Advice for first-time bird hunters: Part Two

August 30, 2011

With hunting season just days away, we are sharing some waterfowl hunting tips for anyone who might be new to the sport or considering giving it a try for the first time.  You can read Part One here.

Welcome to Part Two! Once again, if this is totally not your thing, or you are a seasoned pro, then feel free to move along about your day or read this lovely story

Question #2: Where should I position myself to get the best shots at ducks and geese?

There are two words you need to know: Wind Direction.

Ducks and geese both land and take off into the wind. So. If you plan to sit in one spot on a pond, lake, or river or creek bank, you want to set up your blind so the wind is coming from behind you, with a good decoy spread out in front of you (if you have decoys, which we’ll talk about in another advice post, along with whether or not to use bird calls!) 

This strategy also works if you plan to “jump shoot” like we do most of the time, meaning we get in our kayaks and travel up a creek, sneaking in to all the little ponds and marshy areas hoping to surprise any birds holed up along the way. It’s a little bit more tricky to keep the wind at our backs because we are moving around, but if you can keep the wind at your back at least as you’re coming into an area where you know ducks like to sit, then when you scare them up and they try to fly away–they’ll most likely head straight into the wind and straight toward you. 

So to break it down:

Wind at your back + good decoy spread in front + using the right bird call = luring birds within shooting range right out in front of you. Sounds easy enough, right!??

Waterfowl hunting is not easy. These aren’t those nice ducks that eat chunks of bread out of your hand at the park. They are more like sneaky, agile, stubborn, sometimes practically invisible, little, fighter jets and it takes lots of scouting, practice, trial, and error to outsmart them, not to mention actually hit them.

But at least keeping the wind at your back might give you a little edge and the slightest bit of advantage in trying to get the ducks headed your direction. And after all, with a sport as challenging as this one, any little tip helps!

 Here we are, sneaking up the creek toward a little spot where we knew the ducks liked to sit, and you’ll notice I am following very close behind because I’ve learned that where Jared is, there the shooting will be.

And let’s be honest…without him, things like wind direction, decoys, duck calls, and all this strategy would all go right over my blond head.

Along with all the birds.


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