The Duck Blog

Realtree waterfowl editor Brian Lovett has been an obsessive duck and goose hunter for more than 30 years, chasing his passion on the Dakota prairies and the marshes and open water of his home state of Wisconsin. He's been a writer and editor in the outdoors industry since 1991.

  • Morning or Evening: Which Shift Kills More Ducks?

    Folks often argue about the best times to hunt ducks and geese. That’s pointless if you’re on a schedule. Go whenever you can — period. If you’re not crunched for time, though, you might wonder whether it’s best to hunt mornings or evenings. Or even midday. Each has benefits depending...

  • Keep Your Head in the Duck Game

    My mother told me to always wear a hat when it was cold because we lose 80 percent of our body heat through our heads. She also told me a cat hair would turn into a worm if you ate it, which made me a dog person at an early...

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Teal, Geese Highlight 2016 Opener

Duck seasons can dawn bright and cold, warm and humid, or dark and wet, and openers might be filled with the hiss of slicing wings or the awkward silence of an empty marsh. But however it arrives, the first day of duck season always carries anticipation and promise. That tingling...


Bucket-List Birds, Part IV: Sea Ducks

Almost any sea duck might be a trophy for an inland hunter. And if you throw in the brilliant, unique plumages of full-color drakes, you might be talking about a substantial loan to cover your taxidermy bill. But duck hunters can dream, right? Let’s look at one inland hunter’s picks...


Gear Review: Keep Cool When Hunting is Hot

We think of waterfowl hunting as a cold-weather sport, but that’s not always the case. Temperatures during teal and early goose seasons can be downright sweltering, and when you dip south of the 30th parallel, forget neoprene waders and fleece beanies most days. Heck, it was 70 the first week...


Bucket-List Birds, Part III: Big Fowl for the Wall

Some waterfowling buddies laugh whenever I mention geese, brant or swans for taxidermy. “They all look the same,” they say. “One is just like another.” Not true. Actually, the many varieties of Canada geese are distinctive. Sure, run-of-the-mill honkers seem pretty vanilla after a while, but we’re talking about bucket-list...


Duck Hunting Nation: Your Ultimate Waterfowl Guide

The calendar maintains that summer still rules, but that’s a lie. Days seem shorter and cooler, and the pop of shoulder pads has replaced the ping of ball bats on Friday and Saturday nights. Moreover, some of you have already ventured afield for mourning doves, giant Canada geese and early...


Bucket List, Part II: 5 Divers You Must Shoot

Recently, I profiled my top five drake puddle ducks for the wall. Most of you are probably still laughing. Some of you might have hurled heavy objects at your computer monitor and are only now getting back online. At any rate, why stop a good thing? In the second of...


Video: Sound Like Several Geese at Once

My goose sounds started to run together while I practiced the other day. That is, I was trying to mimic two honkers at the same time, but the sounds didn’t seem distinct. Frustrated, I turned to the experts, and a quick search revealed this great video from our good friend...


Fill Your Bucket List: 5 Puddle Ducks You Must Shoot

Everyone’s into bucket lists nowadays. Duck hunters are no different. We dream and scheme about dazzling full-color drakes to make taxidermy dreams come true. But every duck is beautiful in its own way, so setting a short list can be difficult. In this article and the next three Tuesday “...


Game of Shadows: Keep Sunlight on Ducks, Not in Your Eyes

Somewhere in the Waterfowling 101 manual, we lost sight of a basic hunting principle. Conventional wisdom holds that ducks and geese land into the wind, so hunters typically set up with the wind at their backs or at least quartering away to facilitate easy incoming shots on decoying birds. But...


The Best Nicknames for Duck Hunting Spots

Despite the romance inherent in waterfowl hunting, we usually give our favorite spots pretty pedestrian names. Consider some of the areas I hunted in 2015, such as Bill’s, which I cleverly named for its owner … Bill. Then there was Peterson’s, which, again and just as cleverly, took the name...


Use These 3 Down-and-Dirty Tactics for Tough Mallards

Our lust for mallards never subsides. We pursue them from the warm opening bell of the season until the bitter, frozen end of the campaign, from the prairies of Alberta to the bayous of Louisiana and all flyway points between. Along the journey, greenheads often avoid and frustrate us. We...


Try These Devilish Details for Early Season Honkers

When they loaf at a park or munch oats in a field near a highway, local Canada geese might seem like the easiest opportunity in waterfowling. And then opening day arrives, and those familiar geese flare, land out of range, ignore your spread or switch locations, leaving you scratching your...


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