about the features that define the best duck and goose hunting shotgun. Then ring the bell, and watch the fireworks fly. Hey, the ultimate waterfowl shotgun is the model that works best for...


Ringneck Research: Delta Waterfowl Study Breaks New Ground

New research spearheaded by Delta Waterfowl could shed light on the movements, nesting behavior and wintering-ground requirements of ring-necked ducks , an increasingly popular and important species. The study is exciting for several reasons — mainly because ringnecks have been studied far less than any of the most harvested duck...


North Dakota Duck Numbers, Pond Counts Down

Pond counts and spring breeding duck numbers in North Dakota , a critical prairie waterfowl production state, are lower than in 2017, but that news isn’t all bad. The state’s 2018 spring breeding duck survey, conducted in May, showed an index of about 2.8 million birds, a decrease of about...


The Fowl Life Season 10 Teaser

Get ready for Season 10 of Benelli’s The Fowl Life , with Chad Belding. It premiered July 2 on The Outdoor Channel. As Belding says about the show, "It's what us duck hunters live for. Early cold mornings, hot cups of coffee, sunrises, the struggle and the success of the...


Video: Wood Ducks Jumping in Slow Motion

You might remember a July 2016 post that provided a close-up glimpse of several wood duck ducklings jumping from their nest box and lancing on a tarpaulin below. Their soft bounce into the world came courtesy of Randy Pentel, a Mendota Heights, Minnesota, conservationist. And he’s done it again in...


Delta Waterfowl to USFWS: Reconsider Atlantic Flyway Mallard Limit Reduction

Delta Waterfowl is urging the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to reconsider a proposal to reduce the Atlantic Flyway mallard limit in 2019, and the idea has proven popular with the organization’s members. The USFWS and Atlantic Flyway Council plan to lower the Atlantic Flyway’s daily mallard limit to two...


Sharp Shooting: The Best 'Other' Birds for Waterfowlers

Shotgun games — skeet, trap, five-stand and sporting clays — provide fantastic practice and repetition for building wing-shooting skills. But sometimes, there’s no substitute for the real thing. So what can you do when the season is closed or ducks and geese aren’t flying? Well, you’re a hunter, so pursue...


Summer Waterfowl Scouting: How the Pros Do It

Summer’s finally here, and we’ve waited all year for it. Wait, no we haven’t. We’re duck hunters . We live for September through January, and then again during light-goose seasons in early spring. Summer can be purgatory. Sure, we can practice calling. Yeah, we shoot. And true, there’s always something...


Waterfowling Etiquette: Duck Camp Dos and Don'ts

Every social situation has unique protocols, and duck camp is no exception. Sure, a waterfowl hunt with buddies is typically much looser than a day at the office or a family dinner, but you still have to act accordingly. Follow these dos and don’ts the next time you’re on a...


Spoonies (and Other True Waterfowling Confessions)

Duck hunters love classic tales of grand timber hunts, when fat mallards parachute from the heavens like clouds of mosquitoes. Likewise, adventure stories of gunning cans and bluebills on big water during howling winds and driving snow leave us longing for the season. But now and then, our stories lack...


5 Ways to Goof Up a Great Duck Hunt

Seeing a successful hunt through its many stages — scouting, planning, setup and execution — is one of the great joys of waterfowling. And many times, that process is fairly simple and straightforward. But at the risk of making things too complicated, let’s agree that many stumbling blocks can quickly...


Prep Months: Off-Season Waterfowl Hunting Priorities

Waterfowlers obsess about fall. We look ahead to days when the leaves turn golden and brown prairie grasses sway in a north wind, and we post pictures of frosted grain fields or half-frozen lakes and long for weather that stings our cheeks and numbs our fingers. But unless you slip...


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