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Banding Together for Waterfowl

30 Helpful Hints for Waterfowlers

Improve your waterfowling success and make each trip more enjoyable.
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Leaky Deke Ideas

Old decoys often split, crack and leak. Some can be patched with silicone. If they're beyond hope, remove the keels and use the decoys for field shells, or buy a lamp kit from a hobby store and turn the decoy into a light for your home.

Add Some Crows

Placing a few crow decoys to one side of a field spread for geese can increase your hunting success. These "confidence decoys" help lessen the wariness of geese by making the spread appear more lifelike.

Pocket Some Panty Hose

Your buddies may laugh, but if you hope to bag a special duck to have mounted by the taxidermist, snip one leg from a pair of panty hose and keep it in your pocket. After you kill the bird, rinse blood from its feathers, then place the duck head-first in the panty hose. This keeps all feathers in place so you get a nicer mount.

Light Up Leaks

To find a leak in your waders, put a drop cord light inside the waders and turn off all lights in the room. The light inside the waders will glow through worn or broken fabric, and you can easily mark the spots for patching.

Cork Camo

Use a wine-bottle cork to camouflage your face when duck hunting. Singe the end of the cork with a lighter, then rub the black residue on your face.

Thimble Plucker

Plucking waterfowl is easier if you wear a rubber thimble of the kind used by bank tellers for counting currency.

Solo Boat Launching

One-man launching is simpler if you tie the craft to your trailer (around the winch works well) with about 10-20 feet of rope. Back up until the boat starts to float, and tap the brakes. Drive forward a few feet. The boat should now float off the trailer, but not away. Untie it and walk it back to the shore or dock. This way you can launch fast and stay dry.

Add Some Sparkle

Blue prism tape (available at tackle shops for customizing fishing lures) can be used to make the speculums on your mallard decoys more dazzling. Paint the whole speculum patch white and then, when the paint dries, apply the tape. This added touch can make decoy-shy birds come those final few yards.

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