Plan A doesn’t always work out when you are duck hunting, so what do you do when your first approach fails? On this episode I talk about 3 different duck hunting strategies that I employed all in the same day, each one yielding ducks. 

This is a special episode following a really special hunt that yielded a lot of great illustration points to help you hunt ducks different ways in different places.

Show Notes:

One of the best things about ducks is how easy they are to process. If you were just out duck hunting and brought some birds home, this is the episode for you! I talk about how to dress, clean, and cook ducks, and give multiple approaches for each step of the process.

When it comes to ducks, they can be cleaned like just about any game bird, the videos below will give you some insight into the nuance of the steps and help you with techniques that involve both plucking and not plucking the feathers.

Also remember, wild ducks are not store bought chickens, you didn’t get them the same way, don’t try to cook them the same way. Ducks require their own set of cooking methods, more about that is discussed in the episode.

Show Notes:

Up until recently every hunter using a firearm had to make a decision with every hunt. Do they protect their future or relish the present? Tetra Hearing has changed the game for all hunters when it comes to saving their hearing and enjoying every precious sound of every hunt and game species. Whether you are hunting ducks, geese, turkeys, deer, pheasants, grouse, crows, doves, elk, or anything else the Tetra AlphaShield & Multi-Pursuit hearing devices can not only save your hearing but help you hear better and hunt better.  I make no commissions on this product and there are no affiliate links. These are my own opinions and this my very own detailed and passionate review.  This may be the most important podcast episode I have ever done. Please listen to this episode.

Pros:

  • Allows you to hear everything around you with crisp clarity.
  • Audio quality is exceptional, no static, hum, ambient sounds, distractions, etc.
  • Can be custom tuned to your actual personal hearing levels for each ear.
  • Instantly blocks out the sound of gun fire and loud calling to protect your hearing.
    • These are designed to both stop the incremental hearing loss that comes from infrequent shooting with the average deer and turkey seasons as well as stop the accelerated hearing loss caused by high volume shooting seen in hunting waterfowl, pheasants, doves, crows, etc. 
  • Utilizes advanced audio processing technology to filter out various sounds you do not want to hear but more clearly capture subtle sounds you do want to hear.
  • Filters out the majority of wind noise.
  • Amplifies the unique sounds of the game animals you are hunting like turkey gobbles and yelps, duck quacks and wing beats, deer grunts and footfalls, pheasants flushing, and much more. 
  • Far better than anything I’ve seen on the market. In my mind they have no competitors, no one else offering similar products is even in their league. 
  • Fits snugly in your ear and will not fall out.
  • Works great while wearing a hat, beanie, whole head facemask, camo head shroud, etc.
  • Can be put on in seconds.
  • Reduces flinching causes by loud muzzle blast and may help some hunters shoot more accurately.
  • Uses long lasting disposable hearing aid batteries you can easily and inexpensively get in bulk.
  • Super simple to use, there is almost no way to do it wrong. Before long you can easily put them on in the dark without effort or thought.
  • Is sensitive enough to pick up the faintest whisper and the wing beats of ducks but instantly blocks out the roar of magnum shotgun shells.
  • Can be programmed for the game animals that you personally hunt.
  • Improves your hearing so well that even archery hunters may want to use them to hear game more clearly from further away.
  • Designed by ear doctors and hunters, does its job with outstanding excellence. 
    • It is as if they thought of every intricate detail but put it in a package with unexplainable simplicity. 
  • Utilizes high grade hearing aid technology meant to be used constantly, reliably, and without down time. 
  • Comes with 6 different size tips to accommodate different ear sizes.
  • Tetra has confirmed that people with Health Saving Accounts (HSA) can use those funds towards purchasing their products.

Cons:

  • They fit too tightly for my small ears at first. They felt acceptably snug after a few outings. But after a few half day hunts they fit comfortably enough that I would forget I was wearing them. I’d rather them fit perfectly from day one, but this is still preferred over being too loose.
    • Some people with small ears may not wear them enough to find out that their ears will adapt to them and they become comfortable over time.
  • Sounds weird indoors and around town. But they are meant to be used in the field and they do thrive in their intended environment.
  • The battery door feels a little delicate when open. Should be fine, but be careful to take it is easy when changing batteries. 
  • Price. No two ways about it, they are expensive. Costing as much as a firearm makes them a significant purchase. A very well worth it purchase, but not something most people can casually buy without saving up. 
    • They do go on sale occasionally. And Tetra has said they are working on sourcing more cost effective components to lower the prices.

Final Analysis: Every hunter using a firearm should get these, especially those hunting game requiring regular and frequent shooting like waterfowl, pheasants, doves, etc. If you are a new hunter it would be better to hunt another season or two with a less than thrilling firearm and buy these before upgrading your gun. Everyone should put these on their vision list and prioritize them as they are financially able. 

Learn more at www.TetraHearing.com

Show Notes:

A boat provides more than another tool, it enables you to hunt in new ways. On this episode I talk about core strategies to hunt ducks from a boat, kayak, or canoe.

Take Aways:

  • Small boats can be often be borrowed or purchased used inexpensively.
  • Boats enable you to not just reach places you could not access otherwise but they open up new hunting techniques.
  • Always be mindful of safety and what is beyond the water when hunting from a boat.
  • Make sure you have a plan to get back upstream when hunting moving water.
  • Always check your local laws for water and boat hunting.
  • Stealth is always important, even when hunting from boat.
  • Take appropriate safety measures like a life vest, they do make camo ones.
  • Listen to the episode to hear how to effectively hunt ducks from a boat.

Show Notes:

You can absolutely hunt ducks without much money or gear and be effective at it too. On this episode I talk about jump hunting, the easiest way to get started chasing ducks!

Take Aways

  • Jump hunting works best in the middle of the day when ducks are loafing or resting on/near the water. 
  • This works great because you do not need to wake up early or stay out late to hunt them.
  • The biggest factors here are stealth and strategy instead.
  • You do not need decoys, calls, a blind, or most duck hunting gear.
  • This is a great entry point for beginners as well as a great mid day hunting strategy.
  • The more you walk the more opportunities you are likely to find.
  • Always have a plan in mind to retrieve birds you shoot.
  • Pass shooting goes hand in hand with jump shooting.
  • Listen to the episode to hear the strategies for hunting ducks on foot. 

Show Notes:

Hunting ducks from a blind is likely the easiest and most popular way to start waterfowl hunting. It can also be very cheap. On this episode I talk about practical strategy for building a duck blind and hunting from one.

Take Aways

  • Using a blind makes duck hunting a team sport, you can not only have more fun together, you can be more successful together.
  • Finding the right place for a blind is a critical first step that is easy to overlook, especially in the dark.
  • Be mindful of concealment from the water, concealment from the air, and not being too close to the water’s edge.
  • The most effective blind is the one that looks natural, like it was always there.
  • Store bought blinds can be easier to use but are seldom better than what you can build using local materials.
  • You can build great blinds for $0. And with a few dollars you can get some simple materials to help.
  • Layout blinds can be great options for some situations but they require an additional skill set and safety training to use well. New hunters are better off building a blind for free and investing their funds in other gear to get started.
  • Listen to the episode to hear about the strategies for building and hunting from a blind.

Show Notes:

Weather effects almost all types of hunting and ducks are no exception. Some conditions help duck hunting and some make it harder. On this episode I simplify things for the new hunter so you can make better decisions based on the forecast. 

Take Aways

  • There is no one sized fits all weather model for duck hunting. It is not as simple as some make it sound.
  • Weather effects waterfowl habits differently in different regions, areas, and habitats. It may even effect different water in the same county differently. 
  • Do not rely on weather recommendations from people who hunt ducks 1,000 miles from you on different flyways at different latitudes. Their advice may be good where they live, but it may not translate where you live.
  • Birds are going to fly, and eat, and rest on just about every day no matter the weather. You can take ducks in just about all weather conditions. 
  • The rule of thumb is this, if you have the gear to hunt comfortably in the current conditions then get out there and see how those conditions effect ducks where you hunt,
  • Listen to the episode to hear specific recommendations for different types of weather.

Show Notes:

It is easy to think you need a dog to hunt ducks, but those thoughts are only propagated by people who rely on dogs. Not only can you hunt ducks without a dog, you can sometimes be more effective without one. On this episode I talk about the advantages and disadvantages of hunting with a dog and how you can be effective without one.

What dogs can do:

  • Retrieve your birds so you don’t have to get up, keeping you comfortable.
  • Potentially retrieve the birds faster than you could have, resulting in less down time.
  • Retrieve ducks from deep water, which is very handy.
  • More effectively retrieve crippled birds, so fewer get away.

What dogs do not do:

  • Help you call in and shoot ducks. In fact they do nothing to help you take game.
  • Make it easier to hide. They can add movement and noise which are potential liabilities.
  • Anything you cannot do, without the right equipment. You can accomplish the same tasks when prepared.

Listen to the episode to hear about how to hunt waterfowl without a dog.

Show Notes:

Duck hunting can be gear intensive, so to say one piece of gear is the most important is a big claim. But nothing is more important than safety and if something can keep you safe and help you hunt more effectively, it tops the charts.  On this episode I talk with Bill Dickinson, a life-long duck hunter, doctor, and co-founder of an amazing outdoor company that is changing lives and the culture of waterfowl hunting.

Take Aways

  • Until recently there has been no great way to hunt ducks and protect your hearing. Ear plugs ruined the hunt and electronic ear plugs only sort of ruined the hunt while often creating other issues.
  • Hearing loss is cumulative over time. Every shot taken potentially harms your hearing some, for other it causes more harm.
    • Research shows that some people’s hearing can take more of a beating while other people lose their hearing faster. But sometimes even those with robust hearing are unexpectedly just one gunshot away from partial deafness
  • Bill, who is a doctor of audiology, co-founded a company called Tetra Hearing with the express goal of not just protecting people’s hearing, not just preserving the experience and sounds of the hunt, but also enhancing your ability to hunt better.
  • Every device is tuned to match your personal hearing levels and ranges.
  • For those with perfect hearing, Bill’s product enables you to hear like normal while magnifying the sounds that ducks make so you can hear them from even further away.
    • As soon as you pull the trigger a sensor causes the device to go from amplification to suppression, blocking out the sound of the gunshot like traditional ear plugs.
  • For those with poor hearing, Tetra’s product acts as a hearing aid, amplifying the sounds of the woods to match your hearing level and augmenting the unique sounds that ducks make.
    • And again, as soon as you take a shot, it provides instant hearing protection.
  • Always wear hearing protection of some kind, if at all possible. ESSPECIALLY when you may be taking multiple shots or hunting with others who may be shooting too.

You can learn more about Bill’s work and company by visiting TetraHearing.com and you can take a free hearing test to help assess your current condition. 

(Disclaimer, there are no affiliate links, no commissions or kick backs, I do not make a dollar if you purchase anything. I genuinely and strongly believe in the work Bill is doing)

Show Notes:

Waders are an essential tool for duck hunting. Being able to retrieve ducks and decoys from the water while staying dry is one of the most unique parts of the sport. On this episode I help sort through all the different types of waders, the pros and cons of each, and the different levels of quality so you can make informed decisions based on your style and budget.

I classify waders under four main categories:

  1. Hip Waders – These are usually vinyl or another uninsulated material that at best come up to your hip and enable you to hunt in very shallow water.
  2. Cheap Waders – All chest waders in the $30-$70 range, or so. These are often uninsulated, uncomfortable on he feet, rarely last more than a few hunts, and can be a struggle to keep watertight. But there is a time and place where they could be the right choice for some. 
  3. Breathable Waders – These waders are usually made of nylon, Gore-Tex, or some polyester that has a waterproof membrane but still allows perspiration to evaporate out of them. They are light weight, very flexible, and usually uninsulated. 
  4. Neoprene Waders – These are usually the thickest, bulkiest, warmest, and most durable waders. They are perfect for winter and situations with very cold water or when you will spend a lot of time in the water.

What makes quality waders goes far beyond these categories and materials, listen to episode to hear about this in detail, as well as the pros and cons for each type and when they might be a good fit for you.

Here is the link to High & Dry Waders that I referenced in the episode.