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.

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Waterfowl Bands: More Than Just Trinkets

Banded birds have an undeniable cool factor, and hunters fortunate enought to shoot a bling-toting duck or goose are usually excited about adding jewelry to their lanyard and curious about the origin of their trophy. But those bands and the information they carry mean much more. When recovered, that data...


Duck Hunters Rescued from Kentucky Lake

In what was described as a “huge victory,” rescue personnel recently saved three stranded duck hunters during frigid conditions on Kentucky Lake, 13 years after three hunters were killed in an accident on the same water. “There was no better feeling than reuniting the hunters with their anxiously awaiting families,”...


Blind-Bag Essentials

Gear-related articles provide good insights about essential equipment, but they’re also subjective and depend greatly on hunting situations. For example, I have four blind bags I use frequently during duck season, and each contains essential stuff for a specific style of hunting. Still, let’s agree that some equipment is mandatory...


The Ultimate Duck Boat: What the Pros Prefer

Duck boats vary almost as much as duck hunting situations, ranging from light shallow-draft rigs that can jump a beaver dam to hulking vessels that appear ready to cruise through icebergs at sea. Obviously, one style or type of boat does not fit every situation. But if you’ve spent enough...


Season Splits: Do They Help Duck Hunters?

Starting a good argument among duck hunters doesn’t require much. Just mention a hot-button topic, stir the pot with a loaded comment, and then enjoy the show. And if you really want to see fireworks, spark a debate about duck season splits. Using splits — that is, separating duck season...


Mud, MAX-7, and Louisiana Mayhem

I’d been warned about the mud. Still, as I hopped on the back of a four-wheeler, felt those big tires churn into the greasy road, and watched my soil-splattered rental car disappear into the night, I thought I might have underestimated the situation. But with duck camp ahead, I figured...


How to Find Ducks in Dry Fields

Most field hunting articles start with a brief thought about putting in windshield time to find ducks and then delve deeply into setup tactics, decoy placement, and concealment concerns. That’s almost comical, because sometimes the toughest element of a field hunt is locating birds and obtaining permission. Sure, driving along...


Sleeper States for Duck Hunting

Every duck hunter’s bucket list probably includes something about green timber in Arkansas, the Texas coast for pintails and redheads, and maybe even Maine for big common eiders. But that’s the problem — everyone wants to hit those spots. Many less-famous destinations feature fantastic waterfowl hunting, and U.S. Fish and...


Mastering Duck Shots from Tricky Positions

Shooting swift-flying ducks becomes much easier when you master the basics: incoming targets, crossers, overhead birds, and quartering angles. However, even round after round of skeet or sporting clays won’t teach you how to troubleshoot some of waterfowling’s unique — sometimes even laughable — shooting challenges. Experience is the best...


Mixed Duck Spreads on Big Water

Many duck hunters specialize in scenarios that focus on puddlers or divers, but not both. After all, you won’t shoot many bluebills in flooded timber, nor will you put many wood ducks in a layout boat. But in some big-water situations, usually involving a hot aquatic food source such as...


Calling the Shot with Big Groups

Deciding precisely when to shoot is often tricky, especially during tough conditions or when birds don’t finish well. It becomes more difficult when hunting with large groups, as folks sometimes aren’t on the same page or, worse, can’t help moving or peeking up at birds. Still, unless you’re a hermit,...


The 7 Best Days of Duck Season

Every day of duck season is good, but let’s agree that some are better than others. Sometimes those especially good hunts might involve full straps. Other times they revolve around friendships or special occasions. But during every campaign, you can usually count on specific types of days that make you...


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