Waterfowl Hunting Articles

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A Delta Specklebelly Primer

It was early January in the Delta, and we were on total lockdown. A weeklong cold front had pushed in and frozen rice fields top to bottom. Our attempts to open water resulted in frozen spigot heads and dead batteries on ice eaters, which wound up keeping enough water open...


5 Ways to Miss More Ducks, Guaranteed

Editor's note: This article originally appeared Sept. 30, 2015, on Realtree.com. Even the sharpest wing-shooters don’t go 100 percent in the marsh. But if you want to fling box upon box of steel skyward to kill only one or two ducks , follow these instructions. Don't Prepare Yourself Some folks...


Anatomy of a Perfect Duck Boat

Duck boats and pornography came up in conversation the other day but not in the way you’re thinking. I was trying to describe what I thought the perfect duck hunting boat would look like, including the features and equipment it would have, and it boiled down to what U.S. Supreme...


5 Times Duck and Goose Calling Really Shines

In some duck and goose hunting situations, calling doesn’t matter. For example, few diver hunters carry a call, as divers tend to be less vocal than most puddle-duck species. And when birds have been pressured heavily, they sometimes learn to avoid even our most plaintive renditions of a lonely Susie...


What They Learned: Experts Share Wisdom From the Marsh

Some of life’s most valuable lessons are learned through experience. Hunting is no different. Just ask any waterfowl hunter with a few years under his belt. On second thought, don’t bother. We did that for you. Here’s what four veteran hunters have learned from spending much of their lives in...


How to Target Open-Water Ducks

Editor's note: This feature originally appeared Dec. 7, 2015. You’ve probably watched a flock of diving ducks see your decoys, bank against the wind, fly toward your spread…and then land 100 yards away. That’s the diver hunter’s dilemma: Getting ducks that naturally feed, loaf, and find safety in open water...


3 Duck Vocalizations You Must Master

Three of us hunkered in a makeshift blind on the northern bank of a pond in a mowed grass field. Decoys were out, bobbing in a light breeze, but we knew they had some serious competition in what sounded like a hundred ducks on the river about a quarter-mile south...


Journey to 41: Pursuing the Waterfowl Slam

Looking back on the past 20 years, memories of hunts good and bad fill my mind, but it has been a great journey. Completing the waterfowl grand slam has been a longtime dream, and the realization of completion becomes stronger with each year. To date, I’ve taken 29 of the...


Atlantic Flyway Mallards on the Brink

Most Atlantic Flyway duck hunters are realists. They hope opening day will bring a mallard or black duck and maybe a limit of wood ducks. As the season moves along, many venture onto big water for divers and sea ducks, sporadically finding clusters of puddlers to pursue. Honkers are in...


How to Buy a Duck Call

The colors get your attention first first. Why not? Bright reds, blues and oranges catch the light from the display case, shining like jewels in a museum. The exotic woods are stunning, too. And those slick camouflage patterns? They aren’t too shabby, either. Next, you lean in and squint to...


A Duck Hunting Starter Kit

There’s no doubt that duck hunting has always been a gear-intensive endeavor — enough that the thought of procuring, paying for and packing everything that seems to be required can scare many would-be waterfowlers away from one of autumn’s finest pastimes. Buying into any popular duck hunting TV show or...


Waterfowl Adventure: 3 DIY Duck Hunts

A waterfowler’s photo album might give the impression that duck hunting is just a series of action-filled days and hero shots at far-flung landscapes. We know the mystique goes deeper. Duck hunters search constantly for the right gear, perfect setup, right situation or ideal hunt. And they continually challenge themselves...


Waterfowl Taxidermy: From the Field to the Wall

Good waterfowl mounts immortalize birds and extend our memories of special days afield. Bad taxidermy, however, only serves to embarrass a substandard artist and perhaps a hunter who wanted to save money. No serious waterfowler wants to be that guy, of course. When we save a bird for taxidermy, we...


The ABCs of Early Canada Geese

I’ll cut to the chase. Yes, this story is about the ABCs of hunting early — that is, September — Canada geese. But here’s the one thing you must know to hunt these oft-fickle fowl: scout. It’s that simple. The truth? In September, Canada geese really don’t do much. Why?...


Teal Tactics: Big Strategies for Small Ducks

There’s no way around it. I love teal. Would I rather shoot seven greenwings or big, fat bluewings than the same number of greenheads ? Yes. There, I said it. And that’s not because teal are dumb. It’s not because they’re easy. And it’s certainly not because teal fall into...


Avoid Duck and Goose Decoy Disasters

Man, that decoy spread looks good in the dark. Illuminated by your truck’s headlights, you’re sure the hard work will pay off. Then failure. The birds don’t come or don’t land where you want ’em. Disaster strikes as hard as No. 2 steel. Are your sure-bet Canadas landing behind your...


The ABCs of Duck and Goose Decoys

A lways have a Plan B in mind should your sure-bet decoy spread fail. B right days should have the decoys out in front and you on the shady side of trees in flooded timber. C hildren’s snow sleds can haul your load of decoys to and from your spots,...


Pressure Pickle: Can We Avoid Creating Stale Ducks?

Waterfowlers constantly lust for fresh birds — ducks and geese that fly during daylight, commit willingly to decoy spreads and turn on a dime when they hear a greeting call. Yet many days in the marsh bring another reality. Birds that have been spooked, harassed and shot at for a...


5 Ways to Make Your Decoy Spread More Visible

Decoys are arguably some of your most important pieces of waterfowling equipment. But ducks and geese have to see them for those fakes to be effective. Here are five tips to make your decoy spread more visible. 1. Movement Adding movement to your decoys helps a lot. The flashing appearance...


Big-Water Duck Hunting Dos and Don'ts

Hunting diving ducks can provide unparalleled thrills and excitement, but after a while, most up-and-coming diver nuts have an epiphany: Those birds are built for big, open water, and that’s where they spend most of their time. No worries. Where legal, some hardcore guys — OK, nuts — take the...


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