As if their ornate plumage, cool calls, and occasional willingness to splash into a spread of decoys weren’t enough to entice you, wood ducks also offer the early-season duck hunter challenging wingshooting and fine table fare.
But hunting wood ducks with consistent success takes more than luck. Put these five steps to work on warm-weather woodies.
Get Woody Wisdom
Wood ducks are most comfortable when they are near or in cover. Look for sloughs, potholes, ponds, backwaters, ditches, and sluggish creeks with emergent vegetation that wood ducks could retreat to and hide in.
Wood ducks also love woody snags, stickups, stumps, downed branches, and toppled trees—places where the birds can get out of the water but still be over it while resting, primping, and preening. You don’t get to look that good by spending all day in the water.