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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6 Killer Late-Season Duck Calling Tips

Late-season duck hunting brings many challenges, including calling. Some days, it seems like birds have heard — and ignore — every sound you can utter. Don’t despair. Even the pros have days when ducks shun their best routines. But they adapt their approach to find notes that bring birds sure-kill...


How to Hide a Big Group of Duck Hunters

Disappearing into the environment greatly increases your chances of waterfowling success, whether you’re crouched in tall cattails or snug against a broad tupelo gum tree. But when you add several other hunters to the equation — perhaps folks who can’t sit still or want to stare at passing birds —...


5 Tips for Running Traffic with Field Ducks and Geese

In a perfect world, every waterfowler would be on the X daily, waiting for birds at a hot feed or midmorning loafing area. Then, afternoon scouting would reveal another hotspot for the next day. That, of course, is fantasy. Despite our best scouting efforts , we’re not always on the...


6 Ducks You’ll Hate During Tough Seasons

Uncooperative ducks get on your nerves every season, but they’re especially vexing during tough years. From flaring to almost disappearing at times, their mocking behavior makes you shake your head. Hopefully, you’re not having a difficult season . But if you are, you’ve probably met these annoying birds. And if...


The Dangers of Duck Hunting

Soapbox alert: Lovett is going to discuss duck hunting safety again. Yawn, right? Yet every season, we’re reminded in tragic fashion that those basic lessons don’t always sink in. And they must, because waterfowling can sometimes be risky business , even for experienced hunters. So in the hopes of sparing...


Quick Field Fixes for Keeping Decoys Looking Lively

Modern duck and goose decoys look incredibly realistic when new and pristine, but they can get dirty or marred with use, reducing their effectiveness. You can’t clean them in the marsh or pit with a garden hose and soapy water , so you must resort to quick fixes to make...


Tips for Big-Water Mallards

Here’s an inconvenient truth: Mallards — a duck comfortable on sheet water, in creeks and marshes, or even feeding in ag fields — love big water. They roost on huge lakes and rivers, and loaf and feed at sprawling sloughs. And all that water can make hunting tough, especially considering...


Five Fixes for Stale Ducks

Duck hunting holds few guarantees, but here’s a solid bet: At some point during the season, stale, overpressured birds will give you fits. It happens every year. Warm weather and southerly winds stall the migration . Ducks that arrived days earlier and seemed so naive and eager suddenly act like...


Feeling the First-Shot Blues

See if this sounds familiar: Ducks swing over your decoys , so you rise, mount your gun confidently and — miss the first shot. It happens frequently; probably more than we’d like to admit. Often, you redeem yourself on the second or third rounds, and then your buddies crack cheesy...


Is Competition Ruining Your Duck Hunting?

Every duck hunter has been there: You wait quietly for hours in the dark only to see headlamps close in as shooting hours approach. Or, you get up at a ridiculous hour to beat the crowds but find a long line at the boat landing. Unless you own or lease...


The Best Places to Hunt Mallards in Every Flyway

Mallards rule the waterfowl world , and it’s easy to see why. They’re North America’s most abundant duck, and they offer hunting opportunities in creeks, marshes, lakes and dry fields from coast to coast. Because mallards are also wary, challenging and sometimes frustrating ducks, hunters constantly strive to find better...


How to Tune Up Your Duck Calling Before Opening Day

You know it’s wrong. You vow to do better. But every year before the opener , you shamefully admit that you haven’t blown your duck calls since the previous season. And the last thing you want is to sound like you’re playing a kazoo or New Year’s Eve party horn...


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