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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.
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.
Hunting with a companion brings not only fun, but a second pair of eyes – bettering your chances of capturing birds and remaining safe on your hunt. With a larger amount of ducks, the greater the opportunity; but safety still remains one of the major hunting concerns. Any picture-perfect hunt can become a nightmare if safety isn’t properly observed by both you and your companion. Knowing the main safety tips are crucial.
Duck Hunting in a Boat: Major Safety Tips
If you are hunting from a boat, you have to remember that you are responsible for obeying all boating laws and should follow all guidelines. Let’s examine the most prominent of them now.
Ensure you are not overloading your vessel. Know its limits and make sure it can safely transport you, your hunting companion(s), your gear and your dog.
Evenly distribute weight inside your vessel. Don’t forget to be careful as you load up or move around. Typically, hunting boats are flat-bottomed, so they are likely to tip over if care isn’t taken.
Always wear a life jacket, and ensure that your mate wears one as well. Placing one on your dog might be a good idea too, as cold water can cause its muscles to cramp if it goes for a swim.
Dress according to the weather conditions. Don’t forget that cold-water immersion can be deadly.
If you fall overboard, try to climb back into or on top of the boat. If don’t succeed, try to stay close to the vessel and use decoys, oars or anything floating nearby that might help you stay afloat. If you fall into particularly cold water, remain clothed as it will help you retain body heat.
Check your gear before every hunting trip.
Install the Duckr app on your iPhone. (It has an SOS feature that can alert nearby Duckr users as well as an emergency contact that you are in need of immediate assistance) before getting on a boat.
Always transport firearms safely with the action opened, unloaded and cased.
Protect yourself once shouting, shooting, and other noises associated with hunting begin: wear hearing and eye protection. No duck is worth losing your eyesight or damaging your hearing for, right?
There are different hunting safety courses out there, we recommend you to take one.
Now you’re a boat hunting safety expert, we suggest you also check this out. Below, we have prepared a list of boat hunting questions and their answers. Ready to test yourself and see how skillful you are?
General shooting issues
Question: Where do you need to keep your finger until you’re ready to shoot? Answer: You need to keep your finger outside the trigger guard.
Question: There are four standard rifle firing positions. What’s the steadiest? Answer: Prone.
Question: Can you fire shots when the motor is turned on? Answer: No! You should not fire until the vessel is completely stopped the motor turned off, and the vessel properly anchored.
Zone of Fire for Two Hunters in a Boat
Question: When hunting from a boat, what’s the safest position and why? What’s the zone-of-fire? Answer: A back-to-back position with the zone-of-fire confined to 180 degrees in front of every hunter is the safest position, as firing in opposite directions maintains the boat’s stability.
Question: Do you need to stand in a boat to take a shot? How come? Answer: No! Don’t stand in a boat if you want to take a shot because you may fall or capsize the vessel.
Question: What happens if two hunters are sitting back-to-back, then swing to the same side and start firing? Answer: The double, unbalanced recoil will tip the boat in the opposite direction. That’s why other hunters are likely to be thrown off balance, capsizing the boat.
So, are you a real hunting expert? How did you do in the quiz?
There is nothing more exciting than landing the perfect shot after all of your calling, decoy rigging, and patiently waiting, right? However, to land that perfect shot there are several prerequisites. Don’t worry, we’re going to share them with you. They are as follows:
Observe ducks, their behavior, favorite places and how different weather patterns affect them. According to veteran duck hunters, ducks are actually a lot smarter and wilier than you might think.
Practice calls on a consistent basis and ensure you are doing them realistically.
Ensure your decoy bags are roomy and comfortable to carry. You can never have enough of them.
Always have a Plan B in mind should your surefire decoy spread fail.
Practice shooting clays at an outdoor range, especially in the off-season.
Invest in professional hunting gear. By the way, we have handpicked a list of duck hunting gear you will need.
Essential Duck Hunting Gear to Boost Your Hunting Season
Luckily, there are many new goodies for duck and goose hunters to take note of in 2018. When it comes to a 2018 must-have list of the best duck hunting gear to wear and pack, we recommend the following items:
A pair of hunting pants. Pants are essential for any serious duck hunter as they will help you stay comfortable and protect your legs. For hunters looking to upgrade their gear and wardrobe, the right hunting pants matter a lot. Today, due to new innovations in the hunting apparel industry, we have some pretty decent choices on the market.
The prices range a lot, depending on the model, brand, and characteristics of the apparel. You can find hunting pants ranging from $30, up to $1000. We recommend Mossy Oak pants, as they have all of the traditional features hunters love. Moreover, take a closer look at Under Armour storm rain pants, because they are fitted with a unique moisture repellant fabric that is great for the outdoors, without sacrificing breathability. You may also consider a pair of pants that are suitable for both warm and cold, if you are a year-round hunter who is used to battling all types of weather.
Price Range on Amazon: from $30 to $1000
The proper shotgun. Just for the record, the Remington 870 Express Super Mag 12 Gauge Waterfowl Camo Shotgun is a favorite item of bird hunters worldwide. Meanwhile, those who grow up in a waterfowl hunting family, tend to adore the Winchester Model 12, passed down through generations since 1912. However, apart from these two there are many other decent shotguns.
Price Range on Amazon: from $40 to $1300
Duck calls. It’s up to you to decide which one to choose; a single reed or a double reed duck call. Typically, beginners prefer a double reed as it is easier, but single reeds have more variety. By the way, the Duckr app has dozens of duck calls available.
Price Range on Amazon: from $7 to $300
A dog whistle. It is important that your whistle is one that your dog responds positively to. Bear in mind that typically, small dog whistles are higher pitched than large whistles. Interestingly, whistles used to have only one color – black, but you can now buy them in a range of different colors, from lime green to pink.
Price Range on Amazon: from $3 to $60
A pair of good waterproof boots. With dozens of choices on the market, finding the proper ones can be a pain. We highly recommend Lacrosse Men’s Alphaburly Pro 18″ Hunting Boots. They will keep you warm and protected from the wet and cold, helping you stay focused by letting you concentrate on what matters. The other smart option is Irish Setter Men’s 2870 Vaprtrek Waterproof 8″ Hunting Boot as they can offer you extreme durability. They are also 40% lighter than traditional hunting boots! Moreover, Under Armour also has a pretty decent choice of waterproof hunting boots.
Price Range on Amazon: from $37 to $320
Special hunting socks. Of course, you can wear ordinary socks, but sometimes special hunting socks make all the difference. Wondering why? Let’s take a look at Darn Tough Vermont Men’s Hunter Micro Crew Cushion Socks. They are ultra light, highly breathable socks that keep up with you when your prey is on the move. On the other end of the spectrum, Drake Men’s Merino Wool socks are heavyweight, strong, durable and tall boot socks that are designed to withstand all weather conditions, with a reinforced heel and toe that delivers added durability during for wear. They are some of the longest lasting socks. If the above socks aren’t too your liking, you can always check out these Under Armour socks, that are a warm and ultra-comfortable choice for varied conditions.
Price Range on Amazon: from $10 to $37
Camo hat or face mask. A good camo hat will keep you protected from the wind and cold, but a camo face mask, like this Camo Hat/Face Mask or UnderArmour ColdGear® Infrared Scent Control Balaclava, give some extra comfort and wind protection, especially on those cold dark evenings. Another advantage is that a face mask will help you blend in to your surroundings. It breaks up the outline of your face without impairing your hearing or blocking your sight.
Price Range on Amazon: from $2 to $30
Hand Warmers. As a matter of fact, hand warmers are the perfect accessory for those extra cold days in the blind. We recommend you Hand Warmers as they come with some useful features, such as fleece liners to retain heat. However, if you really want to keep your hands warm, ULTIMUFF is the warmest on the market. The third option that we believe well worth mentioning is AMOMO. These hand warmers are comfortable, warm and come with a big front zippered pocket that lets you hold other items such as your phone.
Price Range on Amazon: from $20 to $30
A good hunting vest. Ensure that it’s waterproof. We recommend the Duckr Heat Weatherproof Men’s Down Vest as it offers high loft, warmth, minimal weight, and superb compressibility. What’s more, it resists tears and protects against light precipitation. Another good option is the RedHead® Men’s Explorer SCENTINEL Fleece Vest. Its midweight fleece construction balances warmth and ventilation for true versatility, and its four-way-stretch fleece allows you to freely move without restriction.
Price Range on Amazon: from $27 to $130
A pair of waterproof gloves. There are different models on the market with the price ranging from $15 to $200. You can start with cheap gloves, but you will soon realize that gloves are hunting items that you can’t afford to be stingy with. Gloves should have good insulation and be waterproof. Plus, they should be easy to use when shooting, right? With that in mind, let’s take a look at SITKA Gear Men’s Stormfront Waterproof Insulated Gloves. These waterproof and breathable gloves will keep you warm and wind/rain protected. Another neat option is Tactical Gloves by Mechanix Wear as they work really well when brushing blinds. Professional hunters often opt for Under Armour gloves. However, if you’re looking for a smart choice, Luckycyc Winter Rechargeable Battery Heated Gloves are windproof, waterproof, comfortable and warm. Plus, they come with touchscreen sensitivity, so you can use your electronic devices while wearing them.
Price Range on Amazon: from $15 to $200
A nice pair of binoculars. Taking the time to properly scout ducks can sometimes cause you to be noticed. Wild animals, once they have noticed a hunter’s patterns tend to stay right away. This is where a good pair of binoculars come in handy, as an are can be scouted from the comfort of your blind. They say that the Nikon 7576 MONARCH 5 is a great option. You may also want to try the Hooway 7×50 Waterproof Marine Binoculars as they will help you spot ducks, identify species as they line up for a fly by, and survey the landscape. If you are a fan of compact binoculars, you’d like Cabela’s Intensity HD Compact 8×25 Binoculars. Some expert hunters recommend Leupold® Rogue™ Binoculars.
A first-aid kit. In fact, you may even take two of them – one for people and one for your dog. The prices for first-aid kits can greatly vary, ranging from $10 to $100. However, regardless of your choice, to allow you to effectively treat most injuries and medical situations in the field, ensure that your first-aid-kit contains the following: a tourniquet, a pressure bandage, gauze, Ibuprofen for fevers, Aspirin for a heart attack, a chest seal, Doxycycline (a good multipurpose antibiotic), and Tylenol for sprains or other injuries.
Price Range on Amazon: from $10 to $100
Do you want to stand out from the pack? Here’s some high end hunting gear for you to check out.
High End Hunting Gear for 2018
High end hunting gear is trending, popping up all the time in the feeds of many popular hunters. If you feel like making some lavish purchases, take a look at this high end hunting gear list. Note that this stuff can suck up money like a bowling ball in quicksand, and we don’t recommend purchasing all of them (unless you’re a high roller). Who knows, maybe there’s something on our list that will catch your eye.
A warm winter jacket. There are some pretty expensive options on the market. Let’s start with the SUPER DOWN PRO HOODED JACKET. Throw this jacket on over the top of all your layers and enjoy the warmth. It’s a great jacket, and you would hope so for $399.00. Or maybe you’d prefer the Hudson Jacket at $499.00? Meanwhile, the Boreal Jacket will set you back $599.00. They may be pricey but we reckon they look great.
Heavy base layer pants. First Lite’s Furnace Long Johns will keep you plenty warm during the winter season, and are currently on sale for $80.
The Delta Zip Wader is currently priced at $949.00. They say it’s a game-changer for waterfowl hunters across all flyways, climates, and conditions. What do you think?
A thermometer with a hunting dog image. It may be a cool addition to a duck hunting enthusiast’s kit. But do you really need it as a self-standing device?
Of course, you may spend a fortune on items like this, or you can find cheaper alternatives. Although it takes some time, you can always make your own hunting gear. We know some pretty handy guys who have knocked up some impressive duck calls. Plus, when it comes to duck hunting necessities, there are plenty of things you can do yourself. Of course, you can always use this handy trick if you happen to leave your phone at home or when it’s run out of battery. Count the number of chirps a cricket makes in one minute, then add 40. The sum will be very close to the outside temperature.
With all these tips, you should be ready to get out there. If you want to stand out from the rest, consider getting one of the unique items we mentioned above, and remember to have a great waterfowl season!
P.S. What about you, what was the most expensive hunting gear you have purchased? Was it worth the price?
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:
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.
Invest in a well-camouflaged duck boat if you are going to hunt near the water.
Have a good, solid plan for what to do if something goes wrong.
Set a check-in time with a friend or family member. Don’t forget to inform your emergency contact person once you are back!
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.
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!
Spending all day outside in extremely cold winter weather may not be the most attractive idea to a lot of people, but duck hunters know that these conditions can be some of the very best for bagging more ducks. After all, choosing to only go duck hunting in fair weather is a great way to catch absolutely nothing. On winter days, though, ducks tend to be more active before dawn and in the middle of the afternoon, so if you’re a dedicated hunter you might find yourself hunched down in your blind all day long.
But that doesn’t mean that you have to suffer. In fact, there are a few things that you can do to make any winter duck hunt a lot warmer and more comfortable.
Cover Your Neck and Face
We’re assuming that you already have a good hunting coat and pants that’ll keep moisture out and give you the insulation you need to maintain your body heat. However, even with a hat or a hood, you can lose a lot of heat and feel pretty miserable if your neck and face are exposed.
Fortunately, there’s a pretty great solution for this, and it’s actually pretty inexpensive, as well. Invest in a good neck gaiter. A gaiter is basically a tube made of insulating fabric that you slip over your head and tuck into your coat or shirt to cover your neck and keep it warm, and it’s long enough to pull over your nose and cover most of your face when you need a little extra warmth, too.
Wear a Thin Thermal Base Layer
While your coat and outer pants will help keep moisture out and will do a lot to keep you warm, the real key is to layer appropriately so that you’ll be prepared for an all-day duck hunt. You can get base layer shirts and long underwear, or you can get a one-piece base layer that covers your whole body. This latter option is going to be warmer, as it won’t have any potential gaps, but answering nature’s call can be a bit tricky if you go with a one-piece base layer.
Chemical Hand Warmers and a Hand Muff
Shooting with gloves on can be problematic, so a lot of duck hunters go without. At the same time, if it’s especially cold out, you could be courting a case of frostbite if you don’t tend to your hands. You can get a few chemical hand warmers at almost any outdoor sporting store. Slip them in your pockets or in a hand muff so that you can warm your hands up when you aren’t shooting. And, if your feet tend to get cold, you can slip those chemical warmers in your boots, too.
Follow these tips for your next cold weather duck hunting day. Most of the things we listed here are pretty cheap hunting gear, but they’re the kind of gear that could save your life and help you bag more ducks, too.
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.
Plenty of hunters dream of joining a hunting company’s pro staff with the belief that they’ll get to hunt for a living, be paid big bucks and receive a closet full of free gear. For a handful of people who’ve reached celebrity status, this dream has become reality. For the majority of pro-staffers, though, the perks are much more modest.
In reality, few pro-staffers are paid money for their services. Instead, they receive a limited amount of free or discounted gear in exchange for their work. And, most pro-staffers do not get to hunt for a living. Like you, they have normal jobs and only hunt during their time off, and usually, on their own dime.
But, if you’re the right fit, being on a pro staff can be a fun time and the gateway to a career in the outdoor industry. Check out what this list of hunting industry professionals had to say:
Does joining a pro-staff mean free hunting trips to exclusive places? Probably not. But for many, it’s still well-worth doing. (Photo courtesy of Whitetail Properties)
Simply being good at hunting, turkey calling, shooting a bow or other outdoor skill just isn’t enough. There are thousands of great sportsmen and women, but only those who are also good communicators have a shot at becoming a successful pro staffer.—Lee Lakosky, Realtree Pro-staffer and Co-host of The Crush
“You must come across as educated, well-spoken and well-written,” Lakosky says. “Many companies expect their pro staffers to write magazine articles, give seminars, take photographs, talk to the public and speak on camera, so you need to be able to perform each of these tasks well.”
Lee originally had no intention of hosting a TV show or getting on a pro staff. “I simply loved to hunt and wanted to be involved in the outdoor industry any way I could. I worked in an archery shop for eight years. I volunteered to run booths at trade shows. I also started writing articles for various hunting magazines. Even though I wasn’t getting free product, I always wrote about the gear I used because I believed in it. Companies appreciated that and took notice.
“We also started volunteering to work in Realtree’s booth at trade shows and other events,” Lakosky continues. “We never asked for product or free gear, which set us apart from others. We just enjoyed the industry so much that we were happy to do it. To make it as a pro-staffer, you need to first ask, ‘what can I do for you?’ instead of ‘what can you do for me?’”
If your main goal is to simply hunt more, then I recommend finding a job with a flexible schedule so you can fit in more hunting. – Timothy Kent, owner Theory 13 Creative LLC, marketing agency for Wild Game Innovations
Will being a pro-staffer land you free hunting trips? Not likely. What it will certainly do is create work out of your hunting passion. That could be a good or bad thing depending on your goals, but if one of those goals is simply more hunting time, joining a pro staff is not the best way to make that happen.
“Being on a pro staff is not for those who just want to hunt more; it’s for those who want to be involved in the outdoor industry,” Kent says. “Compensation and the opportunity to hunt more should not be the main drive.”
We want motivated ladies who are involved in the hunting industry, are avid outdoorswomen and are active in social media. – Katherine Grand, pro-staff coordinator for Prois
Again, companies create pro staffs as tools for promoting their brands and products. Being an active, engaged communicator is of the utmost importance for any pro-staffer. “A Prois pro-staffer is expected to promote the brand using the avenues available to her, whether it is through blogs, radio or TV appearances, gear reviews or publications,” Grand says. “She is expected to provide the company with regular updates and photos or video of her activities.”
Travis T-Bone Turner
The hunting celebrities you see on TV, who are at the top of their game now, started at the bottom as well. – Travis T-Bone Turner, Realtree pro-staffer and co-host of Bone Collector
“Companies are looking for people who will give back to the business,” Turner says. “The first step you need to take toward making it on a pro staff is to volunteer. Volunteer at your local archery shop. Volunteer at your state’s department of conservation youth events. Volunteer to man a trade show booth for the company you’d like to represent.
Volunteering at various events and for different companies will get you noticed, provide you with experience and will help you make connections in the outdoor industry. And those connections are vital. Make sure to always act professional and don’t burn bridges. People move around a lot in the outdoor industry, so you never know who will hold the key to your success in the future.”
Some pro-staffers receive no compensation because they simply want to be associated with the Realtree brand. – Dana Peacock, Realtree Pro-staff Coordinator
Realtree’s pro staff compensation, which takes the form of money, free gear and/or a monetary allowance for free gear, varies depending on the level of pro-staffer.
“Some of our pro-staffers are the cream of the crop with top-rated TV shows,” Peacock says. “Pro-staffers at this level make their living being hunting celebrities and of course receive the biggest compensation package from us. Lower-level pro-staffers may have a TV show, but they are not as famous as the top-tier pro-staffers. These men and women are generally known in certain circles because of their specialty. But most of them have regular jobs they must work around to fulfill their pro-staff duties.”
Although there are hundreds of solicitations each year, few people are added to the Realtree Pro Staff as a result of simply submitting a resume. Instead, most members of the Realtree Pro Staff have already been in the outdoor industry for some time, and have built relationships with Realtree employees in the process. They’ve proven that they are professional, well-spoken, and willing to work and represent the brand through their available communication channels. And they have a passion and knowledge of hunting and the outdoors.
That, in a nutshell, is what’s required of any pro-staffer, anywhere. If it describes you, start following the advice these experts have offered, and be persistent. To be considered for Duckr’s Pro-Staff program and receive 80% off along with free Pro-Staff only gear contact us.
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.
When you plan a hiking or camping trip with your family, you try to plan to go when the weather is sunny and mild, right? You know that the elements don’t always cooperate, so you have contingencies in place for rain and other poor weather conditions, but if it gets too bad, you’re not going to hesitate to throw in the towel and head home. When it comes to successful duck hunting, though, one of those terrible days that most people wouldn’t ever want to go hiking or camping might be the perfect weather to come home with your full daily limit of ducks in just a few hours.
So what is the best weather for duck hunting? Should an imminent storm keep you inside, and is cold weather always a good sign? Let’s explore how weather affects ducks and how their weather-dependent behavior can affect your duck hunt.
Get to Your Blind When the Barometer Drops!
Duck hunters love it when they can get out when a low-pressure system is moving through before a storm. Basically, the storm is driving the ducks ahead of it to find sheltered areas where they can take cover. Set your duck blind up to look like a good feeding area with some shelter where other ducks are landing, and you’ll be in good shape for a great hunting day.
Freezing Cold Weather Makes for Great Morning and Afternoon Hunting
When the weather is cold (20 degrees Fahrenheit and lower), ducks tend to feed in the early morning just before dawn and in the afternoon when the weather is a bit warmer. If you can find a blind where the water isn’t frozen over, you can create a really inviting decoy spread and get more ducks landing in your shooting range. If you’re hunting in cold weather, your best bet is almost always to find a river channel that’s still flowing where you can set up your blind and your spread.
If the Weather Is Nice You Might Want to Stay Home
Unfortunately, the days that would provide the most comfortable duck hunting are also the days that you’ll probably go home without a single duck. When the weather is nice, ducks either continue to fly high with no need to stop and feed or take cover, or they get really lazy and don’t go searching for new places to land and feed.
Not only that, but if the weather is nice and calm, then the water is going to be very still, and you’ll have a harder time convincing ducks to land in your spread. If they don’t see enough of the right kind of movement, they’ll keep moving, knowing that something isn’t right about the “ducks” floating at that feeding spot.
So, when it comes to the best weather for duck hunting, colder weather is better and incoming storms are a good sign. You might not want to go out on a duck hunt in the middle of a hurricane, but if a storm’s approaching in the next few days and the weather is cool and windy, get your duck gear and head to your blind!