The Top 4 Worst Waterfowl Hunter Habits

The Top 4 Worst Waterfowl Hunter Habits

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The Top 5 Worst Waterfowl Hunter Habits

It is tough to get started in this sport, whether you are a greenhead greenhorn this year or are still working your way up through the ‘fowl funnel. 


Everything seems overwhelming, and there is a great deal to understand. You’ll feel like you’ve earned a PhD in “waterfowl-ology” by the time you’ve finished learning bird identification, purchasing all of the necessary licenses and stamps, finding a hunting location, and equipping yourself with enough equipment to lead an army into battle by the time you’ve finished your first hunt.




In the event that you are fortunate enough to get an available seat in the boat or blind with a local group that will accept you, consider yourself fortunate. This sort of coaching and opportunity will be very beneficial to you as you travel the country in search of waterfowl. 



After a while, you’ll realize that each hunt and each talk with your blind companions contributes to a greater awareness and appreciation for the little things in your surroundings.



 Whatever the situation, there are always lessons to be learned, from ensuring sure the battery on the spinning-wing decoy is fully charged to packing an additional box of shells or concealing your stainless coffee cup from back-pedaling birds.


 These experiences may be humbling, and they will undoubtedly teach you if you are prepared to learn from them. 


Moreover, although the most of these lessons from the field are pretty innocuous and forgiving, there are a few cardinal principles that you may want to avoid breaching at all costs. Staying away from the habits on our list will ensure that your position on your new crew will be available for the foreseeable future.




Excessive talking or phone calls

If you are invited to a hunt, treat yourself like a guest and show courtesy to your hosts. Pay close attention to their decoy setup, the way they call or flag at birds, and try your best to figure out where you fit into the team’s overall operation.



 In general, thoughtful questions are appreciated, and if you demonstrate a real desire in learning more and better understanding the intricate strategies of hunting, you will be far more likely to get honest responses to your inquiry. 



No matter how many hunting trips you’ve had and how many birds you’ve killed, if you behave like a smug expert and start attempting to control the course of the hunt, you’re not going to get along very well with your other hunters.





It takes time and practice for a competent caller to master the art of reading birds and understanding when and how to call at birds. (Photo courtesy of Chris Ingram)
For those who are just starting out, always follow the leader and chat to your hosts about how you may integrate yourself into the calling chorus. 



Perhaps a few discreet quacks, honks, or feeding chuckles can be used, but the sweettalking should be left to the pit manager. For periods of inactivity, consult your avian gurus for calling suggestions and practice a few quacking sequences and clucks with your friends and family. 



Make a conscious decision about your abilities and limits, and avoid attempting to take over the show and become the fifth wheel. If you are requested to put your calls down or if you run your mouth, you may want to start searching for another group to hunt with to avoid this situation.





I’m not bringing anything to the table.

Hunting circles are similar to families or businesses in that everyone works hard, everyone contributes, and everyone benefits from their efforts. It’s possible that you don’t have much to give if you’re new to the game, but you can never go wrong by turning up to the hunt with a box of delectable doughnuts or other popular blind food.


 In the event that you’ve progressed a bit farther in your search, you may be ready to offer your calling services or your decoy spread to your squad. No matter where you are in your waterfowling adventure, there is always something that each of us can contribute to the table to enhance the overall pleasure and efficiency of the group, no matter how far along you have progressed.




Bringing additional snacks and popular blind food is always a good choice. 

Do you want to create ‘fowl pals as quickly as possible? Burn some tire tread and boot leather, then go on some reconnaissance missions. While scouting is undoubtedly one of the most time-consuming and least appealing components of this lifestyle, it is frequently the most vital and the most certain approach to ensure a successful hunt.



 Traveling before work or doing an additional loop around town on your way home will allow you to get a glimpse of the autumnal flights and check on the bird activity in your region.


 To get permission to return to your hunting grounds, knock on the doors of nearby farmers or landowners. Even if you don’t know how to operate a call or possess a single decoy, if you can plan the next hunt, you’ll undoubtedly be the most reliable member of your hunting party.




Make no apprehensions about pulling out your wallet as the new man or gal in the group. If someone spent thousands of dollars on a trailer full of decoys and blinds or a tricked-out duck boat, consider bringing a few boxes of ammo for the fowl foray to make up for it.


 If someone spent thousands of dollars on a trailer full of decoys and blinds or a tricked-out duck boat, consider bringing a few boxes of ammo for the fowl foray. Don’t undervalue what you have to give; as Momma always said, it’s the thought that matters in this situation.




Waterfowl hunters have some of the worst habits in the world.





Geese hunter with a goose call in hand

Taking Charge of Your Own Life


When you are invited on a hunt, there are certain expectations placed on you by your host (s). Even if you are a seasoned veteran of the flyway, there is a degree of understanding and agreement on who will be in charge of the show and making the decisions. 


All of the general actions within the blind, as well as hauling up and killing birds, fall under the category of “shots.”




 In most cases, the person who planned the hunt is acquainted with the site, the decoy set, and the potential reactions of the birds to the decoys. 


Make no mistake about it: don’t go in there and start pulling up to skyblast or opening fire on birds that aren’t completely committed. If you get too enthusiastic about anything, you will lose a lot of followers. 



A timely shot call not only ensures that everyone returns home safely, but it may also make the difference between your party taking out two ducks from a flock and taking out the whole flock of birds.

The opportunity to make decisions on your own may come your way at some point. In the event that you’re at the far end of a boat/blind, you’re last layout in the line, birds are giving a far swing to your side, or you’ve got one single bird that has dumped onto your side and it’s now or never, let it go! The majority of the time, your blind companions will understand this predicament and will urge you to shoot it.




Hunting for Canada geese from an A-frame blind 

The establishment of safe shooting lanes for all members of the blind should be discussed prior to each hunt in order to ensure everyone’s safety. 




Security Regarding Handguns

Without getting too serious, gun safety is the #1 location where errors and failures are not an option, and everyone in the group should have a zero-tolerance policy for mistakes or failures. 



Everyone in the group has taken a hunter education course, and many of us have had our fathers and grandfathers drive home the importance of safe gun handling behaviors throughout our lives. No hunter, regardless of age or skill level, should neglect the need of practicing good gun safety—having a hunting mishap is not a fun experience.




Muzzle control, knowing your target and what lies beyond it, and keeping your safety on until you’re ready to fire are all basic behaviors to practice whenever you’re out hunting, but at the heart of gun safety is a mindset and mentality that translates to an overall awareness of the hazards in the environment. 



Moreover, although actual accidents do occur, the vast majority of them are avoidable and may be avoided by following good safety procedures and practices. Simple things like ensuring sure you’re using the right gauge shell for your gun, keeping your barrel out of the mud, and placing your gun down so it doesn’t tumble and accidentally go off should be part of your daily routine.




Correct gun handling while dealing with working dogs is another crucial component of blind safety. In the case of a dog breaking on birds or a retriever in the decoys pursuing cripples just as a new flock of birds is about to land, an enjoyable hunt may rapidly transform into one filled with fear and anxiety. If a dog has gotten out of the blind, no one should be near a rifle at all.



When a dog is operating in the decoys, pursuing cripples or fallen birds, guns should never be directed down range at the animal. 
If you spend enough time in the mud and marshes, you’ll almost certainly have to eat crow and apologize to your hunting pals over something little and forgivable, but you’ll never be able to explain or make up for a hunting mishap that might have been avoided if you’d done anything simple.



A Spot Is Being Burned

Burning a place is arguably the most straightforward method to assure that you will never be welcomed back for another hunt, barring a blatant violation of firearms safety. Whether you’re invited to a goose feed on a private plot or a duck hole on a lease, it’s your responsibility to accept the offer and keep the invitation confidential, just as you would your Instagram password.


 The fact that you were in their blind the next week is a smack in the face to your host, who must have gone to some effort to scout those birds, gain permission, or perhaps pay to play in order to bring you there. 


One of the most important things you can do to show respect for your privilege is to return the favor by inviting them to a hunt of your own. Because of your kind demeanor, you will undoubtedly get some more friend points.

Layout blinds for goose hunters See the photo gallery for more information on the event.

If you plan to search a site at a later time, don’t surprise your host by turning there without informing them. The image above is courtesy of Chris Ingram
Currently, when it comes to who “owns” or hunts a certain location on public property, things may become complicated.



 Some states allow hunters to erect blinds ahead to the start of the hunting season, while in other locations, hunters will put a sign with their name in their hunting site to alert others that they plan to hunt in that particular location before the season begins. 


As a result of my own personal experience, I recommend that you either call the person’s name and phone number or meet up with them for a chat to see if you can’t come up with a way to collaborate.



 Whether or not you’ve been invited to a public land pursuit, it’s a kind gesture to inquire as to whether or not your host would object if you came back later to hunt the area.



The items listed above are by no means exhaustive, but they represent some of the most common blunders made by duck hunters. As long as you maintain your composure, you’ll have no trouble keeping your choices open and maintaining a position in any boat or blind that comes your way.