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6 Best Goose Calls

The 6 Best Goose Calls for Waterfowl Hunters

  • April 5, 2017 /

6 Best Goose CallsIf waterfowl hunting is as much a part of your life as breathing, sleeping and eating, you care about the quality of your goose call and likely own more than one. It’s easy to understand why: Luring birds can be tricky business and hunters need all the help they can get to return from hunting trip overloaded with water game. We’d like to help you choose a goose call that works so well, you bring back geese rather than stories about the ones that got away.

Your history lesson

When you’re out in a blind with time to pass, show fellow hunters that you’re more than a good sportsman by sharing some history about calls. The first designs were hand-made, rudimentary woodwind instruments that emitted waterfowl calls, but with time came innovation, like the ability to adjust volume and tone. After all, every bird has a unique “voice.” How far back to bird callers go? The answer could surprise you: they were commonplace in the Far East as early as 1678.

The first patent was awarded to a dude named Elam Fisher in 1870, despite the fact that another sportsman named Fred Allen beat him to the punch and invented his design 20 years earlier. Fisher’s biggest contribution to the hunting community are Tongue Pincher Duck Calls, but sadly, these required many refinements before they came into common use because the metal embellishments froze to hunter’s lips. So much for that idea!

Duck, Duck; Goose Goose!

Whether it was just more convenient to give his product the name duck caller or people were so happy to be able to purchase Tongue Pinchers, nobody complained that there was no comparable product on the market for the goose crowd, that all changed when David Fuller applied for a goose call patent in 1885.

It didn’t take Einstein to come up with the clever change necessary to attract geese over ducks: A single screw was removed from the barrel of duck callers, and voila! Calling all geese. From 1900 to 1910, the number of new calls on the market exploded. Manufacturers and crafters experimented with rubber, altered shapes and developed sophisticated groove and cork locking systems.

Wood vs. Plastic

When plastic came onto the scene, hunters realized that this material delivered louder calls that carried further than calls made of wood, so despite complaints about the price of some acrylic models, each found its place in the scheme of things. Many hunters develop a preference for one or the other based on performance and experience.

Acrylic calls are ideal for large, open areas, while wood performs better in a swamp or forest. Wood remains a nostalgic favorite and offers more variety than does plastic. Cedar, cherry, oak, persimmon and other exotic woods are used to make calls produced by crafters, hunters and sporting goods companies alike. Some are affordable. Others? Not so much. Variety? It doesn’t get any better!

The 6 Best Goose Call Products on the Market

We don’t have to tell you that shopping is a subjective activity, right? You have your own standards, expectations, needs and budget, so there is no “one size fits all” in this product area. Culling opinions from goose hunters who do more than hunt occasionally, we’ve unearthed a group of picks, one of which may be perfect for you. But if you happen to crave more than one, we want you to know that we get it!

1) Eastern Shoreman Canada by Sean Mann

You may wish to sit down before ordering the Cadillac of Goose Calls for two reasons: the price tag is steep and because this product is hand-crafted, getting your hands on one can be hard since they sell out fast, despite the cost. But what attracts hunters to this call consistently (despite the price) is quality of performance waterfowl hunters experience when they invest in this Sean Mann design. Innovative technology stands behind this call’s success. Don’t expect a traditional “flute-style” call; instead, you enjoy a variety of pitches that range from “snappy highs” to “throaty lows.”

This luxury goose caller is fashioned of exotic Bocote wood and comes in various colors. If you’ve had occasion to research opinions on goose calls, the name Eastern Shoreman Canada by Sean Mann will look familiar because this product is consistently rated at or near the top of preference lists for all the right reasons: durability, material, performance and the most important element of all: the success sporting folks enjoy when they compare this goose call to all others. Ready to take out your checkbook? You won’t mind it once you see how amazing this call happens to be.

2) Adrenaline by Field Proven Calls

Does the brand name look familiar? It should. Field Proven Calls has been around for 16 years. The company belongs to Field Hudnall and his designs have won international competitions, placing in the top 5 for 76 of 84 different contests. As host for Ducks Unlimited Television, he’s been around the block—make that blind—and demands perfection. You may find it too by making the Adrenaline your favorite goose caller.

While not inexpensive, the Adrenaline is fabricated of ivory-colored acrylic material so it has a smooth, polished appearance and feel. Lightweight and nearly impossible to break, this product has one feature you won’t find in the Eastern Shoreman: The Mark 2 Semi-worn gut system that delivers some of the most realistic goose calls on the planet. Designed for a variety of conditions that include field and water hunting, high wind days and times when you need optimal performance (including contest calling), this call wasn’t given the name Adrenalin on a whim.

3) Rich-N-Tone Goozilla Call

The fun name alone is sure to call out to you when you shop but it’s the affordable price that is likely to get you to take out the plastic. The Goozilla is part of the company’s Quackhead line of products that is immodestly touted as the only caller you need to bring “monster geese into shotgun range.” In fact, this product makes the perfect call for hunters just getting into the sport because it performs nicely and does so on a shoestring.

This medium-range call satisfies newbies who have yet to master the art of volume control but it also delights hunters who have trained themselves to moderate their breathing and can therefore maximize the impact of a single breath. Crafted of polymers known for temperature and weather tolerance, this clear call broadcasts best in the early morning hours when it’s quiet and just growing light. Keep it in your pocket, backpack or follow the advice of seasoned geese hunters and stick it into a shotgun shell holder so it’s always handy.

4) Bushnell Performance Optics 866 Honky Tonk Goose Call

Get style, brand excellence and low price in one popular caller package when you add the 866 Honky Tonk to your hunting gear. The Bushnell library is well-known to those who seek high-quality engineering and design that performs in the worst weather. As a matter of fact, when temperatures drop, even if things get frigid and you find yourself asking, “What the Hooded Duck am I doing crouched in the woods?” this call will keep performing while answering that question.

This sleek black caller is a short reed model that delivers a variety of tones, yet you won’t hyperventilate to sound them. Reliable and easy to disassemble for cleaning, the patented design will call out to you if style is important, but it’s your ability to transition from low moans to high honks that will delight you the most when you’re out in the blind. The brand is reliable. The cleaning is a breeze. And you don’t have to empty your bank account to purchase this handy call either.

5) Buck Gardner Canada Hammer

If just the mention of Canada attracts you to a goose call brand, Buck Gardner is likely already on your radar. The name of this call pays tribute to flyways along which geese migrate from Canada during hunting season. Brand fans like this goose call because it promises to “hammer away at geese all day long,” while not taking up much room in your pocket or vest. Nor does it weigh much if you wear your call around your neck. Known as one of the best goose calls for the price, you can perform calls, clucks and hails effortlessly from the get-go.

Fitted with a hand-shaved reed, devotees take pride in the fact that this is one of the rare hand-carved products on today’s market, so if this is your criteria, having an inexpensive price tag might just seal the deal for you. A weather-resistant brass strip wraps around the unit like a cigar band. It’s extra touches like this one that will make fellow duck hunters suspect that you spent more bucks on this call than you’re willing to admit.

6) Flambeau Max 4 Long Honker Goose Flute

If you love the idea of owning an Eastern Shoreman Canada by Sean Mann but you’d have to move out of your house after informing your wife about the amount of your purchase, split the difference and invest in a Flambeau Max 4 Long Honker Goose Flute. Once upon a time, flutes were the only goose calls on the market so if you love tradition, this may be your new best friend in the field. Capable of emitting long, deep, bellowing calls plus honks, moans and murmurs, the Max 4 broadcasts across fields, marsh, lakes and other terrain.

Made from a polycarbonate, the Max 4 Goose Flute may look like the brand’s original walnut model, but long after wood shows its age, this plastic call will keep going. Due to the length of this call, you can’t always tuck it into your pocket, but you can stuff it into a backpack or wear it on a cord around your neck. For price, weight and performance, don’t be surprised if you charm geese right out of the skies with this mellow-toned goose caller.

Quail

The Best States to Go Quail Hunting In

  • October 6, 2016 /

QuailAn estimated one million Americans engage in quail hunting each year. For many this is an autumn tradition, which spans many generations. For others, quail hunting is an occasional event or even a new pastime. No matter the category, all quail hunters are on the lookout for the best spots for the hunt. Quail live in regions all across the United States but are not as numerous as they were in the past. The following is a guide to the best quail hunting states in various regions of the United States.

WEST REGION

Idaho

Idaho is a rugged quail-hunting destination where hunters track their prey in mountainous regions through and canyons with 30 and 40-degree inclines. The weather is variable and quail hunting season temperatures vary from over 100° F to below freezing. Idaho is a good state for quail hunting as they are abundant, especially the California quail species, but a hunter must be willing to follow them through pastures, thorny thickets, and heavy brush. Approximately 70% of the hunting lands are public in Idaho, but the state operates a program called AccessYes, which allows public access to over 370,000 acres of private land.

Oregon

Quail hunting in Oregon often takes place on private land, as the quail prefer residing on an agricultural ground. The state’s wildlife areas have large populations of quail and Oregon accounts for the highest number of harvested mountain quail. Several prime publically accessible wildlife areas for quail hunting include E. E. Wilson, Irrigon, Ladd Marsh, Summer Lake, and Riverside Wildlife Areas. Because over half of Oregon is under the management of the Forrest Service and the Bureau of Land Management hunters enjoy abundant public hunting opportunities. The hunting terrain in Oregon can be hospitable in areas; being a mix of open range, rolling hills, grasslands, planted fields and creek-fed bottomland.

SOUTHWEST REGION

New Mexico

New Mexico quail hunting is strong again, as the state has made strides in recovering from a serious drought. Good quail habitat is plentiful, especially in the southern portion of the state where coveys of over one-hundred birds reside. There is a mixture of public and private land in New Mexico and the state operates the Open Gate program where Landowners allow public access to their land. In some instances, landowners may limit hunters to using their land as a thoroughfare to access hard to reach public lands. Participation in the Open Gate program is free to all properly licensed hunters. The terrain in New Mexico can be challenging, especially in areas that are more mountainous. Hunters can expect large swaths of grassland as well as desert.

Oklahoma

Local biologists advise quail hunters to head to western Oklahoma. Once there, hunters can choose from five Wildlife Management Areas specifically managed for quail. Sandy Sanders WMA, Black Kettle WMA/National Grasslands, Packsaddle WMA, Cooper WMA, and Beaver WMA provide hunters optimal hunting conditions with large numbers of quail. Additionally, hunters will find that most private lands in the area manage habitats with quail in mind. Local property owners use native grasses and shrubs along with strip disking, prescribed burning, and controlled cattle grazing to make ideal quail habitat in a terrain that features rivers, breaks, sandy soils, and rolling hills.

Arizona

The state of Arizona is high on most quail hunter’s list of dream hunting destinations and with good reason. The public lands that make up 60% of the state offer hunters the opportunity to hunt several quail species Scaled Quail, Gambel’s, California quail, and Mearns. The endangered Bobwhite makes Arizona a five species state even though it cannot be part of a hunter’s harvest. Arizona offers a welcoming climate for hunters, especially later in the season when other areas are snowy or frozen. The terrain in the region can be mountainous, grassy and savannah-like, rocky desert, or mesquite-lined washes, sometimes a mixture of all of these depending on the area.

MIDWEST REGION

Missouri

Hunters will find a large number of excellent public quail hunting areas throughout the state of Missouri. Large reserves are designated ‘quail emphasis’ locations and offer multiple points of entry, large parking lots, and easy terrain suitable for hunters of all ages. In Dent County, hunters have access to 2,000 acres of reconditioned forest and countryside that is reserved for walk-in only. Gently rolling hills and open grasslands are cultivated with vegetation to provide a strong habitat for quail and a terrain, which is hospitable to hunters. Because of the variety of wildlife in these areas, quail hunters need to stay alert for deer hunters and to avoid firearm and alternate deer season. The care and expertise given to the management of these hunting grounds ensures abundant populations of quail for years to come.

Kansas

Quail hunters in Kansas can chase large populations of bobwhite quail, especially in the south and east regions of the state where superior nesting conditions helped to produce high concentrations of the bobwhite quail. Scaled quail reside in Kansas but primarily occupy the southwest corner of the state. The vast public regions have dense quail populations dispersed throughout the state of Kansas. The state has a substantial walk-in hunting program, which encompasses more than one million acres of private lands that the state leases for public use. Kansas is famous for its flat terrain and while much of the state is a part of America’s Great Plains, the eastern parts of Kansas are forested hill country, which provides a challenging terrain for hunters.

Iowa

Quail hunting in Iowa is not as prevalent as it is in other nearby areas, and this makes the state a good choice for successful hunts. The quail population in Iowa is currently at a twenty-one year high, so even though Iowa has one of the lowest percentages of public hunting lands combination of fewer hunters and the increased population makes quail hunting in Iowa an attractive idea. It is worth noting that in Iowa not all public lands devote the resources to quail management seen in other states. Many of the conditions of the public lands make them fair at best with challenging terrains. For this reason, advanced scouting of potential hunting grounds is best. Southern Iowa holds the state’s best quail hunting lands, where preferred quail habitat, like woods, shrubs, fields, and pastures with hay are abundant.

SOUTHEAST REGION

Kentucky

Quail hunters have excellent opportunities for successful hunts in Kentucky. The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources owns and maintains 46,000 acres of land in west-central Kentucky, the bulk of this land is comprised of salvaged obsolete strip mines. Reclaiming this land provided a vast amount of grassy, open habitat suitable for supporting quail populations. The Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources reserved 23,000 acres of this land for a Quail Focus Area, in 2008. A concentrated habitat organization and investigation project began in this area during 2009 and it has served to enhance and enrich the habitat of the Quail Focus Area for bobwhite quail. The program’s success has served the quail population as well as the quail hunters. There are no restrictions on hunting in this region, except for the proper license and a permit to access the area, which is required for persons 16 years of age and older. Occasionally, an area will adopt a quota hunt system to prevent overcrowding and to maintain the wildlife population. The majority of this region has a gently sloping and grassy terrain, this is in contrast with the eastern region of the state, which is forested and mountainous.

Georgia

Georgia’s quail population is on the rise and this gives way to good hunting opportunities, however, the state of Georgia has various requirements and restrictions for hunters and it is best to be familiar with these before setting out on the hunt. There are approximately 42,000 acres of public land consisting open fields, grassy areas, and open plains dotted with pines. Truly, a paradise for quail and quail hunters, however, the vast majority of these lands operate on a Quota Hunt Program. These exist, of course, to prevent overcrowding of hunting grounds and serves to maintain the quail population and prevent over hunting. The maximum number of hunters allowed to hunt in a specific area varies and the basis for it is that area’s game population, habitat, and size. Advance planning to obtain a place in a particular area’s hunt quota is necessary, especially given the fact that hunters receive their permission to hunt through a random drawing. The quality of the hunting experience typically depends on the weather. In Georgia, hunting is best in the early and the middle portions of quail hunting season. The key is to hunt when there is ground moisture; after rainfall or following a heavy frost are excellent times to hunt. Also, be aware that hunting on private lands in the state of Georgia requires written permission from the landowner.

Enjoying quail hunting may require more planning now than it did in the past, but the goal of the regulations is to maintain quail populations so future generations have the opportunity to enjoy the sport as well.

Mallard

27 Duck Hunting Tips for This Season

  • August 19, 2016 /

MallardWith the onset of the duck hunting season, it is important to know how to approach your mission. A flock of ducks is an interesting sight for a duck hunter, but you can easily blow away the opportunity with an ineffective strategy. Learn the top duck hunting tips, tricks and strategies. After that, you can get your tools of trade out for a successful outing.

1. Plan Adequately

Planning sounds like obvious, yet numerous hunters fail to prepare well. For example, know the direction in which the wind is blowing. Your local weather forecast will give you this information. This is necessary in selecting and setting up your decoy.

In addition, spend enough time scouting the ducks’ habitat to be sure where they land. It might be difficult to scout in expansive areas. Luckily for you, the Internet has made things easier. Just visit your favorite mapping website so you can scout remotely.

2. Prepare Your Hunting Gun

Shotgun loads are usually very particular. Therefore, buy ammunition that will actually match your gun. In addition, pattern it well before setting out. While scouting, test the leads at various distances to ensure that the gun actually opens appropriately at various distances.

Try different loads to know which one works perfectly. Your dog is usually part of your hunting gear. Just like preparing the gun, prepare the retriever as well. Even if he is well trained, work him out several times before the actual hunting day.

3. Check Your Hunting Gear

The greatest trick to successful duck hunting is ensuring that the gear is actually functioning. The last thing you want is to discover your decoys are dysfunctional just when you have spotted a suitable kill.

Prepare all the equipment and tools of trade a week prior the hunting date. Ensure your cords and weights are in their best shape. Will you use a motor boat? Ensure that the engine, battery and other components are clean and functional.

4. Remove Shine From Your Gear

Duck will see any shiny surfaces on your gun, decoys, boat, blind and other gear. This will only scare them away. Inspect all these during the preparation stages and clean off any shiny portions. Remember that these waterfowl are sharp-eyed. A small error can easily cause them to land elsewhere. Use brown or black matte paint and repeatedly touch any shiny parts.

5. Setting Up Your Decoys

There might not be a universal code of practice as far as setting up decoy is concerned. However, a sure way of doing this is the “J” or “U” pattern. Whatever pattern you prefer, let your decision be informed by the direction of the wind.

6. If Setup Is Not Working, Change It

Attaining the most functional setup can be difficult. Therefore, do not stick with the same plan if it is not effective. For example, change the setup if the ducks are landing too far away. Feel free to reset your decoys even if that means breaking cover. In addition, readjust your camouflage or move your blind to a more realistic position.

7. Hunt With an Experienced Team

A team of friends is ideal to work with while duck hunting. However, let the person calling the shots be an expert at that. The last thing you want is someone to shout “Fire” at the inappropriate time.

Two Mallards Swimming8. Do Not Overcall

Calling here refers to the strategies that you use to attract the birds. Calling too aggressively will cause the ducks to panic. If you are unsure of the right way, call a little less. You will realize that your calling skills improve with experience. Otherwise, let an experienced person do the calling on your behalf.

9. Camouflage Well

Any camouflage you use on your attire and gear should match the look of the environment. This is why scouting appropriately is important. Use weeds, grass, reeds and other foliage to camouflage your boat, gun and other shooting apparatus.

10. Break Ice to Create Visible Water

Ducks and other waterfowl usually will not be attracted to swim in ice. Therefore, separate the ice carefully to expose visible water in which ducks can swim. Sometimes, the ice is so thin that it will not break into large pieces. Instead, it will shatter into very tiny parts. Not only does this look unnatural in the eyes of the ducks, it causes them to flee.

To solve this problem, use a net to hold all the small ice fragments and pull them aside. Camouflage yourself and your gear in anticipation of the fowls to swim in the just created open water hole.

11. Time Your Hunting Well

Usually, waterfowl migrate with or just behind cold fronts because they want to capitalize on the strong tail winds. During these seasons, do not leave your blind too early. Since many migrating ducks stop to rest during the late morning hours, this might be an ideal hunting time.

12. Approach the Ducks Calmly

As mentioned before, ducks and other waterfowl will be distracted by the slightest movements. Therefore, move your camouflaged hunting gear slowly yet surely. In addition, stationary decoys will raise the attention of your targets, as the sight is unnatural.

When it is calm, throw your decoys in a thick cover then rely on calling alone to bring the ducks close. Usually, circling ducks will throw a brief glimpse of your decoys and then go back to work. They then approach your target area.

13. Position the Hunting Angle Well

Traditionally, most waterfowl hunters set their decoys in front while the wind is at their backs. This approach may be effective at times. However, it may not always be efficient. When ducks approach your decoys, they are directly facing the blind.

Therefore, they can easily detect movement from other hunters and dogs. There is another disadvantage. When shooting, ducks will rapidly flair down after the first shot. This makes follow-up shot even difficult.

To solve this problem, try alternating the position of your decoys and blinds. Place your spreads in apposition that ducks will actually decoy at a crossing slant. This strategy is ideal for making your blinds less conspicuous. In addition, this arrangement forces the ducks to cross just in front of your blind for a second time as they flair downwind.

14. Make Your Loads easy to Read

If you carry both duck and goose loads to your hunting ground, you can easily confuse one for the other. Even the printed information on the plastic cartridges may become blurred. As you handle these repeatedly, the printing usually becomes blurred. In addition, it can wear off such that you cannot tell the size of the shot in the shells.

To solve this problem, consider using a black magic marker. Write clearly the shot size on the brass casting’s head. Ensure you write on all shells to avoid confusion. This will help you in distinguishing and identifying the duck and goose loads in your hunting vest.

15. Clean Your Duck Call Regularly

Due to repeated handling your duck call can attract all sorts of dirt, making it ineffective things like food, cigarette fragments, dust and dead vegetation should be cleaned regularly before and after the hunting outing. To clean, remove the stopper gently from your call’s barrel by holding the reed assembly properly.

Put the barrel and its stopper in a shallow cup and soak them for 30 minutes. Use clear water with a little mild soap. Remove the barrel and stopper from the soapy water and rinse them under running water.

After that, keep them in warm area to dry naturally. If there are stubborn stains between the reeds, use ordinary dental floss to clean these. Some people a dollar bill! When the call components are clean and dry, reassemble the equipment appropriately.

16. Practice Patience

Numerous waterfowl hunters make the mistake of flushing flocks of ducks in the dark. The prospect of hunting many of these at a go usually makes people impatient. When the first light of dawn strikes their habitat, the flocks of ducks will fly out to feed. They will only go back to roost in the late morning.

Instead of spooking your targets in the dark, you may consider being a little more patient. Wait for sunrise or a later time to try your luck. This waiting might actually cause you to miss out o early shooting. However, being patient is more realistic as far as the overall hunting objective is concerned.

17. Conduct Wind Check During Duck Hunting

To position blinds and decoys in the most correct position, learn the direction of the wind. Even if you checked the direction during the preparation stage, it is essential to check it again just before making a kill. This is because the direction of the wind can change various times during the day.

Here is a little secret in determining the direction of the wind. Carry a small bottle filled with talcum powder. Press the bottle slightly to eject a small amount of powder and then watch the direction it follows.

18. Improvise a Line Guide

Unfortunately, most manufacturers of hunting decoys have not addressed the problem of adjusting a decoy line to suit various water depths. You can solve this issue by attaching a shower curtain ring on your decoy keels.

At the same time, use large fishing swivels for the purpose of improvising a line guide. To adjust the decoy for a different water depth, unwrap the line from the keels to achieve the desired depth and then open the shower curtain ring. After that, position the line inside the ring and snap it to shut.

Duck19. Paint Camouflage Patterns

It is usually prudent to paint camouflage patterns using a stencil. Use dry-erase poster boards, as these are easily available in your local art and craft store. Place natural cover materials such as branches, leaves and reeds on the boards. Trace their shape using a magic marker. After that, cut the outlines so that you are lefts with stencils.

The next step is painting. To make a visually impressive design, place the poster board on the surface of your boat and then spray paint over the stencils. Create a highly effective camouflage by overlapping various shapes.

20. Camouflage Your Gun

You can almost entirely disappear in the field and snow-covered portions of the duck hunting area. Wearing printed jackets, gloves, hats and masks will make camouflage possible. However, it is also important to camouflage your gun.

When it is sunny, your gun becomes shiny and is easily observable by birds and other waterfowl. If you are hunting in the white snow, use a white medical gauze and wrap it around the gun. You should go to any extent as far as camouflaging yourself and equipment is concerned.

21. Fake a Water Hole

You might not always find hunting easy on all water holes. Therefore, it is prudent to create an artificial one using improvisation. Find a large sheet of plastic and cut irregular shapes in it. Doing this trick mimics the shallow water depressions that ducks love to spend time in.

Place the cut sheet of plastic on a depression and remove large stalks or weeds. Place a few weeds around the plastic sheet to make the area look like a natural water hole where some parts of the water are frozen. From the air, birds will fall for your trap so be ready for the kill.

22. Be a Naturalist

Numerous waterfowl hunters spend a lot of time hunting ducks and making mistakes while at it. They believe that practice makes perfect and that they will soon know the right strategies. If you are one of them, it is time to overhaul your hunting approaches. Just like expert fishermen spend time observing their targeted kills, spend some time watching the habits of ducks.

Watching these helps you identify their movement patterns, feeding and playing behaviors. As you understand how and why they do this you will know the right hunting grounds. For example, learn what they eat and where it is available in your area. Take note of how they shift from eating small water creatures to grains and seeds.

When you become an expert naturalists, you will even predict when ducks will change their habitat. Learn how they breed do that you tailor your decoys and calling approaches appropriately.

23. Use Exactly Matching Decoys

Numerous hunters like to use mallard decoys because these are cheaper and easier to find than most other decoys. However, using a mallard decoy in an area or season where few mallards actually exist is wrong. Since ducks have great sense of sight, they will know when the situation looks fake or unnatural. Whatever decoys you use, let them look as real and as natural as possible.

24. Conceal Your Cover

It is possible to shoot numerous ducks with little effort. These ducks are often referred to as new ducks. However, new ducks become stale with very fast, thanks to their combination of senses and survival tactics. Stale ducks can spot flaws in your concealment and decoy very easily.

Since you are not always going to hunt new ducks, go an extra mile in concealment. Check for flaws that may set you up against your targets. Use face paint, full-body camouflage and keep the lowest profile possible.

25. Be a Shotgun Enthusiast

Using a shotgun involves more than just taking an aim and firing using a handgun or a rifle. Therefore, learn the basic and advanced skills of using a shotgun. For example, maneuver a moving pattern in the same area as your moving target. Time the shot so well that the load will end up at the same spot with the fowl. The secret here is to move the shot with both eyes wide open and imagining the movement of the duck.

26. Learn When to Call

Duck hunting requires a combination of skills and expertise. For example, when to call is more important than how to call. Start with learning how to call ducks and then advance to the more complex skill of learning the appropriate time to call.

You will be surprised to discover that not all ducks makes the same sound. While some make high and squeaky sounds, others have raspy and low tones. While some make a 5-note sound, others make 8 notes at a go.

A good caller does his trick just when the birds are about to go away. The time in which they appear to leave the area is called ‘on the corners’. Making a good 5-note call will attract some, if not all of the birds back. When one turns around to approach you, he will bring the rest along. Avoid the temptation to overcall. Instead, make a single yet effective call.

27. Pay Attention To Tiny Details

Sometime, the smallest things when duck hunting can make or break your hunting expedition. Therefore, check and recheck everything carefully. Change the set up when the sun moves, because your shadow will be visible from the sky.

If you find it difficult to take down a single duck from a large flock, reexamine your approach. Do not imagine the next bunch of waterfowl will be easier to fool or cooperate. Most importantly, feel free to bend the rules, experiment and improvise. Within months of duck hunting, you might just perfect your art,

Quail

12 Pro Quail Hunting Tips

  • June 21, 2016 /

QuailQuail is a bird famed for its delicious meat. In some communities, it is believed quail eggs and meat have medicinal value. As a consequence, more people seem to be obsessed with the desire to hunt the animal. It is critical to understand that with the passage of time, quails have become “wiser” hence harder to kill. One needs a lot of preparation for them to surmount the challenge involved in hunting quails. In fact, a hunter needs enough firepower and brain power to able to hunt down the quails from the woods where they are hiding. Without adequate preparation, any hunter is bound to fail. In this article, we enumerate some tips that make the hunting process easier and successful. We revisit hunting tips and how they affect hunting outcomes.

Hunting tips

Quails are found in almost every habitat that we live in. Circumstances in different parts of the world may be different but at least quails will find a place to inhabit. Therefore, no standard practices apply to all situations and areas. In spite of the fact that animals and birds have a specific way of behavior, the environment equally plays a significant role in determining how they behave. For success, it is advisable that aspiring hunters consult experienced hunters regarding their conduct of quail hunting. It goes without saying that for a hunter to be successful, they have to keep in mind that information is power and would make the hunting process easier and faster.

To learn more information, you should keep closer and possibly get mentoring from experienced quail hunters within your locality. It is not a must that they accompany you to your hunting expeditions, but their experience in the fields would be a great asset for you as a hunter. This is a concept that applies to every facet of life and not only in hunting. With a proper network, you will be able to understand where to go hunting, appropriate weapons to use, when to go hunting, etc. We should be inquisitive in our preparatory stages so as to accumulate all the desired knowledge necessary for the activity. Below are some tips that would make it easy to track and capture quails.

1. Weapons to use for hunting quails

There is an array of weapons that a hunter can use when hunting quails. However, one of the most prominent weapons is a shotgun known for its precision to shoot and kill quails. Not only is this rifle used for hunting quails, but it is also equally important in hunting other animals too. There are different types of the shotgun; however, a 12-20 gauge shotgun would be ideal for the job. This shotgun has a 26-inch barrel and would shoot prey from a long range and would be effective for quails. Smaller guns would shoot but may not necessarily kill. They may fall off to the ground and later fly off. This is not the intended goal. Therefore, the hunter should ensure that his/her shotgun is functional and well serviced to undertake the task efficiently.

2. Where to find quails

Before setting out on a hunting expedition, it is important to ask fundamental questions. Some of the issues may be regarding what quails eat, and their overall habits. Over time, quail population has steadily reduced. However, this should not dampen a hunter’s spirit. With proper preparation, it is possible that he is able to hunt quails successfully. Skill and professionalism become handy at this stage. A hunter is expected to think outside the box to develop proactive ideas.
Quails enjoy feeding on worms and bugs. This notwithstanding, quails are famous for being difficult to be found; they are difficult to track. One moment quails are in one place but next minute they disappear. They burrow quickly beneath bushes and shrubs and disappear without a trace. With this scenario, it may sound frustrating hunting quails. The hunter is advised to be patient, remain quiet and give them time to come out of their hideouts before they can swing into action.
As mentioned above, quails love worms and bugs. Therefore, this may give us an idea on where we can find them. It is important that a hunter understands when the worms come to the ground. Naturally, worms and bugs appear when the ground is wet, rainy and muddy. This is already enough information for us to make a decision. We had also said that they inhabit the semi-wooded area. Hunters are advised to clear grass in such zones to make them visible. Quail hunting should be done especially during the rainy season. In the United States, for example, particular states are known to have quails. The states include Illinois, Texas, and Georgia among others. When a hunter is determined to hunt down the quails, they will find them in their locality.

3. Hunting dog

During the process, a hunting dog is an essential item that cannot be left out. For a long time, dogs have been man’s partners in the hunting game. There are cases when a hunter ventures out to the woods to hunt but in the process becomes lonely. At this time, it may become necessary to turn to his dog. A good hunting dog would need to be trained to be effective. Most of the dog training on hunting quails is on the job. The hunter often guides the dog on what to do or not do.
The training of the hunting dog is a considerable investment that needs to be undertaken by the hunter. Therefore, commitment by the hunter is required in order to invest in training the dog. Else, you do not need to waste money in the process. You may only need to take time and raise a great dog if you make hunting passion. A great dog will ensure that your hunting expeditions will be successful, and you will enjoy and looking forward to conducting the process.

4. Patience is a great virtue

To be a revered hunter, one needs to be patient. They continuously need to make fast and decisive actions. Most importantly, patience is a virtue for any hunter in the fields. Patience makes the difference between being successful or failing as a hunter. When things seem not to be working out, a hunter is expected to remain calm and collected rather than firing in frustration. Lack of composure may affect hunters not experienced in the hunting game. Any shot taken should be aimed at a target and is expected to be successful. Waste of bullets is unprofessional. In circumstances where you are missing shots, it is important to evaluate the cause of the problem. You need to keep your eyes on the target and don’t waiver. This ensures that a shot taken would mean a quail down. Persistence and focus are critical the success of the hunter.

5. Role of weather

Weather plays a fundamental role in determining when to go out hunting for quails. If you venture out during inclement weather, you risk spending time in the bushes and coming out without killing any quail. For example, if you go out during a hot and dry period, chances are high that there are few birds in the fields. This is because there are no worms and bugs to be fed on in this season. Therefore, the best time to hunt quails is during a wet and muddy season. Worms are easily found, and quails will come out of their hiding places to feed.

Wet and muddy season may make it difficult for the hunter to navigate the woods. However, the hunter has to ensure he puts on good boots. Good foot wear ensures they do not fall or hurt their feet in the process. As a hunter, you should take advantage of the rainy season to make a great kill of quails. A few days of rain may be ideal for venturing out.

6. Proper communication is paramount

There are cases when you will go hunting with a partner. You need to communicate effectively to ensure that you are working in unison rather than everyone pulling his/her direction. You may need to find out if your partner is nearer or far away. Can he take better shots from where he is? While hunting, the greatest priority is to hunt down a high number of quails as possible and enjoy the experience. Statistics may not be relevant for rather, output. You need always to be communication to attain the common goal.
Communication does not mean going out and shouting loudly for everyone to hear you. Partners in the forest need to come up with a modality and strategy on how they would communicate without arousing the attention of quails. They should not make their presence visible. With planned communication, chances of disrupting the entire exercise are small. You would need to plan to use signals and gestures for communicating. Together with your partner, you should agree on what exactly each signal means. Use of signals make the communication quiet and is less disruptive. In fact, good communication is responsible for setting up good communication.

7. Prepare for more quails than anticipated

While in the field, it is possible that quails available in larger numbers than expected. In fact, a hunter should know that the birds would be more than (s) he expects them. When they shoot at one bird, it is then that they realize that they are more than one. Most of them will scatter for safety. Therefore, after seeing one quail, prepare for a possibility that some more quails are in the vicinity. You and your partner should work more strategically to ensure you capture more than one quail. A high number of quails hunted down imply that the hunter has steadily improved his skills. A hunter should master essential skills to enable them to navigate the woods, spot the quails and take them down with ease.

8. Shoot up

When you spot quails and you have your shotgun at hand, you do not just shoot at them aimlessly. You are expected to move closer to them and only take a shot when the birds are flying away. Proximity increases chances of shooting down as many quails as possible.

Your safety in the hunting field is paramount. Anything you do you should ensure you life and that of your partner are safe. It would make little sense killing many quails and going back home nursing serious injuries. You should be particular about your safety before shooting at the quails.

In fact, before taking a shot, ensure that your hunting dog and partner are in your vicinity. You may not want to aim at a target only to miss it and shoot your partner. It is a safety measure to ensure you do not loose or injure your partner. As part of your training, you should consider better ways of maintaining security in the field.

9. Check regulations regarding hunting in your area

Every state has its laws governing hunting activities in their jurisdiction. It may be prudent that before calling up your hunting buddy and going to the field, take the time to consult your local office on regulations which may apply to quail hunting. This is because quail hunting varies from one state to another. The control may also differ from one season to another. Adequate information is important in ensuring you do not get on the wrong side with the law. This is one indicator that you are a responsible hunter. This will go a long way in ensuring you conduct your activities without any challenges.

10. Do not be afraid to venture into new territories

When hunting, do not restrict yourself to a particular place. Experienced hunters understand that quails are usually all over the place. In fact, if they (quails) notice that you frequent one particular location, they change their location to areas that are less prone to hunters’ visit. This is in their quest for safety. Therefore, you should ensure you follow paths that are “less traveled.” Chances are high you will get quails in their large numbers. It should be fun venturing into new hunting grounds and the rewards in most cases are high. Therefore, plan carefully with your partner how you can best venture to these new sites and find a practical way of deriving maximum benefits from the fields.

11. Wear protective clothing while in the field

When preparing to go hunt for quails, it is advisable to prepare well. Experienced hunters will tell you that quails hide in the most inconvenient places in the fields. It might demand that you may have to go through thorny areas to access them. Conventionally, hunting is done in the woods; there are times when you are forced to go deeper into the forest.

Therefore, it is prudent to wear protective gear before going out. Protective gear guards you against thorns and other sharp objects in the field. In some cases, you may run into thick bushes. In such situations, it is safer to be armed with wire cutters and pruning equipment. There should be no impediments stopping you from attaining your goal; not even the thick bushes you would still work. This prior preparation is essential in ensuring that you do not run into a challenge and find it virtually impossible to operate. It also helps reduce uncertainty and frustration that come with unpreparedness. Ensure that both you and your partner are well dressed for the task.

12. Avoid wind

To stay accurate when hunting quails, it is important that you do it on less windy day. For example, when the wind is blowing hard, it becomes hard to aim at your target. Quails would keep flying from one place to another. If you have five days in a week to go hunting, ensure you chose a day that will offer better chances of hunting quails down. Decide on a day when the winds are calm because you increase your likelihood of success. You may consider visiting the local meteorological department for guidance on weather patterns and possible weather of the day. Knowledge of the weather is of great importance to you as a hunter. You will save a lot of time when visiting the field rather than failing every time and not making progress.

Conclusion

Armed with the above tips, it is almost guaranteed a hunter will be successful in his hunting expeditions. Anyone aspiring to be a hunter must follow the tips above diligently. However, the tips do not guarantee 100% success, but if well executed, chances of success increase. For potential hunters, persistence is critical for success. On the other part, quails are making it difficult for hunters to get shoot them. For many reasons, quail hunting requires patience. They have developed a mechanism to hide from human beings and avoid being killed. With the tips provided above, it is a guide for any hunter regardless of their geographical location.