Waterfowl Hunting Articles, Blogs, Galleries, Videos

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Duck Hunters You'll Meet This Season on Public Land

Editor's note: This blog originally appeared March 24, 2016, on Realtree.com. A hunting buddy of mine takes the George Carlin approach when categorizing other waterfowlers on public marshes. They’re idiots or maniacs. There might be some truth in that, but I prefer a broader view. In fact, I’ve identified seven...


Dry Conditions Might Hamper Early Atlantic Flyway Action

Date: Oct. 15 Location: entire Atlantic Flyway Damned if you do, damned if you don’t? 2018’s theme was water, water everywhere. Endless rain raised reservoirs, blew out rivers and turned dry ground into duck habitat from Maine south to parts of Georgia. The birds were scattered, and finding them was...


Delta Waterfowl October 2019 Migration Report

Early-season duck and goose hunting has been good across the northern range of the flyways. And with major cold fronts on the way, action should get even better. Here's what the experts at Delta Waterfowl had to say. Click here for more Realtree waterfowl hunting content. And check us out...


Early Hunting Good in Sodden Mississippi Flyway

Date: Oct. 10 Location: northern portions of the flyway Major Weather Trends Early-fall cold fronts have kick-started waterfowl migrations in the upper Mississippi Flyway, but precipitation still dominates the headlines. Record rainfall in many areas has inundated the landscape, flooding fields and creating numerous temporary wetlands. And the situation won’t...


Get Moving: 9 Motion Decoys for Waterfowlers

On days with wind and overcast skies, almost any decoy spread can lure in waterfowl . But for slower sits with flat water and bright skies, you need motion to attract birds. The idea of making decoys move isn’t new, and it doesn’t have to be complicated. Heck, guys still...


Duck Season Predictions Versus Post-Season Results

Football writers often poke fun at themselves by penning self-deprecating stories comparing their pre-season prognostications to a team’s actual results. The main takeaway is that uncountable variables make it almost impossible to accurately predict how the season might go. Duck hunters do this, too. You might get a feeling for...


Central Flyway Crop Harvests Stalled, Migration on Time

Date: Oct. 8 Location: northern portions of the flyway Overview Excellent habitat conditions and strong numbers of ducks and geese have set the stage for a successful season across northern portions of the Central Flyway. It won’t be easy, however, as potholes in the Dakota have been inundated with water,...


Delta Waterfowl Launches HunteR3 Program

A Delta Waterfowl initiative featuring an aggressive suite of programs aims to boost the number of waterfowl hunters in North America. HunteR3 derives its name from Delta’s position as “The Duck Hunter’s Organization” and the wildlife-agency term R3, which stands for retention, recruitment and reactivation. “Baby Boomers are aging out...


Predators are Affecting Your Duck Hunting

Hunters would see more ducks funneling down the flyways if we had fewer predators in nesting areas. Or at least that’s what Frank Rohwer thinks. Out of every 100 duck eggs laid in prime nesting areas, 75 to 90 of them never hatch. Most are eaten by predators, said Rohwer,...


Federal Duck Stamp Contest Winner Crowned

An acrylic painting of two black-bellied whistling ducks by Eufala, Alabama, artist Eddie LeRoy recently won the 2019 Federal Duck Stamp Contest. The painting will adorn the 2020-’21 Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp, which will go on sale in late June 2020. “These artists are extremely talented, and...


How Much Cover Does Your Duck Blind Need?

Sometimes, when the weather is right, birds are fresh and the sun blazes at your back , you can enjoy great shoots with only sparse cover. But on most days, you must become invisible to paranoid waterfowl. Duck and goose hunters obsess about concealment because the old cliché is true:...


10 Commandments for Taking a Child Duck Hunting

Blessed is the waterfowl hunter who taketh a child duck hunting, for that waterfowler shall inherit the earth — or at least get a primo spot in that final duck blind in the sky. Or at least I’m pretty sure that’s how the passage goes. Taking a young hunter (or...


States with the Most Waterfowl Hunters

While waiting at a crowded boat launch or paddling into a marsh filled with headlamps, you might grumble about the number of duck hunters in your state. Maybe you’re right. However, statistics from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service paint a clearer picture of heavily pressured hotspots throughout the country...


Duck Hunting During Unseasonably Wet Years

Capt. Obvious might point out that ducks need water. Likewise, duck hunters depend on water. Some years, however, Mother Nature’s faucet never turns off, inundating the landscape with too much precipitation . And that can create headaches. Overabundant water spreads birds out, letting them use secluded, unpressured spots to feed,...


How Millennials are Changing Duck Hunting

Ten of us lay in a cut milo field in the middle of America. Forty-five minutes earlier, our group had plunged hundreds of staked-out socks and silhouettes into the ground while a mixed playlist of rap and Southern steel guitar country rock anthems reverberated across the prairie, keeping us working...


Soul-Crushing Quotes from the Duck Blind

Editor's note: This blog originally appeared on May 11, 2017, on Realtree.com. Call me a grouch, but some statements make me cringe or roll my eyes. Many of those are uttered in a duck blind or goose field. I try to be polite and open-minded, of course, especially when chatting...


How to Buy Duck Hunting Property

Chilled and sleep-deprived, you’ve huddled in your skiff since 3 a.m., confident your extra efforts have netted you the best spot in the marsh. But as dawn breaks, you watch helplessly as a boat motors 50 yards downwind and its occupants begin tossing out decoys. “Dang,” you think, shaking your...


Quick Shooting Fixes for Duck Season

You jolt awake, soaked with sweat and still reeling from the dream. A flock of mallards had parachuted into your decoys, seemingly hovering in the breeze at 20 yards and begging for steel. Yet as you emptied your shotgun, nothing fell. You didn’t cut a feather. “I didn’t shoot at...


The Yin and Yang of Duck Hunting

Dark-thirty, Sept. 1: Daylight won’t arrive for almost an hour, but the distant clucks of honkers and buzzing of teal already fill the air. Soon, the grand game will be on, and another waterfowl season will have begun. These first moments bring more than jitters. The smell of freshly cut...


The Worst States for Duck Hunting, Revised

As I’ve pointed out previously , some states simply don’t offer great duck hunting opportunities. Maybe they’re not in a major flyway. Perhaps they lack waterfowl habitat. Whatever the case, hunters in several areas consistently tote lighter straps than their brethren in duck-rich regions. In the spirit of fun, I...


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