Ducks exist in a vast array of colors and sizes. Many are prized for their plumage, others for their delicious meat. The following are the most popular species of duck to hunt.
The Mallard is one of the most popular ducks hunted in North America. Mallards have a white neck, a bright green head and brown chest. Mallards are hunted mainly for their meat, which is delicious. Several hundred years ago their plumage and down would have been used to stuff pillows or mattresses. Mallards are also the ancestors of most domesticated duck breeds.
American Black Duck
These ducks are the most commonly hunted ducks in North America. They reproduce quickly and are abundant in many parts of the U.S. They resemble mallards in size but the black duck’s plumage is dark brown with white tipped wings. They are great eating birds and have also been domesticated for egg laying.
Canadian Geese are the most hunted species of geese. The head is black with a long white neck and a gray body. There are seven species of Canadian geese, many only found in Canada during migratory flying. Geese are prized for eating and for their plumage.
Generally waterfowl are hunted in the fall and winter. This is the time that ducks and other aquatic birds are flying to their winter homes and can be called in to rest near a hunter’s hiding spot. A hunter will set up a blind on the edge of a promising area, usually a marsh, pond, or even a river. A blind is a small tent covered in camouflage such as natural grass. When hunters see or hear a waterfowl, they will use a duck or goose call to lure the birds close. Once the birds are within shooting range, a hunter rises up from the blind and attempts to shoot the incoming birds.
Once a bird is down in the water, trained dogs will retrieve it. Hunters’ preferred weather conditions vary, and each hunter has his or her preferred methods and gun of choice.