Crafty Lines to Extend Waterfowl Hunts

By author of The Duck Blog

Try These Suggestions to Keep Your Buddies Afield Longer

"Hey, did you hear that? Maybe things are about to get good." Or maybe not, but you might at least pique your friend's curiosity with a similar notion. Photo © Bill Konway

You’ve been there: Anticipation of a frenzied first-light flight slowly gives way to empty skies and depression. And minutes later, one of your buddies starts talking about quitting early.

Of course, giving up only guarantees failure. But how do you keep your pessimistic friends in the field for a few more hours?

This season, try these lines. Maybe they won’t put greenheads in your boat, but they might at least keep you in the marsh long enough to have a chance.

The Distraction

1) “Hey, have you run this new cut-down call yet? Man, it’s awesome. And better yet, it seems to work really well later in the morning on open water like this. Here, give it a try.”

2) “My buddy on the river shoots a ton of coots and loves to eat the gizzards. You know — just like those mudhens right over there, 30 yards from us. I wouldn’t mind trying some of those. What do you say?”

3) (Acting casually) “Hmm, did I mention that my wife baked cookies for this morning? I reckon I could get some out … unless you guys are in a hurry to get out of here.”

The Challenge

1) “You know, that’s a great spread. It really is. But if you look at it from this angle, I just don’t think it entices birds to finish. But hey, we probably don’t want to mess with it now, do we? I mean, it won’t make a difference, right?”

2) “Nah, it doesn’t even pay to call at those birds. Look at how high they are. And they’re pressured anyway. Nope, it would take one heck of a caller to even get a look from those ducks. Wish I knew a guy like that.”

3) “I don’t think I’ve ever seen Duke retrieve a duck. I’ve heard you say he’s pretty good, but … . Ah, never mind. Today sucks. He probably won’t get a chance anyway.”

The Outright Lie

1) (Waiting until your buddy bends down or looks at his phone) “ Out front, out front! Aw, man, they were here and gone like that — a big wad of mallards. Maybe things are getting good.”

2) “Whoa, did you hear that? No? After all these years, you cannot identify that whistling from a huge flock of wigeon behind us? Dude, I’m telling you, it’s fixin’ to break wide open.”

3) “Just heard from my buddy on Pool 8. They are slamming them today. And he said most of them are heading south. Man, if we wait long enough, we’re going to melt our barrels.”

Whatever Works

OK, lying is never cool. But if it helps keep your pal hunting for another hour or two, can it be that bad? You’re right. I’m an awful person. And I will endeavor to improve my behavior … right after I check out that flock of whistling wigeon behind us.

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