A morning on Ocheesee Pond

Fully Loaded

A photo of Harrison sleeping in the boat

Harrison sleeping in the boat before daylight.

Although duck hunting is a sport, it should be approached with the utmost caution. While in the duck blind or even just walking to the truck, a gun could discharge and seriously harm, if not kill someone. That is why it is extremely important to take a gun safety course, so that even beginners will have some familiarity with firearms.

Duck hunting shooting hours begin a half hour before sunrise, so with prep and travel time, the average hunter wakes up approximately two hours before sunrise in order to get the best spot. To have the best experience possible, I would advise being as prepared as possible before you even go, it can save a lot of headaches down the road if you are alert while you pack.

Patience is key

While hunting, it is very easy to get bored and stop paying attention. However, there is not time to get prepared once a flock of ducks begins to approach. By goofing off and not paying attention, a person could miss the chance to shoot. Duck hunting, like most other types of hunting, is essentially a waiting game. There’s no guarantee that any hunter will see ducks at all, so missing an opportunity could ruin your entire hunting day.

If you plan to hunt the entire day, it is important to keep your game in a cool, dry place. However, most duck hunters only go for the morning or the afternoon, as the bag limit for ducks is six. Usually, experienced hunters can take down six ducks in a couple hours, so there is no need to stay out all day. Once you or your dog has retrieved your ducks and you’ve reached the bag limit, it’s usually time to head in. The ducks you shot are your very own, and you can do with them as you see fit.