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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Tips for Big-Water Mallards

Here’s an inconvenient truth: Mallards — a duck comfortable on sheet water, in creeks and marshes, or even feeding in ag fields — love big water. They roost on huge lakes and rivers, and loaf and feed at sprawling sloughs. And all that water can make hunting tough, especially considering...


Five Fixes for Stale Ducks

Duck hunting holds few guarantees, but here’s a solid bet: At some point during the season, stale, overpressured birds will give you fits. It happens every year. Warm weather and southerly winds stall the migration . Ducks that arrived days earlier and seemed so naive and eager suddenly act like...


Feeling the First-Shot Blues

See if this sounds familiar: Ducks swing over your decoys , so you rise, mount your gun confidently and — miss the first shot. It happens frequently; probably more than we’d like to admit. Often, you redeem yourself on the second or third rounds, and then your buddies crack cheesy...


Is Competition Ruining Your Duck Hunting?

Every duck hunter has been there: You wait quietly for hours in the dark only to see headlamps close in as shooting hours approach. Or, you get up at a ridiculous hour to beat the crowds but find a long line at the boat landing. Unless you own or lease...


The Best Places to Hunt Mallards in Every Flyway

Mallards rule the waterfowl world , and it’s easy to see why. They’re North America’s most abundant duck, and they offer hunting opportunities in creeks, marshes, lakes and dry fields from coast to coast. Because mallards are also wary, challenging and sometimes frustrating ducks, hunters constantly strive to find better...


How to Tune Up Your Duck Calling Before Opening Day

You know it’s wrong. You vow to do better. But every year before the opener , you shamefully admit that you haven’t blown your duck calls since the previous season. And the last thing you want is to sound like you’re playing a kazoo or New Year’s Eve party horn...


2020 Duck Hunting Nation: Pacific Flyway

Our fourth and final Duck Hunting Nation roundup focuses on the Pacific Flyway. From the legendary pintail gunning of California to Pacific brant and the Great Salt Lake, this flyway features some of waterfowling’s true bucket-list destinations. We’ve updated each state’s page with license costs, links to current regulations, and...


4 Things We Got Wrong About Duck and Goose Hunting

Like many other outdoor pursuits, waterfowl hunting spawns fallacies that folks regard as gospel. And only hard experience exposes those mistaken beliefs. My buddies and I are no different. For years, we bought into many misconceptions simply because experienced waterfowlers repeated them. But ducks and geese ultimately reveal the truth...


7 Ways to Have Your Best Duck Season Yet

Ambitious folks love to set goals, and duck hunters are no different. But sometimes, our visions don’t mesh with reality. When I was young, my buddies and I would naively discuss silly waterfowl hunting aims we hoped to achieve that year. “I want to kill 50 birds at Rush Lake...


2020 Duck Hunting Nation: Central Flyway

Our third Duck Hunting Nation roundup covers the big skies of the Central Flyway. From huge flocks of mallards and geese whirling over North Dakota grainfields to endless lines of redheads and pintails off the Texas coast, this flyway offers perhaps unlimited potential. We’ve updated each state’s page with license...


Best States for a Bull Canvasback, Revisited

No matter where he hunts, every waterfowler wants to score a prime bull canvasback. That can prove challenging, however, as cans are notoriously finicky about where they migrate, stage, and winter. Further, there just aren’t that many canvasbacks in North America, with a breeding population estimate of about 651,000 in...


Are You A Terrible Shot? Here's How to Kill Ducks Anyway

The old guy stunk at skeet. I mean, he was a positively terrible shotgunner. But his Polaroids from the duck blind told a different story. “I ain’t a great shot,” he said repeatedly. “But I’ve learned to put birds in my lap so I don’t have to be.” Basically, the...


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