There are a lot of myths and misconceptions when it comes to cold weather hunting, especially subzero hunting. The word alone invokes powerful images of punishing cold and impossibilities. But the truth is, you can hunt lots of game very effectively when it’s cold, from deer to goose. On this episode I get into debunking some of the lies surrounding late season cold. 

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Hunting below 0 degrees Fahrenheit comes with numerous challenges and obstacles to overcome. Some are technical, some are physical, and some are simply made up. For some reason mystical qualities are applied to cold weather hunting. The simple truth is that there are people in different parts of the world who live, work, and hunt at temperatures below zero for weeks if not months out of the year. Many people see zero as warmer than usual.

But for those who live in warmer climates, this number is seen as some very important threshold and many myths have crept up around it. But the reality is that nothing magical happens at 0 degrees. The animals keep moving, equipment keeps working, and hunting is very possible. But cold weather hunting is more difficult and requires some special strategies for dealing with the cold across all levels.

You need to make sure your gear is fully operational and winterized. You have to be dressed for the cold, and that means more than just wearing super expensive brands. You also need to be sure you are in proper physical condition or take steps to mitigate your shortcomings, so you are not hindered by the difficulties that come with cold weather hunts.

There are some pros to late season artic weather as well. It simplifies hunting some. Where animals go becomes more focused and predictable. There are fewer options on how and where you can hunt. And while it does become harder, some of it becomes simpler as well. Deer patterns change, goose patterns become more predictable, and small game is easier to spot much of the time.

What you wear matters a lot, but it is more about finding the right types of layers than the right brands. Different materials and garments serve different roles and as long as you have those roles covered, you can hunt very effectively even in cold weather, snow, and powerful wind chills.

In this podcast episode I dive into examine five lies about subzero hunting and how you can overcome all of the legitimate challenges to be successful in the woods.

When the winter sets in, is it really worth the time and effort to go waterfowl hunting? Can you really be successful? The answer to those questions may surprise you, however there is not a blanket one-size-fits-all answer either. But there are principles I provide in this episode that can help you answer that question no matter where you are or where you hunt. 

There is a very important and often overlooked truth when it comes to late season duck hunting, and it is this. In most places, not all of the ducks leave for the winter. Now in Alaska, yes, the ducks are gone. But in New York and Pennsylvania and Indiana, and many other northern states, there are birds there year-round. If you can’t find any ducks that does not mean there aren’t any ducks.

The single biggest indicator of ducks is open water. If you can find water that has not frozen, be it lakes, streams, creeks, or rivers, you will find ducks. Or rather ducks can and do live there year-round. Some people have their best hunting in the winter because it concentrates where the ducks are and can hang out.

Another very often overlooked element is the concept of a fluid migration. Ducks do not just fly dead south until they hit the Gulf of Mexico and perch on the shore all winter. Many fly south until they find more comfortable weather, and when there are warm weeks they will drift back north some. They may be pushed further south again by a cold front, but birds move a lot. A duck may fly 100 miles for breakfast. They are very capable and mobile creatures. If you do not see birds in your area in the late season, just wait. Cold or warm weather could bring birds in from different directions.

The biggest consideration of late season hunting is safety. Falling in a stream when its 70 degrees outside is inconvenient. If it’s 20 degrees, that can be life threatening. You need very safe strategies to set up decoys and recover birds if you are hunting around water. Having gear that is up to the task is also important. You need to be able to stay warm and dry even in harsh weather conditions. High wind is much more common this time of year as well. But I think this can be a very effective time of year for most hunters. 

Late season hunting can be very good hunting, some of the best of the year, but it takes a little different approach.

Listen to the full podcast episode to hear all of the details. 


Are there really waterfowl hunting ammunition secrets? Unfortunately, yes, and a lot of them. But I spent two years and a lot of money doing ballistics and pattern testing to learn a lot of the big ones, so you don’t have to. This episode draws from my research and data to help you navigate the cluttered marketing and myths of duck hunting ammo.  Tetra Hearing protection – Get 10% off with the code: NHG2410

Up until 1991, waterfowl hunting was simpler and cheaper. Lead ammo worked well, could be very inexpensively bought in bulk, and there was no ammo hysteria like we have today. With the advent of non-toxic shot, companies began to complete over everything they possibly could to gain market share and one-up each other. Then materials like bismuth and tungsten began to make their way onto the scene and multiplied the level of complexity in the duck hunting ammo isle at the store.

Is high velocity waterfowl ammo better? Is higher payload better? Is one wad better than another? WHAT IS A WAD? Why does some steel ammo cost twice as much as others and is it really twice as good? Why is bismuth way more than some steel but the same price as other steel? Is TSS ammo really worth what is costs and why? Is all steel ammo created equal? What does spending more money really get you? I found myself facing all kinds of questions like these.

I couldn’t take it anymore, so I felt compelled to begin a journey to find out what really worked and what didn’t. I begin doing ballistics gel, pattern, and recoil testing. I began talking to ammo manufacturers, choke tube manufacturers, and others in the industry to get insight and context to help interpret my data and research.

What I learned began to debunk a lot of the marketing and myths being thrown around as truth. It also began to explain a lot of the things I was seeing in the field. The simple truth is, companies have been focusing on things of minor importance to try and make their products look superior while ignoring things that are of greater importance because they aren’t popular with hunters, mainly because hunters do not understand the facts. Because of this, untruths continue to be propagated and less than optimal ammo continues to be made, sold, and used. It a self-fulfilling prophecy.

But the truth is not that hard to understand, and if you apply the principles I share in this podcast, you will have a tremendous advantage in picking the best ammo for the money and hunting situation you find yourself in. That is the other side of the coin no one talks about. The way you hunt has a lot to do with what ammo choices are ideal for you. There is no one size fits all approach. You MUST learn the principles so you can be able to make the right choices for you. Copying someone else’s gear and setup likely will not give you what is truly best for you.

Listen to this whole podcast episode to learn these secrets to waterfowl hunting ammunition.

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.

If you are looking for what may be the biggest innovation in waterfowl hunting ammunition this year, you’ve come to the right place. On this episode I am reviewing and diving into the nitty gritty with the BOSS Warchief bismuth shotshell. Ther performance and cost to benefit ratio of this ammo may be the best of any waterfowl hunting shell on the market. 

Check out my full comprehensive written review on the BOSS Warchief.

Disclaimer: This review and podcast are not sponsored by BOSS.

In this detailed review, I talk all things Warchief from the specifics of the buffering material to the newly engineered wad, to the special agents added to the plastic shot cup to make it biodegradable. I go in depth discussing pattern density, ballistic gel penetration, recoil, pattern efficiency, shell cost, and comparisons to other types of ammo.

The BOSS warchief is an improved version of their Legacy copper plated bismuth load designed to provide extended range capabilities with potential pattern performance that is off the charts. This ammo works so well at holding tight patterns at range that it may enable hunter with the right setup to be able to reach out knock down ducks and geese as far as 60 yards away.

One of the big issues with long range hunting however is the skill of the shooter. Most hunters are not practiced well enough to hit birds at these ranges consistently. However, if you are up for it, this ammo will certainly do its part of the job. Where this ammo shines is with jump hunters, looking for ways to extend their range on stationary targets sitting on a pond or the shore.

The Warcheif is capable of pattern efficiency as high as 100% at 40 yards in a 30″ circle with the right setup. This is practically unheard of in the world of waterfowl hunting ammunition. But I have had patterns that good with this ammo. Check out some of my test videos using this ammo as well.

Very surprisingly the Warchief not only provides improved pattern performance, but it also provides more ballistics gel penetration. For the details you will have to listen to the episode. But I think this is one of the most impressive improvements in an ammo I’ve seen.  The Warchief seems to improve on the BOSS legacy loads in just about every area.

If you are looking for the best balance of cost and performance, I think the BOSS Warchief is it. 

Listen to this entire podcast episode to hear all of the details about this new ammo option for waterfowl hunters. As a note, BOSS provided me with some of the shells used in my testing, thanks for their support.

Are you tired of hauling a lot of heavy gear into the woods? There is a false perception that you need a ton of gear to hunt waterfowl successfully. In this podcast episode I am going to cover five minimalist duck hunting setup that are low cost and light on equipment.

Waterfowl hunting is one of, if not the most equipment intensive types of hunting. There are so many things to buy and use that you can spend your life building out the perfect set of gear. For new hunters especially that just isn’t practical, but diverging from the norm is not welcomed by the establishment. People with decades worth of gear accumulated don’t love the idea of new people heading out into the woods with minimal gear and being successful. So other ways of hunting are often suppressed by the culture. But that’s crazy and there are lots of great ways to hunt ducks and geese with minimal gear.

When I say minimal, I think looking at it from both the standpoint of hauling that gear in and reducing the needed investment to successfully hunt waterfowl. If you are able to get a handful of items and still take ducks, that is a big win for a new hunter, and it is very possible. In fact, there are many ways to do it.

An obvious approach is the conventional hunting strategy with minimal gear. A set of waders, a half dozen decoys, a call, and a shotgun can be all that you need to be effective and bring home birds. Sure, 6 dozen decoys may work better, but one person can easily carry 6 singles into the woods with a pair of waders, improvise a blind and get shots at ducks. 

Jump hunting is another great way to hunt, as long as you are not in an area that is overrun with other hunters. You do not want to be walking around and messing up other people’s hunts. But provided you can get away from most other hunters, you can have a great time sneaking through the woods trying to get to the edge of streams, creeks, lakes, ponds, and puddles looking for unsuspecting birds. All you need to do this is a gun and a way to retrieve the birds from the water, typically a backpack with breathable waders stuffed inside works great.

Listen to this full podcast episode to hear all the five minimalist duck hunting strategies and which are a good fit for you and your hunting style.

This is a very important announcement for waterfowl hunters. I was not going to do this review episode but you guys requested it because of how good the deal is on these waders. They are maybe the best deal on the market right now in terms of value. The cost for these waders, with my 18% off discount code GK18 is $90 shipped. You can find them on TideWe’s website here:  TideWe MAX5 Neoprene Hunting Waders. Enter my code GK18 at checkout.

You can also find my full written and video review here: TideWe MAX5 Neoprene Wader Review | The Best Cheap Hunting Wader?

As a note, TideWe gave me these waders to do this review. Thanks to them for their support. 

Every year millions of people are excited to go duck hunting. However about 86% of hunters do not wear hearing protection. How dangerous is this? What are the risks? What really happens to your ears, hearing, brain, and future when you do this? To answer these questions and more, I have invited. Dr. Bill Dickenson, a lifelong duck hunter, doctor of audiology, and founder of the company Tetra Hearing to give us some expert insight. 

Here is the code mentioned in the show: Tetra Hearing protection – Get 10% off with the code: NHG2410

Every time you fire a shotgun without hearing protection you blast your ears with volume that drastically exceeds the limits of what is safe. Many people experience some ringing in their ears or other short term hearing effects that fade away. They assume that because they do not notice any permanent damage that they are ok, and they continue on. What they do not realize is twofold.

#1 The next shot they take could be the one that causes major permanent hearing loss. Or the next shot someone next to them takes, especially when it comes to shooting at flying birds that can cause the muzzle to move closer to your hunting partner’s ears.  You may be one shot away from major issues.

#2 The other thing is that every shot you take could be costing you an imperceptible amount of hearing loss. After one or two shots you may not notice anything. But after many hunts and many seasons, the cumulative effect of those shots adds up and people realize, often unexpectedly years later, that they have a major problem.

Couple both of these scenarios with the fact that waterfowl hunting is the most punishing form of hunting on your ears and your risks multiply. The average waterfowl hunter, in my experience, hits a bird with about 1/3 of their shots or less. So, to fill a six-bird limit, they will likely shoot 20 shells. These are often magnum shells, and often used with a ported choke tube that increases volume levels behind and beside the muzzle.

Then consider waterfowl hunting is a team sport, so if you have 3 people in your hunting party, you may have 60 shots fired within inches of your ears in one day. That is more abuse to your ears in one day than many hunters will experience in a lifetime of turkey hunting or deer hunting.

Simple hearing loss however is not the full extent of the problem. Often times people experience constant ringing in their ears, pain, static, and other damage that lasts for life. These effects are correlated with higher suicide rates, depression, and self-isolation. And then moderate untreated hearing loss in mid-life may impact your risk of Altheimer’s and dementia by as much as 900%. 

So how dangerous is hunting ducks on your hearing? It is one of the most dangerous things you can do to your ears. And the long-term effects of it can be brutal. This is why I implore you to wear hearing protection while hunting waterfowl. About 86% of hunters do not wearing hearing protection of any kind.

It is absolutely critical that you protect your hearing. Cheap ear plugs can do the job for $1. Entry level digital hearing protection devices can enable you to still hear some of the hunt and are often available for the price of a box of tungsten ammo. But by far the best options I have ever seen on the market are those made by Tetra Hearing.

Tetra provides a one size fits most option called their AlphaShield, you can learn more about them in my Tetra AlphaShield Written Review. They also provide a custom fit option for maxiumum comfort and effectivness called their CustomShield. You can read more about those in my Tetra CustomShield Written Review.

Both of these devices compensate for hearing loss and enable you to hear everything going on around you and all the sounds of nature as if you had nothing in your ears at all. They then become instant hearing projection every time you pull the trigger to protect your years and keep you safe.

But perhaps the biggest thing they do is identify and isolated the sounds made by the animals you are hunting and amplify those sounds. This enables you to hear the sounds that ducks and geese make louder and more clearly from further away than you could even with perfect hearing, giving you a distinct advantage in the woods. 

They are rugged and powerful digital devices that fit right inside your ear. They filter out sounds you do not want, like wind noise, and enable you to set them for whatever you are hunting that day, such as waterfowl, turkey, deer, elk, and much more. I have not found anything better on the market.

They are not cheap, but Tetra has been kind enough to provide a discount code to help you save 10% at checkout. Tetra Hearing protection – Get 10% off with the code: NHG2410

In addition to the discount, Tetra’s can be purchased with HSA (Health Savings Account) funds. They have a great warranty, can be repaired if broken, can be used in the rain or in the marsh, and enable you to retain all the joys of hearing the hunt with instant hearing protection and provide you with advantages. to hunt more effectively.

I have been using Tetras for coming up on three years at this point and they are what has enabled me to continue waterfowl hunting without compromising anything. This episode is not sponsored, and I paid for my Tetra CustomShields with my own money. I highly recommend you give them a try. I also did a podcast review: Tetra AlphaShield Review | Critical For All Hunters

I also highly recommend you listen to this podcast episode. It may be the most important podcast you ever listen to because I believe it can illuminate your understanding and empower you to make changes that can redirect the trajectory of your health, family, and future. Dr. Bill provides some of the most outstanding insights into how our ears work and he breaks it down into simple terms that anyone can understand. We share numerous hunting stories as well, it was a lot of fun! 

If you want to hunt ducks, you need to be able to hide. But how can you do that cheap? Are there cost effective approaches to waterfowl hunting blinds, or do you need to spend big money? On this episode I cover four strategies for hiding on the cheap.

Hiding is synonymous with waterfowl hunting. You must have cover if you want birds to voluntarily come into shooting range. And you need to have cover even more if you are trying to sneak up on the ducks.

The hunting industry has answered this fundamental need with a great many expensive contraptions such as A-Fram blinds, lay out blinds, dog blinds, and many more. Generally speaking, these options all work in the right situations. But are there cheaper ways?

Not long ago, none of these hiding options existed. They were nowhere to be found. All hunters built or improvised their own blinds, most often temporary ones, used for just one hunt. Occasionally they had the luxury of using one a couple of times. Setting up a blind was as much of part of the morning routine as putting on your waders or setting out the decoys. But today, much of this has been lost, replaced with expensive alternatives.

In this podcast episode I harken back to the days of waterfowl ingenuity, empowering hunters to hide for little or no budget at all. Some of these options are clear cut, while others are unorthodox, but each one works in the right situation. If you want cheap options for concealment while hunting waterfowl, you need to listen to this short episode.

Spoiler alert, a lot of expensive blinds you can buy save little to no time, are not less work, and do not hide you better than many of the strategies in this episode. There are times when purchased blinds are very helpful, but more often than not, they provide comparable effectiveness with increased complexity.  You do not need that to get started. You can go into the woods tomorrow, and setup a good hide for cheap or free and hunt ducks.

You can save your money for other waterfowl hunting necessities like waders, call, decoys, ammo, shotguns, camo, boots, gloves, sleds, etc. Buying a blind is always something you can do later. But you do not need to do it to get started. In fact, many expert waterfowl hunters never do it all. They hunt every day of their season, year after year, following the simple strategies I detail in this podcast episode.

If you want to buy blinds, great, go for it. But you should also know these simple strategies to help you in uncommon hunting scenarios when purchased hunting blinds are not as effective or you just cannot get them to the spot you are hunting.

Listen to the whole episode to hear the details.

Every duck hunter makes mistakes, it is unavoidable. But there are some big terrible blunders that are easily avoidable with just a little bit of knowledge. On this episode I discuss three huge blunders and give you the simple insights needed to never make them yourself. 

The definition of a blunder is a stupid or careless mistake. You will not be able to avoid all mistakes, but you can avoid blunders. One of the best ways to learn is from the mistakes and blunders of others. Which is why I share some of the big blunders I’ve watched other duck hunters make. Some of them are a bit funny they are so bad. But each teaches us valuable lessons to become better duck hunters.

Listen to this full podcast episode to hear about the blunders and the lessons learned.