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.

  • The X: Duck Hunting Opening Day

    Every waterfowl hunter counts opening day as special, and the Fowled Reality crew is no different. In fact, the guys celebrated in style this year with a great mixed-bag trip. Enjoy the in-your-face decoying footage, and let the countdown begin until your opening day. Click here for more Realtree waterfowl...

  • Sneakers: 6 Flying Ducks That Will Fool You

    “When you have shot one bird flying you have shot all birds flying. They are all different and they fly in different ways but the sensation is the same and the last one is as good as the first.” — Ernest Hemingway No doubt, Papa’s words hold great wisdom for...

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How to Shoot from a Layout Blind or Boat

I often harp about practicing good wing-shooting form , including proper foot placement, weight distribution and other factors. However, much of that advice is useless in two common waterfowling scenarios : hunting in a layout blind or open-water layout boat. We use those horizontal hides because they’re darn effective, almost...


Crowded Skies: 8 States with the Most Duck Hunters

Statistics reveal the number of waterfowl hunters is declining nationwide. However, that’s tough to believe some mornings at your local wildlife area. Trucks fill the parking lot, spilling onto the road, and the glare of headlamps makes the marsh look like a Vegas laser show. You woke up ridiculously early,...


Texas-Rigging Decoys: Pros and Cons

Many hunters Texas-rig decoys nowadays — so many, in fact, that it seems to be the new norm. That makes sense on many levels. With the system, you use heavy monofilament line instead of traditional Nylon decoy cord, so the lines don’t tangle. Further, loops in the mono let you...


Top Mallard Hunting Myths Exploded

Like any outdoors pursuit, mallard hunting has many subtle nuances and hard-and-fast rules. It also carries many misconceptions, half-truths and downright myths. Let’s separate fact from fiction by getting the skinny from America’s top waterfowl hunters. Here’s a look at their favorite mallard hunting myths — and a dose of...


Top 5 Sea Duck and Merganser Harvest States

This might be one best-of duck hunting list that won’t feature Arkansas. That’s nothing against the South, Great Plains and other waterfowling hotspots , of course. I just thought it would be fun to examine U.S. Fish and Wildlife data from the 2016 season to see which states harvested the...


Stream Walking: A Waterfowling Quest for One

The flow takes you at first. Unaccustomed to walking with fairly swift current at your heels, you stumble at bit and test the bottom before trusting your balance. But soon, with your “stream legs” underneath, you gain confidence and begin concentrating on stealth. “Go with the river,” you think. “No...


Come Along on a Prairie Pothole Waterfowl Hunt

Watch the fence. It’s hot. Get the dog under it first, and then toss the decoy bag over and hand me your gun. You’ll have to belly-crawl under. Yeah, I forgot to mention it’s a little wet there. Sorry. You’ll dry out when that prairie wind kicks up later this...


The 7 Worst States for Goose Hunting

Here we go with the waterfowling negativity again. Let me offer a standard disclaimer: This informal litany is not intended to disparage the hunters or waterfowling opportunities of any state mentioned. Instead, it merely points out that some states are better than others for goose hunting. Data from the U.S...


Shooting Ducks: On Leads, Sight Pictures and Follow-Through

When I was 12, my dad sat me at the kitchen table, placed a piece of paper in front of me and, using mathematics, tried to illustrate how far I’d need to lead a flying duck to kill it. Being 12 and hating math, I pretty much zoned out and...


Lazy and Loving It: 5 Midday or Afternoon Waterfowl Hunts

Jim Morrison wrote, “I tell you this. No eternal reward will forgive us now for wasting the dawn.” Waterfowl hunters heed that wisdom. Usually. Admit it. You’ve slept in here and there during the season, whether you missed an alarm or were just exhausted. And sometimes, although you should typically...


6 Reasons Why Gaddies Aren't So Bad

Admit it: You’ve probably maligned the gadwall. Maybe you didn’t mean to. Perhaps mentioning the gray duck didn’t include the snickers or eye-rolling usually reserved for conversations about shovelers or ruddy ducks. Instead, it was probably an unintentional slight, such as discussing a prospective mallard hotspot that turned out to...


4 Steps for Hunting New Waterfowl Waters

At some point this season, your hotspots might falter, and you’ll be left scratching your head. Sure, you could grind out a few hunts until conditions improve, but you’re probably better off exploring new water. Here’s how to make that sometimes daunting process a bit easier. Be Willing The toughest...


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