Four Steps to Enhancing Your Waterfowl Hunting Experience

Waterfowl hunting catalogs and the shrinking of my wallet appear to have a strong correlation.  Enticing products are always hitting the market claiming to help you shoot more ducks, and before you even know it your checking account may be drained.  As a waterfowl hunter and a recent college graduate, I’ve had time to practice avoiding these pitfalls and develop other ways of enhancing my waterfowl hunting experiences.  Follow these steps to spend more quality time in the field this season, without breaking the bank. Scouting  One of the greatest investments you can make prior to hunting season is scouting.  People often start too late in the year, and the best way to break this habit is don’t stop – scout year round.  Whether it’s a drive up to the cabin or a paddle in my kayak during the summer, you can bet I’m on the lookout for “ducky” locations.

Myself with Jeff Fuller of Sporting Dog Adventures while attending the Cabela's Waterfowl Classic in Richfield, WI

Attend a Trade Show  Trade shows are a great way to learn about new products on the market, like the Flambeau Storm Front Decoys.  In addition, there are often free seminars taking place all day where you can learn invaluable tips from seasoned waterfowlers, guides and prostaffers.  These ladies and gentlemen are usually more than willing to take the time to sit down with you and answer any individual questions you may have – all you have to do is ask.

Join a Conservation Committee  Delta Waterfowl and Ducks Unlimited committees can be found in every state, all across the country.  By joining a committee, you not only are increasing conservation efforts, you’ve just increased your duck hunting network by 10 fold!  Some of my best hunts have been in the company of fellow DU members.  They share a similar passion not only for hunting but conservation as well.  Instead of being restricted to hunting my own locations, I now have a few good friends to rely on if my honey holes stop producing.

Practice  No matter what aspect of waterfowling you are talking about, practice is key to any good hunting trip.  There is nothing better in my mind than a hunt in which the dog works well, calling is crisp and the shots are clean.  You don’t have to dedicate long periods of time to mastering each of these skills either – all they require is consistency.  You can save a lot of headaches by working with your dog for at least 10 minutes every day, picking up your calls a few times a week, and joining a trap shooting league during the summer months.  The best waterfowl hunters that I know live the lifestyle 365 days a year – not just during the season.

Cameron Pauli has been an avid waterfowl hunter for the past 10 years of his life, 3 of which he has spent as a prostaffer for Flambeau Outdoors.  To learn more about Cameron, you can visit his website at www.campauli.com or follow him on Twitter at @CamPauli

Posted on December 12, 2012 and filed under Waterfowl Hunting.