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Four Time-Tested Tips for Hunting Dabblers

These essentials can help you improve your calling, decoys, concealment & shooting.
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Story at a Glance
  • Use short, low quacks to bring birds into gun range
  • Muddy water = food in the minds of ducks
  • Cover every inch in camo
  • Let instinct take the lead

2. Muddy Water in Decoys Simulates Feeding Activity

Tommy Akin of Greenfield, Tenn., has hunted ducks more than 40 years in west Tennessee's flooded timber and fields. Akin and his lease partners know from experience that muddy water in and around their decoys is attractive to ducks overhead. He says, "When real ducks feed in a flooded corn or soybean field, they stir up mud off the bottom when they're grubbing around after grain. The effect is like a muddy cloud in the water.

"We simulate this by driving a four-wheeler through our decoys to kick up mud. (Akin's spread floats in only 12 inches of water.) We do this every morning before we start hunting, and we'll do it again a couple of hours later if the mud starts settling out.

Making muddy water to draw in ducks

"Ducks are greedy birds, and when they see what they think is feeding going on, sometimes they can't wait to drop in to get their share. We've experimented with this enough to know that having that muddy water really makes a difference, especially on high-flying birds that can look down and see the mud before they can see the decoys."

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