Waterfowl Hunting Articles, Blogs, Galleries, Videos

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Mud, MAX-7, and Louisiana Mayhem

I’d been warned about the mud. Still, as I hopped on the back of a four-wheeler, felt those big tires churn into the greasy road, and watched my soil-splattered rental car disappear into the night, I thought I might have underestimated the situation. But with duck camp ahead, I figured...


10 Colossal Duck Hunting Screw-Ups

An old saying holds that life is tough, but it’s tougher if you’re stupid. Duck hunters might interpret that to mean waterfowling is inherently difficult, but becomes much tougher if you make silly mistakes. Think about it. Waterfowlers already deal with multiple variables such as weather, other hunters, and the...


Our 20 Best Tips for Hunting Diving Ducks

Diving ducks have an allure for a unique cadre of waterfowlers. Just check out the number of big duck boats across the country and the crush of black-and-white decoys in catalogs. Although divers might not receive the respect given to mallards and pintails, they can be tough to hunt. Moreover,...


How to Find Ducks in Dry Fields

Most field hunting articles start with a brief thought about putting in windshield time to find ducks and then delve deeply into setup tactics, decoy placement, and concealment concerns. That’s almost comical, because sometimes the toughest element of a field hunt is locating birds and obtaining permission. Sure, driving along...


Action Varied but Good in Pacific Flyway

There has been quite a bit of water under the proverbial bridge since I last reported from the Pacific Northwest in mid-October. The first goose split has come and gone. Elk muzzleloader season, too. Modern rifle deer season ended on Halloween, and I’m finishing up a four-day late buck season…...


Poor Water Hinders Central Flyway Hunters

Although the season is well underway in most areas of the Central Flyway, the waterfowl report hasn’t changed much. Conditions are still dry, and the migration has been somewhat spotty. Hopefully that will change as the season progresses and the weather gets colder. “Pretty slow,” said Mike Szymanski of the...


Action Picks Up in Atlantic Flyway

Recent changes in weather have kick-started the migration along much of the Atlantic Flyway. Until recently, bird movement had been a bit stagnant. But as temperatures abruptly plummeted from the 70s to the 30s, with a blanket of snow covering the ground in many areas, a mess of ducks were...


Weather Puts Mississippi Flyway Migration into Overdrive

The mercury is dropping, and the leaves have changed. The first official day of winter is still several weeks away, but many parts of the middle of the flyway are experiencing conditions commonly seen during December and January. In fact, in much of the southern Midwest and upper Southeast, lows...


Sleeper States for Duck Hunting

Every duck hunter’s bucket list probably includes something about green timber in Arkansas, the Texas coast for pintails and redheads, and maybe even Maine for big common eiders. But that’s the problem — everyone wants to hit those spots. Many less-famous destinations feature fantastic waterfowl hunting, and U.S. Fish and...


Mastering Duck Shots from Tricky Positions

Shooting swift-flying ducks becomes much easier when you master the basics: incoming targets, crossers, overhead birds, and quartering angles. However, even round after round of skeet or sporting clays won’t teach you how to troubleshoot some of waterfowling’s unique — sometimes even laughable — shooting challenges. Experience is the best...


Are A-Frame Duck Blinds Better than Layouts?

Even in the dark, our hide resembled a skyscraper atop a pool table. And ducks and geese, I figured, would find it just as conspicuous. But 30 minutes later, the first flock of Alberta mallards dive-bombed the decoy spread, and my fears subsided. And an hour after the sun peeked...


Mixed Duck Spreads on Big Water

Many duck hunters specialize in scenarios that focus on puddlers or divers, but not both. After all, you won’t shoot many bluebills in flooded timber, nor will you put many wood ducks in a layout boat. But in some big-water situations, usually involving a hot aquatic food source such as...


Calling the Shot with Big Groups

Deciding precisely when to shoot is often tricky, especially during tough conditions or when birds don’t finish well. It becomes more difficult when hunting with large groups, as folks sometimes aren’t on the same page or, worse, can’t help moving or peeking up at birds. Still, unless you’re a hermit,...


5 Tips for Calling Pintails

Among waterfowlers, pintails carry a polarizing reputation. On one side, successful pintail hunters consider the birds to be one of the most prized waterfowl. Admired for their unquestioned regality and good looks, pintails are also considered by many to be the greatest wild game table fare. Despite their tasty reputation,...


The 7 Best Days of Duck Season

Every day of duck season is good, but let’s agree that some are better than others. Sometimes those especially good hunts might involve full straps. Other times they revolve around friendships or special occasions. But during every campaign, you can usually count on specific types of days that make you...


Pacific Flyway Dry, But Forecast Appears Promising

What’s the word in the Pacific Flyway for the 2022-’23 waterfowl season? The western United States is dry and has been for some time. It’s not a good situation for ducks or duck hunters. Or is it? Kyle Spragens, waterfowl section manager for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife,...


Mississippi Flyway Duck Hunting Off to a Solid Start

Fall is here, and for eager waterfowlers, the long wait is finally finished. This period is always exciting, but it also relies heavily on colder weather up north to push birds down into the lower 48. The season has been open in Canada since the first part of September, and...


Dry Conditions Plague the Central Flyway

There’s a recurring theme in the Central Flyway this fall: It’s dry. In my home state of Nebraska, it’s really dry. For Cornhusker waterfowlers, that’s particularly bad news. “As expected, teal season seemed to be challenging for many due to the lack of water across the landscape,” said John McKinney,...


Atlantic Flyway Ducks, Geese on the Move

Water levels and warm weather have plagued hunters in the Atlantic Flyway so far this fall. Early in the season, drought throughout most of the Northeast concentrated ducks on bigger bodies of water, but recent surging rains spread those ducks out, making it hard for hunters to find the X...


Game-Changers: How Ducks React to Shifting Conditions

It seems silly to say that ducks are in a constant state of flux. After all, they’re involved in massive, extended migrations during fall and winter. Even when ducks seem static, they continuously switch locations, habits and preferences at a micro level, often because of environmental changes. And when those...


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