Duck hunting is a popular outdoor activity enjoyed over a wide range of countries. This is widely practiced in the USA and Canada as well as some areas in Europe. Ducks are hunted down when they’re migrating from a cold area to a warmer one, and they often stop at certain places to take rest. The hunters can stay in these areas and shoot the ducks while they’re at the ground.
Although governments have capped the number of ducks that you may hunt, it is still very hard to reach the maximum because the ducks can be very intelligent at times. Inexperienced hunters often can’t follow a definite strategy, which is why they fail to hunt the ducks. To help the inexperienced hunters, we’ve put up the top 10 great strategies that you may use for duck hunting.
Understand the duck behavior
Many inexperienced hunters often spend lots of time hunting ducks but very little time in observing their behaviors. If you notice all the experienced and professional duck hunters, you’ll notice one thing in common; they all spend a lot of time studying the ducks. They try to recognize all the behavioral patterns to analyze all their actions. This includes their food habits, diving depths, breeding behaviors, calling and decoy strategies. After a bit of research, you should be able to figure out the right location where all the ducks will head, and you can situate yourself in that area as well. This is essential for being able to get larger hunts.
Match the decoys
It is very common to see hunters using all mallard decoys. Mallards are often cheaper than easier to find than any other decoy. It is recommended to use honker decoys along with the mallard ones to better suit the duck packs. Ducks have sharp eyesight and can detect any mismatches in the environment, so if you use all mallard decoys, they can suspect the decoys and leave the area.
Use effective flagging techniques
Flagging is a great technique to use. Most expert hunters consider flagging as important as calling the birds. You must use an attractive looking flag to grab the attention of the ducks. You must also research about the ducks flying and landing patterns to convince the ducks that the flags are real. You can use multiple flags to suit the situation even better. By using the proper techniques for flagging, you can always ensure yourself a good hunting day.
Use a jerk cord
Jerk cords work best when you want to give life to the immobile decoys. These cords are to be attached to the decoys, and as the hunter pulls down the cord, the decoys will have a faint motion. This will make the situation more realistic than it was previously. Expert duck hunters often use such a jerk cord, and they’ve mastered using the cord to perfection.
Take a pack of duck hunting dogs
Duck hunting dogs can always be of great help when you’re hunting alone. These dogs can bring you the ducks that you’ve shot so that you don’t have to go and get them. So, hunters can save a lot of efforts and time. If properly trained, these dogs can pounce onto the ducks that got shot and can bring it back to you.
Stay away from your duck hunting boat
It is always recommended that you stay away from your duck hunting boat. This is particularly important because you need to conceal yourself and your dog so that the ducks can’t notice you. If you’re on the duck hunting boat, the ducks can easily notice you and will not come close to you. If you want to stay in the boat and hunt from a distance, always use a high-quality spotting scope so that you accurately shoot the ducks. Misfiring may cause the ducks to become cautious and fly away from your reach.
Knowing when to call is more important than how to call
Spend a considerable amount of time researching all about the ducks. When you’re at the spot, try to listen to the ways they call and exactly when they call. An expert hunter often knows the right time to call the ducks which is why they get more hunts than the amateur hunters. Most hunters call the ducks just before they’re leaving the area. Try not to overcall the birds as this might result in the birds getting aware and flying out of the area.
Paying attention to tiny details
It may be more often than not that a tiny detail will make the difference between a great hunting day and a fowl one. You must pay attention to the tiniest of details, checking every aspect with precision. You must ensure that your duck hunting boat gets along with the natural settings, the decoys are floating upright and so on. You must know that the ducks can notice even the slightest change in shadows, which is why you need to be extra careful. If you’re in the ground, make sure your ghillie suit is perfectly concealed in the environment.
Assigning your shooting position
This is another important strategy that expert hunters often use. It can be particularly important because when you’ve assigned your shooting position, you can increase your accuracy of hitting the ducks. Make sure that you’re keeping the shotgun straight towards the ducks and shooting them at the right moment. Always remember that if you miss your shot, you might end up scaring the ducks away from the area.
Adapt and Overcome
Whenever things are not in your favor, you can try out different techniques that best suits you and the area you’re living in. Always be slow and cautious and pay extra care not to scare the ducks away. Learn from your mistakes and never lose your temperament. Only then, you’re going to be a successful hunter.
These were the top 10 strategies of duck hunting that expert duck hunters use. Expert hunters always advise the amateur hunters to be always prepared for different situations. There may be days when there aren’t enough ducks around while in some days they can catch dozens of them at once. They should also come with high-quality equipment for duck hunting. Wearing the proper duck hunting waders are also advised.
As a whole, you must ensure that you’re completely blended in with the environment. This means that your duck hunting kayak must not bear any colorful beautifications and it should also blend in with nature. You must observe the ducks before shooting. Call them up at the right moment and shoot at them accurately. If you follow these strategies, you’ll be able to catch the ducks very easily.