Rut-hunting strategies for late-season… mallards!
Where I hunt ducks in Minnesota and Wisconsin I tend to lean heavily on wood ducks to start the year. The handsome, diminutive ducks are everywhere in my neck of the woods and they make for some exciting early-season hunts. When the weather cools to the north, though, the woodies perform a mass exodus that leaves much of my duck water duck-less.
So there’s a gap in my duck hunting until those mornings when I notice newcomers in the backyard pond or on the Rum River when I drop my kids off at daycare. Today on the Rum, dozens of greenheads floated among geese, signaling that last week’s cold front really started pushing them down.
I know this time of year is usually better served hunting deer as they go rut-crazy, but the thought of watching mallards approach through the sky and then lock their wings up is too much. Like the rut, there really is a short window for good mallard hunting and it’s open right now. If you’ve been on the sidelines waiting out duck-filled skies, it’s time to get out there and look towards the stars.
Shoot straight and enjoy it, because before long the only thing you’ll be able to see is tail-feathers heading south and snow-filled clouds approaching from the north!