Hunting Duck – Complete Guide, FAQs, & More

Duck hunting is a difficult and challenging form of waterfowl hunting. However, it has become more popular with the passage of time.

Waterfowl hunting requires precision, specialized weapons, and experience to make an accurate shot. 

We understand that this may sound intimidating. However, the challenges only make it more thriving. To help you, we have compiled this complete guide to help clarify your confusion. 

Read this guide carefully, it includes tips, FAQs, and much more. 

Where do I go for duck hunting?

There are several different species of ducks. This means the habitats could vary based on the species of the duck you want to hunt.

I will list down the most commonly hunted ducks and where you could find them.

  • Puddle ducks

They live near shallow water. You could find them in swamps, shorelines, lakes, wetlands, and rivers. Puddle ducks enjoy feeding on agricultural fields, so you should be able to find them around potholes or rice fields. 

  • Diving ducks

They prefer deep waters, large lakes, and rivers. Hunters can easily spot them since their wingbeat is much faster in comparison to puddle ducks. Diving ducks are comparatively slower on land, which makes it easier to hunt them

  • Whistling Duck

These are long-legged ducks that breed on open land. You could be able to spot them in Southern Texas, on the coast of Mexico, and Central Asia.

  • Sea Ducks 

These ducks are commonly spotted in freshwaters. They are rarely seen on land. You could find them in open waters. 

What is the best time for duck hunting? 

Most species of ducks are commonly known to migrate in Autumn. This means it is important to understand the species of your duck and time your hunting based on the season.

On a daily basis, ducks are more active during the early morning. The best time for hunting a duck is 30 minutes before sunrise or just before sunset.

Moreover, ducks are more active during cold and windy days. You may not be able to spot them during warm or humid weather conditions. 

What type of clothes should I wear? 

Usually, hunters for waterfowl sports-wear things including:

  • Waders
  • A water-proof jacket
  • Waterproof gloves

Our team would advise you to wear additional layers as it will help protect you from the cold breeze.

How long should my barrel be for duck hunting?

Your barrel size could depend on the species of duck you are shooting. 

For goose hunting, your barrel should be approximately 28 to 30 inches. However, a standard 30-inch barrel should be enough for standard duck hunting. 

Longer barrels allow precise and calculated shots. This could decrease the chances of missing your prey. 

What type of ducks can I hunt? 

There are over a dozen species of ducks you could hunt. They could vary depending on the region or place you live in. 

However, some ducks or geese could be found in the same habitat. This means you could find several waterfowl species in the same area. 

The most common types of ducks that are hunted include:

  • Mallards
  • Snow geese
  • Canada geese
  • Pintail
  • Canvasback
  • Ruddy ducks
  • Gadwall
  • Coots
  • Hooded ducks 
  • Red-breasted ducks 
  • Merganser

Moreover, in some places swan hunting is also observed. However, in some states, it could be illegal to hunt swans. 

What is the maximum number of shells I can take?

The legal limit for one person is 25 shells. You could be able to take more than one gun, however, you are not allowed more than 25 shells.

What do I need to take for waterfowl hunting?

There are a number of things you could take based on personal preference. However, there are a few things that are a necessity. I will list them down for you. 

These include:

  • An ammunition supply 
  • Your rifle 
  • A shotgun or a shotgun sling 
  • Whistles for bird calling 
  • A duck strap 
  • A Decoy 

You could also consider taking a scope for a more accurate and precise shot. 

Should I get an automatic gun for duck hunting? 

Automatic guns are commonly used amongst duck hunters. This is mainly because they allow a faster firing rate. Moreover, an automatic gun could make it easier for you to aim at your prey. 

An automatic gun will save you time as you won’t have to worry about reloading your gun every time you make your shot.

Since they are widely used by duck hunters, you could be able to find one in an affordable range. However, it could cost you extra if you choose to get a fancy gun for yourself. 

Do I need to get a license for waterfowl hunting?

Yes, it is important to understand that you may need to get a license before you go out to practice duck hunting. 

However, that may not be enough. In addition to the license, you may also have to pay for a stamp. This may cost you some extra bucks.

It is crucial you read and understand the rules of duck hunting before practicing it. The regulations might change every season, so it is important to stay updated. 

What is the ideal condition for duck hunting?

When it comes to the weather, you would want to pick a day that is cooler, humid, or there is overcast.

Ducks are normally seen more active during the day-time and before sunset. The ideal conditions could vary based on your location.

The majority of the ducks usually migrate during the winter season. Thus, hunting season could also vary based on your region.

hunting duck

To Conclude

Duck hunting is a well-known sport that is becoming more popular in today’s time. It requires fortitude and skill to actually hunt down the bird.

However, many of us don’t know where to start from. I would advise you to read this article carefully. It will help clarify any misconceptions you may have about waterfowl or duck hunting. 

I hope this article helps answer your questions. If you feel we have missed out on anything, do let us know. 


  • John Moses

    John is the Editor in Chief here at The Outdoor Stores. His area of expertise ensures that there is no one better to suggest which rifles are most suitable for your hunting experience. He is also available for you to contact him personally to discuss the types of animals you want to hunt and the terrain you will be hunting on. Feel free to read his posts for expert opinion on Rifles, Scopes, Rangefinders, Bonoculars and Monoculars.

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