4 Common Duck Hunting Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Bill Cooper writers about turkey hunting for Bass Pro Shops 1Source.com by Bill Cooper writers about turkey hunting for Bass Pro Shops 1Source.com...

With duck populations at the peak of long-term averages, expectations for every hunt are always high. The reality is, even when ducks are plentiful, hunts can fall short of expectations. And it may be due to the fact that hunters are making one of the four mistakes outlined below. However, the good news is, these blunders can be easily fixed.

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Blowing that duck call and watching ducks react is what makes hunting them so fun. Be honest with yourself, though. Is your calling wretched or reassuring?

Too Much Movement in the Blind

It sounds silly. Every duck hunter knows you have to keep movement to a minimum in a duck hunting blind. “Unnecessary movement is one of the biggest problems I have with duck hunting clients,” said Perry May, owner of IYF Outfitters of Southeast Missouri. “Even though we are in a well camouflaged blind, ducks are above us, and they have sight many times more powerful than humans. The shine of uncovered faces looking up is a dead giveaway. Use head nets and face paints. If you are constantly moving in the blind and kill few ducks, cut down on the movement and your kill ratio will improve immediately.”

The Blind is Poorly Camouflage

“I don’t care how good your blind looks, you can never have enough camouflage,” May said. “If ducks flare or I have difficulty finishing them, one of the first things I look for is holes in the camouflage. It may not be much. I walk all the way around my blinds looking carefully for small holes and openings. Often shooters push clumps of grass or camo material to the side when they stand to shoot. Those spots need to be rearranged before the next flight arrives.”

Camo Doesn’t Blend Into Your Surroundings

“You can have all the camo in the world, but if it doesn’t blend in with your surroundings, ducks are going to notice it,” May said.” If you get a lot of ducks flaring from your blind, your materials are not making your blind disappear into the landscape. The result is far fewer shot opportunities.”

Bass Pro carries a full line of camo blinds, materials and supplies that will help you and your blind vanish into the surroundings.

Your Calling Doesn’t Inspire Confidence

“All duck hunters like to blow their duck call,” May said. “Blowing a call and watching ducks react to it, is one of the most enjoyable facets of duck hunting. However, if ducks are reacting negatively or taking a long time to commit, you might want to analyze your calling techniques.”

Some say experience is the best teacher. May added, “There are lots of learning aids out there these days to help an individual learn to blow a duck call. Duck hunting videos are plentiful, as are TV shows. However, you still have to practice — a lot. Then there is the issue of knowing when to call, what call to use at a given time, and when to quit. One of the most difficult times in the duck blind is when a client is calling and flaring ducks. I let it go, until they become frustrated. Then I politely ask them if they want to kill ducks. Of course they do. At that point, I ask them to allow me to teach them how to call. Then we kill ducks and everyone is happy.

“No duck hunter is so good he can’t improve,” May concluded.  “I see hunters make the same mistakes over and over. Force of habitat often works against them. Be flexible and analyze your setup constantly. If you aren’t killing ducks that are present, stop and ask yourself why. Your problems most likely fall into the categories mentioned. Make changes and score.”

For more duck hunting tips, visit Five Tips for Hunting Ducks at Bass Pro Shops 1Source.