Home :: Duck Hunting

Duck Hunting

Waterfowl have been hunted for their meat and feathers since prehistoric times. Pictures of waterfowl grace the wall drawings of ancient peoples in Europe and Egypt, as well as South America. Modern hunting of waterfowl really only began with the inception of the shotgun. Most times, a modern duck hunter will use a twelve gauge shotgun, loaded with number four shot. Until recently, lead shot was used, but today guidelines have been set up requiring duck hunting to be done with steel shot, as it is probably that a duck might eat the loose lead shot by accident, and be poisoned.

Duck hunters cannot go and find ducks, they must lure the ducks to them. While they are waiting, the hunters will wear a ghillie suit and wait inside a camouflage area, called a duck blind, so that the quarry does not see them when it comes in for a landing. Successful duck hunting is often accomplished by waiting all morning in a the duck blind for ducks to land in the body of water near the blind. When they come in for a landing, the hunter stands up and takes a shot at the ducks before they have a chance to be startled and fly away. Decoys are also used to lure the ducks into the lake or pond. When ducks flying overhead see that there are other ducks on the body of water, they assume it is safe, and often times will come in for a landing. Duck calls are also used to imitate the sound of the waterfowl. Sometimes other bird calls are used to fool the ducks into thinking the lake is safe.

Oftentimes, a duck hunter will have a specially trained dog with him. These "retrievers" will be released after a successful kill to bring the bodies of any ducks killed back to the blind. Labradors Retrievers are often the dog of choice for this purpose.