Duck hunting can be traced all the way back to the dawn of man. Their likeness can be found in cave paintings and pyramids. The pursuit of these daffy creatures has long been a rite of passage. A way for fathers and son’s to bond, for boys to become men (and girls to become women, of course).
For as long as hunters have been hunting, it has been a time-honored tradition to pass along helpful tips and tricks to the next generation. With duck season upon us in various parts of the country, let’s have a look at some of these tips for duck hunting.
Know Your Prey, Know Your Surroundings
Before the season even starts it’s a good idea to do some scouting. What are the flight patterns? Where are they tucking in for the night, and where are they eating during the day? Paying attention to their routine will give you a much better idea of when and where to set up and hopefully hit your limit. While you’re out scouting, pay attention to the local foliage. Do you have the right gear to blend in with your surroundings? Ducks have incredible vision and will spook easily. A little bit of forethought can go a long way.
Who You Gonna Call
Having the right duck call for the job and knowing how to use it is very important. That’s why proper upkeep and periodic cleaning are essential. Taking the stopper and the reed out of the barrel and soaking them in some warm, soapy water will get rid of any food or tobacco remnants, as well as that stale coffee smell. Just in case you are heading into frosty weather, it doesn’t hurt to put some kind of hydrophobic on your reed. This will help prevent your call from freezing up on you and being rendered useless.
Step Up Your Off-season
You don’t want to be rusty on opening day. Spending some time shooting skeet and working on tracking can pay dividends when the season hits. And, just like you, that retriever of yours could use some skill sharpening. Take old Fido out with a bumper to work on tracking, running good straight lines, and heeling. The old boy will love having playtime, and you will reap the rewards next season.
Know Your Limit
It cannot be stressed enough how important it is to know and adhere to local laws and regulations. Many hunters find out the hard way that ignorance of the law does grant immunity from the law. If your ducks aren’t all in a row as far as being within your limit, having different hunters’ birds separate and following a chain of command, you risk losing your kills and hefty fines. You could potentially lose your ability to hunt altogether.
Play It Safe
While it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement, a good hunter should always be aware of his/her surroundings. Using safe practices and setting a good example for others to do so will not only keep everybody safe but also ensure that this sport we all love will continue to thrive for generations to come.
Be sure to visit Irby Street Sporting Goods for all your hunting supplies.