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Waterfowl Hunting Articles

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Duck and Goose Call Clinic: What's On Your Lanyard?

I own way too many duck and goose calls. There’s nothing wrong with that, of course, but only a few of those qualify as indispensable tools on my lanyards for various waterfowling situations. That got me thinking. My favorite combinations were forged through personal experience, but I wondered what the...


Getting Real: Duck and Goose Hunting Goals

I laugh at the 22-year-old me. Oh, he was a decent fellow. Naïve and maybe a bit temperamental, sure, but not a bad dude. But he (OK, I) was extremely goal-oriented in those days, especially when it came to hunting . “I’m going to shoot 40 more ducks next year,”...


Goose Hunting with Micro-Spreads

It’s common wherever goose hunting is popular. And in this modern age, it’s tough to find a place where goose hunting isn’t popular. I’m speaking of the monster spread; decoys — full-bodies, mind you — that seemingly stretch from horizon to horizon. Trucks, trailers and man-power; they’re part of the...


Ice Ducks: Waterfowling's Frozen Challenge

Waterfowl seasons occur during a period of great change. Depending on your location, you might start the campaign by shooting local ducks during summer-like conditions. Farther south, folks wait for the first blast of winter to move migrants into their area. But wherever you hunt, you’ll probably wake one morning...


United in Pursuit: Waterfowl Hunting Crews

Throughout your waterfowling career, you’ll likely be part of many groups; folks who come together to share time in a blind, duck boat, cut cornfield or other hunting venues. Such outings are enjoyable, but you realize after a few years that groups quickly come and go. Folks shake hands after...


Land-Bound Ducks: Hunting Divers From Shore

Funny thing about big-water ducks : They like big water. In fact, they prefer to stay there most days. That’s no problem if you can hunt open water. But if you’re on a point or shoreline, the game changes. Don’t despair, though. You can still experience quality diver hunting from...


Avoid Duck Hunting Fails During the Dreaded Doldrums

Duck season is usually a roller-coaster of ups and downs. Most hunters know about the ups: local ducks or early migrants to start the year, the first good push of birds from the North, peak migration and then freeze-up shooting. However, few like to discuss the downs; those periods between...


Green-Timber Greenheads: The Duck Hunting Zenith

In any of its forms, duck hunting is a fascinating, even addicting activity. But hunting mallards in flooded woods (green timber, to those in the know) is the ultimate waterfowling experience, and most of those who’ve tried it agree. A pit blind in a flooded rice field is a fine...


Stuttgart: A Primer for the First-Time Visitor

They come from the North: Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, the Dakotas, the Lake States and elsewhere. Blue-winged teal first, and then gadwalls, wigeon, pintails and greenwings. Finally mallards . Flight lanes narrow as they come. Smaller migration routes merge and then merge again. The overall pattern resembles a giant tree,...


10 Waterfowling Items You Don’t Need But Shouldn’t Be Without

Each summer, when the sun is blazing down, mosquitoes are at their thickest and ducks are sneaking around the weeds, unable to fly, it happens: The waterfowl hunting catalogs start arriving. Inside are pages upon endless pages of the latest gear, gadgets and gizmos guaranteed to pull birds in and...


Big-Water Ducks: A Game for the Serious Waterfowler

Most duck hunters are landlubbers. They hunt marshes, backwaters, brakes, flooded fields, and green or dead flooded timber. These are wet places, sure, but they’re land-based. The hunter is standing in shallow water or hunting from a boat or blind adjacent to or surrounded by shallow water. But there’s another...


4 Things That Make Ducks and Geese Flare

How many times has this happened to you? A flock of ducks or geese spots your decoys from a distance and turns on a dime. It was if they had seen a party in your blocks and decided to swing in. Here they come, on a string — wings cupped...


Hunting Dog Care in the Field

My buddies and I have a running joke that, through various misadventures, we’ve acquired the name and number of every veterinarian in the Dakotas. That’s a stretch, of course, but it has some basis in truth. After almost 20 years of hard-hunting prairie waterfowl and upland-bird trips, our dogs have...


Waterfowl Hunting: What Makes a Trophy?

As sportsmen and women, we like numbers. We seemingly have some innate desire to quantify everything. Flip through the grip-and-grin photos in an outdoors magazine and you’ll see what I mean. We’re bombarded with pictures of outdoorsmen posing with 5-pound bass, 150-inch bucks and turkeys with 10-inch beards. It’s all...


Waterfowling's Promised Land: A Prairie Primer

Duck hunting offers many bucket-list opportunities, including mallards in green timber, eiders along marine coastlines or canvasbacks on the Mississippi River . But for many folks, a trip to the prairie pothole region tops them all. This North American treasure is the remnant of what was once the world’s largest...


4 Ways to Survive Crazy Public-Water Duck Hunting Openers

It might be the most anticipated day of the year, but you hate it. Go ahead. It’s OK. Admit that you love yet despise the opening day of duck season if you hunt public water. You detest the crowds, loathe the skybusters and can’t stand the circus atmosphere. You can’t...


How to Hunt Sandhill Cranes

Images of giant, sharp-billed birds descending amid trumpet-like calls might seem more like a deleted scene from Jurassic Park instead of a waterfowl hunt. Yet across many areas of the country, that scene plays out year after year, as a small but dedicated group of hunters pursues a unique bird:...


Building a Better Duck Dog, Part III

So far, we’ve looked at the basics of training, covered a few simple drills for marking and learned some pro trainer tips to help you get on the right track. Now, let’s assume that your dog has the basics covered and is running lines on single and multiple marks with...


Building a Better Duck Dog, Part II

Before we get into single marks — that is, situations when a dog sees the bird fall, remembers the fall and goes to retrieve the bird on command — let’s make sure you’re not jumping the gun on training . First, your dog must have the basics down cold. That...


5 Calling Tricks That Will Kill More Ducks

Duck hunters love calls. We fill our lanyards with single-reeds, double-reeds, goose flutes, pintail whistles and others and wear them proudly every day of the season. Yet despite our long infatuation with calls and the sounds they produce, many folks seem to ignore certain vocalizations or simple tricks that might...


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