Field Hunting Tips
Hunting ducks in dry fields requires a different strategy than on the water. Follow these tips for better success this fall.
Scout it Out
Successful field hunting hinges on hours of scouting. Spend some time driving around to find where ducks are currently feeding on ag fields in the early morning or afternoon. Ducks will usually stick to feeding in the same field until the food source dries up or pressure pushes them away. So when the birds leave the area, quickly set up so you can ambush them when they return that afternoon or the following morning.
Stick to Well-Concealed Layout Blinds
Staying hidden in an open field is essential but can be challenging. Upright blinds can be major red flags to birds, and pit blinds are labor-intensive setups that don’t allow for mobility. But layout blinds are easier to conceal and versatile enough to move where you need to be. Be sure to use plenty of natural and/or artificial cover to create texture and camouflage layout blinds. If you’ll be hunting with a few buddies, keep the blinds positioned close together to minimize the amount of space you’re taking up in the field.
Set up a Realistic Decoy Spread
A lifelike combination of duck and goose decoys in a large spread can be incredibly effective at drawing mallards into fields. Full-body decoys are essential, but you can mix in some silhouettes too. And some spinners will incorporate some great motion into your setup. Set your dozens of decoys up in smaller feeding groups (usually two or three dozen each) and leave openings for the ducks to land within shooting range.
If you’re not a proficient caller, the good news is you can get away with a lot more when hunting fields than water. While you might not even need to do much calling if you’ve got the right setup, you can still be aggressive and less-than-perfect without spooking call-shy ducks. But if the birds are already coming to your decoys on their own, try keeping quiet.