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waterfowlers notebook


Waterfowler's Notebook: My Blind Bag Checklist

I learned the value of checklists as a pilot in the U.S. Air Force. All pilots are taught to follow their checklists religiously to avoid mistakes that could embarrass them, or worse, cost them their lives. Forgetting your shotgun shells on a duck hunt might not be as consequential as neglecting to set an airplane's flaps for takeoff, but it can certainly be embarrassing and frustrating. That's why I depend on my blind bag checklist.

Waterfowler's Notebook: Strategies for Specklebellies

Try this expert advice to bag more white-fronted geese

Waterfowler's Notebook: Keeping Warm

Many non-waterfowlers share the misconception that you have to be cold, wet, and miserable to hunt ducks and geese. That couldn't be further from the truth. With modern outdoor wear, it's easy to stay comfortable in the blind, marsh, or field regardless of weather conditions. Here's how.

Waterfowler's Notebook: Reading Ducks

To be a good duck caller, you've got to be a good duck watcher," a veteran guide on Tennessee's famed Reelfoot Lake once told me. "You've got to pay close attention to the birds' reactions and determine whether you have to tease them in or demand that they come to the decoys." The following tips will help you master the art of reading ducks and adjust your calling to toll more birds into the decoys.

Waterfowler's Notebook: Kayaking for Waterfowl

These sleek little boats can get you into places that are inaccessible to other hunters

Waterfowler's Notebook: Don't Go Deaf in the Duck Blind

Sound advice on how to protect your hearing while waterfowl hunting

Waterfowler's Notebook: How to Stay Safe on the Water

According to the U.S. Coast Guard, hunters are involved in an average of 35 major boating accidents per year, resulting in 14 deaths and 27 serious injuries. Eighty percent of these reported deaths occurred by drowning, and 85 percent of the victims were not wearing a personal flotation device (PFD). Here are 10 tips for staying safe on the water.

Waterfowler's Notebook: Finesse Calling

Sometimes ducks respond best to aggressive calling, but at other times they work better when you use a little finesse. This is usually the case when there hasn't been an influx of new ducks for several days and local birds are decoy-shy from hunting pressure. It's also true when the weather is warm, the sky is gray, and the wind is calm—or under any combination of these factors. Such conditions can make ducks wary, and spooky birds tend to shy away from throw-the-kitchen-sink-at-'em calling. (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: Managing Hunting Pressure

When hunting pressure is managed properly, waterfowl settle in, stay around, and respond better to hunters' tactics.

Waterfowler's Notebook: Hunting Small-Water Divers

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

Waterfowler's Notebook: Keeping Legal

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

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

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.

Waterfowler's Notebook: King Can

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

Waterfowler's Notebook: Off-Season Scouting

When is the best time to look for a new duck hunting spot? Anytime you can.

Useful Tools for Waterfowl Hunters

It never hurts to be prepared, and keeping the right gear handy helps.

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.

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