Late Season Duck Hunting Tips
It is well known that when the lakes and ponds freeze over, waterfowl move to the springs of open water that are left as they migrate. Waterfowl hunters can get very lucky when they are on these sources of open water because there’s less competition when catching the migrating birds before they move on south. Even though late season duck hunting can turn out to be a daunting task for waterfowlers, there are still some great tips that can turn the fourth quarter into a success.
1. Open Waters.
Because of the icy weather that sometimes dips below freezing, late-season ducks change their regular feeding and loafing areas. Hunters can get very lucky when hunting around unfrozen smaller rivers with sand bars, creeks, and small moving waterways. During this freezing temperature, waterfowls can be found in high concentrations around these waters as they make their way southward.
2. Camouflage Blinds.
Late season duck hunting means that you have to give particular attention to your blinds. The ducks will quickly spot a blind that doesn’t fit in with the terrain. Ensure that you conceal your blind with as much natural vegetation as possible.
3. Soft Calling.
When you go duck hunting at the end of the season, you should be aware that these ducks are experienced because they have made it past all ploys that hunters used to trick them for that season. Most ducks during the late season will circle continuously in search of the call. It is best to wait until they’re moving away from you or blind sighted by the sun before blowing a soft call and making a few normal sounds. This will get them to move naturally towards your spread and will not appear forced to the paranoid ducks.
4. Radiant Decoy.
The late season duck hunting requires a changed mindset because the birds are entirely different in their thinking and what worked in the early season will not usually work in the late season. Duck hunters must consider this during late season hunting. When the see the worn out decoys in the field, they will frequently spot it as a decoy and will do a fly by. Try setting up a few newer decoys that will match the radiant and iridescent plumage of the ducks.
5. Keep Open Holes.
During the late season, hunters sometimes encounter the problem of breaking the ice and struggling to keep their holes open while looking natural. Try various methods like using an Ice Eater with fans that can circulate water so that it doesn’t form ice.
Safety is also an important aspect of late season duck hunting. Because of the treacherous icy weather it is advisable to practice safe hunting methods by wearing clothing and accessories that will keep you comfortable and safe. In these severe weather situations, it is appropriate to create an emergency kit packed with the right hunting gear, a flash light, flare gun, survival rations, etc. This kit should be in close proximity just in case there is a dire need for it.