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.

  • Switch Up Setups to Shoot More Ducks and Geese

    You look forward to that peaceful moment. The decoys are set, and the boat is anchored, or the field blinds brushed in beautifully. All you have to do is relax and let the hunt play out. But sometimes, ducks and geese have other ideas. Many days, perfect hides or ideal...

  • 5 Tips for Great Walk-In Waterfowl Hunts

    Sometimes, the duck boat must stay on the trailer. Secluded sloughs or hidden timber holes beckon, and the only way to reach these unpressured hotspots is on foot. I’ve enjoyed great walk-in hunts in the cattail marshes of Wisconsin, the parklands of Manitoba and across the pothole-rich eastern portion of...

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Go-To Spots of the Waterfowl Pros

At some point in your waterfowling career, someone will ask, “If you could only hunt one place, where would it be?” Maybe it’s the pothole where you shot your first duck or a familiar local wildlife area. Or perhaps it’s a far-flung destination you’ve only visited once. We all have...


Top States for 7 'Other' Diving Ducks

With a nickname like the king of ducks, canvasbacks are probably the most prized diver from coast to coast. However, cans don’t frequent every flyway or state equally, so many diving-duck hunters rarely get a crack at royalty. Instead, those big-water fans focus on other birds. That got me wondering...


Duck and Goose Hunting: The Two-Score View

While thumbing through old hunting photographs recently, two realizations struck me. First, mullets and Jones-style camo caps don’t mix in any circumstances. Second, I’ve been darn lucky to enjoy lots of waterfowl hunting through the years. One of the oldest photographs shows an awkward teenager with three mallards — the...


6 Duck and Goose Shots You Want to See This Year

Your gun mount is solid, your swing true and your follow-through polished thanks to round after round of clays. Whatever opportunity duck and geese offer, you’re prepared to make the shot. But let’s admit that you’d like to see some shot opportunities more than others this season — those ideal...


Deep Waterfowling Thoughts: How Do Coots Migrate?

Time in the duck blind lets us ponder life’s vagaries. How could God have created such an infinite and mind-boggling cosmos? Will my consciousness continue in some form after my body dies? And how the heck do coots migrate? Come on, you’ve questioned that. Every waterfowler has. The American coot...


Top 6 States for Canvasbacks

As the season nears, most waterfowl nuts begin to anticipate decoying honkers, soaring flocks of teal and, ultimately, cold-weather greenheads. But many also turn their attention toward royalty — the bull canvasback . If you haven’t taken a drake can, you want one. When you’ve shot a few, you realize...


3 Really Stupid Duck and Goose Setups (and Why They Worked)

Waterfowl hunters love to discuss killer setups and ideal decoy spreads. But sometimes, those tried-and-true strategies fail. And occasionally, when conventional wisdom backfires, we only save the day by doing something crazy. I’ve been there. After common, straightforward approaches bombed, I’ve thrown out the established playbook and tried something wild...


The Worst 6 States for Duck Hunting

We’re not going to criticize or disparage the duck hunting opportunities in any area. But let’s agree that some states have better waterfowling than others. My home state of Wisconsin , for example, features some excellent hunting, but it’s not Arkansas . Some states simply don’t have the resources to...


Spring Duck Numbers Look Promising

With many duck seasons just weeks away, hunters have received great news: Spring 2017 duck numbers were strong, and some species showed gains. The 2017 Waterfowl Breeding Population and Habitat Survey , released Aug. 15, put the breeding duck population at about 47.27 million birds, just 2 percent lower than...


Online Waterfowl Band Reporting System Offers Convenience

If you have to refer back to this blog, chances are you’ve been lucky. That is, you’ve likely shot a banded duck or goose and want to know how to report it. The answer is pretty simple: www.reportband.gov , the U.S. Geological Survey’s Patuxent Bird Banding Laboratory’s website for reporting...


Water Quandary: Should You Ground-Swat Ducks and Geese?

We hold some truths, to paraphrase Mr. Jefferson, to be self-evident. In the waterfowling world, one such tenet is that birds should be shot while flying, not standing, sitting or swimming (with the exception of cripples). But when a well-meaning co-worker recently questioned that principle, it made me pause. “Why...


Top Duck Calling Myths Exploded

Like any discipline, duck calling has its share of truths, misconceptions and outright falsehoods. In fact, a quick glance at any online forum or social media group will reveal many varying and conflicting opinions about the proper way to call ducks. But who’s right, and which self-proclaimed expert is full...


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