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Rivers of Opportunity

Tips from three veteran waterfowler's on river hunting
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Call Loud and Often

Using Canada floaters to fool ducks is a trick also employed by Ben Fujan, who chases late-season waterfowl on public rivers in his home state of South Dakota and at a family club along the North Platte River in Nebraska.

Fujan says hunting late-season mallards on rivers is one of his favorite ways to hunt waterfowl, partly because of the setting, but mainly because of the calling.

"In my opinion, ducks are more susceptible to loud, aggressive calling on rivers late in the season than at other times of the year," Fujan says, who is also a member of the Avery pro staff. "When conditions are right, you can call them on a string all the way to the water."

Fujan uses long series of four- to six-note greeting calls to catch the attention of ducks flying along the river. Once a flock slows down and starts to work his decoys, Fujan backs off on the calling and watches how the birds respond to different sounds. 

"As a general rule, the farther away or less interested ducks are, the louder I call," he says. "The closer they are and the more serious they are starting to look at the decoys, the softer I call."

If wings are cupped and the birds are working the way you want them to, Fujan says the fun part has almost arrived. "Hit them with one last five-note greeting call and then grab your gun," he says.

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