Lessons From My Worst Duck Hunting Season

Thanks to Andy Lickel I started duck hunting about 6 seasons ago. This season was my worst duck hunting season. I went out 5 times, shot my shotgun 5 times, and killed & found 1 duck. Most of it is my fault, some of it wasn’t. For example the photo above show the ducks I saw this morning. I took a bad shot at two of them as they flew over and then tracked them down to the other side of the island a little while later only to watch and not be able to shoot them, and two others, because they stayed in between me and our vehicles. The bad shot was my fault. The constant positioning between me and our vehicles wasn’t my fault.

Anyhow here are a few thoughts from my worst season of duck hunting thus far in my life.

  1. You can’t shoot ducks if you aren’t out on the water. Yes the times that I went out weren’t the best duck hunting days, but I at least stood a chance of getting a duck when I was out with my gun and decoys. Pam can tell you that there were many nights that I said I was going to leave early in the morning to go duck hunting, only for her to discover me still in the bed in the morning. It is hard to shoot ducks when you don’t go duck hunting.
  2. It is important to prepare. I should have shot skeet before the season began. It would have helped my shooting because while, as I have mentioned earlier, I only shot 5 times all but 1 of those shots stunk. I wasn’t swinging  my shot or leading the birds and I knew I wasn’t doing either thing. The only shot where I knew I did it right was the shot where I killed my only bird of the season.
  3. Once you have prepared you need to trust your preparation. Two of the ducks in the photo above flew tree height above my initial position. They were going to turn around and come back to the decoys. I knew it and the others with me knew it but instead of trusting that I had set my decoys out properly and enticingly, I took a shot at them. It wasn’t an easy shot and I missed the bird I was going for. If only I had waited they would have come back around and I would have had a much better shot. I should have trusted my preparation.
  4. Duck hunting isn’t usually about shooting ducks. Duck hunting, unlike deer hunting, is usually a social experience for me. I do go duck hunting by myself every now and then, but most of the time I go with people who I enjoy being around. This means that even when I don’t see any ducks it is still a win.

I am pretty sure that elements of the above 4 points are true in most things in life, but due to waking up very early the yesterday and today I am pretty tired now. So you will have to figure them out for yourself.

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