Waterfowl is an extremely recreational sport during winter. Ducks and geese are hunted all around the world, but for this guide, we will be focusing on the USA.
Marsh areas at a distance from open waters provide a great winter habitat if you can get through the dense vegetation that restricts access.
Before going out to hunt, there must be certain preparations required such as permits and licenses in order to legally hunt waterfowl; these range by state/region/province plus there’s also different types of hunting licenses available such as daily, season, yearly, etc. Make sure you find out what kind of license is required where you want to go hunting before heading out to the location!
I hope this article helps you with finding your way to some waterfowl hunting and would appreciate any comments or feedback. Good luck and have fun!
Waterfowl Hunting: Where To Begin?
The first thing you want to do is set up a bank account for your money and be responsible for it. Maybe even get a job as well if needed. Set aside some of that cash from your hunts for later use on equipment, etc. When deciding where you’re going to hunt, look around for somebody who might be willing to give advice on how to find good spots, this is what I did when I first started out hunting my local area.
After you’ve found a place to hunt, it’s time to decide what equipment you want. Do you need new equipment or can it be used? What types of decoys are going to work best for the location you’re hunting at? What kind of call is going to call in the most birds? There are a lot of different factors that must be considered when planning your gear list and selecting appropriate waterfowl calls. Prices for calls range from about $15 per call up until a few hundred dollars per call. I’d recommend trying out some lower-priced ones first if needed before buying those high-end calls as they may not provide as much quality as the more expensive ones do.
Before heading out on your hunts, in my opinion, it’s important to set goals for yourself when hunting. Don’t just go out and expect things to come easy to you when waterfowl hunting. Setting goals can help you train harder in order to achieve what your goal is. Maybe try seeing how many birds you can get within a certain amount of time or even make the effort to call all day without taking a break. You should also determine if there are any rules or restrictions that will affect your hunts such as limited hours during the day, only being able to hunt during certain weather, etc.
When setting up blinds/decoys, it’s important not to overdo it! Too much decoying can spook other ducks/else that might be around where you hunting. I’d say that 3-5 blinds/decoys are more than enough for one area. Study the new spots where you’re going to hunt before getting there, don’t just show up and randomly set up your blinds because it’s easy to forget certain steps needed when putting them together.
Always make sure your flashlights are working before heading out on a hunt, you don’t want to risk running into any problems while walking through the woods at night or even during the daytime! Make sure you’ve packed all of the appropriate clothing as well since waterfowl hunting can get pretty cold depending on what time of year it is.
It’s important to wear camouflage during waterfowl hunts, whether it be some camo pants or even a full suit, it’s important to blend into your surroundings as much as possible. Before leaving the house for hunts, I’d recommend practicing calling to make sure you know what calls you want to use and how they sound. Doing this before heading out will save you time while hunting since there’s no need to figure it out once you get there.
When setting up decoys/blinds, try not to disturb the area surrounding them too much; if at all possible, leave some of the vegetation around your blinds where they are so ducks/geese can’t see what’s going on in them just by looking down from above. If that isn’t possible then clean up after yourself when leaving an area! This includes removing all of your decoys and blinds, laying down some leaves or grass over boot prints, etc. It helps a lot if you practice what to do before going out hunting so you won’t make a mess everywhere when getting there!
Before each hunt, try to scout the area surrounding your current location for more birds. Sometimes, waterfowl might not be where they were at first during hunts but they could be in the same general area just waiting for that right time to come into range. You can limit how far away from your location you look by selecting specific areas around it when scouting such as ponds/lakes close to your general location instead of looking across an open field with no shelter for birds to take cover behind if spooked.
Always make sure your waterfowl calls are readily available to use when hunting; having them attached to a strap around your neck makes it easy to get at them within seconds if necessary. One thing I’d recommend is buying a separate call for each type of duck/goose since they sound different from one another and using the wrong call could spook the birds you’re trying to hunt over.
Make sure you’ve got everything packed up after a day of hunting before heading home! Leaving things behind such as decoys, blinds, etc only increases the chance of other people finding these items and poaching out in that location later on or even during future hunts so it’s best not to take any risks leaving unnecessary things behind while walking out.
Always check the weather before heading out to waterfowl hunts, not only checking for things such as wind speed/direction but also checking the forecast as well since heavy rain could force you to stay at home and wait it out or cancel future hunts if necessary due to flooding. It’s important to check the weather daily as well because conditions can change overnight and ruin your hunt; if possible try scouting around your location during different times of day too so you know what areas might be good and which areas should be avoided until hunting conditions improve.
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