Duck/waterfowl, season is coming up! If this is your first season, you’ll want to get prepared soon as possible. Since the dates vary depending on your state, check out this website to find your state’s season. Just like with any hunting sport, having more practice and knowledge will make you a better hunter. Three things you should know before you hit up your hunting spot: guns, clothing, and technique.

Guns to Use

Before the season officially starts, get comfortable with your gun. If you don’t own a shotgun, get one. A 12-gauge with 3-inch shells is considered the standard. After buying the gun, become familiar with it by using paper targets to practice lining your shot. Ducks won’t always be in the same range, so set your targets at different distances. Shooting clay pigeons will also help you practice hitting moving targets.

Hunting Clothing

You’ve got to know what to wear when you go duck hunting. Not every state requires you to wear fluorescent orange, so get familiar with your state’s hunting laws. Hunters wear fluorescent orange to help prevent being accidentally shot by other hunters. Make sure to wear camouflage clothing with a pattern that best matches your environment. Ducks can detect irregular patterns the terrain; if your camo looks out of place, ducks will know something is wrong. The same goes for your face — try to blend in by wearing a face mask or camouflaging paint. You’ll probably be walking through water and mud, so dress warm. Wearing waders will keep you dry.

Duck Hunting Techniques

You’ve got to learn how to use various duck calls and decoys. You won’t be successful if you only know one call because ducks use different sounds to communicate with each other. Learning the sounds ducks make in different situations will increase your chance of attracting ducks. Not every species makes the same noise, so research the duck you’re hunting. If ducks are coming to you naturally, keep quiet. Just like duck calls, there’s different decoys that will attract the different species. Bring multiple decoys, 5 to 12. When using decoys, you should experiment with different numbers and placements. Properly using duck calls and decoys takes practice.

Duck hunting requires you to be patient. Give ducks enough time to come where you are and sit still so you don’t scare them off. If you’ve been patiently waited with no luck, find a new spot. Once you see ducks, be strategic and precise with your shooting. Wait until your target is close so you don’t end up wasting ammo. Don’t shoot until you’ve lined up your target; you could miss and scare off the fowl. Concentrate on a duck and quickly make the shot.

Duck hunting is sport that takes skill. The more you practice, the more skilled you’ll become. Knowing how your gun shoots is important when you aim at ducks. If your clothing seems out of place, then ducks will notice and not fly near you. The more calling and decoy strategies you have, the more likely you’ll attract ducks. Hunting requires patience, but don’t be afraid to find a new spot if you’re not having luck at your current spot. Keep practicing and good luck!


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