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Banding Together for Waterfowl

Five Tactics for Late-Season Ducks

Follow this expert advice to end your season on a high note 
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By Wade Bourne

The last few weeks of the duck season can be the best of times or the worst of times for waterfowlers. Duck numbers peak on migration and wintering areas, and hunting pressure often subsides as fair-weather waterfowlers turn to less-demanding pursuits. And even in the mildest winters, powerful cold fronts inevitably arrive in December and January, bringing fresh flights of ducks that are eager to work into decoys.

But during the late season, glacial temperatures can also turn marshes into ice-skating rinks. Waterfowl can become downright paranoid after being called to and shot at for several months. And weeks of rising early and braving the elements can take their toll on even the most avid waterfowlers. 

This is the late season, when the hardiest hunters count down the final days in the blind with a mix of melancholy and relief. The sport's true diehards are like NFL linemen in the playoffs, ground down and patched up but in the game to the end. Following are five tactics from veteran waterfowlers that will help you make the most of the final days of the season.

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