The Sport of Duck Hunting

Duck hunting is a favorite sport of many outdoors men and women. The thrill of waking up early, sitting in a blind, and calling in an array of beautiful waterfowl can be irresistible. A typical look into a duck hunter’s personal items will often reveal a collection of duck calls, decoys, waders, and shotgun shells. Different shades of camouflage cover a variety of clothing to be worn such as hats, pants, gloves, face coverings, long underwear, and boots.

Out of all of the types of fowl that are hunted, ducks are the most popular. With speeds around sixty miles per hour, the duck encourages a hunting participant to use quick reflexes, visual scanning, and a sharp eye. In other words, it is a challenge to many which can quickly become an addictive hobby.

There are several different types of ducks that are hunted. They are mostly hunted with the same techniques with the exception of the type of calls used. Since every type of duck does not make the same sound, it is imperative that the correct call is used if a particular species is the target.

Duck hunting can take place in fields where corn and other edible crops have been grown and on the banks of water such as lakes or rivers. Make sure you have permission to hunt on the land and water area before the hunt begins. There are also several state-owned properties that allow the public to hunt ducks during the allotted season.

Prior to a duck hunting adventure, it is important to have several items ready and purchased beforehand to make the experience more pleasant. These include a proper weapon, the right size of shot, portable heaters and lanterns, the payment of licenses and fees, duck calls, blinds, and hip waders or a retriever dog.

Make sure to have the proper weapon prior to the hunt. Shotguns are the weapon of choice for duck hunting. There are different gauges and types of shotguns used. However, many duck hunters choose to use pump action and self-loading shotguns. Twelve gauge shotguns are the most popular type. The size of shot or shell normally used is between the numbers one to three. Hunting with a rifle is illegal due to the increased chance of shooting someone on the opposite side of the field or water source.

Portable heaters and lanterns also come in handy for those walking to their blind before dawn and while sitting in cold temperatures.

Another must-have item before hunting ducks is the Federal Duck Stamp. This is a required purchase prior to hunting in addition to hunting licenses. Without these there will be a huge penalty to pay.

A set of duck calls should also be on the list of a duck hunter. These are used to bring ducks in closer to you. Calls are used by placing them up to your mouth and making a variety of sounds that mimic the ducks. Ducks will be spooked and fly away if a person does not know how to properly use the call. Therefore, it is imperative that the hunter has mastered the sounds prior to the hunt. Calls made of wood and acrylic are generally superior to calls made of other materials. The sound is better mimicked with these types of calls and they will be more likely to convince a duck that the noise is coming from another live fowl.

Using a duck blind can make or break the hunt. These are used to conceal your whereabouts from the duck. If you are spotted by waterfowl, they will fly away and may become a target for another hunter that is well hidden. There are many types of blinds. They can be either permanent or temporary. Blinds can be made out of wood, natural habitat, polyethylene, and fiberglass. Some hunters also prefer pit blinds. A door or entryway needs to be easily opened and accessible to shoot at ducks when they come into range.

Hip waders or a dog that retrieves can be very beneficial to a duck hunter that is near water. The hip waders will keep an individual dry when fetching a duck from the water. A properly trained retriever dog is also convenient way to pick up a downed duck. Not only is it handy for the hunter, but a well trained dog is fascinating to watch.

Duck hunting is a sport that offers many unique challenges and excitement to an individual or group. With the proper equipment and preparation, duck hunting can be a pleasure to those who love the outdoors.