By Matt Young
All waterfowlers share a common desire to improve their hunting skills and, consequently, enjoy greater success in the marshes and fields. When the editors of Ducks Unlimited magazine first sought to compile North America's greatest waterfowling tips, they had to look no further than the organization's members and volunteers, whose ranks are filled with many of the world's most dedicated and experienced waterfowlers.
Over the past decade, this magazine has received well over 1,000 waterfowling tip submissions from DU members throughout the U.S. and Canada. Many of the best were published in DU's highly popular book 161 Waterfowling Secrets, while others have been featured in the "Mixed Bag" section of this magazine.
The following is a selection of classic waterfowling tips submitted by DU members over the years, all of which are sure to help you become a more successful waterfowler.
- Thermos Cleaner
One of the greatest pleasures in waterfowling is enjoying a hot cup of coffee or tea in the duck blind on a cold morning, and many waterfowlers carry a thermos in their gear bag for this purpose. Cleaning the unsightly stains left in a thermos after a season of heavy use, however, can be a problem no amount of scrubbing can cure. An easy solution is to use denture cleaning tablets sold at your local drugstore or supermarket, which will remove the toughest stains from the steel, plastic, or glass interior of most thermoses.
-John and Donna Pittenger, Fergus Falls, Minnesota
- Quick Clips
I use a small spring snap-style carabiner to keep many small, handy accessories that tend to get lost while hunting, such as a choke tube wrench, small Swiss Army knife, earplugs, thermometer/ compass zipper pull, small AAA-cell flashlight, and spare truck key. I attach these items to the carabiner with small split key rings that allow for quick removal. This handy gadget can be clipped inside a jacket pocket or to a shell bag. Carabiners are available at most sporting goods stores and locksmiths, and at some hardware stores.
-Michael Simmons, Madison, Mississippi
- Good Medicine
Don't throw away your prescription bottles; use them for choke tube containers. I mark the bottle with waterproof tape, color-coded and labeled to indicate the make, gauge, and choke constriction. The bottles are durable, waterproof, and compact, making them a perfect replacement for misplaced choke tube cylinders.
-Robert Goding, Holland, Michigan
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