2 Dozen Duck Hunting Tips

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fishing lure
No retriever? No problem. Cast a fishing lure to snare your birds.

Confidence In Your Duck Decoy Spread

Placing one or more confidence duck decoys in your spread can increase duck hunting success. Add a heron near shore or a few crow decoys to one side of a field spread. Ducks will be less wary because the spread appears more lifelike.

Rat House View

Muskrat lodges make good seats for wading duck hunters. You can lay back on a lodge and look skyward for decoying ducks. And if you wear camouflage clothing made for marsh hunting, you’ll be well hidden, which encourages ducks to pitch right in.

duck decoy
A little tire cleaner makes duck decoys look like new.

Leaky Deke Ideas

Two ways to use cracked, leaking duck decoys that are beyond repair: 1) Remove the keels and use the decoys for field shells, or 2) buy a lamp kit from a hobby store and turn a decoy into a light for home or camp.

Tips And Tails

When ducks are flying toward you, it’s best not to call. Old-timers have a saying: “Call only to tips and tails.” That is, do your duck calling when you can see one wingtip and the tail, or both wings and the tail. The duck won’t be looking your way then, so it’s OK to call.

Dry Storage

Use camo duct tape to wrap a 5-gallon plastic bucket with a lid and create a convenient dry storage container for your first aid kit, matches, shells, spare hunting clothes and snacks.

duck hunting tips
Pup will leave your boots alone if you spray them with lemon juice.

Add Sparkle

Blue prism tape (used to customize fishing lures) can make the speculums, or wing patches, on your mallard decoys more dazzling. Paint the speculum white, and when the paint dries, apply the tape. This added touch can make decoy-shy birds come those final few yards.

Basket Case

A hand-carried shopping basket like those used in grocery stores makes a great storage box for dead ducks. Paint it to give a camo or earth-tone finish birds won’t see. Then toss dead birds in it to keep them from freezing to your duck boat on cold days.

No More Gnawing

If your hunting dog pup is chewing up everything in camp, try spraying boots, leashes and other chewables with diluted lemon juice. The sour flavor should end your pup’s bad behavior.

choke tubes
In a pinch, use a coin to unscrew choke tubes.

Magnums for Divers

Try magnum decoys when hunting divers. They’re seen at twice the distance, and their wide, flat bottoms eliminate roll and pitch—a dead giveaway to today’s gun-wise ducks. You can use fewer duck decoys, too.

Coin Wrench

Forgot your choke tube wrench? In a pinch, a quarter makes an effective 12-gauge wrench, and a dime can loosen or tighten a 20-gauge choke tube.

Easy Grab

A telescoping golf-ball retriever, like those used by golfers to retrieve balls from water hazards, can be modified to pick up duck decoys and retrieve ducks from thick cover. Remove the ball-retrieving end and replace it with a hook. Your dog won’t have to retrieve birds in nasty cover, and you can keep your hands dry on cold mornings. The telescopic retriever can be carried in a decoy bag.

ground blind
Breakfast in the blind makes the day grow great.

Hot Chow For Cold Days

Take a portable stove to your ground blind and treat your duck-hunting buddies to a hot meal on a cold day. Carry the fixings in sealable plastic containers. When duck hunting is slow, good food can still make a memorable day.

Shooting Time Reminder

Always forgetting when shooting time starts and ends? Set your cell phone or wristwatch alarm to go off at exactly the right time.

 

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