Duck hunting is becoming increasingly complex as more hunters look for ways to improve their outings, but sometimes it is the simple things that increase the number of ducks you get in the bag.
Here are eight basic steps that can make the difference between a good hunt and a disappointing day.
Some duck hunters use the same camo clothes every time they hunt, but this can be detrimental. Your camo should match your surroundings. Purchase a variety of shades and colors of cammo to make sure you are matching your surroundings on every hunt.
Before you go out hunting, make sure to get in plenty of practice. This means putting time in at the range and practicing with your dog. Also take the time to pattern your gun before you go out. If you and your dog are not at the top of the game, it will likely result in fewer ducks when you are hunting.
Before you go out, it is important to plan your hunt. Scout the area you are going to hunt. Where are the ducks located? What are the wind conditions going to be like? By preparing, you should know exactly where you will be hunting, where to place your decoys and what to expect from the ducks. This will definitely result in a higher number of ducks taken.
Before you go out hunting, make sure to inspect all of your hunting gear. This includes guns, decoys, boat, batteries and clothing. If you do not discover a problem with your gear until you are out hunting, it could cost you valuable time and reduce the number of ducks you shoot.
Even a small glimmer from the metal of a gun or boat can be enough to scare ducks away. Inspect your gear to make sure you do not have any shiny surfaces. Carry some paint with you on the hunt, to cover any shiny objects you may discover.
If you are hunting and the ducks seem to be avoiding you, re-examine what you are doing and be willing to change your tactics. Maybe it is your decoy pattern. Maybe there is shine coming from a piece of gear. Maybe you need to move your blind. Adapting to the conditions and altering your tactics can increase the number of ducks you shoot.
The right decoy pattern can make the difference between drawing ducks in or keeping them away. Start with the traditional “U” or “J” patterns, but do not be afraid to change your pattern if they do not seem to be working.
Muck it up
Clear, shallow water can keep ducks away. Try tromping around in the shallows or taking a paddle to stir up the muck to make the shallow water more inviting to the ducks.
Following these simple tips can definitely increase your success during duck season. Keep it simple and be prepared, and you will take more ducks.