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.

  • Nature Teaches Us to Call Each Spring

    Spring is finally in the air around my home state of Michigan. After a relentless, seemingly never-ending winter, complete with record snowfalls and massive ice-coverage across the big lakes, we are finally seeing the light. Literally. With the big thaw comes waves of ducks making their way to the breeding...

  • Should Michigan Up the Hen Mallard Limit?

    Big news is hitting the waterfowl chat forums around my home state of Michigan, as the Department of Natural Resources is considering changing the mallard bag limit to allow for two hens as part of the four-mallard daily quota. As we all know, the Federal framework sets the official "bag...

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Realtree's New Dog Food Tailors to Duck Dogs

"The only problem we’re having with our food testing is the palatability,” I was told by Lindsay Richardson of Corey Nutrition, makers of the new Realtree dog food. “When we stop feeding it to the dogs, they won’t eat anything else.” I had to see this for myself. It just...


Online Federal Duck Stamp Program to Expand Reach

Always waiting until the last minute, and unable to prioritize, I found myself in a bit of a bind. I had traveled to a Arkansas on a duck hunt, it was late at night, and I had yet to purchase my hunting license. Driving across a remote stretch of the...


DU Canada's Winter Report: Waterfowl Habitat Favorable

With the memories of last season’s final hunt still fresh in my mind, I took time to work on an upcoming piece about the experience. While flipping through photos of the final day, I was taken aback by an email I received from Ducks Unlimited Canada. While I was still...


Behind the Scenes of a Duck Hunting Show

A recent trip to stuttgart, Arkansas was quite the eye opening experience. First and foremost, I had never hunted the rich timber of the duck hunter's holy land, so just being there was overwhelming. More on that soon. Second, this trip was my first behind-the-scenes look at filming a hunting...


Danner Boots Brings Back the Original Pronghorn

After selling over a million pairs of Pronghorn boots throughout the last decade, Danner has listened to its customers and redesigned the boot to more closely match the original. Most notably, the toe box was widened to allow a better fit and greater warmth. In addition, the new models are...


Duck Commander Improves on an Original

I'm a huge fan of the old-school Duck Commander calls, but, lately, their focus has been on design of new wave acrylics. Not so with the new Mule. This call, which basically combines an original DC wood barrel with it's super popular Duck Picker tone board, uses Robertson's patented friction-fit...


Mossberg Unveils Entire Duck Commander Series of Guns

This week kicked off the annual SHOT Show is Las Vegas, where the hunting and shooting industry join to unveil the hottest, newest gear. In the world of waterfowl, the Duck Commander name still burns brightest with the continued popularity of Duck Dynasty. Mossberg is the latest company to join...


Tested and Approved Items for Waterfowlers

Each season, I make it a point to give you, the readers, my take on some of the best gear out there. While many product reviews focus on the hot new items, those destined to change waterfowling behavior, or the simply bizarre, the purpose of my post-season review is to...


An Attempt to Extend Duck Season

For many of us in the North, the regular waterfowl season is but a distant memory. While a few diehards continue to harass geese during these winter-time late seasons, for the most part, nature has locked her doors on us. The words "deep freeze" come to mind. This morning, I...


Celebrity Chef Zimmern Grills Up Tennessee Sandhills

The 2013 hunting season was historic in many ways, especially in Tennessee, where for the first time hunters were permitted to pursue sandhill cranes. The controversial season has attracted a lot of attention lately, with TV celebrity chef Andrew Zimmern getting in on the action. Following a successful hunt, Zimmern...


A Duck Season's Epic Ending

Today is the first day of the rest of the year, as regular waterfowl season has closed in my home range of southeast Michigan. Once addicted, waterfowl season is always either here, or the countdown is on. Right now, we’re about 10 months out. Regardless, the rest of my life...


Coastal Wetlands to Benefit From BP Settlement

A $2.5 billion settlement earlier this year is being divided among the Gulf states, and Texas gets on the board first with plans for projects to help waterfowl. A recent morning spent cursing the inhuman 13-degree temperatures found me in my office rather than the duck blind, scrolling through recent...


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