The profane thought of “Tactical Duck Hunting” might just send chills down the spines of some duck hunters. I’ve thought about this for a few years and as I sit here in the airport typing after my first real duck hunt I probably have more questions than answers. If you like go-fast tactical shooting (I like it best when engaging groups of wild hogs), there’s a good chance you’ll like duck hunting. I just discovered it’s a blast! Can we call it “Tactical Duck Hunting”? I think so, but…
Picture this: Early morning, sitting in blind as the sun rises…
WAIT! I generally hate that scenario! Let’s try again…
Under the cover of darkness, you and four or five friends stake out a water LZ (Landing Zone) where scouts report loitering activity by nefarious ducks. In order to retain the element of surprise you set up an ambush using two rows of tall grass held in place by Avery Quick-Set blinds as concealment. You’ll sit between the rows. To draw the ducks into your trap, you distribute a couple dozen Mojo decoys on the surface of the LZ. They look pretty legit floating and turning in the breeze.
Your four wheel drive Nissan Titan truck is now parked a few hundred yards off, you’re sitting quietly in your hide. Well, not really. You and a buddy mercilessly mock a friend’s cammo choice and frustration with his too-big gloves, all while getting it back as you dropped your high end electronic ear pro in the mud. No whispering allowed!
As the sun rises you make visual contact with the first group of ducks, but they aren’t ready to take the bait and hit the LZ so you go to comms. Sure Shot Game Calls has provided the means to hack the duck communications systems, feeding them false news of a warm welcome here at the LZ.
The ducks are deceived and as they close distance they bleed off altitude, then airspeed.
“KILL THEM! KILL THEM!” shouts your team leader, a guide from Kent’s Outdoors. He might as well shout, “UNLEASH HELL!” You and your friends pop up from concealment and dump a magazine each into the much surprised ducks. Cheers, high fives and an impressive duck casualty count follows. Then you do it all again. By 10:00 in the morning you’ve spent your ammo, limited out and are ready to head out for breakfast. Too bad your Polaris is still trailered instead of standing by to tear across the fields back to the trucks.
So that pretty much summarizes the last few days for me on my first real duck hunt. Sounds like an action adventure hunt, right? And it was! Granted, the success described above wasn’t mine but it felt like it! It was a shoot fast fun fest with new friends I’m glad to have made.
I hunted with Barbara Baird from Women’s Outdoor News. On this, her fifth duck hunt her sense of humor kept all of us in stitches. Then there was Jon Stokes from All Outdoor. Primarily a rifle shooter like me, he hunted duck as a kid but hadn’t swung a shotgun much in years. Unlike me, he got the Remington Versamax and V3 shotguns on target pretty quickly. Though a Remington 1100 was the first gun I ever spent my own money on as a teenager, I never spent much time shooting it or any other shotgun, and it showed. I can only take credit for knocking down a single duck, though some of the more encouraging members of our hunting party suggested I helped down a few others. Maybe, maybe not.
So yeah, when it comes to shooting ducks, I stink. I could blame it on the guns, but the Remington Shotguns performed nicely for others on this hunt. Not coincidentally, the Remington Clay and Field along with their duck loads seemed to do well when others in our party pulled triggers. Clearly, I need help and am excited to get some training in the not too distant future. Quite frankly, I just never really cared before.
That changed thanks to an invitation to attend this Texas duck hunt organized by Sure Shot Game calls. I didn’t really know what to expect. I like my short black rifles and long range challenges. And I’m the only guy who showed up in Vertx Kryptek camo. This wasn’t exactly something I was prepared for, but it was flat out fun and I even ate duck. Yet again I was surprised as it was actually quite good. Not, Ribeye good, but a different experience entirely from my first taste of duck a long time ago.
To wrap this up I’d say I’m pumped to try Tactical Duck Hunting again. But really, “Tactical”? We used specialized tools, tactics and skills to down ducks. Not good enough? Fine, next time I’ll be sure shouts of “KILL THEM” are replaced with shouts of “SEND IT!!” That should do it. Tactical, indeed.
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