If you’re thinking of trying your hand at duck hunting, the best thing you can do is make friends with an experienced duck hunter, go hunting with him (or her), and watch and learn. But if you don’t have the advantage of knowing anyone with hunting credentials, here are a few tips that will help you get started.
Go to the area you plan on hunting, find a good vantage point, and watch where the ducks tend to congregate. Once you have determined the area you need to hunt, look for the nearest place to the ducks where you will be able to hide.
Try to get to your pre-determined spot at least an hour before daylight in order to make your blind. Conceal yourself as much as possible. This is crucial. Cane and willows make excellent brush. And don’t bring a white bucket to sit on.
You only need to know one thing: The ducks will come in against the wind. Set your spread accordingly.
Get familiar with your gun before you take it to the field. Go to your local skeet range and practice. This will help you make the most of your opportunities.
Being a new duck hunter, the best thing you can do is leave your calls at home until you can sound like a duck. If you blow at ducks and they flare straight up, you need more practice on the hen call. Get a Pintail Whistle and a Mallard Drake call and master them. They are easy to learn and will not flare ducks. If they are still flaring, you’re not hiding good enough.
And last but not least, make sure you know the rules and regulations for your area. There are a lot of them, so do your research. Lots of new duck hunters and their wallets fall victim to not knowing the regulations. Don’t be one of them.
We have a couple of great instructional videos for hunting. Get a copy of "Phil Robertson's Ten Commandments for Successful Duckhunting", or "The Art of Commanding Ducks II", to learn even more about duck hunting.