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Hunting in and around tidal water comes with an array of interesting opportunities, but there are also more challenges—and risks—involved, requiring detailed planning and expert hunting skills. How much of a role do tides play when planning your duck hunting expedition? Do ducks fly better when tides are incoming or outgoing, and does it really matter? Let’s take a closer look and find some answers.

Typically, there is no exact answer regarding hunting success at different tidal phases, as it depends on the hunter’s preferences, weather, surroundings, and other circumstances. There are hunters who prefer a rising tide for the following reason; many ducks feed in and around mud flats or low marsh areas during low tide, and by the time the tide comes in, the water gets too deep for them to feed. This forces them to head for tidal ponds or freshwater areas. Conversely, others choose to hunt at low tide, catching birds which are going to a feeding place.
To succeed in hunting in high and low tides, you should keep in mind several things.

  • First and foremost, analyze tide tables and learn how different winds and moon phases affect the tides in your area.
  • Determine which species you are most interested in, spot their preferences, and hunt accordingly. To kill a black duck, for example, going when the water is all the way out would be a smart move, as that’s when these ducks work the mud flats for snails and mussels. Typically, (but not always) during the incoming tide you should hunt puddlers, and when it’s an outgoing tide, hunt divers.

When it comes to duck hunting in low tides, here are the major tips:

  • Find a few productive spots on bays to hunt when the tide is incoming, then as the tide shifts, move to different spots. This will extend your shooting time by several hours.
  • Start hunting at low tide. Most birds prefer to feed in these conditions because they don’t have to dive as deep to find their food. Generally speaking, it’s easier to shoot a duck on a river when it’s low tide.
  • Use a kayak instead of a traditional boat.

Meanwhile, tips for duck hunting in high tides include the following:

  • Get prepared for high tides. The rising water changes the ducks’ environment and puts them on the move. Birds start flying when the tide begins to push up into the intertidal zone. It’s high time you caught them!
  • Use heavier weights in high tides to help anchor your boat, compared to when floating in still waters. A powerful running tide can easily sweep decoys away.

As you can see, it’s possible to hunt at both high and low tide, and the hunting tactics greatly vary, but you can use them both. Just for the record, it’s recommended to start hunting in deeper areas at low tide, and then moving to more comfortable areas as the tide changes. Makes sense, right?

No matter which tide you choose, there are still some steps you need to take before hunting. Let’s take a more detailed look.


Open Water Duck Hunting: Steps to Take Before Getting Started

  • Take a boating class and get a State Boater Education Card.
  • Spy on birds and try to determine their preferred habitats at both high and low tides. Unlike birds that thrive in still water, tidewater ducks are often on the move, because their preferred habitat either becomes too dry or too wet as the tides change.
  • Scout your hunting spot at low tide to determine the best place to anchor your boat. Use Duckr to save your locations, take notes and check the weather forecast beforehand.
  • Ensure you are not overloading your boat. Choppy water and too little freeboard is a recipe for your boat to be swamped or capsized.
  • Don’t forget to tell someone where you’re going and when you expect to return. In case of emergency, people will at least have an idea of where to start looking for you.


Final Thoughts

As to the question of whether it’s better to hunt at high or low tide, there is no definitive answer. It depends on numerous aspects, including a hunter’s preferences and the nearest surroundings. It’s still possible to be successful hunting during both high and low tides. The only thing required is careful preparation and good planning. Utilizing the aforementioned methods can really improve your chances. Good luck!

P.S. Flat water and stagnant decoys are likely to raise a red flag for ducks flying overhead and searching for a place to land, so ensure you keep some movement on the water by using jerk strings and/or other moving decoys.



Duck hunting success depends immensely on weather conditions. Novice hunters will be surprised to hear that a great combination when it comes to duck hunting is actually light rain and wind. Yes, ducks do fly in the rain and wind. Although it may seem strange, duck hunting in the wind, fog, and rain can be a good idea. How to succeed if you can barely see 20ft in front of you? Below, you will see a list of the top tips for duck hunting in the rain, provided by expert hunters who took the time to share their knowledge. We’ll get to them in a minute, but first, here are some basic duck hunting tips that every hunter should follow:

  1. Learn the weather patterns and how they affect bird behavior. Just for the record, in lousy conditions, ducks are likely to fly to an agreeable pond and hunker down.
  2. Invest in a well-camouflaged duck boat if you are going to hunt near the water.
  3. Have a good, solid plan for what to do if something goes wrong.
  4. Set a check-in time with a friend or family member. Don’t forget to inform your emergency contact person once you are back!
  5. Practice your calls on a regular basis.


Tips for Duck Hunting in the Wind and Rain

  • Learn more about the birds’ weather-driven migration and determine where the ducks may be flying when it’s raining. You can hardly expect a duck to fly somewhere over a big lake during the rain, but it is likely to fly around smaller bodies of water that have a good tree line blocking out at least some of the wind and rain. By the way, Duckr can tell you exactly what direction the wind is coming from so you can set up your blind correctly. Never again will you set up your blind facing the wrong way!
  • Check the weather forecast and remember that the rain is good for duck hunting, but not thunderstorms. If a big storm is expected, better to stay at home.
  • Invest in proper duck hunting gear to enjoy maximum, leak-proof protection. The absolutely must have gear for duck hunting in the rain includes the following: waterproof chest waders and a rain jacket, a fleece pullover, and a Duckr weatherproof ultra light packable down vest, along with gloves for cold rainy weather.
  • Remember that ducks almost always fly into the wind. So place yourself where you have a shot at birds flying up or down the river.
  • Penetrol your gun, if it is not polymerized.
  • Ensure you hunt from a ground blind where you can stay warm and dry.


Tips for Duck Hunting the Day after Rain

  • Determine the preferred stopping points for ducks and geese once it has stopped raining, and consider hunting there. On foggy days, even once the rain has stopped, ducks prefer to stay close to the water.
  • Avoid direct sunlight in the day as it makes you extremely visible. Don’t forget that even a perfectly camouflaged duck hunter can be easily revealed by the outline of shadows.
  • Monitor the behaviour of birds, be mobile and let’s not forget creative – if the weather pattern holds for several days, ducks will soon learn certain patterns that hunters use, and will avoid places areas where hunters have been known to hide.

Final Thoughts

Duck hunting and rain often go together. If you want to succeed in your hunting during this sometimes unpleasant weather, use the aforementioned tips. Remember that the more you know about ducks and their behavior, the better chances you have of bagging them.

P.S. Have some rainy day duck hunting tips that you think we’ve missed? Don’t keep them a secret, share them with us!

When they first get into duck hunting, a lot of new hunters make the mistake of thinking that ducks aren’t very smart. After all, they have tiny brains and they’re just not the most evolved species in the world, right? Well, veteran duck hunters know that ducks are actually a lot smarter and wilier than you might think. Something as simple as having too little movement in your decoy spread or going with cheap duck hunting gear that stands out too much from your surroundings can tip ducks off and keep them from flying into your shooting range.

All that said, some ducks really are just more challenging to hunt than others. So which ducks should you be going after as a beginner and which ones are going to give you more of a challenge to overcome as you get more experience with duck hunting?

Buffleheads (AKA Buffies)

When you ask duck hunters about the most difficult or frustrating ducks to shoot, you’ll get mixed reviews about buffleheads. They’re not the brightest ducks, and some hunters have a really easy time with them because they’re easier to lure in than some other species.

The problem with buffleheads, though, is that they’re small, fast, and really agile. Missing an “easy” shot on one of these birds is really common, and really frustrating.

Greenwings and Bluewings

While they’re a bit larger than buffies, bluewings and greenwings can both present some serious frustrations to duck hunters. They’re really fast and very agile, and they’re known for buzzing right over your blind from behind and then turning and twisting in different directions, giving you basically no shot at all.


Then there are ringbills, which are possibly the most frustrating ducks to hunt out there. They’re smaller, like buffies, and they’re fast and twisty like bluewings and greenwings. If you spend enough time duck hunting, you’ll see these birds dive in and out of your spreads so fast you almost question whether they were ever there in the first place or if they might actually be rocket-powered.

Getting Better at Hunting Any Kind of Duck

Whatever kind of ducks you’re hunting, you can get better at making the shot by practicing shooting clays at an outdoor range during the off-season. This will improve your trigger speed and will help you see your sights faster so that you can make every shot count. You can also practice leading the duck the right way. For example, if a duck is flying toward you or across your shooting range, aim just in front of its beak. If it’s landing, aim just below and in front of its legs. Don’t lead the duck too much or you’ll miss and spook it, but don’t aim directly at it, as you’ll need to account for the duck’s movement between when you see your sights, when you press the trigger, and when the shot hits it.


Keep these things in mind for your next duck hunt and see which ducks are more or less challenging for you.


Before you head out to the great outdoors for a hunting trip, it’s important to have a good, solid plan for what to do if something goes wrong. While the chances of getting lost or hurt are minimal if you follow all of the proper safety protocols for hunting, the unexpected can still happen. That’s why every good duck hunter has a plan of action for any kind of emergency that could happen during a hunting trip.

Set a Check-In Time

Especially if you’re going duck hunting alone, but even if you’re with a buddy, it’s a good idea to set a check-in time with a friend or family member. Basically, you’re going to be out in the woods for several hours at least each day that you’re on your hunting trip, and you may not be able to call to check in while you’re in your blind, calling for ducks. However, you can set a time when you know that you’ll be back to your vehicle and able to call.

If you know that you’re going to be done with your duck hunt and back to your truck no later than 7:00 PM, make that your check-in time. Call your emergency contact person by then, and they’ll know that if you don’t get in touch that it’s time to start calling the proper authorities to start searching for you.

Take Care of Immediate First Aid Needs

If you’re hurt, you’ll need to do whatever you can to take care of your immediate first aid needs. This means taking a first aid kit with you, complete with extra bandages, a means to clean wounds, disinfectants, and a tourniquet if you’re bleeding badly. Also, we recommend taking a class on administering emergency first aid, as well as how to use a tourniquet. One of these could save your life, but it can be dangerous to use if you aren’t careful.

Stay Where You Are

If you’re lost, don’t wander around trying to find your bearings. If you’ve set a check-in time and failed to check in, then you can be sure that searchers are out looking for you. You don’t want to wander away from them by accident.

On that note, though, a lot of hunters are downloading duck hunting apps like Duckr to avoid getting lost, especially in the dark. Duckr IOS lets you set digital breadcrumbs so that you can find your blind, get back to your vehicle, and avoid getting lost, even when it’s pitch black outside.

Send an SOS

Of course, in an emergency, you might not have time to wait for someone to come looking for you after they’ve realized that you didn’t check in on time. In these cases, you can call on Duckr’s SOS, as well. The duck hunting app has an SOS feature that will let authorities know that you’re in trouble and need a rescue.

With a solid plan and some help from your duck hunting app, you can get help in even the worst scenarios on a duck hunt. Make your plan and download Duckr Android today to stay safe on your next duck hunt.


On this Veterans Day we would like to thank our friends and family members who have served this great country and Happy Veterans day to those who are currently serving.

As helpful as tips and techniques can be when it comes to duck hunting, sometimes you need something more inspirational than informational. After all, as a duck hunter, you’re going to spend a lot of time out in the cold, and the weather won’t always be sunny. Hunting ducks involves early mornings that start long before the crack of dawn, and some days you come back with no ducks at all to show for your trouble. On those days, it helps to remember a few successful hunting stories so that you can remember the good days and your own successful hunts.

Along those lines, a small group of goose and duck hunters in Maryland have formed one of the most inspiring organizations we can think of – Hunters Helping Heroes. This group is dedicated to helping servicemen and women who’ve given years of their lives to defending our freedom by taking them on group hunts to show gratitude and give them a fun and rewarding experience.

A Veterans’ Duck Hunt

Hunters Helping Heroes recently put together a three-day hunting trip for two veterans, Jamie and Dan. With some guidance, in the morning, the vets took a boat trip to their first blind, where they got two mallards, though the rest of the first day was a wash. The second day, though, at a different site – a private farm – Jamie and Dan had a much better day, bagging two buffleheads, three green wing teal, and one ruddy duck. Then, on the third day, they went goose hunting and got a total of nine geese between them.

While Jamie and Dan have both served time in the military together fighting for our freedom, neither one of them had much experience at all with duck hunting. Just a bit of guidance and the right location gave them the opportunity to have an incredibly successful trip.

Inspiring Stories and New Adventures All Over the US

Duck hunting is an interesting sport that requires patience and a lot of skill, but it’s also a great way to build camaraderie and to really relax, especially for people whose jobs are as demanding and stressful as those who’ve served in any branch of the US military.

To us, the best part about the work that this group does is that they give vets a chance to do some serious duck hunting anywhere in the US. They have members working in New Jersey, South Dakota, Oklahoma, North Carolina, and all across the country. And, like they did with Jamie and Dan, they work to take veterans on multi-day trips with different blinds to pack the most fun into every trip.

So next time you’re feeling a little rundown lying in your blind, think about the wide community of duck hunters in your area and around the country who are going on some great adventures together and doing good things for our servicemen and women. And while you’re thinking about it, check out your Duckr feed to see what other duck hunters near you are doing to pass the time, improve their hunts, and do more for their communities.

More Details are available at http://huntershelpingheroes.org/

If you’re new to duck hunting, you might not know about one of the more popular pieces of duck hunting gear out there – the Mojo Duck. While there are a number of brands of this kind of decoy – and we’re not pushing any one brand over another – most duck hunters have adopted the term “mojo” to refer to just about any motion decoy.

So what is a mojo? Basically, it’s a decoy that doesn’t float in the water like the others. Instead, it’s staked on a pole so that it’ll sit in the air above the water. At the same time, its battery-operated wings will spin, flap, or flutter to look like a duck that’s just coming in for a landing in your spread. The idea is that ducks flying over, attracted by your call, will see more than just a “dead”, motionless spread with no movement. They’ll see a duck landing in the spread, and they’ll be more likely to see it as a safe place to come in for a landing.

Do Mojos Work?

If you stand around looking at a spread with a mojo hovering above it, you might be tempted to say, “That doesn’t look real,” and completely dismiss the idea of adding a mojo to your spread. However, a lot of duck hunters have found that mojos really do improve the chances of ducks landing in their spreads.

Think of it like this – a duck won’t have the same perspective you do. It’s not standing off to the side, watching some alien duck hovering over the water. As it flies over, it’ll catch motion in its periphery as it hears duck calls and sees a group of ducks in an inviting formation in the water. It won’t “think” a lot about landing – it’ll just come in to land. By the time it sees anything amiss, if it ever does, you’re ready to take the shot.

Where Should You Place Your Mojo?

So where do you put a mojo to get ducks to fly in for a landing? Basically, while the motion of the mojo will attract ducks, those ducks won’t want to land right on top of another duck that’s coming in for a landing. Place your mojo a bit off to the side, near your other decoys but not directly in line with them, and at a place where you’ll have the duck in your sights.

Essentially, the duck coming in for a landing will slow and may even stop as it approaches the mojo, so you want it to be in a place where you’re most likely to make the shot. So, if you have a J-hook spread, place your mojo near the cluster of ducks at the end of your shooting range, but not all the way to them. Or, if you have a V-funnel, place it toward the narrow end of the “V”.

Experiment with placement around these areas and see what a mojo can do for you on your next duck hunt.

While duck hunting season may only be open a few months out of the year, seasoned duck hunters and duck hunting enthusiasts know that there’s a lot that you can do throughout the year to get ready for duck season. In fact, if you want to be a better duck hunter this year, there are a few things that you could be doing right now to have much better hunting days and an all-around better season.

Practice Your Calls

Keep your calls handy throughout the off-season. Spend some time watching videos and listening to recordings of the ducks that you’re most likely to see in your area, and practice mimicking them. You don’t want to get out there on the first day of duck hunting season just to find that you’re completely rusty at calling and that you’re not fooling any of the ducks flying over you.

In addition to practicing on your own, go to your local hunting and fishing store or check online to see if there are any calling seminars or workshops happening near you throughout the year. You never know what you might learn.

Spend Some Time at the Range

The more you practice shooting, the more comfortable you’ll be with your shotgun. If you think that getting to your blind on the first day of duck hunting season and having a bad call is bad, try getting there and being completely cold and rusty with your shotgun.

Plus, if you practice regularly, you’ll know if your gun has any issues before you pack it up with your duck hunting gear for your first hunt of the season. This will give you plenty of time to find a gunsmith and have your shotgun repaired or upgraded to work the way you want it to. And you’ll find, after a few months of regular shooting, that you’re much faster on the trigger, and you’ll miss much fewer birds coming into your spread.

Spend Time Training Your Retriever

Practicing your calls and your shooting skills will help you keep your duck hunting game on point, but you’re not the only one who needs to practice. Your retriever needs to spend time in the water, and it needs to stay in shape and focused throughout the year. Otherwise, all that training you did to get your dog in shape last season will go completely out the window and you’ll be back at square one with a dog that isn’t ready to hunt.

Do these three things – starting right now – and practice them throughout the off-season, and your duck hunting will improve immensely. The guys you shot with last year won’t believe how much better you’ve gotten, even if you’re still using a bunch of cheap duck hunting gear and you haven’t made any upgrades to your blind. Of course, upgrading your duck gear can help, too, but practicing your hunting skills will help a lot more. Have fun, and good luck!

There are so many options when it comes to shotguns for duck hunting. Sometimes you end up buying the wrong type of gun for your purpose. It is because of this confusion that I am writing this article. Read it carefully because I have researched hundreds of guns and found the most efficient guns out there for waterfowl, specifically ducks.

Benelli Super Black Eagle II

Wow! This shotgun is considered the elite of semi-automatic guns with its 3 ½ inch barrel. It can load nearly all standard 2 ¾-inch 12-gauge loads as well as 3 and 3 ½-inch magnums. The beautiful chrome-lined barrels have been tested over and over to perfect its pressure. Its Inertia-Driven system is the finest and has become the top-choice for all present day duck hunters. It is made with the innovative recoil system that transformed firearms machinery. It is definitely worth its high price.

Franchi Intensity

The Intensity is also power-driven by parent company Benelli’s upheld Inertia Driven system. It is a champion choice because of its light-weight design. Great for hiking to spots. It unfailingly cycles a much broader selection of loads than it was ever intended to. It’s a 3 ½-inch 12-gauge super magnum driving force that is guaranteed to charm many waterfowlers.

Beretta A400 Xtreme and A300

A shotgun like the A400 is blessing in the marsh. It is a reliable shooter of each and every type of 12-gauge shells, has the ability for firing multiple shots in less than a minute, and is so comfortable because of its soft-coil that your shoulder is left untouched even after a grueling hunting session. Enhancing that with the best protection from corrosion makes this one only for big-time hunters. On a lesser, but also reliable scale, is the A300. We lose the AquaTech coating and the one-piece assembly, but we also decrease in price about a thousand times.

Benelli M2

Its lightweight slim design makes the M2 a perfect choice for women and children. Don’t be fooled, though, it is built with the equivalent performance-driven power as the Performance Shop’s Super Black Eagle II Waterfowl Edition 12-gauge making it the most competitive gun with a flawless execution. Its mighty-dependable Inertia Driven operating system has been worked to warrant that the bolt runs super smoothly. It’s the ultimate choice for the smaller hands.

Browning Maxus and A5

What can be said about an already ultra-reliable and efficient gun for duck hunting? The Browning Maxus is considered the most reliable gun out there. It’s a 3 ½-inch gas-operated semi-automatic that fires a perfect shot every time. This piece is built using the Invector-plus choke system and a longer forcing cone and back-barrel which diminishes shot deformation. The A5 semi-automatic shotgun tends to look like older versions but has been modernized to be perform as a trustworthy and fast-cycling multipurpose shotgun perfect for duck hunting. What duck hunter could resist the Inflex II Technology recoil pad which allows for demanding sessions and effective results? None.

We always would recommend you try each one of these guns if possible it’s the only way to know what will work best for you and make you the most comfortable when shooting.  Comment below to share your with other Duck Hunters.

Once they’re properly trained, Labrador retrievers are amazing duck hunting dogs. In fact, with a little bit of consistency and a controlled environment in training, these dogs are so smart and such a good fit for hunting ducks that they practically train themselves. If you’ve been having trouble with training your retriever, you might be making one or more of these extremely common mistakes.

Raising the Dog in a Pen Outside

In years gone by, hunting dogs were raised outside in pens, and they grew up to be perfectly socialized and to have the kinds of relationships with people that they needed to get the right communication cues and to be good duck hunt companions. Today, that’s not really the case.

Why? Well, in the old days, your kids would’ve been spending just as much time outside as in (and usually more time out). They would’ve been in the pen with the pup from an early age, and they would’ve played a huge part in socializing your dog to be a good companion when you go hunting ducks.

Today, most kids spend most of their time inside watching TV and playing video games. So, if you want a well socialized hunting dog, you should probably keep it inside with you, your family, and your kids to forge that bond.

Repeating Commands to Get a Better Reaction

In your mind, you repeat commands to strengthen your dog’s association with the command. You repeat, “Sit!” thinking that your dog will learn the command faster and get it ingrained in his brain. However, saying, “Sit! Sit! Sit!” can actually be confusing to your dog. He thinks that your repeated command is the command, and he won’t know what a single “Sit!” means. It takes some patience, but try not to repeat commands to get a better reaction.

Yelling or Pleading When the Dog Doesn’t Respond

If your dog doesn’t follow your command, you might be tempted to yell the command, to plead with the dog, or to otherwise change your tone. Don’t do it. The dog didn’t disobey you because he didn’t hear you – he heard you just fine. Consistent tone will help a great deal more with training than yelling or getting frustrated and pleading.

Too Many Retrieves

This is another one that sounds counterintuitive, especially to duck hunters who want to make sure that their retrievers really know how to retrieve. However, overtraining your dog’s retrieval skills with multiple, uncontrolled retrieves is a good way to wear the dog out and push him to his physical limits. Trust that your dog was born with retrieval instincts (that’s why they’re called retrievers), and work on other parts of his training more than his retrieving.

So, are you making any of these four mistakes with your Labrador retriever? If you want a great duck hunting dog, remember that human contact and consistency in training are important. And you don’t have to spend hours training him on retrieves. Avoid these mistakes, and you’ll have a great duck hunt dog in no time. Good luck!

Those of us who have lived within families of generational duck hunters know that there is always something to learn when going duck hunting. But others who have never stepped into a marsh need to read this. It will make your hunt a much more pleasant experience. And it is already a fantastic sport!
When you are on a hunt, you know it’s going to be foul and dirty, but in a good way. Leave your shoes behind. When you’re out there crawling, act like a duck hunter because if you have shoes on you are going to make things messier. Those who hunt ducks come from all different professions. But when you are all together the only thing that matters is what’s flying high.As funny as it may seem, duck hunting is a sport made up of people who are terrible at judging distance. When you are told that you are not far, prepare yourself mentally to go very far. Or it could be right up ahead, but be weary, it might not. Do not get frustrated; you have already been warned.The music you hear when hunting has been refined and practiced for generations. Before you make that duck call, be certain (if you are around old-timers) that you can and you know how. If not, chaos may follow. It’s better to listen than to talk. Reach out to those who know better and accept it. You, too, will be an old-timer with years of practice who will know the art of luring ducks to the decoys.The host shoots first. It is set in stone. If the host gives the okay, then you let it loose. The thrill of any hunt is shooting, but it’s like having a conversation. Listen first, learn, and finally act. And don’t ever criticize a hosts shooting. Enemies can’t be acquired faster!

The memories made on the marsh are just that; stories that will be told over and over. Do not try and tell a better story. It’s just not done. The feeling when out there with other hunters is that of a respectful family. Respect and family.Do not bring your dog if it is not invited. Again, it’s just not done. You can ask if you can bring it, but remember the host has his own dog which, even if a mutt, is the best dog to do the job. Yours just might get in the way and ruin your purpose. Cards must always be put on the table before the hunt.

Lastly, a duck hunt might not go as expected. Actually not going as expected is expected. So many things could go wrong: unpleasant weather, lots of falling in cold muddy water, shots intended for ducks that never reached them as well as countless of other scenarios. Duck hunting is made up of all of these and many more. A great sport it is!

And, always remember, that getting dirty is part of the fun. Whether it’s a wet dog shaking itself near you or just a muddy and cold scenario, it’s a piece of the duck hunting puzzle.