Duck Hunting Essentials for Beginners to Pros

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If you’ve ever watched duck hunting on TV or YouTube, then you have no doubt noticed that there’s a lot of gear that goes along with it. To a newbie, this can be intimidating (not to mention expensive) – but it doesn’t have to be that way.

When you’re just starting out, you don’t need all the bells and whistles. Chances are high that you’ll be going out with a seasoned duck hunter for your first few times, and they’ll have most of the items you’ll need. If you put together these basic items below, you’ll be good to go. But be forewarned: duck hunting is addicting, so you’ll probably end up with a lot of that gear in short order!

Duck Hunting Gear for Beginners

Below you will find a list of essential and recommended pieces of duck hunting gear for beginners. Chances are good that you won’t be hunting alone in the beginning, so it’s fine if you don’t have all of these items.

One thing you’ll notice missing from this list is a dog. It takes a lot of time and energy to train a dog to be useful to duck hunters, and so they do not make the list as something for a beginner to rush out and buy. Dogs are living, breathing creatures and the decision to buy one is not to be taken lightly.

Shotgun

You’ve got to have a shotgun in order to hunt ducks. The most popular gauges are 12 and 20, but the choice is up to you. Additionally, the choice of action is also up to you. Most people use semi-automatics, but you can also use pumps, singles, etc.

Suppressor

Putting a suppressor on your shotgun while you’re duck hunting is a great idea. Guns are loud, and plenty of hunters use a suppressor to protect their hearing and the hearing of those around them. Duck hunting is no different. Plus, you may have dogs with you and they’ve got more sensitive hearing than humans. They’ll appreciate the use of a suppressor, too.

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Non-toxic Shells

It is illegal to duck hunt with shotshells loaded with toxic pellets made from things like lead, etc. Therefore, it is absolutely essential that you use shotshells loaded with non-toxic pellets made from steel, bismuth, tungsten alloy, etc.

Decoys

You want the ducks to come into your area as they’re flying by, so putting out some decoys in the water is a great way to attract them. If they see other ducks in the area, then it tells them that this is a good place for them to come and check it out.

Calls

Ducks are vocal, so having some calls to go with your decoys is a great way to add more realism to your setup and encourage the ducks to come within range of your shotgun.

Binoculars

Binoculars are an essential piece of equipment if you want to see the ducks from afar while they’re still way up in the sky. Plus, as a beginner, it’s really impressive to see them up close flying in formation through your binoculars.

Gloves

Cold hands are no fun, and they’re a hindrance to good duck hunting. If your hands and fingers are cold, then you won’t be in tip-top shape to operate your shotgun. Get a good pair of gloves to keep this from happening.

Waders

Duck hunting takes place near and in the water. Unless you enjoy getting soaking wet and then sitting like that for the rest of the day, a pair of waders is essential.

Jacket

The best duck hunting weather is often what most people would describe as inclement at best and abhorrent at worst. Either way, you’re going to want a quality jacket that will keep you both warm and dry.

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Shears

Once you’ve harvested your limit, you’ll need to field dress the ducks. A nice, sharp pair of game shears is invaluable.

Suppressed Duck Hunting

Hunting has centuries of tradition baked into it in the United States, and while some things are sacred, it’s silly not to acknowledge the advancement in technology and take advantage of it. Simply put, this isn’t your granddad’s duck hunting setup, but we’re pretty sure he’d have done it this way if he could have.

There are a wide variety of reasons why you should hunt with a suppressor, but these are two of the biggest benefits:

Reduces Your Recoil

Silencers help minimize your anticipation of recoil and the actual amount of felt recoil you’ll encounter, thereby increasing accuracy and giving you an edge at filling your limit of ducks for the day.

Hear Your Surroundings

Silencers let you enjoy the full outdoor experience. One of the best parts of duck hunting is being able to hear the ducks as they’re flying into your area. With a suppressor, you can enjoy those sounds and there’s no need to fumble with earmuffs or earplugs before taking your shot.

Following Federal Regulations

Because ducks are migratory, they fall under Federal jurisdiction and there are regulations that you must abide by no matter what state you’re in when hunting ducks.

Duck Stamp

All hunters must purchase a Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp, more commonly called a Duck Stamp, in order to hunt ducks and other migratory waterfowl. The law was passed in 1929 and the first stamps were required in 1934. The price is currently $25 and 98% of the funds collected go to conservation efforts.

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Limits

Duck hunting is very popular, and so daily limits are placed on how many can be harvested by a hunter each day. You must know the limits and be sure to abide by them both to be in compliance with the law and to be a good steward of the duck population.

Know Your State’s Restrictions

In addition to Federal regulations, there are also state-specific restrictions that you must abide by. For example, each state sets their own dates for duck season, the number of shells you can have in your gun at any given time, and whether or not you need a state-specific duck stamp to go with your Federal duck stamp.

These restrictions may vary from state to state, so it’s important that you read up on the rules and regulations in each and every state you plan on duck hunting in so that you don’t run afoul of the law.

Improve Your Hunting Experience – Buy a Suppressor Today!

If you’re in the planning stages of a duck hunt, then there’s still time to add a suppressor to your list of gear to bring. Be sure to contact us here at Silencer Central to get your order started today.

We’re the nation’s largest silencer dealer, licensed to sell in all 42 states where silencers are legal. Our staff have helped thousands of new customers pick out the right suppressor for an upcoming hunt, and we’d love the opportunity to do the same for you.

The buying process couldn’t be more simple when you buy from Silencer Central. We’ll walk you through the entire process and then mail your suppressor right to your front door upon approval. It doesn’t get any better or easier than that!

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>