Chad Belding's Off-Season Waterfowling Checklist

By author of The Duck Blog

Think You're Ready for Fall? Not Until You've Completed These Tasks

Chad Belding is always preparing for duck and goose hunting. Are you? Photo © Tom Rassuchine/Banded

During the heat of summer, when almost everyone thinks more about boating and barbecues than hunting, some folks are busy preparing for waterfowl season.

Just ask Realtree pro Chad Belding, host of The Fowl Life, which airs on the Outdoor Channel. He doesn’t get all that compelling duck and goose hunting footage simply by pulling on his waders opening day and showing up at the local wildlife area. Belding plans and works constantly through the off-season to make sure he and his crew are prepared and on the X when the guns go live.

Here’s his pre-season checklist for success.

1) Networking with landowners and farmers.

2) Looking at water levels of local rivers, reservoirs and lakes.

3) Paying attention to which crops are planted and when the potential harvest is for each crop.

4) Conversing with local biologists on the local hatch and production.

5) Watching national surveys and duck number counts.

6) Watching extended forecasts to see when migrations could occur.

7) Finding wheat fields for early-season goose hunts in August and September. 

8) Calling practice.

Those steps obviously pay big dividends, as any episode of The Fowl Life demonstrates. Many of us should follow Belding’s lead and start checking off goals this summer instead of waiting for autumn.

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