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: NHG2310

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: NHG2310

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. 

No matter how well we shoot and how good our ammo, there will still be wounded and crippled ducks that need humanely and quickly put down. This is not a fun subject, but it is something all duck hunters need to be aware of. On this episode I talk about various scenarios of wounded ducks and give three different techniques to quickly dispatch them with minimal suffering.

Shotgun patterns are imperfect and are not capable of instantly killing a duck every time, even at reasonable ranges. Compound this with the fact that hunters are not perfect shots, and you will unfortunately have to deal with wounded ducks on a semi regular basis. This can be minimized with practice, more experience judging distance, and high-quality ammunition. But it will still happen from time to time. So, you must be equipped and prepared to deal with it under field conditions.

Wounded ducks may have varying degrees of mobility. They may be able to swim at full speed, above or below water, they may be able to walk or even run on land. They may be able to partially fly, they may even be stunned and able to full fly once they shake it off. To dispatch a wounded duck, you may very well have to catch it first. This is easiest if you have a hunting dog. If not, you will want to be very mobile and able to give chase readily. 

One of the biggest lessons I have learned when hunting without a dog is to never take my eyes off a downed bird until I have it in hand. Always recover and deal with downed birds immediately. Never wait. You do not know if a bird is dead or not until you recover it. I have had birds belly up on the water that looked as dead as dead can be and 5 minutes later wake up and try to escape. Get your birds and confirm they are dead.

Do not hesitate to take a follow-up shot if a bird falls to the water but is still mobile. Every second will put the duck further away from you and further from ideal range. The longer you wait, the lower the chances will be of you recovering the bird. This often leads to the bird suffering worse and much longer. We need to avoid this as much as possible. 

One you have a crippled bird in hand, there are numerous methods for dispatching the duck. In summary they include:

  1. Swatting Loads
  2. Cervical Dislocation.
  3. A Pithing Tool

Listen to this podcast episode to hear the specifics about those techniques and methods to find the one that works best for you.

Here is the visual guide for how to humanely dispatch a downed duck that I mentioned in the episode as well. These are some of the most important skills a waterfowl hunter can take into the field, because treating game with respect and preventing suffering is of the upmost importance.

Always work to judge distance well, to take ethical shots, to pattern test your shotgun, ammo, and choke tube combo, and do not push your limits. The fewer ducks that are crippled the better. but when a bird is wounded you must deal with it quickly. I wish I would have been able to listen to this podcast episode before I started waterfowl hunting. I ran into this issue firsthand and did not know the ideal ways to deal with it, that was not fun. Hopefully you will be better prepared than I was. 


Duck decoys range from $40 to $400 a dozen, and beyond. Are the fancy duck decoys better? If so, by how much? On this episode I talk about the differences between cheap and expensive duck hunting decoys to help you understand how to weigh the pros and cons of each to make informed decisions. 

Keep in mind, for generations hunters carved crude decoys from wood, used painted milk jugs, and improvised their own decoys out of whatever rudimentary materials that could find or create that would float for awhile. And these decoys worked reasonably well. Even the cheapest decoys on the market today are drastically better than what most hunters used throughout waterfowl hunting history. We are a little bit spoiled today with the caliber of simple and low-cost options available. So, are expensive decoys really that much better?

There are three main areas that expensive decoys give you advantages over cheaper decoys. They are detail, durability, and technology.

  1. Detail refers to both the paint job and the life like diversity of different duck positions. Cheaper decoys often all look identical while more expensive ones have a variety of posses that make them appear more lifelike.
  2. Durability is a factor of two different areas. One is making the decoys sink resistant and the other is the durability of the paint and finish. Only one of these is a legitimate point to consider when it comes to cheap vs. expensive decoys.
  3. Technology is a bit more complex. Because ducks can see certain colors and spectrums that people cannot, some decoys are designed to be more visible to ducks in low light but people cannot see those differences with our eyes. Expensive decoys sometimes come setup with this technology.

The big question is how much difference can expensive decoys make in these areas to be worth their price tag? Are $400 decoys really 10x better than $40 decoys? The simple answer is no, of course not. The more you pay, the less you get. It is a system of diminishing returns. However, if you pay more, you do get more. You just do not get a lot more. So the hunter able to pay large sums of money for the best decoys does get better decoys but they are only a little bit better. 

So, is it worth it? Only you can decide that. You need to listen to this entire podcast episode to get all of the information you need to judge the pros and cons of expensive decoys and decide which decoys are best for you to use.

Do you want to take more game home? On this episode I am going to cover the single most important thing you can do to improve your hunting success rate. In short, I am talking about practice, specifically sporting clays practice, thought trap shooting and skeet can be helpful as well. This is mainly for shotgun hunters but there is also some application for rifle hunters as well. No gear you can buy will help you more than realistic practice. Skills will always trump equipment. 

In my experience, the average wing shooter takes home about 30% of the birds they shoot at. Some are better, some are worse. A better shotgun will not do much to improve this. Better ammo will only do so much. Better base layers, camouflage, gloves, calls, etc, will do almost nothing to help this average. The single biggest thing that will help is practice. And that just so happens to be the single most overlooked thing that hunters do and spend money on…

If you want to take more game, you need to practice more. That involves trap shooting, skeet shooting, and most importantly sporting clays shooting. All center around shooting at a clay disc out of the air, often referred to as a clay pigeon. These clay targets can be easily purchased at many big box stores for somewhere around $10 per 100. 

  • Trap Shooting involves clay targets that are launched away from the shooter at various angles to simulate a bird flushing and flying away. It gets its name from historical practice that was once done when the shooter would call “pull” and someone would pull the pin holding the trap door shut on a cage and thus allowing real birds to flush away from the cage as target practice.
  • Skeet Shooting essentially involves firing at clay targets passing or crossing in front of the shooter, similar to real birds passing by or being flushed by a dog or another party. The name “skeet” is believed to come from the Norwegian word “skyte” which means “shoot.”
  • Sporting Clays has some similarities to golf as it is a multi-position or hole course. No two courses are identical and often contain 20 positions with a total of 100 clay targets on a full course. Each position features multiple clays launched from various angles, and directions, all unique, simulating a wide range of real-world hunting situations from ducks to pheasants, grouse, doves, and many more.

Each sport is great fun and has great value. But I do believe that sporting clays provides the best hunting practice out there. And the variety of courses adds great realism and infinite shooting possibilities to simulate real hunting conditions.

Typically sporting clays courses cost between $40-$75 for a full 20 position course with 100 clay targets, plus the cost of ammunition. So realistically, you are looking at around $100 per outing. This is not cheap, but neither are the many highly marketed products that hunters pour money into every year for minimal benefit. 

I would recommend you toss $10 a paycheck into your sporting clays jar and go practice 2-3 times a year to start. The skills you gain will be valuable for a lifetime, and even if they dull some over time, picking it back up is a lot like riding a bicycle. This will do more to improve your percentage of shots fired to birds taken home than anything else you can spend money on. 

Get out there and get some practice. Listen to the full podcast episode for more!

Hunting in the winter is not just difficult, it is dangerous. Things that were an inconvenience in the early season can be life threatening in the cold. On this episode I talk about the most common things that threaten the safety of waterfowl hunters and what you can do to avoid those dangers and live to hunt another day.  

As mentioned in the episode here is the review video for the First Lite Furnace 350 Merino Base Layers.

And here are all of the podcast episodes on Duck Hunting.

The most dangerous things in waterfowl hunting are the water and the cold. And of course, cold water. Firearms are not even close to the chief danger.  If you want to stay alive you need to learn how to use more caution navigating boats, retrieving birds with waders, and anything that brings you close to the water.

The gear you wear in the late season also makes a big difference. Hunting ducks and geese will cause you to get wet, you are around water constantly and sweating almost as often. Moisture plus cold creates big opportunities for hypothermia and worse. Having the right gear for the weather can make a big difference. However, none of it matters if you make even larger mistakes.

Listen to the episode to hear about the tactics and gear that can keep you safe and comfortable in some of the harshest conditions out there.