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Top Tactics for Early-Season Ducks

Here's how to make the most of your hunting opportunities when opening day finally arrives. By Wade Bourne.

Waterfowler's Notebook: My Cornfield Duck Blind

Here's a quick-and-easy concealment system that you can set up almost anywhere. By Wade Bourne.

Waterfowler's Notebook: Anatomy of a Duck Call

It's not a stretch to compare a duck call to a traditional woodwind instrument such as a saxophone or clarinet. Musicians play these instruments by forcing air through a mouthpiece and across a reed, which vibrates to produce sound. Duck calls work in much the same way.

DU TV 2014 Teaser

Get ready for the 2014 season of DU TV. Watch this sneak peek to meet the hosts and see what else is in store this season.

Retriever Rehab

Expert advice on how you can get your older retriever back in top form in time for hunting season.

DU-TV Better Waterfowling Tip: Adding movement to a goose spread

Wade Bourne, DU magazine editor-at-large, explains different options for hunters to add movement to their goose spread.

Migration Alert: Mississippi Waterfowl Counts Reveal Impressive Numbers

Mississippi hunters pray for cold weather up north to push ducks into their state, and this year their prayers have been answered. A series of powerful cold fronts, hard freezes, and snow storms in the Midwest has triggered one of the biggest migrations of ducks into Mississippi in several years.

Migration Alert: 800k Mallards Counted in Arkansas

Warming temperatures, rain and thawing waters are changing the duck hunting picture in Arkansas.

Migration Alert: Waterfowl Numbers Increasing in Louisiana

Hunting resumes tomorrow (Saturday, Dec. 14) in Louisiana's East and Coastal Zones after a five-day split and a 12-day split, respectively. (Hunting in the West Zone has been open since Nov. 16 and closes Dec. 15 for a six-day break.) Biologists with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) are completing their December waterfowl survey as this report was being written.

Migration Alert: Winter Storm May Bring Fresh Ducks to Arkansas

All eyes north! That's where Arkansas duck hunters are looking as a massive winter storm blankets the state and sends temperatures plummeting. Anticipation of a new push of mallards from northern states is high, though they haven't arrived in appreciable numbers as of this writing.

Migration Alert: Mallards Funnel into Missouri

The mallards are in Missouri! That's the late word from waterfowl biologists and hunters. Harsh wintry weather to the north and powerful cold fronts have pushed peak numbers of mallards into this state.

Migration Alert: Michigan Waterfowl Numbers Increasing

A surge of cold air blew through this state this past week, and new ducks and geese arrived with it. Hunting action is improving, and numbers of waterfowl should increase to peak in the next couple of weeks.

Waterfowler's Notebook: Hunting Small-Water Divers

Going small for diving ducks can yield big results. By Wade Bourne.

Migration Alert: Wisconsin Waterfowl Numbers Increasing

In summary, diving ducks appear to be increasing in number on Lake Michigan and on the pools of the Upper Mississippi River. In the interior, local dabbling ducks (mallards, wood ducks, blue-winged teal) are providing the most action as hunters wait for colder weather to move new ducks into the state.

Migration Alert: Prospects Good for Minnesota Waterfowlers

It's certainly not a flood of new ducks, but ringnecks and other early migrants are beginning to show up in northern and central Minnesota, augmenting local populations of wood ducks, teal and other species that have been targeted by this state's hunters since the Sept. 21 opening day.

Better Waterfowling Tip - DU TV - Calling Multiple Duck Species

Target specific species by using different calling tactics. Wade Bourne explains how to catch the attention of pintails, wood ducks, and other.

Better Waterfowling Tip - DU TV - Big Water Hunting Tips and Gear

Hunting big water may be daunting for those unaccustomed to the challenge. Wade Bourne recommends facing these challenges, and he provides a few tips to help you be successful.

Better Waterfowling Tip - DU TV - Creating a Temporary Blind

Building a temporary blind is an art. Wade Bourne explains how he uses some pre-planning to create a mobile, quality duck blind for any situation.

Better Waterfowling Tip - DU TV - Adding Movement to a Goose Spread

There are multiple options for adding movement to a goose spread. Wade Bourne explains different ways to make your goose spread come to life.

Better Waterfowling Tip - DU TV - Using Competition Calling Techniques

While competition style duck calling is much different than hunting-oriented calling, Wade Bourne explains a situation when he uses this technique.

Opening Day Mistakes

Following are some of the most common opening day mistakes committed by waterfowlers, and ways to avoid making them.

Waterfowler's Notebook: Keeping Legal

The following advice will help waterfowlers stay on the right side of the law this season. By Wade Bourne.

Better Waterfowling Tip - DU TV - Introducing a Young Hunter

Introducing kids to waterfowl hunting can be difficult due to harsh conditions and migration fluctuations. Here's a few tips to help improve a hunter's first experience.

Better Waterfowling Tip - DU TV - How to Scout Effectively

Scouting tactics are often overlooked, but being able to effectively scout, and have the correct tools may improve your odds of having a great hunt.

Waterfowler's Notebook: Seven Essential Skills for Waterfowlers

All duck and goose hunting know-how begins with these fundamentals

Waterfowler's Notebook: Hunting Spring Snows

Expert advice on how to decoy more light geese during the special conservation season

Keep It Simple

The author has learned through experience that good duck hunting doesn't have to be complicated

Migration Alert: Final Duck Hunting Weekend for Southern Mississippi Flyway States

Hunters have until sunset on January 27 to pursue ducks in the last few states in the lower Mississippi River Valley where the general waterfowl season is still open.

Waterfowler's Notebook: Patterning Late-Season Ducks

Biology plays a bigger role in duck hunting than most hunters realize. Duck behavior is governed by instincts such as feeding, mating, and surviving. In winter, for example, ducks spend much of their time seeking mates for the spring breeding season and building energy reserves for the coming northbound migration.

DU-TV Better Waterfowling Tip: Preparing for a Hunting Trip

Wade Bourne offers some tips for preparing for a hutning trip. There's a long list of must-have items for any hunting trip, and Bourne explains the reasons why you will need maps, GPS, regulatiosn books, and much more.

Calling All Geese

Five experts share their secrets for calling Canadas, cacklers, whitefronts, light geese and brant

Duck Hunting without the Crowds

A sampling of public waterfowling hotspots often overlooked by hunters

Migration Alert: Wisconsin waterfowl numbers increasing as cold front approaches

The outlook for waterfowl hunting in Wisconsin is improving as duck and goose numbers continue to build along the Mississippi River and on the famed Horicon Marsh.

DU-TV Tip: Full-Body Decoys

How to utilize full-body decoys to add realism

Going Public

Many of the author's favorite waterfowling memories were made on public lands, open to one and all.

Waterfowler's Notebook: King Can

The canvasback is a symbol of the struggles and triumphs of waterfowl conservation

Lightweight Zipper Waders are the Real Deal

"Zipper waders? I'd be afraid they'd leak."

Five Small Spreads for Ducks

Here's how to make the most of a limited number of decoys in five common waterfowl habitats. Illustrations by Kevin Hand.

Bayou Bluewings

An unforgettable teal-hunting adventure in the heart of Cajun country

My Ultimate Duck Blind: Illustrations

After years of trial and error, DU Magazine author Wade Bourne finally built what he believes is the perfect duck blind. Here's how he did it.

My Ultimate Duck Blind

Following is an overview of our blind, including where we built it, its design and dimensions, the materials we used, our camouflage scheme, and other special features.

Video: My Ultimate Duck Blind

After years of trial and error, DU Magazine author Wade Bourne finally built what he believes is the perfect duck blind.

Five Tactics for Late-Season Ducks

It's late season, when the sport's true diehards are like NFL linemen in the playoffs. Veteran waterfowlers share 5 expert tactics to help successfully end the season.

Migration Alert: Oklahoma habitat, duck numbers look promising

Dec. 6, 2011: Current weather conditions are good for hunting ducks in Oklahoma – highs in the 40s and lows around 20.

Scientific Waterfowling

Following are interviews with four preeminent waterfowl researchers. We can learn a lot from these experts, not only about how ducks react to their environment, but also how to apply this knowledge for better hunting success.

The Highball Duck Call

Waterfowl hunters should use the highball selectively—at certain times and in certain places. Listen as Wade Bourne gives a few tips on how to use this call more effectively.

Shotgunner's Guide to Waterfowling

Here's how to consistently hit the most common shots in duck and goose hunting

Waterfowler's Notebook: Keeping a Hunting Journal

Wade Bourne shares insights into the benefits of keeping a hunting journal and shares tips on how you can preserve your own memories from the field.

Strategies for Public Land

Waterfowl hunting on public land can be either a dream or a nightmare, as two hunts that I experienced several years ago on a local wildlife management area (WMA) clearly illustrate.

Winter Duck Hunting Strategies

Deep winter offers duck hunters both challenge and opportunity. The late season cuts hunters little slack, but the last few weeks can also provide some of the best shooting of the year.

Waterfowler's Notebook: Flat-Out Waterfowling

As waterfowl have adapted to these open environments, hunters have devised ways to hunt them there. Perhaps the most effective of these innovations are layout blinds and layout boats. These horizontal hideouts can be carried, poled, or motored anywhere ducks and geese are working.

Going Public for Ducks

How to make the most of public hunting opportunities in your area

7 Tips for Late-Season Ducks

It's the fourth quarter and the game is wearing long. Energy levels are waning, equipment is broken, but the outcome of the "contest" still hangs in the balance. A good final effort can tilt the game in your favor, and fortunately, there's plenty of time left to build on the score.

Create a Landing Zone for Ducks

Use specific decoy patterns to get duck to land on the 'X'.

Outfitting a Duck Boat

Safety needs to remain a number one concern when duck hunting from a boat. This checklist can help keep you safe and offers some handy hunting suggestions.

Game Plan for Late-Season Ducks

Adapt to changes in birds' behavior to enjoy top-notch duck hunting in the final weeks of the season

When Silence is Golden

In some situations, the silent treatment will help you decoy more ducks.

Duck Hunting on a Budget

Here's how cost-conscious waterfowlers can enjoy high-quality hunting without breaking the bank.

The Double-Cluck

Knowing how to use this highly effective call will help you decoy more Canada geese.

Season Kickoff: Teal Time

September teal hunting is a great way to kick off the waterfowl season.

Point-Blank Waterfowling

These tips will help you get more birds feet down over the decoys.

Choosing a Duck Call

Personal preference is important when buying a new call, but ultimately, hunters should make a selection based on what they need as well as what strikes their fancy.

Mega Decoy Rigs

In the right situation, a massive decoy spread can be especially effective.

Late-Season Decoy Spreads

Overcoming the challenges of winter waterfowling requires both realism and creativity.

Calling the Shot

These tips will help avoid confusion while maximizing shooting opportunities.

Warm-Weather Duck Hunting Tips

Ducks and geese change their habits during warm spells, and so should hunters.

Hunting a Bad Wind

By making the right adjustments, you can overcome the challenges posed by an unfavorable wind direction.

10 Shooting Tips for Waterfowl

Wade Bourne shares 10 never-fail tips for improving your shot and creating a more enjoyable hunting experience all season long.

The X Factor

It's a dilemma nearly every public-land waterfowler experiences. Ducks or geese are piling into a particular spot, and it's not where you are. Flock after flock circles and pitches in as you watch and wish.

Tuning a Duck Call

Wade Bourne explains how to make small changes to improve the sound of your single- or double-reed duck call.

Take a New Hunter

Help build a strong future for waterfowling and conservation by recruiting a new hunter into the fold.

Setting the Hunting Season

An in-depth look at the complex, science-based process that safeguards waterfowl populations while maximizing hunting opportunity.

Reading Ducks

Wade Bourne draws on the knowledge of seasoned callers to teach you how to "read the ducks" and improve your calling technique.

Simple and Dependable Decoy Rigs

Dependability and simplicity are key considerations when rigging decoys.

Duck Calling Video: The Feeding Chuckle

Wade Bourne demonstrates and explains the feeding chuckle, a sometimes touchy calling technique that takes time to master.

Ground Game - Layout Blinds

Lightweight, portable layout blinds provide effective concealment in a variety of waterfowl habitats.

The Minimalists

By sticking to the basics, these waterfowlers have found success without spending a fortune on gear and gadgets.

Tips for Using Full-Body Field Decoys

These lifelike decoys are highly effective in a variety of hunting environments

10 Tips from Top Callers

Expert waterfowlers share their secrets for calling late-season ducks and geese.

The Single-Quack Series

This finishing call often works like a homing beacon for ducks.

Duck Hunters Rainbow

Major rain events can lead to some of the season’s best hunting.

Hunting Midday Ducks

If you routinely head in by midmorning, you might be missing out on some great hunting.

Tips for Hunting-shy Ducks


Finding Hidden Duck Holes


September Teal: Mayhem in the Marsh


Duck Hunting in Flooded Grainfields

Flooded grainfields are consistently among the most productive waterfowling hotspots

Four Steps to Better Shooting

Improve your shooting with these steps from Scott Robertson of Elm Fork Shooting Sports in Dallas.
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