We know it can be a bit overwhelming to keep up with every duck hunting strategy out there. More and more hunters are incorporating technology into their approach, but perhaps it's best to stick with an old-school method. Here are a few tried-and-true techniques that will be effective no matter what sort of gadgets come into the picture.
- Add Motion
Ducks are intelligent birds, despite their somewhat small brains. It's important to make your spread look realistic in order to attract their attention without putting them on guard. And what's less realistic than totally still water with several ducks in it? You'll want to make the water ripple. There are a couple of effective approaches to doing this: motion decoys, which simulate the movement of real ducks, or a trolling motor running on low. The motor will be silent, but will continuously move the water around.
- Don't Be Afraid to Get Dirty
When ducks feed, it causes the water to become dirty. Clean, unsullied water won't appear natural to any ducks flying ahead. Luckily, there's an easy solution: stir the bottom with your paddle, push pole, or a branch. Should that fail, you can always jump off the boat and walk on the bottom to stir up silt.
Your hunting gear should always include a pair of high-tension cutters. These can be used to slice everything from thick twine to, most importantly, small branches. If your blind needs to be spruced up a bit or you need to hide your boat a bit more effectively in an otherwise open area, use the cutters to snip some foliage from surrounding areas and build yourself a blind in a better location. Don't allow yourself to become stuck in a single area, especially if the ducks aren't landing there.
- Use Faux Water Holes
If you find yourself in an area where the water is frozen, or worse, in a place with no water, you can still hunt. You just have to be a bit craftier. Find a depression in the field and remove any large pieces of debris from it, then lay a piece of plastic across it. Make sure to cut the edges of the plastic so that it doesn't look like a square tarp from above. If you have a water bottle, splashing some water over it in random patterns can add to the realism. This will attract ducks looking for water and give you the perfect opportunity to line up a shot.
- Be Realistic
Hunters dislike days when the air is still. On such days, ducks tend to be lazy and lounge about. They don't fly, and they're much more aware of any potential threats than they may be when there are other distractions. Pack sleeper decoys in your gear for days like this, when you'll want to make your spread look even more realistic. Add sleeping, floating, and standing decoys together throughout your spread to give it a more life-like feel.
Whether you're a seasoned veteran or a still-green beginner, these five duck hunting tips will help you get more birds this season.
Yours In Boating,