Duck season is one of the most popular times in the country. For many hunters, it marks the start of the hunting season, as it often starts in September or early October, giving hunters a chance to perfect their skills before deer season.
It can be easy to get excited about bagging ducks, but before you head out for the wetlands, make sure you are fully educated on the different types of ducks. Knowing which ones are in your area, and knowing how to identify them from afar, will help you become a better duck hunter.
Identifying male mallard ducks is easy, and this should be Duck 101 for every hunter. Look for the white ring around the neck, a clear mark that distinguishes the males from females and also makes them easy to spot from other species. If you can’t make out the ring, mallards also have a low wing beat that is very noticeable. The wing stroke takes place almost entirely below the shoulder.
A wigeon is slightly smaller than mallards, but from below, both sexes have a white belly surrounded by a brownish and grey chest with a longer, wedge-shaped tail. To identify the males from females, the most noticeable feature will be a distinct white patch on the top of the wings.
There are two kinds of scaup: greater and lesser. They are similar in size (we’ll let you guess which is larger) but generally congregate in different area. The greater scaup prefers saltwater while the lesser chooses fresh, but they can both be found in one flock. The white wing patches are often the best mark for picking out these ducks.
These are some of the most decorative ducks in North America, with a multi-colored bill and a green and white chest. These marks, however, can be tough to spot when the duck is overhead, so look for the broad wings and white stripe on the trailing edge. Another feature to look for is the squared-off tail.
Think “pin” and you can’t mistake the northern pintail. The name says it all, as the tail of these ducks slopes into a sharp point. Add in the narrow body and long necks and you have one of the most distinguishable ducks on the water and in the air.
These are one of the smallest of all ducks in North America; so identifying them should be relatively easy. They have short necks and short tails, and they often beat their wings much faster than other ducks. In bright sunlight, you should be able to make out the emerald-green patches on their wings, but the white breasts and lightly colored underwings are a clear indicator for the males.
Whether it’s early-season duck or late-season deer, you can find the perfect performance hunting apparelfrom NOMAD Outdoor. You’ll be able to get advanced hunting garments that give you the warmth and comfort you need for hours in the field, in the stand, or on the move.
NOMAD Outdoor is pleased to announce a partnership with the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF). Now, you can get the same high-quality, premium outdoor wear you’ve come to love and expect from NOMAD, but with a special turkey twist. These items will feature the NWTF logo and be available in both the new NWTF Mossy Oak Obsession camouflage pattern as well as the Bottomland pattern. The best part? A portion of each NWTF collection sale will go to the organization to support their work.
NOMAD is pleased to announce the start of a new multi-year relationship with one of the greatest groups in the outdoor industry: Drury Outdoors. We are proud to sponsor the Drurys, providing innovative performance hunting apparel and gear for use in their line-up of incredible hunting programming.
At NOMAD, we love the excitement and challenge of turkey hunting. It’s one of the most difficult yet rewarding forms of hunting, and like many American outdoor enthusiasts, we are always waiting for spring and fall turkey hunts. However, we all need to be reminded that turkey hunting, however enjoyable, can be a very dangerous sport. When done recklessly, turkey hunts can cause injury and even death.
You may have taken a hunter’s safety course, but it’s always wise to review proper turkey hunting safety so you and your fellow hunters can stay safe in the woods and the fields.