Gunning for late-fall mallards

These ducks are wary, but hungry. OC’s hunting editor explains how to take advantage

Late in the season, hungry mallards are especially committed to the few good feeding fields remaining near open water, and hunters can take advantage of that dependency. Lay in wait behind natural cover wherever possible. Failing that, layout blinds are best.

low
Credit: Bert de Tilly

Change your set-up for wary late-season mallards

Establish your set-up downwind and to one side of your decoys—you can’t have too many for late-season mallards—so the birds will cross in front of you as they land. Avoid the head-on approach favoured earlier in the season because you don’t want these wary birds looking at you as they land. And leave the calls at home. With so few options, mallards know where they want to be, and you only risk alarming, rather than attracting, them if your calling isn’t perfect.

 

Ken Bailey is Outdoor Canada’s Edmonton-based hunting editor.