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.

  • How Bad Luck Can Ruin Your Waterfowl Hunt

    Waterfowlers prepare fanatically for the season and individual hunts. We repaint decoys, check lines and repair blinds. We make sure our boat batteries are charged and trouble-shoot motor problems. We shoot frequently to hone our eyes. And we scout like fiends, noting bird numbers, location and movements. Before the first...

  • The Toughest Duck: Which Bird is the Baddest?

    Waterfowlers love to talk about physically “tough” ducks — birds that shake off seemingly lethal charges of shot in the air or on water and then dive or swim to escape. The idea is a bit misleading, I think, because hunters are often responsible for creating seemingly rugged birds. Poor...

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Freak Waterfowl Accident: Lightning Kills Geese

Folks casually use the expression “lightning strikes” when describing chance events. But unfortunately for some waterfowl , lightning sometimes actually strikes — with fatal results. According to an April 8 article by Nate Eaton at EastIdahoNews.com , more than 100 light geese were killed April 7 and fell into a...


Weird Waterfowl Retrieves: How the Simple Becomes Memorable

In practice and concept, the act of a dog retrieving a dead duck appears simple. Real-world hunting , however, sometimes complicates the process. Poor shots, missed marks, human or canine error, and other factors often lead to retrieving adventures. And when you factor in conditions and the personality of the...


Waterfowl Music: Off-Season Sound Maintenance

Let’s take a minute to discuss calls. No, not turkey calls — the duck and goose calls you finished using in January and, like me, probably hung in a closet. You need to inspect, clean and maintain those calls. Otherwise, they might not sound and function as well when you...


11 (or 12) States to Duck Hunt Before You Die

As age and time afield pile up, hunters often think less about achievements and more about experiences . In turkey hunting, that leads some folks to pursue the 49-state Super Slam. Waterfowlers are no different, though they tend to focus more on hunting exotic locales or pursuing species that don’t...


New Research: Urban Geese Sometimes Leave Town

Waterfowlers typically assume, with apologies to the town mouse and the country mouse, that an urban goose remains a city dweller its entire life. However, recent research from the Steven A. Forbes Biological Station indicates that’s not necessarily true. A March 8 post on the station’s Facebook page said its...


The 4 Biggest Threats to Waterfowl Hunting

Cheer and optimism rule the waterfowling world when times are good. And why not? Bird numbers remain high, and we’ve enjoyed more than two decades of liberal season frameworks. But hunters who have seen enough sunrises in the marsh know that good times don’t always last. And although they view...


Delta Waterfowl First-Duck Pins Helping to Recruit Hunters

Delta Waterfowl helped bring new hunters into the fold this past season by awarding hundreds of youngsters with First-Duck Pins and certificates of recognition for taking their first waterfowl. Realtree is the Official Camo Conservation Partner of Delta Waterfowl, and the Presenting Sponsor of Delta’s First Hunt and First-Duck Pin...


The Best States for Hunting 'Other' Puddle Ducks

In 2017, we revealed the top harvest states for mallards , canvasbacks , other diving ducks and even mergies and sea ducks . Don’t ask me why we didn’t cover the best states for puddle ducks other than mallards Let’s rectify that. Here, based on data from the U.S. Fish...


What Would Grandpa Think of Modern Duck and Goose Hunting?

A while ago, we looked at what Grandpa got right about duck hunting and poked fun at some misconceptions from back in his day. We were probably pretty tough on the old guy, so this time, I thought we’d give him easier duty. Specifically, I wonder what Grandpa or other...


Tiny Spots Pay Huge Duck and Goose Hunting Dividends

Duck and goose hunters tend to think big: large marshes, expansive sloughs, massive rivers or sprawling lakes. Yet some of the best waterfowling spots are downright tiny, including creeks and backwaters, micro sloughs or lakes, tiny spots on larger water and even pint-sized dry fields. Usually, the biggest trick to...


The Secret Off-Season Life of a Duck Dog

6:11 a.m.: Hmm. No movement. Funny how he can sleep in when he wants but I have to get up at 2:30 a.m. to sit on a frozen bog when he gets the itch. 6:23 a.m.: Pretty sure that’s snoring. Not good. I am starving. Perhaps a subtle hint is...


Easy Duck ID Tricks for Next Season

Quick, certain duck identification is always important, whether you’re sitting in a Louisiana bayou or a Minnesota marsh. Yet challenges — clouds, bright sun, low light or tired eyes — sometimes make the task difficult. And contrary to what some believe, real duck ID skills cannot be learned from a...


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