From scouting to decoying to choosing loads, a primer on how to successfully hunt dabblers on dry land
#6 SHOOTING TIME
When a mass of birds begins to drop down into your spread, let them keep coming closer and closer before shooting. If all goes according to plan, the entire flock will be in range once the birds in front start landing. When that happens, fight the urge to jump from your blind and shoot haphazardly into the flock. Doing that will result in complete misses and potentially crippled birds. Instead, focus on just one duck at a time.
Ducks are small but tough targets. To make them fold up and drop, you have to hit them in the front third of their body, so it’s important to keep swinging your barrel after pulling the trigger. If the birds are still in range after your duck folds up, single out another one and shoot again.
Keep in mind that ducks are agile flyers, and they’ll start to catch the wind as soon as they see you rise from your blind. That means you need to lead them upwards as they attempt to rapidly gain altitude—and avoid ending up in your game bag.