Waterfowl Hunting Articles

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The Benelli Super Black Eagle: One of History's Great Duck Guns

Dark forms whirled overhead as I glanced nervously at my phone, wishing legal shooting light would arrive just a little sooner over the North Platte River. Soon, the familiar rituals of another duck hunt would consume me. Yet this day was different. I was carrying a Benelli Super Black Eagle,...


Our 30 Best Mallard Hunting Tips

Mallards captivate and mystify hunters across the country, and filling straps with plump greenheads remains one of waterfowling’s top achievements. That’s partly because wary, unpredictable mallards can be tough to hunt. If you want to bag more greenheads this year, try these tips. 1) Like many ducks, mallards love fresh...


Is Southeastern Missouri the New Arkansas for Duck Hunters?

Years ago, when someone steered a truck towing a duck boat onto Interstate 55 during December or January, you knew where they were heading: the rice fields or flooded timber of Arkansas. But for about the past decade, many of those rigs have veered a bit northeast of the world’s...


5 Snow Goose Stops You’ve Never Tried

Chasing spring snow geese is one of the fastest growing pursuits in hunting, and with good reason. The most obvious of its attractions are the tens of millions of birds that string out from Texas to the Canadian tundra and from the coast of California to the Eastern Shore. But...


Why Hunt Ducks?

Scientists have never identified a duck hunting gene, but if they do, I’m guessing the chromosome carrying that information will be a bit crooked. That might be the only plausible explanation for the ways duck and goose specialists differ from other hunters. Because, let’s face it: Hardcore waterfowlers are a...


Pro Tips for Duck Hunting’s Toughest Challenges

If you’ve hunted ducks and geese much, you know how this goes: You try a setup, but it doesn’t work. You rearrange the spread. That doesn’t work either. You try a different setup. Same story. You keep asking yourself, "What am I doing wrong?" Sometimes you can’t figure it out...


Small-Bore Shotguns for Duck Hunting

Why would any duck hunter trade his 12-gauge for a pipsqueak shotgun? There are several reasons, actually. How many times do you need a 2-by-4-esque punch to the shoulder from a 3.5-inch magnum before you wonder if there might be another way to bring down a duck? Reduced recoil is...


12 Reasons Duck Hunters Get Skunked

Most hunters don’t shoot ducks every day. Bad luck, mishaps afield and many other factors let the skunk creep into our blinds now and then. Even so, some hardcore guys fill the boat consistently. If you’re not in this elite group, you might take a long look at your tactics...


A Brief History of Duck Shooting (and Other Lies)

My first duck never had a chance. Buffeted by cold October winds, the hen mallard lifted off the open water of Pool 9 of the Mississippi River and fluttered down into our meager shoreline decoy spread. I reacted the way any 12-year-old newbie would — letting her splash down 5...


The Last Great Duck Hunt

East winds typically deceive and confound. Even in literature, they often portend bad tidings or evil events. But one bright November day, a light easterly breeze brought four rednecks to the pinnacle of their obsession and marked the end of a personal, gilded age of duck hunting. Even now, when...


The Pit Boss Rules

Our goose hunt happened by accident. While bowhunting the previous evening, I’d heard geese clamoring excitedly as they landed on water nearby. This surprised me, because I had no idea there was water behind the trees (hey, this was before Google Earth). That honking effectively killed my concentration on bowhunting...


Film a Duck Hunt Like a Pro

Watching the greenhead descend into a timber hole, air ripping through his primary feathers, you’d almost believe you’re snugged against a tupelo tree, waiting to call the shot. But you’re not in the marsh. You’re on your phone, sneaking a little of the boss’s time in your office to watch...


Duck Hunting in the Great Prairie Blizzard

We were running late, and I blamed the rock pile. While glassing from the town road the previous night, that cobbled mound of stones had seemed so conspicuous — like a beacon marking the perfect setup spot for what promised to be a bang-up mallard and honker shoot in a...


Guide to Green Timber Mallard Hunting

There are two types of duck hunters : those who have experienced a lights-out flooded timber shoot for greenheads and the rest of us. Do it once and you’re addicted. A quick limit leaves you wanting more, and wanting to do it again. Getting skunked also leaves you wanting to...


Are Sports Keeping Kids from Hunting?

The 2018-19 deer season was going to be a great one. My husband, Brett, and I joined a deer lease a couple hours from our house with plans to take our kids out every chance we’d get. We’d spend the weekends and holidays pursuing whitetails, hanging out by the campfire...


24 Tips for Today’s Duck and Goose Hunters

Today’s waterfowl aren’t like the birds of 20 years ago. With technological innovations such as hyper-realistic decoys and motorized spinning wings, and guys who can seemingly call better than real ducks and geese , the flyways have become a different ballfield. But these 24 tried-and-true tactics can put more birds...


On Duck Hunting New Spots

You have no memory of this place. Lost amid a sea of cattails, you rub your hands together for warmth, trying to recall what you saw on the map. The channel should cut west, but thick bog says otherwise. You cannot go south, as flooded trees and thick willows prevent...


How to Buy the Right Duck or Goose Call

Deciding which duck or goose call to add to your lanyard is difficult even if you’ve hunted waterfowl for a while. It’s much tougher if you’re new. You can search Google and YouTube for suggestions, but opposing opinions can add to the confusion. Enter Sean Mann, the creative force behind...


14 Ways to Be a Duck Blind Jerk

You overheard the guys talking about the great duck hunting they’ve been enjoying, and you wheedled an invitation to go along on their next outing. What an opportunity. Time to dig out your finest camouflage and grab your calls, shotgun and shells. But not waders (see No. 8). You haven’t...


How to Call Every Duck but a Mallard

When I started duck hunting in the early 1970s, I only knew how to make the traditional mallard quack in three variations — four at best. My dad always carried a call in the upper breast pocket of his old canvas hunting coat, and he’d play it now and then...


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