Late-Season Duck Tactics

Late-season ducks are no pushovers, but you can consistently put them on the water by following these five tips.

1. Late-season ducks, especially mallards, are notorious for circling repeatedly before committing to the decoys. What they are looking for is anything that looks suspicious — like your white face looking up at them! Camouflage everything, wear a facemask and don’t move.

The author advises to call less as the season gets down to the last week or two.

2. Unless you are a caller of championship caliber, call less as the season gets down to the last week or two. Ducks have heard a lot of bad calling by now and they know that it means trouble.

3. Lots and lots of decoys work, no question about it, but so do meager spreads. I’ve killed a lot of late season mallards over a mere dozen decoys. Go with mostly drakes and pick out those with the brightest paint. Sometimes I even touch mine up a bit come the late season. Color does not mean much most of the season, but it does now.

4. Drop down from No. 2 steel to BB’s. The last birds of the year are not only more muscular and heavier feathered, but your shots are likely to be a tad longer as well.

5. Wear a life jacket. You won’t last long in the cold waters of the late season without one!

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