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.

  • 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,...

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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,...


Maryland Repeals Ridiculous Field-Hunting Law

Maryland field hunters can breath a little easier knowing that they will not unknowingly break a law and wind up a criminal. There, Governor Larry Hogan signed into law a repeal of the confusing doctrine that often resulted in unintentional lawbreakers. The law in question was Maryland’s strict liability doctrine...


Choosing Waterfowl Loads and Chokes: Big-Water Divers

When most people think of duck hunting, they imagine a crisp fall day, a misty pothole, and feet-down mallards at ranges so close hunters fire in self-defense. In contrast, gale winds, 4-foot waves and 50-yard shots at birds flying full-tilt don’t enter the thought process, unless you’re a diver hunter...


Duck Unlimited Triples Grant Reach in the Gulf

In a recent press release, I learned of funding being provided to Ducks Unlimited for major projects in the Gulf coast, specifically in areas originally affected by the Deep Water Horizon oil spill. It’s been five years since this event, and the anniversary has brought the topic back into a...


Choosing Waterfowl Loads and Chokes: Puddlers in Potholes

In the second edition of our ongoing series, we discuss the proper setup for ducks piling in the marsh. Each year, I’m questioned about my passionate waterfowl addiction, and how the hunting is in my neck of the woods. Living in the mid-section of the Great Lakes gives me tremendous...


Sunday Hunting in North Carolina: Waterfowlers NOT Included

I must admit, at first glance, I assumed I was going to read some good news. In a quick headliner on its website , Delta Waterfowl announced the passing of North Carolina's Outdoor Heritage Act in the state’s House of Representatives. With it comes more opportunities for Sunday hunting. Good...


60th Annual Duck Breeding Population and Habitat Survey Kicks Off This Month

Since 1955, the U.S. Fish & Widlife Service had partnered with the Canadian Wildlife Service to determine the overall population and health of the continent’s duck population, as well as the breeding habitat available for those ducks, in the annual Breeding Population and Habitat Survey. For those unfamiliar with this...


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