The Best States for Hunting 'Other' Puddle Ducks

By author of The Duck Blog

See Who Shoots the Most Pintails, Gaddies, Teal and Other Dabblers

In 2017, we revealed the top harvest states for mallards, canvasbacks, other diving ducks and even mergies and sea ducks. Don’t ask me why we didn’t cover the best states for puddle ducks other than mallards

Let’s rectify that. Here, based on data from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Migratory Bird Hunting Activity and Harvest During the 2015-’16 and 2016-’17 Hunting Seasons publication, are the top harvest states for other puddle ducks.

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Blue-Winged/Cinnamon Teal

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1 | Blue-Winged/Cinnamon Teal

The FWS lumps bluewings and cinnamons together, mostly because the species are almost indistinguishable to most hunters when the drakes don’t sport breeding plumage. This category is a rout. Texas hunters blew away the competition by taking about 264,767 bluewings/cinnamons in 2016. Louisiana placed a distant second with about 102,090 little ducks.

Photo © Bill Konway

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Greenwings

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2 | Greenwings

Western hunters ruled the day here: California waterfowlers shot about 381,864 speedy greenwings in 2016. (And as you’ve probably guessed, this isn’t the only category the Golden State won.) Louisiana notched its second No. 2 ranking, as hunters there took about 203,352 greenwings in 2016.

Photo © Images on the Wildside

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Wood Duck

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3 | Wood Duck

Let’s hear it for the Atlantic Flyway. North Carolina hunters topped the country by taking about 141,649 woodies in 2016. Not surprisingly, Minnesota was No. 2, as hunters there shot about 115,520 woodrows that season.

Photo © Craig Watson

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Pintails

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4 | Pintails

Do I even have to list this category? Sigh. California walloped the other 48 duck hunting states by taking about 135,445 pinnies in 2016. Not surprisingly, Texas hunters finished second, with about 64,127 sprigs. See a trend developing?

Photo © Kojihirano/Shutterstock

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Gadwall

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5 | Gadwall

Louisiana reigns as the gray duck king. Hunters there shot about 206,801 gaddies in 2016. Texas (yawn) notched another top-two finish, as Lone Star State waterfowlers took about 195,296 gadwall.

Photo © Photography by Martin1/Shutterstock

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Black Ducks

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6 | Black Ducks

The Atlantic Flyway rejoices again. Sorry, Central and Pacific flyway guys, that just ain’t black duck country. New York hunters topped the field by shooting about 11,483 black ducks in 2016. Nearby New Jersey came in second, with about 9,884. Just for fun, I looked up the top Mississippi Flyway black duck harvest state. Michigan won, with about 9,032. Interesting.

Photo © Bill Konway

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Wigeon

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7 | Wigeon

It’s blowout time again. Drum roll, please. California whipped the rest of the country by taking about 159,577 cottontops in 2016. And in another yawner, Texas was No. 2, with about 67,690. Washington, a traditional wigeon hotspot, represented well with about 60,800 baldpates. And interestingly, hunters there took about 88,722 wigeon in 2015.

Photo © Frank Fichtmueller/Shutterstock

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Northern Shoveler

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8 | Northern Shoveler

OK, admittedly, this is one title we won’t begrudge giving to California. Hunters there piled up about 139,354 spoonies in 2016. Texas hunters took 59,755, good for second. Hey, as I’ve maintained for a while, spoonbills need love, too.

Photo © Julian Popov/Shutterstock

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