Quack! Quack! Quack! Birds coming in… Cut em!!! BAM! BAM! BAM! Nothing gets the adrenaline pumping like a good duck hunt. Hunter or not, Duck Hunting is the most enjoyable type of hunting in my book. When you see the birds from afar, you use your duck call to persuade them to come in and land at your decoys. When they are tricked and in-range you pull the trigger. Now that’s meat in the freezer.
To learn how to duck hunt, first you need to be able to know the different species. Here are the most common ducks in Pennsylvania.
- Mallard: the most famous and recognizable duck. It is one of the larger ducks about two feet in length and three pounds in weight. It is also the tastiest duck.
- Wood Duck. The male is one of the prettiest ducks in the world. The Wood Duck nests in trees and likes shallow water.
- Black Duck: basically the twin of the Mallard it has all the same characteristics except its color.
- Wigeon: a sneaky duck which likes to eat lots of vegetation including other duck’s meals. It likes to steal meals especially from the Canvasback duck.
- Canvasback: the king of ducks for hunters and is highly prized in North America.
- Teal: a duck that migrates earlier than others. They are also one of the smallest ducks.
Those are the basic ducks, but there are several more species that could be learned. It is important to know what kind of ducks you are hunting, because they all like different things, calls, and decoys.
Next to learn is calling, which is how you can lure the duck into shooting range. There are many different types of calls you can purchase, but the best two types to start out with are a simple double reed duck call and a 6in1 whistle. These are efficient and easy to learn. First is the hail call, which has many other names, is 7-8 simple quacks on the double reed call, from slow to fast, while going soft to loud. This brings in ducks from a far distance. When the ducks are coming in to landing range they check out the decoys and water. Using the double reed call, do 4 sets of 2 calls. This is the feed call, which is perfect for this situation. Leave a second of silence between each set. The whistle has so many options to use on it, and the box it comes in explains all of them. You can learn them easily that way. Calling is almost always necessary to bring in ducks.
Lastly, decoys are fake ducks that are thrown in the water with an anchor that holds it in place. You can put them in a pattern which gives a landing zone for the real ducks. This lures in the ducks and connects to the calling to make the decoys seem real. It is easy to do and is pretty much a must for a duck hunt.
Duck hunting is fun and goes back to our American heritage where we had to hunt for food to live. Even though we don’t need to hunt to live, duck hunting is still great for many reasons. Fresh wild duck is so much better than store bought duck or any other meat. Duck hunting is also great to do with friends and is so much better than just hanging out and playing video games. So if you want to get into it, find a friend or somebody older that can teach you the ways of the Duck Hunt.