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30 Helpful Hints for Waterfowlers

Improve your waterfowling success and make each trip more enjoyable.
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Story at a Glance







Would you like to improve your waterfowling success and make each trip a bit safer and more enjoyable?







These 30 tips could help!

Choke Tube Containers

Prescription drug containers with child-proof caps make handy storage containers for choke tubes.

Decoy Line Holders

Use 1/2-inch-wide, heavy-duty rubber bands (available at office supply stores) stretched over the keel to hold your decoy lines in place and keep the line set at the proper depth.

In a Pinch Patch

Sprung a leak while away from home? You can fix a small leaky hole in your boat hull using a toilet bowl wax ring. Work the wax into the cut and over the surrounding surface. The wax is sticky enough to apply and adhere under water and cleans up easily when you're ready to do a permanent repair job back home.

Put a Stop to Chewing

If your new hunting dog pup is chewing up everything in camp, try spraying boots, leashes and other chewables with diluted lemon juice. The sour flavor should end your puppy's bad behavior.

Make a Seat

Need a place to sit while hunting your favorite marsh? Build a hunting seat from two pieces of 2" x 4" lumber. Determine a comfortable height for your seat, then add about one foot. Cut the first board to this length. Next, cut two angled pieces from the end of this board, forming a point you can push into the bottom of the marsh. Cut a smaller piece of board for the seat. Attach the two pieces of wood together with wood screws so the finished result is a T-shaped seat. Finish the seat with camouflage-colored paint, and you can relax on your next waterfowl hunt.

Grease ‘em Up

A little Vaseline rubbed on the heads of your drake decoys helps repel dirt and water and adds extra sheen that is far more attractive to "lookers."

Easy Grab

A telescoping golf-ball retriever, like those used by golfers to retrieve balls from water hazards, can be modified to pick up decoys and retrieve ducks from thick cover. Remove the ball-retrieving end and replace it with a hook. Your dog won't have to retrieve birds in nasty cover, and you can keep your hands dry on cold mornings. The telescopic retriever folds to a compact size and can be carried in a decoy bag.

Natural Seating

The lodges of muskrats and nutrias make good seats for duck hunters when a boat isn't available. You can lay back on a lodge and look skyward for decoying ducks. And if you wear camouflage clothing made for marsh hunting, you'll be well hidden, which encourages ducks to pitch right in.

Tips and Tails

When ducks are flying toward you, it's best not to call. Old-timers have a saying: "Call only to tips and tails." That is, do your calling when you can see one wingtip and the tail, or both wings and the tail. The duck won't be looking your way then, so it's safe to blow the call.

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