In just a few short weeks, hunters across the southeast will happily skip sleep as they celebrate the opening of duck season. We thought we’d help them prepare by gently reminding them to do the following:
- Secure your space – Communicate with landowner(s) and any other members of your group to avoid surprises on opening day.
- Check and double-check opening dates, times, limits, and licenses – Don’t rely on last year’s information; in many states, legal shooting begins later than normal on opening day.
- Test your transportation – Nothing would be more frustrating than starting the season with motor trouble.
- Scout – It’s likely that terrain has changed since last year; test your transport while scouting for areas that are holding water well or have a good food source. Take notes.
- Prep your pups – Take your dogs scouting, do a couple practice retrieves, and let them explore the area to ensure they’re comfortable and calm on opening day.
- Prep yourself – Get some exercise. This season will hopefully be filled with long and fruitful hunts: make sure you have the stamina to enjoy them to the fullest.
- Clean your gun and buy ammo – Don’t be the person that has to blame not having limited on gun trouble. And if you’re applying a choke, make sure you’re using a lubricant that won’t freeze and bind it to the barrel when temperatures drop.
- Plan your outfit – If you’ve been street-styling your Saint Hugh since teal season, you already know your gear is good to go. If not, pull last season’s duds out from the back of your closet, and make sure they still fit and work.
- Organize your decoys – Are your decoys still the tangled mess they were at the end of last season? Fix that.
- Practice your calls – Use a five-note descending call on opening day, then modify the tempo and timbre based on bird response.