DU Mobile Apps
Banding Together for Waterfowl

10 Tips to Get Ready for Duck Season

These hints might pave the way for your most successful season ever
PAGE 123456
SIGN IN    SAVE TO MY DU    PRINT    AAA
Story at a Glance

 
10 Tips to Get Ready:

  • Make a Plan for the Season
  • Dust Off Your Duck Call
  • Give Your Shotgun a Checkup
  • Hone Your Shooting Skills
  • Touch Up the Rig
  • Revive Your Retriever
  • Whatever Floats Your Boat
  • Secure Your Hunting Spots
  • Spruce Up Your Duck Blind
  • Get in a Duck Hunting State of Mind

1. Make a Plan for the Season

For many of the key components of our lives, we have a plan. We plan a career, plan our family's financial stability, and ultimately plan the disposition of our wealth and possessions after we have hopefully moved on to an eternity of autumn winds and cupped wings. Successful duck hunting-certainly a key component of life-also requires a plan. A good one, thoughtfully devised.

Last season is the best starting point for planning this season. If you keep a waterfowling journal, review last duck season objectively. Try to determine which hunting spots produced under what weather conditions. Which spot is best on a storm front, and, conversely, where should you be when the weather is clear and calm? Which option is best when it rains, snows, or freezes?

What is the river stage reading that correlates with good hunting in your bottomland hardwood flat? Factor in all the variables, and you'll have a plan that will put you in the right spot at the right time most mornings during duck season.

If you have only one hunting spot, know the conditions under which it is most productive, and resolve to be there on those days. The goal of your preseason planning should be to maximize hunting opportunities as weather and water conditions change. 

2. Dust Off Your Duck Call

At the end of last season, your calling never sounded better, and the birds responded as if mesmerized-at least, that's the way you remember it. To pick up just where you left off last winter, you'll need some practice prior to opening day.

As a starting point, clean your calls and inspect the reed. If you hunt three or four days a week, consider starting each season with a fresh reed or reed set. Expensive calls should be sent back to the call maker for new reeds. Otherwise, try installing and tuning the new reeds yourself (see "On Call" feature). If you intend to buy a new duck call from one of the major mail-order catalogs, place your order as early as possible; a backorder notice holds little value on opening morning.

With your old or new call now tuned to perfection, practice as often as you can prior to duck season. A good approach is to find a place outdoors where you can practice calling at normal volume levels and then tape yourself, comparing your calling to recordings of live ducks (Nature's Call, 888-254-7000; Game Call Technology, 800-801-0911).

When you practice, do so with purpose. Don't just call randomly. Instead, make your practice sessions as realistic as possible by calling as if you are working a flock of ducks. Imagine the birds turning to your highballs, locking up on your greeting calls and feeding chatter, veering off but turning back to a comeback series. Practice with a purpose, and you'll be more effective on opening day.

Related:

PAGE 123456
SIGN IN    SAVE TO MY DU    PRINT    AAA

Free DU Decal

Receive a free DU decal when you signup for our free monthly newsletter.