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.

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Turn Your Ho-Hum Duck Season Around Now

Some years, duck season seems to flow seamlessly. Everything works, familiar spots produce and new adventures abound. Other seasons, however, seem doomed from the start, as the weather warms, flights stall, honey holes dry up, birds get stale and light straps become the norm. Sound familiar? Don’t panic. Even if...


A Duck Hunter’s New Year’s Wish List

Duck season rolls on in many parts of the country, but the advent of a new year makes folks pause and reflect a bit. Everyone wishes for standard stuff, of course, but waterfowlers often have a specialized list. I’m no different, so here’s a rundown of my hopes for another...


Top Finishing Calls to Put Ducks in the Decoys

Around a campfire years ago, I chuckled as a well-known turkey hunter talked about his former boss. “He sure could make ’em gobble,” the guy said, pausing for effect. “And he didn’t have a clue about what to do with them after that.” That sometimes holds true for duck callers...


Do Boat Motors Spook Ducks?

You’re probably old-school if you don’t run a mud motor in shallow water or a big outboard on open water nowadays. The appeal is obvious: Such motors are efficient and effective, and they carry a significant cool factor. Further, motors let you go farther and faster while staying safe. Yet...


4 Reasons You’re Not Killing Mallards in Dry Fields

Some days, shooting mallards in harvested ag fields seems so easy: Locate ducks, set up where they want to land, and start shooting. But many other days, dry-field hunts take left turns. Birds don’t show up. Flocks flare or won’t commit. Shooters can’t capitalize on opportunities. And those problems can...


Have Duck Hunting Ethics Truly Declined?

An old saying maintains that no one hates a duck hunter like another duck hunter, and that probably holds more weight nowadays. Many waterfowlers maintain that bad behavior by other folks is ruining the sport, and they blame television, YouTube, marketing, social media or a general moral decline for the...


How to Beat a Shooting Slump

The drake gadwall hung in the stiff southeast wind, seemingly motionless at 25 yards as its primaries clawed for air to aid an unlikely escape. Meanwhile, I swung my barrel easily through the target and slapped the trigger, confident in the outcome. But a funny thing happened on the way...


Favorite Chokes and Loads of the Duck Pros

Duck hunters debate many topics, but when it comes to shooting, arguments about the best chokes and loads probably top the list. One guy likes light, fast loads. Another prefers big payloads of large shot. Your buddy shoots an improved-cylinder choke, but you go with a long-range constriction. Who’s right?...


Answered: 5 Questions About Hunting Diving Ducks

You want to run lines with multiple decoys for easier, more efficient storage, deployment and pickup. Will those attract divers as well as single-rigged blocks? Multiple-decoy lines let you set large spreads quickly and efficiently, but they can lose some effectiveness during calm conditions or when ducks have endured heavy...


How to Ruin a New Duck Hunting Spot in 4 Easy Steps

Nothing gets a duck hunter’s heart pumping like finding a new spot loaded with birds. Unfortunately, nothing sends a duck hunter into a spiraling vortex of despair like swiftly burning out a new area and turning it into a wasteland of empty skies and broken dreams. Don’t think it can...


The Best States to Hunt Mallards, Canvasbacks, Pintails, Black Ducks, and Bluebills

Duck hunting offers great variety, yet many waterfowl nuts admittedly favor certain species — typically birds that look great, make excellent table fare and are more difficult to hunt. Most of those top-tier ducks inhabit at least portions of several flyways , but they’re usually more prevalent in specific spots...


How to Take Better Duck Hunting Photos

Waterfowl hunting seems tailor-made for photography opportunities, with its stunning settings, vibrant birds and expressive retrievers. So why do our photo albums and social media accounts become endless strings of rushed, poorly composed images displaying piles of wet birds in a pickup bed, sometimes surrounded by leering goofballs who didn’t...


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