John's Journal...

Belly Boating to Ducks

Day 4: More Tactics to Use for Belly Boating to Ducks

Editor’s Note: Belly boats can take you safely to the secret places ducks love – spots where other hunters never go.

Click for Larger ViewIf you study the ducks in your area and pay close attention to where they raft up to rest for the night, you can usually locate one small patch of timber that seems to draw every duck in the area.

Click for Larger ViewI was hunting with my son, John, when I found a wood duck roost. Every bird that flew to the roost that evening wanted to light in one little flooded thicket that was only about 30-yards wide. I knew that if I could get inside that thicket, I could take my limit in a very-short time. To get to the thicket, I had to cross a slough that was about 8-feet deep. There was no way around it. Using my belly boat and a very small paddle, I propelled myself across the deep part of the slough and then waded into the thicket.

I advise belly-boat hunters to use detachable camo slings on their shotguns. You can sling your gun across your back, and it’s out of the way if you have to paddle. It’s also out of the way when you’re lifting your belly boat to leave the water. I like a duck gun with a 3-inch chamber for belly boating, Parkerized metal and a dull wood finish. The dull finish on the wood prevents the glare that spooks waterfowl.

Click for Larger ViewWith my gun on my back, I reached the other side of the slough and moved my belly boat deep into the flooded thicket where all the ducks had been. Inside the brambles, I saw open water. Apparently, the ducks had been flying to that open spot to roost. Therefore, I stayed in the thicket and planned to shoot the ducks when they dropped-in to where I waited. About 45 minutes before the end of legal shooting time, the ducks arrived. Click for Larger ViewThe action was fast, furious and frustrating. When I took a shot at a duck in front of me, three more birds would whistle in behind me. I would spin around to take aim at those birds, and two more birds would cross over my head. For about 10 minutes, I turned around and around in that belly boat, always trying to take a shot at the closest duck but never able to squeeze the trigger. I finally sat down in my belly boat and decided that I shouldn’t try to shoot at every duck that was coming to roost. I told myself to wait for a sure shot and then wait for another without turning around. So, finally in the last 15 minutes of legal shooting time, I took my limit. After I retrieved my ducks, I paddled back across the deep water and got out on the bank.

To learn more about my belly boat, go to, or visit your local Bass Pro Shops’ store.

Tomorrow: Helpful Hints to Belly Boat for Ducks Successfully


Check back each day this week for more about "Belly Boating to Ducks "

Day 1: Why I Needed a Belly Boat to Hunt Ducks
Day 2: What You Need to Wear to Belly Boat Safely and Comfortably to Ducks
Day 3: Tactics to Use When Belly Boating to Ducks
Day 4: More Tactics to Use for Belly Boating to Ducks
Day 5: Helpful Hints to Belly Boat for Ducks Successfully

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Entry647, Day 4