The Duck Blog

Realtree waterfowl editor Brian Lovett has been an obsessive duck and goose hunter for more than 30 years, chasing his passion on the Dakota prairies and the marshes and open water of his home state of Wisconsin. He's been a writer and editor in the outdoors industry since 1991.

  • What Your Waterfowl Hunting Journal Should Reveal

    Waterfowl hunting journals let us relive our days afield, reveling in previous success, laughing at past folly and mentally transporting us to treasured places. But if that’s all they accomplish, we might have missed a great opportunity. A complete waterfowl journal should document the facts and circumstances behind every hunt,...

  • The 5 Stages of Duck Season

    We can feel it. Duck season approaches, and our long national nightmare will soon pass. When that opening bell rings, life will take a familiar turn : early mornings, chilly boat rides, brilliant sunrises, muddy dogs and fresh protein. Yet even during duck season, nothing stays the same. Instead, we...

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Get in Shape for Waterfowl Hunting Season

Some folks greet get-in-shape-now-for-hunting-season blogs and articles with not-so-subtle eye rolling, and it’s easy to see why. Most duck hunters are preparing for early-morning boat rides, not high-country sheep hunts. But if you do any walk- or wade-in hunting — think jump-shooting, free-lancing prairie potholes or lugging gear into fields...


Chad Belding's Off-Season Waterfowling Checklist

During the heat of summer, when almost everyone thinks more about boating and barbecues than hunting, some folks are busy preparing for waterfowl season . Just ask Realtree pro Chad Belding, host of The Fowl Life , which airs on the Outdoor Channel. He doesn’t get all that compelling duck...


Delta Waterfowl, Mississippi Partner for Wetland Incentive Program

Delta Waterfowl and the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks have joined forces for a pilot program to boost wetland habitat in private land near several wildlife management areas in the Mississippi Delta. Under the 2018 Mississippi Private Land Wetland Incentive Program, Delta and the MDWFP will offer incentive...


Mama Merganser Achieves Worldwide Fame

Make fun of mergansers all you want. One industrious Minnesota hen has become an online sensation for her incredible matriarchal prowess. Mama Merganser, as she’s been dubbed, gained fame this past week when photos of her leading 76 ducklings ran on social media and many print and online news outlets,...


What Grandpa Would Think About the Waterfowling Social Media Scene

Grandpa and other hunters of his generation have provided us with deep waterfowling knowledge gleaned through long experience afield. Still, we’ve wondered now and then what he might think of the modern duck and goose hunting scene. As someone recently pointed out, he’d probably be most astonished by the way...


Killer Coots?

We often laugh at the silly behavior of coots. However, video from Delta Waterfowl shows the seemingly goofy water birds in a new light. The footage, captured in 2016 as part of Delta’s Manitoba canvasback/overwater-nesting duck study , shows coots harassing hen canvasbacks, destroying nests and attempting to attack ducklings...


Whiffling: Ducks and Geese Put On a Twisting Show

We love watching the landing approach of any duck or goose , our heartbeats accelerating and focus narrowing as a distant bird suddenly morphs from a casual passerby to a cupped-and-committed volunteer. But when you add whiffling to the mix, the excitement level ratchets up another notch or two. When...


Things You'll Never Hear During the Duck Hunting Opener

Public-property waterfowl openers evoke many images, including those with lots of birds … and lots of hunters. The situation is ripe for exchanges and conversation. But let’s agree there are some comments you’ll never hear during a public opener. Here are a few tongue-in-cheek examples. “Gosh, those guys at the...


Waterfowl Shotguns: 5 Critical Features

Want to start a fight? Find a room full of waterfowlers , and make a declarative statement about the features that define the best duck and goose hunting shotgun. Then ring the bell, and watch the fireworks fly. Hey, the ultimate waterfowl shotgun is the model that works best for...


Ringneck Research: Delta Waterfowl Study Breaks New Ground

New research spearheaded by Delta Waterfowl could shed light on the movements, nesting behavior and wintering-ground requirements of ring-necked ducks , an increasingly popular and important species. The study is exciting for several reasons — mainly because ringnecks have been studied far less than any of the most harvested duck...


North Dakota Duck Numbers, Pond Counts Down

Pond counts and spring breeding duck numbers in North Dakota , a critical prairie waterfowl production state, are lower than in 2017, but that news isn’t all bad. The state’s 2018 spring breeding duck survey, conducted in May, showed an index of about 2.8 million birds, a decrease of about...


The Fowl Life Season 10 Teaser

Get ready for Season 10 of Benelli’s The Fowl Life , with Chad Belding. It premiered July 2 on The Outdoor Channel. As Belding says about the show, "It's what us duck hunters live for. Early cold mornings, hot cups of coffee, sunrises, the struggle and the success of the...


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