There you sit, staring at an empty sky and an even emptier duck strap. It may be duck season and the Internet may be blazing with red-hot hunting reports and photos of grinning hunters with piles of greenheads, but not you. You’re not killing ducks; the only thing you’re killing is time. Is there anything more frustrating than that?
Some things—like a late migration or the fact that you live in a desert—can’t be fixed. Your only option is to load up the truck and take a road trip to duck country. Other factors, however, fall squarely on your shoulders. Maybe you’re hunting the wrong places, you don’t know your gun, your decoys look like they came from a trailer park yard sale or your calling, well, leaves much to be desired. We won’t even go there. Whatever the reasons, it’s up to you to fix what’s broken.
<h2>Location, Location, Location</h2>Water does not equal waterfowl. Obvious as it sounds, too many hunters <a href="http://www.wildfowlmag.com/work-decoy-magic.html" target="_blank">toss out a decoy spread</a> and expect flocks of mallards and gadwalls to appear where a duck hasn’t been seen since the Ice Age. Avery Outdoors territory manager Mark Brendemuehl won’t even think about hunting a marsh or corn field unless birds are using that spot and good concentrations of ducks are in the area. <p></p> “I live in western Minnesota and we’ve got waterfowl production areas all over the place. There are a bunch that I’ve never seen a single duck on in all the years I’ve lived here,” he said, “but every year, I see someone hunting one of those spots.” <p></p> Find birds first, then hunt. Scout for hours, even days if that’s what it takes. It’s even more important to find birds if you don’t live in traditional duck country.