Well, it may be a month until duck season starts, but it will be here before you know it. If you are like most of us, life is extremely busy and we won’t think about duck season until the week before it opens. I am going to give you a run through of my checklist before every duck season in 2 parts.
- Check out your Boat- The last of week of January your trusted duck craft was up and running at her best and you haven’t run it much since. Get out the old gas and put your engine ploppers on and crank your engine. Make sure your registration is current and boat is legal with life jackets, throw able and fire extinguisher. Check your running lights and all the boat trailer lights. Check the tire pressure and the spare tire pressure. Also check the engine oil and grease all the points. These small things can save you a lot of $$ to your local game warden or being livid when your boat won’t crank at the ramp on opening day.
Shoot your gun- If you have been dove and teal hunting that is great practice to get you in the swing for duck season. Shooting clays is fine and all, but they fly in a straight and predictable path. Mallards, gadwals and wood ducks tend to fly a bit more erratic. Clean your gun and make sure it is top working condition. Get your gun out and do some shooting in heavier clothes and shoot some heavy loads to make it more realistic.
- Work your Dog- Hopefully you have been throwing some bumpers for your dog this summer and keeping them involved and physically ready for the opener. Make sure your dog has had all it’s shots and Vet checkups. Dogs don’t just automatically pick up where they left off 9 months ago. Brush up on the basics first, such as hand signals and whistle commands. Then, transitions into multiple retrieves and get them acclimated to decoys, calls and gun fire again. Your dog can make or break a hunt, so make sure your trusty hunting partner is in top condition and ready for the opener.
Start Calling- There is nothing like knowing your duck call is directly helping you take the breath right out of a duck. The problem is that most of us hung up our calls in January and haven’t picked them back up. Get out your favorite call and replace the cork and reed if need be and start blowing. Call on your way to work, grocery store or your kids ball game. Just make sure you run your call and get those reeds ready to talk ducks to the death behind the decoys.
- Brush your blind- If you are lucky enough to have private land to hunt and have a permanent duck blind, get out and brush it up. Last year’s foliage is long gone or those demonic beavers have chewed up the posts on the front of your blind. Try and always cut brush that is natural for your area. For example; don’t brush with pines if you are hunting in a buck brush swamp. Never cut brush from directly around your blind. Try and get a good ways from the blind to cut brush to not make your blind area look barren and unnatural.
I hope these few tips will help you get ready for duck season. Check out my next blog where I will finish up with a few more tips to help you get ready for the season opener.