Public land ducks are rarely easy. The first few days of hunting after a big migration day can be fantastic. But if the Mother Nature does not blow any new ducks into your area, the hunting can get progressively worse. Ducks start acting like they have master’s degrees in decoy spread and duck call avoidance. It can be tough, but not impossible. When hunting these wise birds, I fall back to these four rules to up my success.
Find the concentration or refuge
After a few days of being pounded on public land, the birds quickly figure out where to hide. This is sometimes a small hole in a hard to reach place, but more than likely it is a spot off limits to hunting such as refuge. Finding these spots and setting up near them will give you a fighting chance at killing these tough birds.
Simulate your decoy spread to look like what the birds are landing in
Once you have found the refuge area the birds are using, setting out a spread that mimics the refuge is critical to your success. This is usually a big spread of decoys, and often times a big spread of goose decoys if there happens to be more geese than ducks in the area. This large set on the edge of a refuge can easily fool ducks into thinking that your spread is part of the refuge.
So now you are setup near the area the ducks are using with a spread that mimics what the refuge looks like. The next step is to get those ducks attention with your calling. Now is when all that practice starts to pay off. Lots of loud and aggressive calling should be used to get those ducks coming your way. Once they start coming your way, back it down and call them on the corners.
Hide like a Ninja
And last but not least, hide like a ninja. Pressured ducks have seen it all and having your hide perfect from the get go is critical to getting close shots.
Hunting public land pressured ducks is not always easy, but it can be very successful and rewarding. By following the tips above you can up you odds of connecting with these wary birds.
Making you a better caller!