The Grand Canyon State might get a poor Duck Hunting Nation grade, but it actually offers some pretty decent gunning. You just have to find it. On the bright side, there’s abundant public land across Arizona.
The Golden State is revered among duck and goose hunters, with an abundance of species, including cinnamon teal, clouds of specklebellies and world-famous pintail hunting. Competition can be fierce, however, and access is sometimes challenging. Still, the state merits an A rating from Duck Hunting Nation.
This big-game titan is an outright sleeper duck hunting state. In fact, its harvest numbers and abundant access earn it an A grade from Duck Hunting Nation. The Snake River is a tremendous duck hunting area, and hunters can also find good action on late-season honkers.
Forget Sin City. Nevada actually offers quality waterfowl hunting. National wildlife refuges and state wildlife management areas give hunters room to roam. And with a nice variety of birds, the Silver State scores a B rating from Duck Hunting Nation.
Sandwiched between two well-known waterfowling destinations, Oregon might be a well-kept secret. You can hunt cacklers in the Willamette Valley, puddle ducks at Sauvie Island, divers on the Columbia River and specklebellies near Klamath Falls. With that variety, plus great public access, the Beaver State gets an A from Duck Hunting Nation.
As with some other Western states, Utah is better known for big game. But don’t forget Great Salt Lake, with its thick flocks of greenwings, shovelers and other ducks. And with loads of public access, it’s easy to see why Utah scores an A from Duck Hunting Nation.
The Evergreen State also merits an A grade, with nine species of Canada geese, plus specks, Wrangell Island snow geese and ducks aplenty. Oh, and hunters can pursue harlequin ducks here, too. Did we mention there’s plenty of public land?
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.