An Easy-to-Follow Guide on How to Improve Your Duck Hunting Success
Hunting ducks is one of the most popular outdoor activities in North America. These birds are difficult to see in the water and are perfect targets for hunters. Hunting ducks is an adrenaline rush, which is what makes it so enticing as a sport. It is different from other hunting activities like deer because you can hunt with friends and have a good time. Many other forms of hunting require you to stay silent and unmoving the entire time.
While hunting for ducks requires discipline, the fact remains that you can have more fun with this particular activity. This isn’t to say that it is easy; far from it, ducks can be a worthy adversary and are surprisingly intelligent. They can see color, which means that you have to blend into your surroundings much better, and they are extremely quick at escaping if they suspect anything. However, the careful hunter takes the time to learn how to hunt ducks first to be successful when they do go out.
Before you can even contemplate having a successful season, you should make an effort to scout locations and do some reconnaissance on places of interest. Finding a good hunting spot for ducks can sometimes be tricky. The water can be murky, and the wind can be unpredictable. If you intend on getting closer to your quarry, you need to scout the location first to make sure the place you’re looking at is a safe bet. That means getting out on foot and exploring, to see what’s around, to determine if there are any excellent shelter spots and if you can see the birds.
Look for creek openings and backwaters that are hard to access. Find out how you can maneuver around impoundment or small, intricate channels. Visit an isolated pond or a small marsh in the morning. Consider scouting similar areas before the season, when ducks are staging or migrating, and follow up with further scouting efforts. Think not only about where the ducks are likely to be hiding but also locations that will have fewer hunters around. Without a proper recce, the rest of your efforts will be for naught.
Observe Them In Their Natural Habitat
Once you are reasonably comfortable finding a great hunting spot, the next step involves observation. You will get a feeling of how they move and in which directions they take flight. This vital information will assist you when the season rolls around, and you get ready to hunt for real. Furthermore, it is fascinating to watch your prey go about its business, and you will get fantastic insights into the way they live. A real hunter respects his prey, and apart from getting sound intel, you will also gain a deeper understanding of them.
Typically, hunters put away their weapons at the end of the season, ready for the next hunt. However, this is a mistake because you can gain valuable experience all year round. You can set up targets or even go to a gun range to hone your shooting ability. Practice will keep you sharp, and as soon as the following hunt is upon you, you will be ready to use your skills to better your previous years’ catch.
Be Prepared For All-Weather
Hunting is a sport that requires hardy people, and therefore, you should ensure that you are ready for any weather condition. Many people and even some hunters are unaware that ducks are capable of flying in the rain. Moreover, you will find that they are easier to shoot because they tend to fly lower. If you want to have a very successful duck hunting season, you should consider going out during bad weather. It also has the benefit that there won’t be other hunters around, and the ducks will be much calmer. When it rains, your scent is also masked, and the wet ground makes your steps quieter, all of which are useful when hunting.
Get Your Decoy Ready
Decoys are used to make the ducks believe that a particular location of your choosing is a safe place for them to land. Nevertheless, decoys can take a beating over time, and it is essential to keep them at their best. Ducks can easily see color, and many hunters underestimate their intelligence. If your decoy is looking rough and the paint is coming away, you will soon discover that the ducks get wise and move elsewhere. Therefore, keeping them in tip-top condition should be part of your general hunting routine.
Hunting ducks is an enjoyable sport, and by taking a few simple steps, you should be able to improve year on year.