Yamaha Outdoors Tips — Late Season Ways to Fool Waterfowl

Rethink the late-season for waterfowling success (Yamaha Outdoors photo)

By Steve Hickoff

They’ve seen it all, especially the stale decoy spreads; heard every feeding and comeback call in the book. They can’t be fooled – or can they?

SCOUT THE AFTERNOON BEFORE

Drive roads and glass feeding zones. Sometimes ducks and geese in big afternoon numbers gather briefly to recharge and move off to roosting areas nearby. Study these locations. Talk to farmers. Get permission where maybe you haven’t hunted before – especially if you see fresh birds. Set up there the next morning: calls optional. 

TALK TO DEER HUNTERS

Spread the word. Late-season opportunities for muzzle-loading deer often coincide with duck and goose hunts. If you’ve venison in the freezer – or don’t even deer hunt, but have seen some – swap information with guys hunting whitetails (or other big-game). You might be able to help each other out. Would you do this early in the season? Likely not, but now is different.

FLUSH ‘EM

Sleep in and jump shoot loafing birds. River and pond ducks, weather providing, especially like resting between the hard feeding they do at daybreak and in the afternoon. With luck, you’ll find groups of birds settled in along the slow-moving edges of creeks, meandering waterways, unfrozen farm ponds and the like. Walk in with care, using terrain to hide, and flush them.

HUNT LOUSY WEATHER

Got hardcore apparel in your camo closet? Wear it on days others stay in. Ducks and geese are out in it, and you should be too. It’s one way to ensure you’ll likely see lower hunting pressure.

DON’T BURN OUT YOUR SPOT

Kill just a few? Leave. That’s right. You don’t have to shoot a day’s limit. Stop short of it. Save the spot for the next day by not adding too much pressure. Load the decoys back on your Yamaha ATV or SxS. Get yourself home to that duck or goose dinner you’ll make. And then return there tomorrow. Make it last. 

What tricks do you use for late-season waterfowl? Let us know on the Yamaha Outdoors Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/YamahaOutdoors