A Beginner’s Guide to Duck Hunting By Steve Blount of Lake Charles, Louisiana

Newcomers to duck hunting are often attracted to the pastime because it combines the thrill of shooting with the skills of duck calling and decoying. Before you hit the water, master the following tips.

1. Dress appropriately. A pair of neoprene waders keeps your legs warm and dry. Up top, wear a parka made from a windproof and waterproof material. If you are placing decoys, bring long, neoprene gloves. Also, ducks and other waterfowl can detect slight differences in color, so hunters need to choose clothing that provides camouflage appropriate to their surroundings.

2. Stay concealed. The camouflage-patterned clothing helps, but consider a duck blind as well. Temporary blinds, consisting of a large piece of camouflage-print material and a few stakes, are inexpensive and allow you to move location when the birds’ flight pattern changes. If you want to spend more, purchase a boat blind.

3. Practice identification. Abiding by duck-hunting regulations is important, and that means you must correctly identify them. Armed with binoculars and a bird book, you should study their shape, size, plumage, color patterns, and flocking behavior.

4. Master your calls. Ducks make a variety of vocal sounds ranging from low grunts to high-pitched whistles. Also, the female’s call may differ from that of a male.

5. Research decoys. They should match the species you are hunting, of course, but their placement should vary based on the species. A large number of decoys reassures the flock that it is safe to land.

About Steve Blount:
A financial planner specializing in retirement and estates, Steve Blount enjoys hunting near his home of Lake Charles, Louisiana, located on two major migration paths.