Duck hunting has been one of the typical habits of an average western man.
Each year, lots of people look forward to enjoying the nostalgic experience of duck hunting.
The art of duck hunting is a fascinating exercise that even the young ones want to engage in.
It is quite exciting to land your first perfect shot after enough calling, rigging, and patience.
Nevertheless, your duck hunting experience may never go as planned if you fail to equip yourself with the necessary gear needed for the exercise.
A satisfactory duck hunting experience can only be made possible when one is absolutely prepared by making arrangements for all the must-have items that are being used in duck hunting.
Fortunately, this article has compiled a list (in no particular order) of the ten key items that you must have the next time you decided to go hunt for ducks.
Below are the essentials for duck hunting
While hunting, it is of high importance that you know your surroundings and how to move around the right way.
It is advisable to take a GPS receiver with you when going on a duck hunt.
It will enable you to easily navigate the river channels and timbers. You can also choose to carry a compass just in case your electronics fail.
2. Plenty of duck calls.
Every duck hunter that isn’t a newbie totally understands that carrying lots of duck calls is essential to successful duck hunting.
There are multiple types of duck calls out there that you can lay hands on.
However, ensure you get the ones that are easy to blow. Get a double reed duck call that you can effortlessly blow without hassle.
Although many duck hunters are accustomed to a single reed duck call, it is best you go for a double reed. It is much easier, unlike single reeds.
Moreover, you’d need to choose between a wooden duck call or an acrylic duck call.
Each of them has its merits and demerits. As for the wooden duck call, it easily produces a fine sound but is often affected by moisture, while the acrylic duck call isn’t usually affected by moisture, but it doesn’t produce a rich sound.
Having the right duck call will make your hunting experience more exciting and less stressful, so ensure you make the right choice.
Before you choose to move for your next hunt or even your first hunt, duck calls should be one of the most important items you make preparations for.
Related: Here is an article I wrote on how do ducks clean themselves
3. High-quality Wader.
One truth about duck hunting is that it can be a rigorous exercise that subjects you to a dirty, muddy, and wet environment.
Inevitably, you’d have to walk through flooded fields, ponds, and mud, so as to enable you to find ducks and mallards.
No matter how hard you try to impede yourself from getting messy, chances are high that you’d go home stained with mud and soaked up in smelly swamp water.
This is the reason why you must invest in high-quality waders to protect yourself from cold and to keep you dry while hunting.
Ensure you purchase an original wader that can keep you flexible and enable you to do some deep wading.
Every quality wader must contain built-in rubber boots, reinforced knees, as well as handwarmer pockets.
4. A-frame blinds or Layout blinds.
The necessity of having blinds can not be overlooked during duck hunting.
Today, there are various types of blinds available for you as a waterfowl hunter.
There are layout blinds, panel blinds, a-frame blinds, and a lot more.
As for layout blinds, they are easy to set up, versatile, they do a very good job of keeping you hidden. This is why they are more common than other blinds.
On the other hand, a-frames can be quite comfortable and large enough to accommodate about three to four grown adults.
You have to decide whether to use Layout blinds or A-frames.
Distance is the factor here that can help you make that decision. If you can hunting from a long distance, a bigger structure such as an A-frame is suitable for you.
If you are shooting close, however, layout blind is best for you. You can’t possibly use an a-frame blind when you are hunting at a close range.
5. Floatable blind bag.
If you are a novice hunter, you may forget one crucial item – a high-quality blind bag.
During duck hunting, you would have to pack a lot of items with you.
If you aren’t careful, you may misplace some of these important items or forget to take them back with you after you must have finished hunting.
This the primary reason for a floatable blind bag. You can safely put all your items in it while hunting so you won’t have to worry about anything.
It is advisable to purchase a high-quality blind bag that’s waterproof and large enough to contain all your personal belongings.
If you go duck hunting without taking decoys with you, you may end up wasting your time and shooting no duck. Decoys are very helpful in luring prey towards you as the hunter.
But interestingly, a large number of habitual duck hunters usually go for realistic ones. If you want your decoys to be effective enough, you must ensure they are quite realistic.
Although animals aren’t as sensitive as humans, they can still discern, to an extent, when something is inauthentic.
Don’t go for low-quality decoys. That would just be a total waste of time. If you want to have a successful and interesting hunting experience, ensure you go for realistic decoys that are also durable.
Moreover, many people actually don’t know the ideal number of decoys to utilize for a hunt.
The number of decoys you are to use will be determined by the size of the body of water you’re hunting on.
If it’s a large body of water, ensure you have enough decoys that you can spread around. But if it’s a small body of water, then you don’t need many.
7. Facemask and Camo hat.
As a hunter, regardless of where you are trying to capture prey, it essential you stay hidden.
Ducks are easily scared off by even the slightest observation of a predator. If you want to execute duck hunting successfully, you must learn how to stay hidden.
One good way to achieve this objective is by putting on a hunting facemask and camouflage hat. This will prevent the waterfowl from recognizing you easily.
Moreover, the camouflage hat also protects your face from the sun. Ensure you don’t go hunting without taking these items along.
One of the worst things that can disrupt your hunting is cold. You can’t possibly focus on prey when your hands are freezing cold.
This the reason why you must equip yourself with a high-quality hand warmer that can retain heat and help you stay warm while hunting.
You can choose to also get hand warmers that are attachable to waders. This type of hand warmers is quite instrumental.
9. Your preferred weapon.
What’s the essence of hunting if you aren’t with a weapon to kill your prey?
It’s nearly impossible for you to go duck hunting without taking a weapon. But, what’s important here is your ability to choose the right weapon that’s suitable for duck hunting.
There are numerous shotguns that can be used for hunting ducks. Nevertheless, it is advisable you specifically go for an ideal waterfowl shotgun.
When choosing the perfect waterfowl shotgun, there are crucial things you must consider. You should consider the barrel length, the chamber length, the gauge, as well as the action length.
If you are a novice hunter, it’s right for you to use a 20-gauge shotgun. Also, ensure it’s a 3-inch chamber-length shotgun.
10. Tree strap.
Many hunters usually make use of a screw-in-tree hook to hold their shotgun and bag above the water.
If you are unable to get a floatable bag, you would need to keep your belongings above the water.
The best tool you need to do this is a tree strap.
Tree straps are ideal for holding your bag and shotgun firmly to a tree, thereby keeping them above the water.
If you can’t find a tree strap, then your only option would be a floatable bag.
Duck hunting can be quite an interesting experience, which is why millions of habitual duck hunters look forward to enjoying each season as it comes.
If you are a novice hunter, or you intend to try out duck hunting someday, then this article must have been helpful to you, as it provides comprehensible information on the items you need to have in order to enjoy a successful duck hunt.