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.

  • Essential Equipment: Jumper Packs

    Here at Realtree, we frequently introduce you to new products that make your time in the outdoors more enjoyable. Today, I’m going to introduce you to one that can save your butt. I should know; it just saved mine. Featured in the photo is a new jump starter offered by...

  • Essential Waterfowl Recipes: Summer Sausage

    Most of what I know about waterfowl was self-taught. My initiation into the sport wasn’t through a mentor or duck-hunting family member. Instead, it was through a group of young buddies who, like me, just love being in the outdoors. For that reason, just about everything I know about the...

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Delta’s Volunteer of the Year Sees Things Differently

Recently, I learned Brian McCoy was named volunteer of the year for Delta Waterfowl. The North Carolinian was chosen over several other finalists, all of whom are doing infinitely more for waterfowl than most of us. My hat goes off to each; just being elected for the award shows what...


Banded Buys Avery Outdoors

To many in the waterfowl world, Avery has always been a legendary brand, in operation before many of us learned to hunt. By comparison, Banded is a recently new name, but has already proven it’s worth with extremely hardcore gear; built for the hunter by hunters. Now, they are one...


Compelling Video Shows Ducks Feeding in Corn

I’ve always felt that one of the keys to successful hunting and fishing is an understanding of your quarry as a living thing, and not the object of conquest. The more we know about what we’re after, along with the natural world that they inhabit, the better we will be...


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...


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...


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