Duck Hunting Gear: Top 10 Essentials You Need for a Successful Duck Hunt

Duck Hunting Gear

Are you looking for Duck Hunting Gear?  Here you will find the top 10 essential duck hunting gear that you need for a successful duck hunt.


Duck Hunting Gear:

Top 10 Essentials You Need for a Successful Duck Hunt


  1. Shotgun  

Duck Hunting Gear Semi Auto Shotgun

A duck hunting trip will not be very successful without a shotgun. There are a wide range of shotguns to pick from including pump shotguns, semi-auto, over under and side by side to name a few.


Each of these shotgun types has its benefits but often the benefits add to the expense.  My preference is a semi-auto shotgun as the instant reloading of the next round makes for quick 2nd and 3rd shots at passing by ducks.


However, the downside is that semi-auto shotguns typically have price tags that start around $700 and go up from there.  But do not let that discourage you as my recommendation is to start off with the type of shotgun that you already have or a gun that fits your budget to start.  Then you can upgrade or change styles as you learn what guns fit your hunting style best.


  1. Shotgun Shells

Duck Hunting Gear: Shotgun Shell

Now that you have made your choice on shotgun the next duck hunting gear to grab is some shells for your gun. If you ask duck hunters what type of shotgun shell you should use it is likely that you will get a wide range of opinions.


First, many hunters have a brand they prefer.  This could be Black Cloud, Winchester, Blind Side and Super X just to name a few.  Some of these are higher priced, often $25 or more per box.


However, it is not necessary to buy the top of the line shells.  In my personal opinion I have seen little difference in duck killing power from the most expensive shells to the least expensive so I say buy what you can afford and if you notice that the higher priced shells work better for you then go ahead and invest the few extra bucks.


 The one thing you should keep in mind though is that some shotguns seem to work better with certain types of shells.  My current shotgun, even though it is a relatively expensive gun, seems to not eject one specific brand of shells well so I stay clear of buying that brand even if it is on sale.  Just pay attention to this if you notice that your gun is jamming up sometimes, it may simply be that for whatever reason your gun does not perform well with that shogun shell style.


  1. Camouflage Clothing

Duck Hunting Gear: Camoflauge Coat

Your duck hunting gear will not be complete without camouflage clothing.  Without camo it is very likely that the ducks will spot you and you will never end up with a good chance at bagging any ducks.


The camouflage is one area of your duck hunting gear that I would not recommend trying to buy the least expensive items you can find.  The reason for this is that you will be in some wet and cold situations so if you do not have proper clothing it is likely that you will be miserable while hunting.


In particular, I recommend that you buy waterproof camouflage duck hunting gear.  Again, it will likely cost 30% or more than non-waterproof gear but it will be well worth having quality clothing while you are duck hunting.


  1. Waders

Duck Hunting Gear: Camoflauge Waders

In most cases having a set of waders is also essential when you build up your duck hunting gear. These will help keep you dry as you place your decoys as well as retrieve ducks that are not in deep spots of water.  Of course if the ducks are further out you will need to find another way of retrieving them.


Waders are also essential when you are hunting flooded timber or other situations where you are standing in water for your entire hunt or sitting in wet spots.  I often sit on the side of a pond and I simply find some taller weeds to use as cover.  The ground is usually damp where I sit so without waders it is likely that I would get wet.


  1. Decoys

Duck Hunting Gear: Feeding Field Duck Decoy

Decoys are a great to have tool for duck hunting.  Although it is possible to hunt ducks in some situations, without decoys, they are usually a key piece in getting ducks to come into shooting range.


Depending on the type of hunting you are going to be doing will have a lot of options for decoys including floating duck decoys, full body field decoys, windsock decoys, silhouette decoys and shell decoys.  Each decoy has its benefits so it will just depend on they style of hunting you will be doing as well as your budget and storage space.


  1. Decoy Bags

Duck Hunting Gear: DecoyPro 12 Slot Decoy Bag

Now that you have your decoys you will want an easy way to carry your decoys to and from your favorite hunting spot.  The good news is that for each style of decoy that is offered there are also options on a good bag to carry and protect your decoys.


If you have purchased some expensive decoys, especially if they are flocked, you will likely want a slotted duck decoy bag as they will keep your decoys from rubbing against each other.  For decoys that have the paint imbedded in the plastic or decoys that you do not care if they get banged up a little bit you can opt for a mesh decoy bag.  For a look at all of the DecoyPro decoy bags you can check them out here.


  1. Duck Call

Duck Hunting Gear: Duck Call

In addition to the decoys helping to pull ducks close enough for shooting, a duck call will also help supplement in bringing ducks in. Those ducks that are off in the distance and are not yet able to see your decoys will likely have their interest peaked when you blow your duck call.  Then as the ducks get closer they can see your decoys and find a landing spot.


As with most of your other duck hunting gear that you can choose from there are many options in regards to duck calls.  You can buy short reed duck calls, long reed duck calls as well as other variations. Entry level calls often start around $25 and can go up to $200 or so for higher end versions or hand carved calls.  I have personally noticed improve call sound once I have got to the $50 or so price point or above.


You may also find certain duck calls easier to use than others.  My recommendation is to go to a sporting goods store that allows you to try the duck call before buying it.  That way you can see what is sounds best as well as what type of call is easiest for you to use.


  1. Headlamp

Duck Hunting Gear: Headlamp

Having a headlamp is very handy first thing in the morning as you make your way to your duck hunting spot. In most cases you will be arriving in the dark to ensure that you are setup before the sun rises so having a headlamp will help keep you safe while walking so you do not trip.


In addition to use while walking, I will use my headlamp while I’m setting up my decoys in the water or on the land.  This way I can clearly see what my decoy spread looks like before I sit down and prepare for ducks.  I find headlamps much easier to use than holding a flashlight because I am able to keep my hands free while carry all of my duck hunting gear and while placing decoys.


  1. Knife

Duck Hunting Gear: Hunting Knife

After you have bagged your ducks you will need a way to clean them so having a knife along is essential. I often use a smaller hunting knife or even a fillet knife that I use when cleaning fish for cleaning my ducks.  This is because the smaller and thinner blades actually seem to work well for me while cleaning.


  1. Dog

Duck Hunting Gear: Dog Wearing Camo Vest

The final thing you will may want to add to your duck hunting gear is dog, especially if you are hunting in a spot where you are unable to retrieve ducks using your waders. Of course if you have a boat that could work as well for duck retrieval but even with a boat it can get annoying to keep pulling your boat out of cover to make a retrieval and then have to cover the boat back up again.


Again, having a dog is not a necessity particularly on the location you hunt and in fact I do not use a dog myself.  This is because the pond I usually duck hunt on is shallow enough for me to grab my ducks by simply walking with my waders.  However, having a dog would certainly make it easier for me as I could just send a dog to grab my ducks and letting it do the work for me.

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