Sea duck hunting isn’t for everyone. It not only takes a bit of specialized equipment, it also takes guts. Big, rough water can give even the most dedicated puddle duck hunter the creeps, and extreme weather can definitely play a huge role in your hunt. There are great rewards for the willing hunter, but it’s not for the faint of heart.
A top-notch guide can take some of the risk out of the equation and put you in the middle of tons of ducks. Not everyone can afford to go that route, but if you’re trekking around the country looking for a great sea duck destination, it’s probably worth your while. Of course when it comes to knocking down those birds, that part is entirely up to you. And it’s not always an easy endeavor, since sea ducks are notoriously fast and can humble even the best wingshooters. But that’s exactly why they are so much fun.
Whether you plan on putting the hunt together on your own or enlisting the help of a seasoned guide, we’ve got an inside look at some of the best places for sea duck hunting in the U.S.
Outfitters like Alaska Wildfowl Adventures, which runs hunts from Dec. 22 to Jan. 30, provide quite the experience on the Aleutian Islands, with the option to hunt out of a tundra blind next to a freshwater pond or on the open waters of the Bering Sea and North Pacific.
What makes North Carolina so good for sea ducks? It’s a stopping point on the major Atlantic Flyway, which makes it home to backwater creeks, sounds and open water teeming with waterfowl species. Outfitters like Water Dog Guide Service focus on sea ducks, but can also line up a sweet shot at divers and puddle ducks as well. With top-notch dogs, decoys and blinds, this is a hunt you won’t want to miss.
Especially if you have an experienced guide, you’ll probably see more birds in a day than you usually do in a month, and tagging a sea duck is particularly exciting. And once the hunt is over, you’ve got some of the best attractions, restaurants and scenery in the world. You can’t beat that.
There’s simply no better way to experience southeast Alaska than by spending time on the open water and seeing all the beautiful state has to offer. You can also base camp in areas with crazy numbers of birds, taking you to unspoiled ground that gets little pressure. Ducks in the morning, deer in the afternoon, and we promise, you won’t be disappointed.