Hunting, the pursuit of wildlife for food, sport, and recreation, adventure, and fun. An ancient sport that began to survive by providing oneself with food to sustain life by the taking down of various animals. A survival skill in its purest form that continues to thrive and grow in countries around the world, by men and women. From tribespeople to men in business suits and woman who bakes pies, hunting is a sport that can be learned and enjoyed by anyone.
If we leave behind the survival part of hunting which thanks to modern conveniences is no longer necessary, we are left with the sport of hunting. As a sport, hunting requires precision and skill, training in whatever choice of tool you use to pursue and take down your animal. Rifles, compound bows, and crossbows are a few of the tools used to take down big game.
When it comes to duck hunting, many techniques and tips can be used by individual hunters in the pursuit of their waterfowl. Below is a brief selection of essential tips that any duck hunter, beginner or expert will find useful, some old school and some new and more modern tips.
Muddy the Waters
By muddying the waters, it sends a signal to the ducks that other ducks have been feeding in the waters by kicking up the muddy bottoms. Typically in shallow water, ducks will be swimming around for food, muddying up the water. If ducks are flying by and the water is clear, it will not look normal to them as a safe place to land. Use whatever means you can to stir up that water by walking through it with your weighters, using a paddle or anything else that will get that bottom stirred up.
The Motion of the Ocean
Before the motorized decoys came along the good old boys used various tricks to add motion to the water. By pumping the legs in the water or using a jerk string, you can create a ripple effect on the top of the water. Whatever means you have at your disposal to create motion on the water, do so. As it will appear that the ducks are moving. Remember, Ducks as well as waterfowl, are very skeptical where they land. Everything has to be just right.
Small Bodies of Water
Look for ponds, marshes, and small areas where they don’t see a lot of hunting pressure. Many guys will overlook these places and focus on the large bodies of water. Taking advantage of the less pressured bodies of water, you will find that it can be just as good or better than the large bodies of water.
The Wind Beneath My Wings
Most birds will fly into the wind to land. So make sure when you setup your decoy spread that you have your setup playing the wind. If you don’t the birds could be landing on the body of water you are hunting, but on the other side. Setting up with the wind will ensure that you are giving yourself the best chance.
Whatever methods you use to find success on your next duck hunting adventure, these tips should give you a few new ones or remind you of a few that you can add to your repertoire, repeatedly with each passing season.