Tips for Beginners
Duck hunting is a sport with so many tricks and tactics it can be hard to keep up. New gear is constantly coming out season to season. What works in one area may not work in another. To be a productive duck hunter you have to follow the basics. You will not need to spend thousands of dollars on decoys, calls, and gear. There is no need to build the grandest blinds or go on guided hunts. Many think you have to be a world class duck caller to be successful out in the field. All of this is great and yes you could do very well by following those guidelines, but you don’t have to. To consistently harvest ducks in the field you need to learn the basics of duck hunting.
One of the best duck hunting tips out there is to stay covered. Ducks can see more than you think. Their point of view is from above. While hunting try to imagine what a duck might see when it is coming into your area. If you wonder why ducks are pulling off just before they get into your shooting range it is because they have spotted you. The best way to stay covered is to blend into the natural habitat. If you are wearing camouflage gear it has to be similar to your surroundings. For the best results create natural blinds in your hunting area. This does not mean you have to build an elaborate blind with benches, foot rests, and cup holders. A natural blind is a created by using the habitat in your hunting area. Bring branch cutters into the field with you and cut down branches or any natural cover that you have in your area. If you can stay tight to a tree line you will have an easier time making a blind and it will blend in naturally. Nothing will beat blinds that are made with natural habitat.
Duck calling will play a significant role in the amount of birds you harvest. This does not mean you have to be a competition duck caller or spend hundreds of dollars on a call. You just have to keep it simple. If you are new to calling the best tip is to use two basic sounds, the quack and the comeback call. To attempt these calls first place your call to your mouth as if you are drinking a can of soda. When blowing a duck call you are coming from deep down in your stomach not blowing air directly out of your mouth. For the quack call you want to say the word quit while blowing into the call. Use the rule of 5 while using the quack call. This means you do not want to blow more than 5 quacks at a time. For the comeback call you will use the word ten while blowing into the call and also follow the rule of 5. Use greater force when blowing the comeback call compared to the quack. 5 short bursts at a time will do the trick.
Everybody loves decoys. For beginners the best tip is to start out with a dozen decoys. This will give you enough decoys to attract birds while having the option to create a number of different spreads. Make sure you have line and weight for each decoy. If hunting in a coastal area affected by tides, know when high and low tides are. Put on enough line to ensure the weight is resting on the bottom. A great tip is to never put the decoys out of your shooting range. The point of decoys is to bring birds to you. Never bunch your decoys together. Let them breathe with a natural distance apart from each other. If you have a Lucky Duck or motorized decoy definitely use it. They are great for beginners and will make your hunt more successful than if you didn’t have one. Place your Luck Duck in front of or behind your pattern.
Hunt with a Friend
Enjoy the duck hunting experience with a friend. This is a great tip for beginners because once you become addicted to waterfowl hunting you will accumulate a lot of gear. Hunting with a partner makes it much easier to haul decoys, blinds, and other gear to the grounds. Two callers are also better than one. Split the difference when it comes to calling and rotate between the quack and comeback call. More than anything you want to share the hunting experience.
Stick to the basics of duck hunting and you will be successful. You will naturally learn more each hunt you go on. Build from one hunt to the other. Before you know it you will be a seasoned duck hunter passing on the talent to a beginner.
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