Hunting ducks is tough. It is hard to have the success that one wants, to have everything come together perfectly so that the ducks just seem to fall into one’s lap. There are many people every year who work very hard to get ready for the season. They put in a lot of time and effort and then they make a very avoidable mistake that means all that effort is wasted. There are common mistakes to avoid, things that, if one can cut them down or out of the hunting experience, can make duck hunting very fruitful and successful. Getting past these mistakes will mean that all the time preparing for the season and practicing shooting will not be wasted, but will pay off in the biggest way possible.
One of the biggest mistakes is that hunters will inadvertently hunt in places that are not suitable. This is often due to poor research or not taking the time to really figure out where the ducks are and what their patterns are. The reason this is overlooked is that it is not as fun or exciting as the hunting itself. There is no heart-pounding feeling that happens when scouting the grounds for the best place to shoot. Still, the hunter needs to remember that this is just as important, and perhaps more important, than the hunting itself. Hunting is not something one does just a few days a year; it is something one does all year long, even when one is not shooting.
The second problem is attempting to call ducks before one knows how to do it very well. This again comes down to time, and hunters not wanting to spend enough of it to get the art of calling mastered before they run out into the bushes and give it a try. This will not work. Ducks may not be the smartest of animals, but they certainly will not be fooled into being called over by something that doesn’t even sound like a duck. That much, their instincts will save them from. So, many hunters will work hard to choose a good location and then ruin it by scaring the ducks away at the end of the entire process.
Another problem is that many hunters do not understand the weather. Ducks live outside for their entire lives; if there is one thing that they understand quite well, it is the weather. Many hunters, from their lives of living inside and not being directly impacted by the weather, do not understand that cold fronts and snow and rain all change what ducks are willing and able to do. They will hunt the ducks the same way every day, which means that the ducks will often be in another location altogether. They will move to a place out of the wind or a place protected from the snow, and will not be in the same place that they were when it was sunny and seventy degrees when the hunter was scouting them.
A real killer as far as duck hunting is concerned is that hunters will have poor or inadequate concealment. The ducks will spot them and either fly away or skirt the area. A lot of this stems from eagerness on the hunter’s part, wanting to get out and hunt and not taking the time to make a good blind or find good cover. Again, ducks are outside for their entire lives. They have seen the shoreline many times, and they recognize if it has been broken by a hunter. They can spot that a long way off and know to get out of the area with haste. Hunters will then be left shooting at a flock of retreating ducks, or they may find themselves with no shot at all.
These mistakes are easily recognized and easily avoided, and the hunter would do well to minimize them and create the optimal conditions for success. If they do, they will have their best years ever in duck hunting, and they will see that all of the time and effort really does pay off in the end. It is worth it, and any hunter can master the art of duck hunting and excel at the sport.