Hunting Q & A

Any tips for hunting "patterned" ducks?

Any tips for hunting "patterned" ducks?

Q: I hunt from a blind on a spring creek in Montana that lies between the feeding ground and roosting water of a large number of waterfowl (primarily mallards). The ducks are extremely "patterned". Do you have any suggestions as to how I might be able to persuade some these ducks from their pattern? - Jay

A: This is a question that I am sure that many a hunter has across the U.S. and Canada! From my experience, it is very difficult to get a duck to break a pre-established pattern. This usually relates to favored roosting, loafing and feeding sites.If at all possible, try to determine these sites through scouting, and access these areas to set up. If this is not an option one could employ other tactics to try to attract birds to a fixed blind site.

One is through large decoy spreads which can emulate a large flock of birds feeding or loafing. In a spring creek set up, position the birds in slack water or eddies and if available, position full body duck and goose decoys on exposed sand bars or shorelines. This will simulate a bunch of ducks congregating and may draw the attention of otherwise passing birds.

Also, try aggressive calling as passing birds may simply be “missing” you in their trading flights.

Thanks again Jay and I hope this helps!

—John Devney