TIPS FOR LATE SEASON WATERFOWL HUNTING   Leave a comment

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Biologists tell us in the early part of the migration birds build up on high protein food sources.  Later in the season when the temperatures warm a lot of ducks hit the shallow water areas feeding on invertebrates.  Many grain crops are not as attractive to them.  In a sense the late season duck’s food source changes slightly.

Hunters see a lot of good movement in the warmer weather.  The main element is wind.  It seems to take wind to get ducks to move.  On still days when it is warm, clear or cloudy, they just do not want to fly.  When it gets warmer, they seem to head out to the smaller areas with water.  Ducks will hold during colder temperatures on big water.  Additionally big water stays open longer.  It is not likely to freeze as quickly.

Hunters tend to use more decoys during the early part of the season.  Once birds are in the area change the decoy set up every day.  Scale back to a smaller decoy spread if hunting near a large body of water.

Before weather fronts move through the birds tend to be a little more active.  They know the weather is about to hit and the change in the barometric pressure becomes the key.  It starts changing before the front arrives.

A high pressure system pushes fronts through an area.  Ducks migrate more frequently in high pressure weather than with low pressure.  They can fly at higher altitudes with high pressure.  The hardest part of a duck’s exertion is the exhaling part where with a human it is the inhaling.  In high pressure situations birds can fly at a higher altitude and it is easier to make those long distance flights.

Early in the season ducks respond better to calls and decoys because more juvenile birds are present.  If there are a couple of juvenile birds within a flock they will respond better.  There are going to be more of them than later in the season.  Calling wise it is tougher going later in the year.  Watch how the birds respond and how they are behaving.  If there is no wind scale the calling down.  Less is best.

Some final advice is to always check what they want to hear first.  If you do not get the first or second flock, change tactics. With the next flock try calling a lot and try other scenarios.  If they still do not respond change it again.  Soon you will probably find a fit.  Then the rest of the day is going to be more productive.

You have to be always aware to trying to figure it out.   It can be difficult but you might get a little bit closer.

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