The basic principles of hunting any type of waterfowl are simple: Get up before the birds, go to the nearest waterway, pond, lake or marsh, build a blind from natural materials found there, hide in it, maybe call the ducks and wait for them to swoop into gun range. Easy, isn’t it?
No, it only sounds easy. In reality, getting waterfowl to land near your blind or to come within gun range is a difficult job. Ducks are cautious, circumspect and they have sharp eyesight. It takes more than hiding and waiting for the ducks to fly in.
And we have not even talked about the annually changing hunting regulations yet. They differ from state to state, from season to season and from species to species. Staying informed about the current regulations keeps a hunter out of trouble with the law.
Other skills or equipment a successful waterfowl hunter needs:
Decoys – They lure ducks to your blind,
Camouflage – For you, your shotgun and your dog,
Duck calls – Bring ducks into gun range, if you know how to use them,
Guns – Shotguns in the caliber of your choice,
Ammunition – For your gun.
The equipment, and how to use it effectively, is what makes duck hunting so challenging to master. Setting working decoys, good camouflage that makes spotting you difficult must be learned by experience. Using a duck call is an art in itself.
Guns and ammunition are the easy part. Shotguns, 12 gauge caliber, and 3–inch shells are almost standard. Lead ammunition is illegal.