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22/Jul/2018

Plenty of hunters dream of joining a hunting company’s pro staff with the belief that they’ll get to hunt for a living, be paid big bucks and receive a closet full of free gear. For a handful of people who’ve reached celebrity status, this dream has become reality. For the majority of pro-staffers, though, the perks are much more modest.

In reality, few pro-staffers are paid money for their services. Instead, they receive a limited amount of free or discounted gear in exchange for their work. And, most pro-staffers do not get to hunt for a living. Like you, they have normal jobs and only hunt during their time off, and usually, on their own dime.

But, if you’re the right fit, being on a pro staff can be a fun time and the gateway to a career in the outdoor industry. Check out what this list of hunting industry professionals had to say:

 

 

Does joining a pro-staff mean free hunting trips to exclusive places? Probably not. But for many, it’s still well-worth doing. (Photo courtesy of Whitetail Properties)

Simply being good at hunting, turkey calling, shooting a bow or other outdoor skill just isn’t enough. There are thousands of great sportsmen and women, but only those who are also good communicators have a shot at becoming a successful pro staffer.—Lee Lakosky, Realtree Pro-staffer and Co-host of The Crush

 

Lee Lakosky

“You must come across as educated, well-spoken and well-written,” Lakosky says. “Many companies expect their pro staffers to write magazine articles, give seminars, take photographs, talk to the public and speak on camera, so you need to be able to perform each of these tasks well.”

Lee originally had no intention of hosting a TV show or getting on a pro staff. “I simply loved to hunt and wanted to be involved in the outdoor industry any way I could. I worked in an archery shop for eight years. I volunteered to run booths at trade shows. I also started writing articles for various hunting magazines. Even though I wasn’t getting free product, I always wrote about the gear I used because I believed in it. Companies appreciated that and took notice.

“We also started volunteering to work in Realtree’s booth at trade shows and other events,” Lakosky continues. “We never asked for product or free gear, which set us apart from others. We just enjoyed the industry so much that we were happy to do it. To make it as a pro-staffer, you need to first ask, ‘what can I do for you?’ instead of ‘what can you do for me?’”

If your main goal is to simply hunt more, then I recommend finding a job with a flexible schedule so you can fit in more hunting. – Timothy Kent, owner Theory 13 Creative LLC, marketing agency for Wild Game Innovations

Will being a pro-staffer land you free hunting trips? Not likely. What it will certainly do is create work out of your hunting passion. That could be a good or bad thing depending on your goals, but if one of those goals is simply more hunting time, joining a pro staff is not the best way to make that happen.

“Being on a pro staff is not for those who just want to hunt more; it’s for those who want to be involved in the outdoor industry,” Kent says. “Compensation and the opportunity to hunt more should not be the main drive.”

We want motivated ladies who are involved in the hunting industry, are avid outdoorswomen and are active in social media. – Katherine Grand, pro-staff coordinator for Prois

Again, companies create pro staffs as tools for promoting their brands and products. Being an active, engaged communicator is of the utmost importance for any pro-staffer. “A Prois pro-staffer is expected to promote the brand using the avenues available to her, whether it is through blogs, radio or TV appearances, gear reviews or publications,” Grand says. “She is expected to provide the company with regular updates and photos or video of her activities.”

Travis T-Bone Turner

The hunting celebrities you see on TV, who are at the top of their game now, started at the bottom as well. – Travis T-Bone Turner, Realtree pro-staffer and co-host of Bone Collector

“Companies are looking for people who will give back to the business,” Turner says. “The first step you need to take toward making it on a pro staff is to volunteer. Volunteer at your local archery shop. Volunteer at your state’s department of conservation youth events. Volunteer to man a trade show booth for the company you’d like to represent.

Volunteering at various events and for different companies will get you noticed, provide you with experience and will help you make connections in the outdoor industry. And those connections are vital. Make sure to always act professional and don’t burn bridges. People move around a lot in the outdoor industry, so you never know who will hold the key to your success in the future.”

Some pro-staffers receive no compensation because they simply want to be associated with the Realtree brand.  – Dana Peacock, Realtree Pro-staff Coordinator

Realtree’s pro staff compensation, which takes the form of money, free gear and/or a monetary allowance for free gear, varies depending on the level of pro-staffer.

“Some of our pro-staffers are the cream of the crop with top-rated TV shows,” Peacock says. “Pro-staffers at this level make their living being hunting celebrities and of course receive the biggest compensation package from us. Lower-level pro-staffers may have a TV show, but they are not as famous as the top-tier pro-staffers. These men and women are generally known in certain circles because of their specialty. But most of them have regular jobs they must work around to fulfill their pro-staff duties.”

Although there are hundreds of solicitations each year, few people are added to the Realtree Pro Staff as a result of simply submitting a resume. Instead, most members of the Realtree Pro Staff  have already been in the outdoor industry for some time, and have built relationships with Realtree employees in the process. They’ve proven that they are professional, well-spoken, and willing to work and represent the brand through their available communication channels. And they have a passion and knowledge of hunting and the outdoors.

That, in a nutshell, is what’s required of any pro-staffer, anywhere. If it describes you, start following the advice these experts have offered, and be persistent. To be considered for Duckr’s Pro-Staff program and receive 80% off along with free Pro-Staff only gear contact us.

 


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Before you head out to the great outdoors for a hunting trip, it’s important to have a good, solid plan for what to do if something goes wrong. While the chances of getting lost or hurt are minimal if you follow all of the proper safety protocols for hunting, the unexpected can still happen. That’s why every good duck hunter has a plan of action for any kind of emergency that could happen during a hunting trip.

Set a Check-In Time

Especially if you’re going duck hunting alone, but even if you’re with a buddy, it’s a good idea to set a check-in time with a friend or family member. Basically, you’re going to be out in the woods for several hours at least each day that you’re on your hunting trip, and you may not be able to call to check in while you’re in your blind, calling for ducks. However, you can set a time when you know that you’ll be back to your vehicle and able to call.

If you know that you’re going to be done with your duck hunt and back to your truck no later than 7:00 PM, make that your check-in time. Call your emergency contact person by then, and they’ll know that if you don’t get in touch that it’s time to start calling the proper authorities to start searching for you.

Take Care of Immediate First Aid Needs

If you’re hurt, you’ll need to do whatever you can to take care of your immediate first aid needs. This means taking a first aid kit with you, complete with extra bandages, a means to clean wounds, disinfectants, and a tourniquet if you’re bleeding badly. Also, we recommend taking a class on administering emergency first aid, as well as how to use a tourniquet. One of these could save your life, but it can be dangerous to use if you aren’t careful.

Stay Where You Are

If you’re lost, don’t wander around trying to find your bearings. If you’ve set a check-in time and failed to check in, then you can be sure that searchers are out looking for you. You don’t want to wander away from them by accident.

On that note, though, a lot of hunters are downloading duck hunting apps like Duckr to avoid getting lost, especially in the dark. Duckr IOS lets you set digital breadcrumbs so that you can find your blind, get back to your vehicle, and avoid getting lost, even when it’s pitch black outside.

Send an SOS

Of course, in an emergency, you might not have time to wait for someone to come looking for you after they’ve realized that you didn’t check in on time. In these cases, you can call on Duckr’s SOS, as well. The duck hunting app has an SOS feature that will let authorities know that you’re in trouble and need a rescue.

With a solid plan and some help from your duck hunting app, you can get help in even the worst scenarios on a duck hunt. Make your plan and download Duckr Android today to stay safe on your next duck hunt.

 


22/Jul/2018
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When you plan a hiking or camping trip with your family, you try to plan to go when the weather is sunny and mild, right? You know that the elements don’t always cooperate, so you have contingencies in place for rain and other poor weather conditions, but if it gets too bad, you’re not going to hesitate to throw in the towel and head home. When it comes to successful duck hunting, though, one of those terrible days that most people wouldn’t ever want to go hiking or camping might be the perfect weather to come home with your full daily limit of ducks in just a few hours.

So what is the best weather for duck hunting? Should an imminent storm keep you inside, and is cold weather always a good sign? Let’s explore how weather affects ducks and how their weather-dependent behavior can affect your duck hunt.

Get to Your Blind When the Barometer Drops!

Duck hunters love it when they can get out when a low-pressure system is moving through before a storm. Basically, the storm is driving the ducks ahead of it to find sheltered areas where they can take cover. Set your duck blind up to look like a good feeding area with some shelter where other ducks are landing, and you’ll be in good shape for a great hunting day.

Freezing Cold Weather Makes for Great Morning and Afternoon Hunting

When the weather is cold (20 degrees Fahrenheit and lower), ducks tend to feed in the early morning just before dawn and in the afternoon when the weather is a bit warmer. If you can find a blind where the water isn’t frozen over, you can create a really inviting decoy spread and get more ducks landing in your shooting range. If you’re hunting in cold weather, your best bet is almost always to find a river channel that’s still flowing where you can set up your blind and your spread.

If the Weather Is Nice You Might Want to Stay Home

Unfortunately, the days that would provide the most comfortable duck hunting are also the days that you’ll probably go home without a single duck. When the weather is nice, ducks either continue to fly high with no need to stop and feed or take cover, or they get really lazy and don’t go searching for new places to land and feed.

Not only that, but if the weather is nice and calm, then the water is going to be very still, and you’ll have a harder time convincing ducks to land in your spread. If they don’t see enough of the right kind of movement, they’ll keep moving, knowing that something isn’t right about the “ducks” floating at that feeding spot.

So, when it comes to the best weather for duck hunting, colder weather is better and incoming storms are a good sign. You might not want to go out on a duck hunt in the middle of a hurricane, but if a storm’s approaching in the next few days and the weather is cool and windy, get your duck gear and head to your blind!


22/Jul/2018

We are really exited that after a long delay we are ready to start inviting Android users to signup to beta test the Duckr Android App.

 

We have a few items to still release but most everything else is ready.  Please signup below.

 

Subscribe to Duckr Android Beta

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On this Veterans Day we would like to thank our friends and family members who have served this great country and Happy Veterans day to those who are currently serving.

As helpful as tips and techniques can be when it comes to duck hunting, sometimes you need something more inspirational than informational. After all, as a duck hunter, you’re going to spend a lot of time out in the cold, and the weather won’t always be sunny. Hunting ducks involves early mornings that start long before the crack of dawn, and some days you come back with no ducks at all to show for your trouble. On those days, it helps to remember a few successful hunting stories so that you can remember the good days and your own successful hunts.

Along those lines, a small group of goose and duck hunters in Maryland have formed one of the most inspiring organizations we can think of – Hunters Helping Heroes. This group is dedicated to helping servicemen and women who’ve given years of their lives to defending our freedom by taking them on group hunts to show gratitude and give them a fun and rewarding experience.

A Veterans’ Duck Hunt

Hunters Helping Heroes recently put together a three-day hunting trip for two veterans, Jamie and Dan. With some guidance, in the morning, the vets took a boat trip to their first blind, where they got two mallards, though the rest of the first day was a wash. The second day, though, at a different site – a private farm – Jamie and Dan had a much better day, bagging two buffleheads, three green wing teal, and one ruddy duck. Then, on the third day, they went goose hunting and got a total of nine geese between them.

While Jamie and Dan have both served time in the military together fighting for our freedom, neither one of them had much experience at all with duck hunting. Just a bit of guidance and the right location gave them the opportunity to have an incredibly successful trip.

Inspiring Stories and New Adventures All Over the US

Duck hunting is an interesting sport that requires patience and a lot of skill, but it’s also a great way to build camaraderie and to really relax, especially for people whose jobs are as demanding and stressful as those who’ve served in any branch of the US military.

To us, the best part about the work that this group does is that they give vets a chance to do some serious duck hunting anywhere in the US. They have members working in New Jersey, South Dakota, Oklahoma, North Carolina, and all across the country. And, like they did with Jamie and Dan, they work to take veterans on multi-day trips with different blinds to pack the most fun into every trip.

So next time you’re feeling a little rundown lying in your blind, think about the wide community of duck hunters in your area and around the country who are going on some great adventures together and doing good things for our servicemen and women. And while you’re thinking about it, check out your Duckr feed to see what other duck hunters near you are doing to pass the time, improve their hunts, and do more for their communities.

More Details are available at http://huntershelpingheroes.org/



If you’re new to duck hunting, you might not know about one of the more popular pieces of duck hunting gear out there – the Mojo Duck. While there are a number of brands of this kind of decoy – and we’re not pushing any one brand over another – most duck hunters have adopted the term “mojo” to refer to just about any motion decoy.

So what is a mojo? Basically, it’s a decoy that doesn’t float in the water like the others. Instead, it’s staked on a pole so that it’ll sit in the air above the water. At the same time, its battery-operated wings will spin, flap, or flutter to look like a duck that’s just coming in for a landing in your spread. The idea is that ducks flying over, attracted by your call, will see more than just a “dead”, motionless spread with no movement. They’ll see a duck landing in the spread, and they’ll be more likely to see it as a safe place to come in for a landing.

Do Mojos Work?

If you stand around looking at a spread with a mojo hovering above it, you might be tempted to say, “That doesn’t look real,” and completely dismiss the idea of adding a mojo to your spread. However, a lot of duck hunters have found that mojos really do improve the chances of ducks landing in their spreads.

Think of it like this – a duck won’t have the same perspective you do. It’s not standing off to the side, watching some alien duck hovering over the water. As it flies over, it’ll catch motion in its periphery as it hears duck calls and sees a group of ducks in an inviting formation in the water. It won’t “think” a lot about landing – it’ll just come in to land. By the time it sees anything amiss, if it ever does, you’re ready to take the shot.

Where Should You Place Your Mojo?

So where do you put a mojo to get ducks to fly in for a landing? Basically, while the motion of the mojo will attract ducks, those ducks won’t want to land right on top of another duck that’s coming in for a landing. Place your mojo a bit off to the side, near your other decoys but not directly in line with them, and at a place where you’ll have the duck in your sights.

Essentially, the duck coming in for a landing will slow and may even stop as it approaches the mojo, so you want it to be in a place where you’re most likely to make the shot. So, if you have a J-hook spread, place your mojo near the cluster of ducks at the end of your shooting range, but not all the way to them. Or, if you have a V-funnel, place it toward the narrow end of the “V”.

Experiment with placement around these areas and see what a mojo can do for you on your next duck hunt.



While duck hunting season may only be open a few months out of the year, seasoned duck hunters and duck hunting enthusiasts know that there’s a lot that you can do throughout the year to get ready for duck season. In fact, if you want to be a better duck hunter this year, there are a few things that you could be doing right now to have much better hunting days and an all-around better season.

Practice Your Calls

Keep your calls handy throughout the off-season. Spend some time watching videos and listening to recordings of the ducks that you’re most likely to see in your area, and practice mimicking them. You don’t want to get out there on the first day of duck hunting season just to find that you’re completely rusty at calling and that you’re not fooling any of the ducks flying over you.

In addition to practicing on your own, go to your local hunting and fishing store or check online to see if there are any calling seminars or workshops happening near you throughout the year. You never know what you might learn.

Spend Some Time at the Range

The more you practice shooting, the more comfortable you’ll be with your shotgun. If you think that getting to your blind on the first day of duck hunting season and having a bad call is bad, try getting there and being completely cold and rusty with your shotgun.

Plus, if you practice regularly, you’ll know if your gun has any issues before you pack it up with your duck hunting gear for your first hunt of the season. This will give you plenty of time to find a gunsmith and have your shotgun repaired or upgraded to work the way you want it to. And you’ll find, after a few months of regular shooting, that you’re much faster on the trigger, and you’ll miss much fewer birds coming into your spread.

Spend Time Training Your Retriever

Practicing your calls and your shooting skills will help you keep your duck hunting game on point, but you’re not the only one who needs to practice. Your retriever needs to spend time in the water, and it needs to stay in shape and focused throughout the year. Otherwise, all that training you did to get your dog in shape last season will go completely out the window and you’ll be back at square one with a dog that isn’t ready to hunt.

Do these three things – starting right now – and practice them throughout the off-season, and your duck hunting will improve immensely. The guys you shot with last year won’t believe how much better you’ve gotten, even if you’re still using a bunch of cheap duck hunting gear and you haven’t made any upgrades to your blind. Of course, upgrading your duck gear can help, too, but practicing your hunting skills will help a lot more. Have fun, and good luck!


22/Jul/2018

Whether you’re just getting into duck hunting or you’re planning on doing some hunting in a new area, you can learn a lot and have a much better hunting trip if you have some assistance from a guide or duck hunting outfitter. Once you’ve gone on a few guided duck hunts in a given area, you can say goodbye to your outfitter and get any incidental help you need from a duck hunting app like Duckr. But, to get started, you might want to consider one of the best guided duck hunting trips in the US.

Chesapeake Bay Maryland Duck Hunting

If you live in Maryland or you’re planning a trip to the Chesapeake Bay, Black Duck Outfitters’ Maryland Duck Hunting services offer is an affordable and really enjoyable service. Here, you can get experience with duck hunting in open waters, and you’ll see how traditional spreads and longer lines can attract sea ducks and divers. The guides who work for this service have over 10 years of experience, and you can get a discount if you bring a large group. Rates are $200-275 per hunter.

Duck Hunting in Venice, Louisiana

Venice, Louisiana offers the opportunity to hunt pintails, canvasbacks, gaddies, teals, and more. Peak season is January, and hunters can get help from guides and outfitters to set up the right blinds and spreads for any of these. Plus, if you hit your limit early in the day, you can always do some fishing for sea trout or redfish, and you’re close enough to the coast to head off shore to try for some tuna, too. The cost for all that ranges from $200-300 per hunter per day.

Get Green Timber Mallards in Arkansas

For just a bit more – about $350 per day for a guided trip – you can go to Arkansas to hunt green timber mallards. This experience is like no other, as the ducks will actually be flying in through the live green trees. You’ll see something truly special and unique when you opt for this kind of hunt, but you’ll want the expertise of a duck hunting guide or outfitter who can help you create the best blinds and decoy spreads. With such a different style of hunting ducks, you’ll be glad you have their expertise.

Guide or Outfitter?

Whether you’re heading to one of these destinations or anywhere else for your duck hunt, you’ll want to make sure that you have everything you need to have the most successful trip possible. The terms guide and outfitter are often used interchangeably, but they’re actually not the same thing. A guided hunt is almost always a bit more DIY than a hunt with an outfitter, who’ll generally have the duck gear and other equipment you’ll need.

Before you commit, find out what services and duck hunting gear your guide or outfitter provides so that you don’t show up unprepared. Then you can get the gear you need and have a great trip and a successful duck hunt.



There are so many options when it comes to shotguns for duck hunting. Sometimes you end up buying the wrong type of gun for your purpose. It is because of this confusion that I am writing this article. Read it carefully because I have researched hundreds of guns and found the most efficient guns out there for waterfowl, specifically ducks.

Benelli Super Black Eagle II

Wow! This shotgun is considered the elite of semi-automatic guns with its 3 ½ inch barrel. It can load nearly all standard 2 ¾-inch 12-gauge loads as well as 3 and 3 ½-inch magnums. The beautiful chrome-lined barrels have been tested over and over to perfect its pressure. Its Inertia-Driven system is the finest and has become the top-choice for all present day duck hunters. It is made with the innovative recoil system that transformed firearms machinery. It is definitely worth its high price.

Franchi Intensity

The Intensity is also power-driven by parent company Benelli’s upheld Inertia Driven system. It is a champion choice because of its light-weight design. Great for hiking to spots. It unfailingly cycles a much broader selection of loads than it was ever intended to. It’s a 3 ½-inch 12-gauge super magnum driving force that is guaranteed to charm many waterfowlers.

Beretta A400 Xtreme and A300

A shotgun like the A400 is blessing in the marsh. It is a reliable shooter of each and every type of 12-gauge shells, has the ability for firing multiple shots in less than a minute, and is so comfortable because of its soft-coil that your shoulder is left untouched even after a grueling hunting session. Enhancing that with the best protection from corrosion makes this one only for big-time hunters. On a lesser, but also reliable scale, is the A300. We lose the AquaTech coating and the one-piece assembly, but we also decrease in price about a thousand times.

Benelli M2 Performance Shop Waterfowl

Its lightweight slim design makes the M2 Performance Shop Waterfowl a perfect choice for women and children. Don’t be fooled, though, it is built with the equivalent performance-driven power as the Performance Shop’s Super Black Eagle II Waterfowl Edition 12-gauge making it the most competitive gun with a flawless execution. Its mighty-dependable Inertia Driven operating system has been worked to warrant that the bolt runs super smoothly. It’s the ultimate choice for the smaller hands.

Browning Maxus and A5

What can be said about an already ultra-reliable and efficient gun for duck hunting? The Browning Maxus is considered the most reliable gun out there. It’s a 3 ½-inch gas-operated semi-automatic that fires a perfect shot every time. This piece is built using the Invector-plus choke system and a longer forcing cone and back-barrel which diminishes shot deformation. The A5 semi-automatic shotgun tends to look like older versions but has been modernized to be perform as a trustworthy and fast-cycling multipurpose shotgun perfect for duck hunting. What duck hunter could resist the Inflex II Technology recoil pad which allows for demanding sessions and effective results? None.

We always would recommend you try each one of these guns if possible it’s the only way to know what will work best for you and make you the most comfortable when shooting.  Comment below to share your with other Duck Hunters.



Once they’re properly trained, Labrador retrievers are amazing duck hunting dogs. In fact, with a little bit of consistency and a controlled environment in training, these dogs are so smart and such a good fit for hunting ducks that they practically train themselves. If you’ve been having trouble with training your retriever, you might be making one or more of these extremely common mistakes.

Raising the Dog in a Pen Outside

In years gone by, hunting dogs were raised outside in pens, and they grew up to be perfectly socialized and to have the kinds of relationships with people that they needed to get the right communication cues and to be good duck hunt companions. Today, that’s not really the case.

Why? Well, in the old days, your kids would’ve been spending just as much time outside as in (and usually more time out). They would’ve been in the pen with the pup from an early age, and they would’ve played a huge part in socializing your dog to be a good companion when you go hunting ducks.

Today, most kids spend most of their time inside watching TV and playing video games. So, if you want a well socialized hunting dog, you should probably keep it inside with you, your family, and your kids to forge that bond.

Repeating Commands to Get a Better Reaction

In your mind, you repeat commands to strengthen your dog’s association with the command. You repeat, “Sit!” thinking that your dog will learn the command faster and get it ingrained in his brain. However, saying, “Sit! Sit! Sit!” can actually be confusing to your dog. He thinks that your repeated command is the command, and he won’t know what a single “Sit!” means. It takes some patience, but try not to repeat commands to get a better reaction.

Yelling or Pleading When the Dog Doesn’t Respond

If your dog doesn’t follow your command, you might be tempted to yell the command, to plead with the dog, or to otherwise change your tone. Don’t do it. The dog didn’t disobey you because he didn’t hear you – he heard you just fine. Consistent tone will help a great deal more with training than yelling or getting frustrated and pleading.

Too Many Retrieves

This is another one that sounds counterintuitive, especially to duck hunters who want to make sure that their retrievers really know how to retrieve. However, overtraining your dog’s retrieval skills with multiple, uncontrolled retrieves is a good way to wear the dog out and push him to his physical limits. Trust that your dog was born with retrieval instincts (that’s why they’re called retrievers), and work on other parts of his training more than his retrieving.

So, are you making any of these four mistakes with your Labrador retriever? If you want a great duck hunting dog, remember that human contact and consistency in training are important. And you don’t have to spend hours training him on retrieves. Avoid these mistakes, and you’ll have a great duck hunt dog in no time. Good luck!