Here's How to Duck Hunt Like a Pro
In order to get good at duck hunting, outdoorsmen can take several actions. Most of them involve an learning from others, improving technique, and using different equipment. However, going to a sporting goods store and buying a bunch of hunting items willnot be enough to turn a novice hunter into a master hunter.
Let's take a closer look at ways to improve the duck hunting experience.
Reach Out to Others
The best piece of advice is to befriend an experienced duck hunter. An experienced hunter will have all of the necessary accessories and he'll be able to show a beginning hunter how to use those accessories in the proper manner.
Hunting with an expert will give beginners the chance to ask questions. This is much more efficient than poring over hunting guides and the Internet. Why read a bunch of materials when the same or even superior answers can be found much faster and easier by asking another person while out on the hunt?
A friend will help teach a novice about hunting regulations, various breeds of ducks and the most successful duck hunting techniques. There are guided hunts available in most areas for the beginning hunters who do not know any other hunters. Just bring a gun and the guide will show everyone the ropes.
Tap Into the Power of the Web
Search the web for public hunting lands. Find duck hunting blogs and message boards created and maintained by local hunters who will dish out advice on the area's best lakes that allow public hunting. Or offer services to owners of private land in exchange for permission to hunt on their property.
It is most prudent to use at least ten decoys. Many hunters agree that mallard decoys are the best as they attract all types of breeds. Put the decoys in a hook or U shape. Be sure to bring a decoy bag.
The wind should always blow at the hunter's back or side and never towards his face. Build a duck blind near tall grass to blend in with the environment. Ducks can see color very well so the hunter must be camouflaged. Always wear camouflaged hats and clothing.
In terms of guns, a twelve gauge with a 27 inch barrel and chambers for three inch shells will suffice. Try different choke and shell combinations to see what works best. Modified chokes work for novice hunters. Longer barrels let hunters shoot accurately at far distances.
Calls should be made with a double reed. Be sure to get an instructional CD to learn the proper calling methods. Do not call too frequently. Only call once you've practiced for an extended period of time.
Hunters should practice in their homes along with fellow hunters to compare call techniques and offer one another recommendations to improve their sound.
Location, Location, Location!
Hunters should consider buying a boat to access remote hunting areas. If colored properly, it can also provide camouflage for hunters who want to hunt right out of the boat itself. Waders should have a minimum of 800 insulation grams.
Man's Best Friend
Hunting dogs are helpful if properly trained. A trained hunting dog will find hiding ducks and pick up the kills. A duck hunter must always have a means of retrieval. If the duck is shot but not retrieved it is an incredible waste of an animal's life and the hunter's time and effort.
High Percentage Shots
Finally, duck hunters should avoid "'skybusting." This means to shoot at ducks that are very far away. Skybusting wastes shells, merely wounds ducks and can harm the experience of fellow hunters in the area. Only attempt to shoot ducks that are within thirty yards or less.