It happens to most all waterfowl hunters, even the veteran ones. You’re sitting in your duck blind and right before daylight, you start hearing ducks quacking back and forth.
Once you are able to see daylight a flock of ducks come circling into your decoys. You raise out of your pit and start blasting your shells away like an excited kid on Christmas morning. You’re hoping to see at least one of those birds fall to the ground, but instead it flies away.
There are a few duck hunting tips that can help you bag more ducks and geese season after season. Keep reading below then head out to the field to test and see if we told you right.
Waterfowl hunters easily misjudge the distant from themselves to the bird and miss shots all the time. The reason is hunters get too anxious and stop their shotguns from following through. You cannot just point and shoot at a bird and expect to hit. If you do, you’re very lucky. Most waterfowl hunters will do this and wonder why they never hit a duck. If the duck is moving from left to right or right to left you better be moving your shotgun in the same direction. Once you shoot, keep your shotgun moving and follow through with the shot.
Failing to swing through with your gun is the most common mistake waterfowl hunters make. When you swing, pull the trigger and continue swinging, you will hit the bird most times.
What choke to use:
You also do not want to use too tight of a choke as it will restrict the shot especially when using steel shot. The best choke to use is an improved cylinder for ducks and geese. An improved cylinder is good for ducks up to 30 yards. Anything over that a modified choke would be recommended. At 40+ yards you are taking a chance of only crippling a bird and that is something as waterfowl hunters we don’t like to do as it causes much more pain for the bird.
The extended choke tubes are becoming more popular as they extend outside of the barrel to give the pellets more time to form a tighter pattern. They are expensive, but give you a much tighter load.
How to test your shot pattern:
To figure out your shot pattern take an old cardboard box and tear some squares out of it about 3ft x 3ft that you can use as targets. Stand back about 40 yards and fire 1 shot. Go and look for holes and see how well your pattern is and it you need to change out your choke.
Using these tips about shot patterns and following through with your shot, hopefully you will be able to bag more ducks and geese.
What type of choke and shot pattern are you using?