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.

  • Sharp Shooting: The Best 'Other' Birds for Waterfowlers

    Shotgun games — skeet, trap, five-stand and sporting clays — provide fantastic practice and repetition for building wing-shooting skills. But sometimes, there’s no substitute for the real thing. So what can you do when the season is closed or ducks and geese aren’t flying? Well, you’re a hunter, so pursue...

  • Summer Waterfowl Scouting: How the Pros Do It

    Summer’s finally here, and we’ve waited all year for it. Wait, no we haven’t. We’re duck hunters . We live for September through January, and then again during light-goose seasons in early spring. Summer can be purgatory. Sure, we can practice calling. Yeah, we shoot. And true, there’s always something...

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Waterfowling Etiquette: Duck Camp Dos and Don'ts

Every social situation has unique protocols, and duck camp is no exception. Sure, a waterfowl hunt with buddies is typically much looser than a day at the office or a family dinner, but you still have to act accordingly. Follow these dos and don’ts the next time you’re on a...


Spoonies (and Other True Waterfowling Confessions)

Duck hunters love classic tales of grand timber hunts, when fat mallards parachute from the heavens like clouds of mosquitoes. Likewise, adventure stories of gunning cans and bluebills on big water during howling winds and driving snow leave us longing for the season. But now and then, our stories lack...


5 Ways to Goof Up a Great Duck Hunt

Seeing a successful hunt through its many stages — scouting, planning, setup and execution — is one of the great joys of waterfowling. And many times, that process is fairly simple and straightforward. But at the risk of making things too complicated, let’s agree that many stumbling blocks can quickly...


Prep Months: Off-Season Waterfowl Hunting Priorities

Waterfowlers obsess about fall. We look ahead to days when the leaves turn golden and brown prairie grasses sway in a north wind, and we post pictures of frosted grain fields or half-frozen lakes and long for weather that stings our cheeks and numbs our fingers. But unless you slip...


Duck and Goose Hunting Success: Order of Importance

Many factors contribute to successful waterfowling. Of course, when duck and goose hunters discuss the keys to filling straps, the question of importance arises. It’s not a fair question. Critical factors vary based on habitat, the flyway, phase of the season and even hunters themselves. But just to stir the...


Delta Commends Plan to Expand Hunting at NWRs

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have proposed opening about 248,000 acres to hunters and anglers at 30 national wildlife refuges in 21 states, and Delta Waterfowl applauds the move. “This is likely the most sweeping increase in opportunities for U.S. waterfowl...


Whiff Factors: Where We Miss Ducks and Geese

I’ve punched holes in the air all around ducks and geese . Over them? Check. Under them? Yep. Behind them? Certainly. Heck, I’ve even shot in front of them. And sometimes, I’ve missed so badly I questioned whether my shells held any shot (cue muffled laughter from my hunting buddies)...


Road-Killed Waterfowl? The Struggle is Real

While constructing a recent blog post about lightning killing snow geese in Idaho, I thought about other odd ways in which waterfowl die. Diseases play a big role. In some high-density situations, boats might fatally strike roosted birds before dawn. And most folks are aware of aircraft smashing into geese...


6 Old-Time Waterfowling Tips That Still Work Today

Old-timers love to give advice, and why not? After all, they’ve been around longer than most of us, and maybe they figure it’s part of their civic duty to pass on wisdom. Of course, if you’re not an old-timer, you often ignore guidance handed down by elders . But when...


Waterfowl Fun Facts

Although duck and goose hunters closely study and observe their favorite birds, we often know relatively little about the intricate details of their physiology and life history. In that spirit, let’s review some fun facts about a few of our favorite fowl. The Old Honker's Home? Everyone knows honkers can...


Top Duck Hunting Weather Misconceptions

Folks love to talk about “ducky” weather, but few can agree on what that entails. Some emphasize wind. Others insist the bottom must be falling out of the barometer. And a few get into crazy meteorological minutiae. After a while, you begin to suspect that waterfowlers have more misconceptions than...


Waterfowling Mentors: Spirits of Time and Memory

It’s been said the folks who shape us accompany us in spirit during every hunt . If that’s true, I have a pretty crowded and colorful boat every autumn. The group includes some larger-than-life characters: authors, decoy carvers, skilled shooters, local legends and habitual tellers of tall tales. Some probably...


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