Are you looking for ways to be more effective sneaking up on ducks? Jump hunting is more challenging than using traditional decoys and spreads, however it has numerous benefits. On this episode I cover numerous tips and strategies to make you more effective hunting waterfowl on foot. Tetra Hearing protection – Get 10% off with the code: NHG2410

Jump hunting is a very fun and very ethical activity if done thoughtfully and safely. This is not the same thing as the proverbial “sitting duck”. These are not the ducks at the park that may eat bread out of your hand. In the wild, they are cautious, anxious birds that have keen senses and can instantly take off like a cruise missile and disappear forever. If you can sneak up on ducks in their native habitat and get a shot at them, you have done an impressive thing. 

It is one the easier ways to get started waterfowl hunting and requires a minimal amount of gear. All you really need is a shotgun, camo, and a way to retrieve the birds. Oh, and strategy, lots and lots of strategy.

The basic principles are simple, sneak up on birds that are on the water or on the shore and shoot them before they fly out of range. Sounds easy. Unfortunately, it can be really hard. The biggest tip you can employ is to use terrain to your advantage. Put land and dirt between you and the water. Do not break the plain of sight with the birds until you are as close as possible and be aware that the moment you do, stealth becomes extremely critical. 

Raised banks and hills can keep ducks and geese form seeing or hearing you. You must still be quiet and use caution, but you should be much more able to move around if you can position some terrain between you and the birds. Once you begin to make your approach to the water, you have to try to get to within 40 yards of the birds. The best way to do this is to move under cover, and only when the wind blows.

The wind does multiple things to help the sneaking hunter. It creates noise that helps cover the sounds of your approach. And maybe more importantly, the wind creates motion in the woods. Your movement blends into the shifting branches, blowing leaves, swaying grasses, weeds, and so on. The wind can be your biggest ally when trying to hunt birds on the water. 

Listen to this whole podcast episode to hear all 10 tips for jump hunting ducks on the water.