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!