Duck Hunting Tips For Beginners – Step By Step Guide
As the cold weather set in, you might be wondering what to do during the season. One way is to go out hunting for the duck. Just like any other game, duck hunting has its fanatics. For beginners, there is a need to horn some skills before going out to hunt in the cold. Getting a perfect shot in frozen waters is not an easy task. You need the right attire, appropriate gear, and to identify the right location and time for successful hunting. Here is the step by step guide that will help you start right.
1. Get the right attire
The ideal attire depends on where you are going to hunt. You need a camouflaged jacket, especially when shooting in a dead grass area. However, camouflaged attire might not be necessary if you are hunting in a blind layout. The clothes worn should have some form of insulation to keep you warm while hunting. Duck also likes water, and therefore getting wet is inevitable. Get waders that are water-resistant and breathable to allow proper air circulation.
If you are using a shiny gun, then there is a need to wrap it to get the right camo. Face painting is also recommended or opt for another way to disguise it. To draw the birds closer, you will have to conceal yourself and the gear being used. You also need to get the hunting license and the duck stamp before heading out.
2. Get the right tools
Obviously, the duck cannot be put down with empty hands. You need an appropriate gun and other gear such as load and the decoy. For a start, any decent shotgun can do the job, but as you advance, there is a need to upgrade. A 12ga shotgun is ideal, but the best is the automatic rifle since it fires fast, and you can aim with ease. Get an expert to fit the gun for you, especially length of pull, drop at comb, and recoil pad for long-term success. However, there some already tailor-made guns for duck hunting that you can consider buying.
The load chosen should be able to aim further without losing its power. Steel is known to have the problem of losing power and, therefore, only suitable for short shots. Tungsten, iron or bismuth alloys are the best for distant shots of #2 or #4 size. The right decoy that matches the target bird should be chosen. Duck hunters usually prefer the mallard decoys, but it might not work in all situations. The bait should be put near the shoreline, as placing in the middle of the water might not be sufficient.
3. Sharpen your skills
There is a need for preparation before heading out to hunt the waterfowls by familiarizing yourself with the gear until you are proficient at it. First, you need to acquaint yourself with the chosen gun before taking it out for hunting. Check its performance within different ranges to avoid missing the waterfowl or getting into legal trouble. You also need to do clay and trap shoots to get a hand of rising and fall targets. Skeet shooting is also useful in perfecting shooting skills before going after the duck.
Knowing your target species is another essential skill. There are bag limits for each species and sexes, which, if not known, can get you in trouble. You might be fined for nailing a wrong one depending on your state. There some endangered species that should not be hunted, and therefore it is advisable to shot only when sure of the targeted waterfowl.
4. Choose where to hunt the duck
You need to identify a place where the birds are to avoid wasting your time at the shore. Beginners tend to start in public lands, which can be a bit tricky since there is a lot of hunting pressure. Have backup options in case of any eventuality. Scout in larger identified areas to pinpoint where the duck is and getting permission if it is a private place. Know your first choice of hunting areas and where to move after exhausting it.
Many hunters tend to stay onshore waiting for ducks that usually come there on the first to the third day of the season. However, to be successful, there is a need to go where others are not like points with brush covers, back of deep covers, and marshy areas. This is where ducks tend to hide when hunters are after them. Ensure that you keep the wind at your side and the sun on you back.
5. Hunt preferably in the morning
To hunt the duck successfully, you might need to sacrifice your sleep, especially in the morning. You can also shoot at midday and late evening though it will be less productive compared to morning hours. Too early might scare way the duct, so it is good to wait until sunrise. You need to hunt when the waterfowls are active, which hour before sunrise and some hours after.
To hunt more hung around a little longer after the sunrise. Usually, ducks are tracked during the cold season. As waterfowl move ahead of weather fronts trailing as the warm season come in might be the best season. The ducks may not be aware of the hunting activities during this time, which makes it easier to hit out at them.
6. Take your shot
After following the above steps to the later, it is now the right time to take a shot. Avoid spooking the birds by taking time before shooting. Go for the last duck in the flock as everyone lease might be aiming at the lead one. Do not shoot at the crowd; instead, pick a target and point at it. Shoot at the head and keep swinging the shotgun until you hit the duck.
Duck hunting is the most rewarding, even though it can be challenging as you start. You will never regret horning the skills as it sharpens outdoor lovers to be better game hunters. Of course, you will have to invest in the best gear and put some effort into succeeding. Bracing some cold weather might be hard to bear a time. However, at long last, that perfect shot will be worth all your effort!