Waterfowl Hunting Galleries

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6 Reasons Your Duck Dog is Mad at You

OK, your duck dog will probably never be truly mad at you. You’re the dog’s pack leader, of course, and your pup loves to please you. Still, you might let your dog down now and then or miss out on opportunities to let your buddy grow and succeed . Let’s...


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J, V, C: 3 Letters for Small-Water Diver Sets

Everybody knows diving ducks use only big water, right? That means you need a big deep-V boat stacked high with sacks of blue-billed and red-headed decoys. Put a hefty outboard on the back of the vessel. The hunt might even involve a layout skiff or two bobbing among long strings...


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Sneakers: 6 Flying Ducks That Will Fool You

“When you have shot one bird flying you have shot all birds flying. They are all different and they fly in different ways but the sensation is the same and the last one is as good as the first.” — Ernest Hemingway No doubt, Papa’s words hold great wisdom for...


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Mapping Out Your Float-Hunt for Ducks

An autumn ride in a boat or canoe is nice. Shooting ducks along the way is better. To do it requires a little planning and a lot of strategy. Sure, there’s some luck involved, too. Are there even ducks there? You can control that by choosing the right stretch of...


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Crowded Skies: 8 States with the Most Duck Hunters

Statistics reveal the number of waterfowl hunters is declining nationwide. However, that’s tough to believe some mornings at your local wildlife area. Trucks fill the parking lot, spilling onto the road, and the glare of headlamps makes the marsh look like a Vegas laser show. You woke up ridiculously early,...


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Top Mallard Hunting Myths Exploded

Like any outdoors pursuit, mallard hunting has many subtle nuances and hard-and-fast rules. It also carries many misconceptions, half-truths and downright myths. Let’s separate fact from fiction by getting the skinny from America’s top waterfowl hunters. Here’s a look at their favorite mallard hunting myths — and a dose of...


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Top 5 Sea Duck and Merganser Harvest States

This might be one best-of duck hunting list that won’t feature Arkansas. That’s nothing against the South, Great Plains and other waterfowling hotspots , of course. I just thought it would be fun to examine U.S. Fish and Wildlife data from the 2016 season to see which states harvested the...


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The 7 Worst States for Goose Hunting

Here we go with the waterfowling negativity again. Let me offer a standard disclaimer: This informal litany is not intended to disparage the hunters or waterfowling opportunities of any state mentioned. Instead, it merely points out that some states are better than others for goose hunting. Data from the U.S...


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6 Reasons Why Gaddies Aren't So Bad

Admit it: You’ve probably maligned the gadwall. Maybe you didn’t mean to. Perhaps mentioning the gray duck didn’t include the snickers or eye-rolling usually reserved for conversations about shovelers or ruddy ducks. Instead, it was probably an unintentional slight, such as discussing a prospective mallard hotspot that turned out to...


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6 Reasons Why Bluebills Rock

In previous blogs, I’ve praised many ducks, including mallards, woodies, canvasbacks and other high-profile birds. Shoot, I’ve even written about shovelers, mergansers and ruddy ducks. But anyone who knows me realized long ago that bluebills are my favorite ducks. Heck, they can be greater scaup (called broadbills by some) or...


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What Grandpa Got Right (and Wrong) About Duck and Goose Hunting

Many of us learned basic hunting tenets and skills from family elders. Often, those folks were grandparents or other relatives who started hunting two or more generations earlier. That type of education is priceless from practical and emotional standpoints. Still, as famed turkey author Tom Kelly suggested, lessons learned on...


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Great 8: States Where Duck Hunters Score Big

I’ve always been a stats geek, whether it involved baseball, football or waterfowl hunting. My journal is filled with numbers and averages only I understand — and that certainly only I care about. One column reflects the number of ducks I average per hunting trip, and another reveals my shooting...


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11 Reasons You Don't Kill Ducks

Some duck hunters just seem to have a knack for killing birds. Like the 10 percent of fishermen that catch 90 percent of the fish, these guys seem to come home with a strap full of ducks every time they go out. What’s their secret? They might belong to a...


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Top 7 Goose Hunting States by Species

Goose hunting seems to have exploded across the country. From great honker hunts in the Midwest and East Coast to light-goose mania in the Central Flyway and even specks down South, opportunity abounds. When you see so many flags, field blinds and full-bodies across the nation, it makes you wonder...


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Wood Duck Hunting Dos and Don'ts

If you hunt east of the Mississippi River, wood ducks have probably played a big role in your waterfowling career. They might be the everyman’s duck, common on sloughs, creeks, backwaters, flowages, lakes, marshes, rivers and ponds throughout the North, East, Midwest and South. Heck, many of the wood ducks...


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6 Tips for Opening-Day Duck Hunting Success

If you’re hoping opening morning of duck season will be successful, you should be doing more than hoping, according to Ryan Breish, one of the producers of Fowled Reality and The X on Realtree.com. “There are things we generally should do that we don’t do that we end up realizing...


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5 Tips for Great Walk-In Waterfowl Hunts

Sometimes, the duck boat must stay on the trailer. Secluded sloughs or hidden timber holes beckon, and the only way to reach these unpressured hotspots is on foot. I’ve enjoyed great walk-in hunts in the cattail marshes of Wisconsin, the parklands of Manitoba and across the pothole-rich eastern portion of...


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6 Duck Hunting Excuses (and How to Not Use Them This Season)

Every outdoorsman falls into the trap of using excuses to explain subpar days afield. Waterfowl hunters are no different. A psychologist might classify this behavior as a defense mechanism; our way of rationalizing a poor performance. Sometimes, those excuses are legitimate, as many factors can make waterfowling difficult or even...


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Top States for 7 'Other' Diving Ducks

With a nickname like the king of ducks, canvasbacks are probably the most prized diver from coast to coast. However, cans don’t frequent every flyway or state equally, so many diving-duck hunters rarely get a crack at royalty. Instead, those big-water fans focus on other birds. That got me wondering...


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Canada Geese by the Calendar

It’s no secret that everything changes. The late David Bowie talked about it in 1971. Bob Dylan spoke of the “times a changin’” in 1964, which, incidentally, was the year I was born and — I’m guessing — long before most of you reading this entered the world, let alone...


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