To Get Started:
Duck hunting is one of many passions that I enjoy, but out of all of them it is the most complex and time-consuming to do correctly. While it may seem easy from watching T.V. there are many minor details that if not done well can absolutely ruin a hunt or worse ruin a season. The hunters season starts about three months in advance of the legal hunting season. The hunters job during that time is to get an idea of where the ducks or geese will be flying. It’s a mixture of past season knowledge and also observing the local ducks that are already there for the year. You want to be on the ‘X” in order to have the best chance during the season.
Location Is Key:
Once you have established a few places where you think they will be you have to set up your blind. This is where you will be sitting the early mornings waiting on the birds to fly in. It needs to give good coverage for the amount of hunters you plan on having. Each person will need adequate room to safely manoeuver a shotgun around in a hunting situation. It also needs to have a dry area to store things like shells, calls, and blind bag which can hold anything from bug spray to a cell phone. After the essential are taken care of extra equipment can be moved in for more comfort. We usually have cushioned chairs and a grill to cook hot breakfast in the morning. The blind needs to be in a position the ducks will feel comfortable landing in. Shotguns have a very limited range so the closer to the action, the better.
Getting Their Attention:
Once you know where the ducks are and you are well hidden its time to get them to come to you. The two main ways of getting them to fly to you are duck/geese decoys and calls. The decoys make it look like ducks are already there and it’s a safe place. The more movement and life you give the spread the more realistic it seems and the more success you will have. The second and more important tactic is calls. Ducks make a lot of noise while they are sitting on the water and if you want to be realistic then you have to replicate that. Every duck makes a different noise and so you have to be specific to each species as they fly in. The calls give a vocal call that tells them to come in even if they can’t see the decoys. But if you don’t practice with your call technique it can scare every duck away for a square mile so that is something that needs attention in the preseason.
This is the time that all the hard work pays off. It’s a magical moment of outdoors, fellowship with friends, and life lessons learned from elders. It’s not only a way of providing food for your family, but it is a way to connect with so many people around your community that share the same passion. Taking someone on a hunt for the first time is such a positive influence in that person’s life and gives valuable morals that they will take with them for the rest of their life. Now its time to implicate calling technique, decoy placement, and marksmanship. Even with all those things present sometimes you just need some Blind Luck.