The Duck Blog with Joe Balog

Joe Balog was born and raised on the Great Lakes, where he's earned a living as a charter boat captain, pro bass fisherman and outdoor communicator. As waterfowl editor for Realtree.com, Balog was bitten by the duck bug while hunting the world famous St. Clair Flats. Between duck hunting, fishing, and dog training, Balog spends some 300 days a year on the water.

  • Controversial Mining Company Chips in for the Ducks

    Perhaps no other sector in popular, modern-day hunting is more affected by environmental policy than waterfowling. While deer continue to pop up out of the woods like spring tulips in a flower box, and turkeys are regularly seen in more front yards than ever before, ducks must be intricately managed...

  • Studies Show Northern Teal Season a Success

    Last September brought the first early teal season to the north in many years. Regions labeled as “production states” have long been apprehensive to allow duck hunting of any type during a time of the year when most ducks are predominantly drab-colored. The biggest concern has always been misidentification, and...

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DU's "Rescue Our Wetlands" Initiative Biggest Ever

Recently, Ducks Unlimited launched its largest waterfowl and wetlands campaign in history, and things are looking good. The Rescue Our Wetlands initiative , announced at the DU annual convention in late May, has a campaign goal of an astounding $2 billion, and, thus far, over half of that has been...


Sportsman Group Vanishing Paradise Responds to BP Settlement

It’s been over five years since the largest oil spill in US history – BP’s Deep Water Horizon disaster – and still science is finding more problems. A group representing thousands of sportsmen has had enough. While we continue to learn of more and more problems with the Gulf, many...


Killer Product: MAX-5 Minn Kota Talons

As a duck nut, I find the need to display MAX-5 camo whenever possible, and I’m surely not alone. The lifestyle goes well beyond hunting clothes. Truck seat covers, shower curtains, pajamas; even recliner chairs in the living room. Sure, they constantly cause the stupidest jokes from non-hunters: “where’s the...


2015 Trends in Duck Breeding Survey Results Are In.

Big news in the waterfowl world this week. The USFWS, along with Canadian Wildlife Service partners, released the long-anticipated Trends in Duck Breeding Populations Survey for 2015 . The report summarizes both estimates in waterfowl numbers for all the major duck species, as well as habitat conditions and pond counts...


Killer Product: Tenzing BH15 Binoc Holster

Countless times, while scouting for waterfowl, I've wished I had binoculars when I didn't. Other times, I wish I hadn't brought them with me for the same basic reason: binoculars really kind of suck to carry. Not anymore. Tenzing has helped solve this dilemma with its BH15 holster system. A...


Nebraska Seeks Public Input on Waterfowl Zone Changes

I’m a big believer that, in most cases, game and fish managers are doing all they can to ensure the best hunting and fishing experiences for the majority of their constituents. And, while I feel this has been the general theme across most of the country for quite some time,...


Michigan Expands Hunter Access Program

Southern Michigan is a busy place. Following the second World War, with a country thirsting for progress and new toys, the auto industry boomed, and Detroit became a national mega-city. In addition, Michigan’s rich soils and moderate climate make it perfect for farming, and the industry which created a need...


Your Chance at a Bucket List Duck Hunt

Most waterfowl hunters have heard of Habitat Flats waterfowl lodge. Many have placed a hunt at this premier destination on their bucket list. Well, just to be safe, those hunters better book now. Chances are, Habitat Flats is sold out for at least the next year or so. I recently...


Choosing Waterfowl Chokes and Loads: Greenheads in the Timber

When most duck hunters imagine heaven, what they’re actually looking at is Arkansas. Yes, the stories you’ve heard are all true, many areas of Arkansas, particularly those around the famed Stuttgart region, are simply full of waterfowl. Green timber is the place to be when hunting this region, and few...


Delta Waterfowl Publishes Plans

Recently, I was quite critical of Delta Waterfowl’s decision to report on North Carolina’s repeal of Sunday hunting restrictions on private lands. I made such statements because, although the state loosened it’s regs, it did so for everyone but waterfowlers. Therefore, I couldn’t understand Delta celebrating the news. I don’t...


365 Dead Snow Geese = $55,000 in Fines

While snow geese remain the subject of many conservation-directed conversations, hunters must be aware that guidelines and limits are in place for a very specific purpose, regardless of what we may believe. We would assume that taking unlimited numbers of these habitat-destroying monsters would only help the cause, however a...


Utah Set For 107-Day, Seven-Duck-Limit Season

What would possess me, sitting in my office in Michigan, to listen to a recording of recent meeting minutes for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources? I simply had to confirm a few surprising stats I learned in a recent press release. Despite the likelihood of lower duck population numbers,...


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