From sweet treats to smoked meats, here’s a look at favorite duck blind grub
Duck hunters face plenty of logistical and equipment considerations, but few things rival the importance of snacks in the blind, pit or timber. It’s not easy staying focused when your stomach growls and you’ve been up since 3 a.m. Fortunately, quality grub can keep you in the game.
We asked five high-profile duck hunters about their favorite in-the-field snacks. Many went with the classics, but some gave surprise picks.
1. Dennis “Dr. Duck” Loosier
Loosier, the co-host of Black Cloud on Realtree 365, has many favorite snacks but only one clear winner: “I have to go with Peanut M&Ms,” he said. “I just love chocolate.”
2. Justin Martin
“There are a few things I take with me almost daily, including energy drinks and peanut-butter crackers,” said Martin, general manager of Duck Commander. “And Little Debbie Christmas Tree Cakes. These are probably my favorite, but they are a limited-time snack. I think they take me back to being a kid while also just being a straight guilty pleasure. If you don’t like these, you can’t be trusted.”
3. Kyle Wintersteen
“For me, any hot food makes all the difference, whether you’re making biscuits in a big Southern-style blind or just frying eggs on a little pocket skillet in a johnboat,” said Wintersteen, managing editor of Delta Waterfowl magazine. “My personal favorite is a goose sausage patty with egg and cheese on a biscuit. In terms of a ready-made snack I can just stuff in a blind bag, goose jerky gets my vote. Whether hot or cold, there’s something special about eating waterfowl as you hunt them.”
4. Jeremy Dersham
“Duck food necessities include coffee — four Thermoses full — and energy drinks for day-in, day-out insomnia,” said Dersham, owner of Ridge and River Running Outfitters, who guides hunters in southern Wisconsin and Pool 9 of the Mississippi River. “Plus, deer, goose or beef sticks or landjaegers, and protein bars to help fix whatever muscles you tear fighting cold, ice and long walks in waders. And sharp cheddar cheese, which has more protein to help carry oxygen to ease the exhaustion of setting out 150 decoys. All good Wisconsin folks carry extra bricks of cheese in their duck bags.”
5. Billy Campbell
“Hands down, the best duck blind snack is smoked duck,” said Campbell, Loosier’s co-host on Black Cloud. “We do a lot of traveling during the season, and three days of limits is the possession limit. Well, what if we’re traveling for more than three days? While we will give away some ducks, processing the meat and smoking it for a healthy snack is my favorite option. Keeping a healthy snack like this enables me to keep moving and not feel bad about eating a bunch of junk. That said, variety is also kind of nice. Starving because you can’t kill anything that week is not an option. We usually have sandwich stuff in the Big Frig (cooler), and I always pack in a healthy dried meat option and probably not-so-healthy brown-sugar-cinnamon Pop-Tarts. Hot Fries or Chili Cheese Fritos are about the only chips I will ever have in my bag.”
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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.