I hunt a lot of shallow marshes requiring scouting by foot in the early hours of the morning. For this type of scouting, your trusty pocket flashlight will not provide enough light to see more than 10 feet in front you.
To help me find hidden holes in the dark, I take a Q-beam and a motorcycle battery (much lighter than your car battery) stored in a modified, hard plastic cooler. I cut two holes in the top of the cooler lid to tightly slide over the battery terminals and lock in place.
This not only helps keep the Q-beam clips secured to the terminals, it also keeps the battery from getting wet. Now you can scout all over the marsh and report back to your buddies at the boat, "I found it. Grab a bag of decoys!" Carrying the Q-beam and battery is now the easy part.
—Nathan E. Miller, Jacksonville, Florida
When cleaning up waterfowl at home or back at camp, be sure to place the birds in the side of the kitchen sink that does not contain the garbage disposal. Unlike softer lead shot, an errant steel shot pellet, especially large shot sizes, can lock up your disposal and cost you an expensive plumbing bill.
—T. Knighten Starnes Jr., North Little Rock, Arkansas
True North Memory Aid
Dabbling ducks typically land short of decoys. Early season-use more hens than drakes. Calling will add realism to your decoys. Offer the birds an inviting opening to land. You should keep puddler and diver decoys separate. Insure that ducks can land into the wind over your spread. Nasty, windy weather is a duck hunter's best friend. Go where the birds are.
—Chuck Kartak, Center City, Minnesota