It’s that time of year that really gets every waterfowler excited to be afield. Early season is coming to a close and the time to chase ducks is almost here. So what changes do you have to make to have success when heading to your favorite little honey holes?
Finding where the ducks want to be is the first step in being successful. A lot of waterfowl hunters have the same blind or the same little bay they like to hunt when opening day finally rolls around. In a way I like that sort of traditional aspect when it comes to duck hunting. Going out there with your close friends and family and having a good time. You may not always be heading back to the truck with limits but you can always create memories that you can share for the rest of your life. Now if this isn’t the case for you and finding the “X” is priority one, then you better be ready to put some miles on your vehicle. Scouting is the name of the game and if you aren’t where the ducks are coming to, your success rate is going to decrease. Finding those duck magnets and gaining permission will help put more ducks in your freezer.
As for my areas that I frequent the main target is field hunting Canada Geese. Again scouting is on the top of our list. Splitting up your crew of guys and covering more ground is always a good idea if you can because you just never know what the geese are going to do from day-to-day unless you are there watching their every moves. Gaining permission from the landowner can be tricky at times. There are certain areas where farmers will give out permission to anyone who comes to their door and asks and then the flip side landowners that don’t allow hunting at all. If you get fortunate enough to get the go ahead and hunt be sure to thank them and assure them that you will clean up your set up when the hunt is over. Making the landowner happy will give you that edge for future returns year after year. If you are unsuccessful in gaining permission then you need to just find a way to adapt. Try to get on an adjacent field and put out more decoys than usual aka. “Run Traffic.” This is because you are not exactly where the birds want to be and therefore you need to show them a reason to come give your spread a look.
Next step is to disappear in the field in which you intend to hunt. I suggest deciding on what blind to use by the amount of cover or debris left after the field is harvested. On short cut fields the Avery Power Hunter is my go to blind. It is low profile and easy to stubble up and make you invisible. And on the flip side if you are able to find a field with a lot of left over cover in it then my favorite blind is the Avery Ground Force. This blind is a little higher profile than the power hunter and is also fully framed. It allows for a little more comfort and is very easy to hide as well. Don’t be afraid to try new decoy spreads as well. Experiment and see what might work and what doesn’t. My friends and I have tried all sorts of patterns and have fine-tuned what we think is the most effective when it comes to getting geese feet down. Setting your blinds outside of your decoys to help keep the incoming bird’s eyes from finding your hide is a great technique and we have used it for the past two years now. Also shying away from the traditional “U” shaped spread and opening things up more is a good method to try.
To make your fall hunting experiences the best be sure to share them with friends and family. Take youth out every chance you can as well. They are the future of this sport and we want it to continue for generations to come. And most importantly, just have fun. Getting your limit is fun but making memories will last forever.
Brian Cote is a website administrator at krugerfarms.com and a devoted outdoorsman. He’s eager to take up any opportunity to hunt waterfowl, deer and turkeys in the Midwest region. You can follow him on Twitter @BrianJr22 and find him on Facebook facebook.com/brian.cote.148.