These are the best duck hunting states, and they're waiting for you and your favorite shotgun.
Duck hunters are a breed like no other. Between getting up at excruciatingly early hours and wading chest deep into frozen waters, duck hunting takes on a life of its own in the hunting community.
From the Pacific to the Central Flyway, and all the way to Chesapeake Bay, duck hunting is a part of our persona that has no equal.
It is the one pursuit that can be almost as successful on a public hunting area as it is on private land, from northern hotspots to the Prairie Pothole region, and from the Mississippi River to the Atlantic Flyway. Here are 10 of the best and brightest states to try when you get that urge to contact a veteran guide and go the distance to satisfy your desire to drop a green-winged teal or even some black ducks.
10. New York
Between Lake Erie, the esteemed Finger Lakes, and the shores of Long Island, New York State offer some of the best wing shooting in the country. If I didn't mention the St. Lawrence Seaway region I would be remise in my duties, and you can't forget all of the wetlands, creeks and river opportunities that the Empire State has to offer.
Public land duck hunting is as good as ever in California and this video proves it. The teal--cinnamon and otherwise--cooperate considerably well for those with a keen wing shooting eye.
Mallards tipping their wings and running each other over trying to land in your set will make any waterfowl hunter get his or her dander up. Cornhusker water and field hunting is alive and well.
Anywhere you can have geese as well as puddle ducks dumping in to your decoys you will have a great waterfowl hunting experience. Since Minnesota is known as the "Land of 10,000 Lakes," it goes without saying that it would be on this list.
Watching your dog retrieve off of the waters of the Eastern Shore is as old a duck hunting habit as there is. From public hunting the interior to the venerable Chesapeake Bay, duck hunting in the Old Line State is one of waterfowling's bucket list items.
5. North Dakota
The epitome of Prairie Pothole duck hunting, North Dakota offers some of the best wing-shooting there is. Even when the ice shows and the hunting gets tougher, there's nothing better than setting up on a pothole the mallards have been using.
What's not to like about duck hunting in Mississippi? Between the Mississippi Delta and the thousands of acres of prime farmland in the heart of the Mississippi Flyway, the waterfowl will be landing in your lap.
Whether you're hunting in flooded timber or a millet hole, Illinois has puddle ducks coming in from the Central Flyway in droves. A hunting trip planned here could be a great opportunity to clean up on several species all in one outing.
When you hear the name Stuttgart, your brain immediately starts thinking about migrating mallards slipping into a big block of decoys set out in an open rice field. Guides and hunters have been getting together for many years here to fill game bags and grills with North American dabbling ducks.
Between the delta, flooded timber, and the coastal wing-shooting, Louisiana has arguably the best duck hunting there is anywhere in North America. Duck season is like a holiday for residents here. No wonder it is the best waterfowl state on this list. The Bayou State is home to pretty much every species of duck that a hunter could want to chase at one time or another. Whether your interest is in pintails, gadwalls, wigeons, wood ducks, or canvasbacks, there is something for every waterfowler. Oh, there are lots of specklebellies, snow geese, and Canada goose to go around too. Add the plethora of public hunting opportunities in wildlife management areas and National Wildlife Refuges, and the many guide services available, and anyone can get their dream duck hunt in this state. No wonder so many hunters return every hunting season.
Honorable mention goes to Missouri, Oklahoma, Kansas, Washington, South Carolina, Texas, and Colorado. Duck hunting is a passionate way of life for many in the hunting community, so if you ask 10 different people where is the best place to go, you will get 10 different answers based on hunting pressure and preferred styles of hunting.
This is a good place to start your bucket list, but none of these 10 states will let you down.
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