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.

  • Northern Hunters Catch On to Teal Seasons

    Early teal seasons are established traditions in many central and southern Mississippi and Central Flyway states, but they’re relatively new to the Upper Midwest. As a result, thousands of “new” teal hunters have had to sharpen their duck-identification skills to shoot bluewings and greenwings while passing non-target species, such as...

  • 9 Signs You're Way Too Pumped About Waterfowl Season

    Man, I can’t wait for duck and goose hunting. A few months from now, we’ll be welcoming fall and witnessing the great annual migration. Lately, though, I’ve witnessed signs that make me think some folks are a bit too excited for the upcoming season. Anticipation is great, but when waterfowl...

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Get to Know These Six Duck-Blind Jerks

First, a disclaimer: Duck hunters are among the world’s finest folks, and you’ll usually become great friends with people who share your blind. However, some guys — rather, some behaviors — irritate fellow hunters and diminish the enjoyment and camaraderie usually associated with a duck blind or pit. Let’s meet...


Reflecting on Great Retrieves

The off-season allows plenty of time for reflection. You can smile about your triumphs, loathe your misses and remember hunts shared with friends. For me, part of that involves looking back at my retriever’s year. In fact, when I get nostalgic, I often dig into the logbook and recall great...


Avoid These 5 Deadly Decoy Mistakes

Yeah, I know it’s only May, but it’s never too early to start plotting your decoy strategy for this fall’s duck and goose seasons. In that spirit, here’s a brief rundown of the five biggest decoy mistakes to avoid. Bunch Crunch Don’t place decoys too close together. Give each block...


The Toughest Duck to Shoot Consistently Is ...

You can whiff on any species of duck. Trust me, I’ve done it. My hunting journal contains a life list of missed birds and head-shaking failure. However, some ducks are inherently more challenging to shoot than others, whether it’s because of size, speed, agility or behavior patterns. Many of these...


In Defense of 'Trash' Ducks

Some hardcore hunters argue that a duck without a green head is not a duck, even going so far as to call anything but a drake mallard a trash duck. (I often point out that drake shovelers and goldeneyes also have green heads, even though I’m not prepared to argue...


6 Traits Successful Duck Hunters Share

You probably have a buddy or at least know a guy who seems infallible. He usually returns to the landing with a boat full of birds, and he seems to have the answer to every curveball Mother Nature throws his way. Basically, he’s a darn good duck and goose hunter...


5 Steps for Waterfowl Doubles, Triples

Efficient waterfowlers know how to maximize opportunity, like plucking two or more birds from a flock when possible. Sometimes, the stars align, and chances for doubles or even triples seem easy. Usually, however, shooting multiple birds requires forethought, strategy and quick reflexes honed by shotgunning practice. These tips can help...


When to Call the Shot

You’ll experience two painful silences in waterfowl hunting. The first occurs as a flock circles for the third or fourth time, just close enough that you and your buddy glance at each other with anticipation, wondering if the other will give the “shoot” signal. The other happens after your partner...


Delta Urges USFWS Region to Return to Waterfowl Work

Delta Waterfowl Foundation has called on a Western region of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to resume traditional migratory bird programming instead of focusing on renewable energy. Since 2014, Region 8 of the USFWS — which covers California, Nevada and the Klamath Basin, located in northern California and southern...


4 Ducks That Will Infuriate You

Though probably not as consistently maddening as turkeys, ducks can sometimes leave you shaking your head and considering new hobbies. They don’t always play by the rules. In fact, they often seem to invent new guidelines. Let’s look at four frustrating duck-behavior scenarios and identify some potential fixes. Behinders Every...


Waterfowl Bands Tell Tales We Love to Hear

Putting your hands on a freshly killed bird is always thrilling, whether you take a mallard from your dog, scoop up a bluebill in open water or hoist a honker from a stubble field. But the excitement increases when that moment includes a shiny bonus on the bird’s leg. Waterfowl...


Declining CRP Acreage Equals Problems for Ducks

A disturbing trend might mean big trouble for ducks and other wildlife, yet many hunters seem oblivious to the brewing storm. During the past nine years, acreage enrolled in the habitat-boosting Conservation Reserve Program has declined by about 30 percent. Moreover, the current farm bill reduces the enrollment cap of...


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