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Waterfowling Expert Denny Pitman Tells Us Mistakes Hunters Make

Some Common Duck-Hunting Mistakes

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: Denny Pitman of Old Monroe, Missouri, a professional waterfowler and videographer for Hunter’s Specialties, hunts almost every day of duck season for ducks and geese, as he has for the past 16 years. Pitman enjoys hunting all across the nation, including Canada to South Dakota, to Missouri, to Arkansas, to Alabama and all points in-between. Pitman’s job description means that he must find ducks and geese and film new and better techniques for hunting duck, while promoting Hunter’s Specialties’ duck videos, duck and goose calls and waterfowling accessories. Although on the spot every day of waterfowl season to locate and take ducks and geese, Pitman loves his job. We asked Pitman to name the most-common mistakes that duck hunters makClick to enlargee each year.

Question: What are some of the most-common mistakes that duck hunters make?
Pitman: Many duck hunters: 1) don’t spend enough time scouting. They like to hunt the same blind, day in and day out, and hunt over the same decoy spread. They’re generally not willing to get out and find where the ducks are to tailor their hunting to those locations, instead of hunting where they want to be. To be a successful duck hunter, you must be willing to move and travel, just like the ducks do. You must identify the areas the ducks are using. If you don’t have permission to hunt those places, you need to get permission. You’ve got to be where duckClick to enlarge wants to be before the birds arrive there. If you reach those locations and set up properly, then you can take birds almost each day you hunt. 2) don’t remember just how smart ducks are. If the birds fly over a region and see the same blind, decoys and spinning-wing decoys they’ve seen there the day before, they’ll shy away from that area.

3) don’t use enough camouflage. Most duck hunters feel that if they’re in a blind, then they’re hid, and the ducks can’t spot them, no matter how much or how little brush the blind has on it. However, for a blind to be effective, you must put brush on that blind from the surrounding area to make that blind look like part of the landscape, not just an odd pile of brush. You also need to check your blind every dClick to enlargeay and each week to see if it needs more brush, or if you need to move around the brush that’s there. 4) call too much. When you spend hours, days, weeks and years practicing with your duck calls, of course when you get out on the water you want to blow those calls – generally a lot – regardless of how the calling affects the ducks. You also probably enjoy blowing your calls like competition callers or how you’ve seen hunters blow their calls on videos or TV shows. But wild ducks don’t call as much as competition callers and TV personalities do. If you want to take more ducks, call less. Also listen to what the ducks in a region are saying and how they’re saying it. Then mimic that calling. In my experience, most duck hunters overcall the birds.

Tomorrow: More Tips for Taking Ducks from Denny Pitman

Check back each day this week for more about "Waterfowling Expert Denny Pitman Tells Us Mistakes Hunters Make"

Day 1: Some Common Duck-Hunting Mistakes
Day 2: More Tips for Taking Ducks from Denny Pitman
Day 3: Denny Pitman Names Other Mistakes That Keep Hunters From Taking More Ducks
Day 4: Pitman Names 5 Mistakes Goose Hunters Make
Day 5: More Mistakes Goose Hunters Make



Entry 383, Day 1