So you want to duck hunt? Did you know duck hunting is one of the mostchallenging hunting sports? Well no worries my friend, because it is probably one of the most rewarding. If you have tasted duck meat, let me tell you, you are in for a treat…that is if you know how to gun down one of these types of fowls!
Duck hunting as a beginner can be complicated though. That is why we need to take it one step at a time here, and make sure you have the basics down before you go out to your local pond and blast away at those quackers.
First off, let’s start with finding out where these fowl are hanging out.
Duck hunting tips starting off with the basics
So right now, you might be thinking, “Ok I have this great pond by my house where there are tons of ducks. All I need now is my gun, equipment, and to know how to hunt!”
But wait! Not so fast there friend. Every state has designated areas to hunt for ducks, so I doubt that your state is any different.
The thing you need to do is to check the hunting regulations in your town or state. There are different hunting zones in different states, not to mention if you are living outside the US. Be sure to know where you can hunt before you go looking for places to gun down these ducks.
Next, when you’ve done some investigation, be sure to ask your fellow huntsman where the duck are plentiful. You’ll want to have a few spots to check out that will surely have a few ducks floating around.
What to bring duck hunting?
Equipment is very important. Duck hunting entails bringing a good amount of equipment, but if you’re no stranger to hunting, this shouldn’t come as a surprise. From decoys to camouflage, duck hunting is all about misconception, and when it comes to equipment it’s no exception. Sometimes as beginners, we can get overwhelmed with the amount of stuff that is involved in the hunting process. So for that sake, let’s keep it simple for all you newbie’s out there.
We have to remember that the important thing when picking camouflage is knowing your terrain. Think about it, if you are hunting in a brown swampy area with little natural color, we would want to wear a brown, dirtier type of camouflage right? However if our scouted area is leafier and presents more of a vibrant habitat, A.K.A the vegetation in the area is a lighter green, then we need to switch up the color. Just make sure you are comfortable and you feel like a true huntsman in your newly picked out camouflage.
Decoys are plain and simple the fake ducks you send out to get your prey all riled up. There are tons of different kinds of decoys, so I would suggest you know the type of duck that is accustomed to be floating around in the area you would like to hunt. Duck decoys can come in all many types of materials, including cork, foam, plastic, and traditionally wood. The important thing is that you have a good variety of types of duck decoys, because you never will know what type of environment you may be hunting in. For example, you will want a large number and a high variety in large bodies of water such as lakes, yet you’ll want to take that number down to fewer decoys used in settings such as ponds and creeks.
Alright folks, now comes the moment most of you have been waiting for, especially for those of you who grew up playing the classic Nintendo Entertainment System’s Duck hunt. This is the answer to “What do I get to shoot?” Well the shotgun here is the go to gun for all duck hunting. We’ll want a 12-gauge shotgun for our duck hunting adventures. Here you’ll have to choose between a semi-automatic, and a pump. There are advantages and disadvantages to both, so make sure you know what you’re dealing with.
As for ammunition, tungsten steel would be a good recommendation for you here. Make sure the shells you buy are non-toxic. The 3 inch shells will do just fine here, and should load just fine into your shotgun. Also, use a number 2 shot size. Any bird within 30-40 yards should be a piece of cake with this firepower!
For those of you not too familiar with hunting, we like to trick our prey as much as possible to get them to come closer for the kill. Thus, we have duck calling in duck hunting. Ducks make sounds, as I’m sure you learned in elementary school, and we are going to want to recreate those sounds.
“But how?” you may ask. Very simple, you do either one of two things. You can learn to quack like a duck, or you can bring a machine that recreates it. One costs time and the other costs money. Also you will have to research what kind of ducks you will be calling if you want to do either one, because ducks aren’t as dumb as some of us may think. They know when they are being fooled much of the time.
Really, duck calls aren’t even needed, so don’t lose too many nights of sleep over them. If you find a good hunting spot and do what’s expected of you, duck calls will be an afterthought.
Knowing your ducks
Saying you’re hunting ducks is kind of like saying you bought a car. What kind? Is it a beater or a shiny new vehicle? Ducks come in all shapes and forms, as well as fly differently and act in a different manner. It’s good to know which type of duck is primarily found in your part of the country. See our list that covers the most common types of ducks to hunt.
Get out there and scout out the area. Study some duck identification resources online or buy a few books on duck identification. This is a science as well as an art and it’s best to embrace your new role as a duck species expert. Do some scouting and identify patterns that will help you bring home more dinner after your first few duck hunts!
Time to duck hunt!
So are you ready? Duck hunting is challenging, but I think you’ll find yourself wanting to do it more and more as time goes on. Soak in as much as you can on each duck hunt, and don’t hesitate to ask questions! All types of hunting are always evolving, thus is the nature of the world, so your skills must evolve with them. Check out how you can improve your shot for duck season!
With all our hunting we recommend you go along with an experienced buddy for your first time. Don’t be that nagging first time hunter either! Ask questions and be passionate about the sport. But remember don’t be too loud or you’ll scare those ducks away.
So get all your equipment ready, and study as much as you can about the duck hunting process before you get boots on the ground in your newly scouted out location! We want to know how your first hunt went, so post some pictures and tell the story on the Hunters Wall.