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 the Chesapeake Bay, duck hunting is a part of our persona that has no equal.
Duck hunting can be almost as successful in a public area as 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. Whether you want to hunt open water or rice fields, you'll find what you're looking for right here. Duck hunting is a passion we can't get over, and here is the best way to satisfy the urge across the United States.
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. I would be remiss in my duties if I didn't mention the St. Lawrence Seaway region. You can't forget the wetlands, creeks, and river opportunities that the Empire State offers.
Public land duck hunting is as good as ever in California, and this video proves it. The teal--cinnamon and otherwise--cooperate considerably reasonably 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 their dander up. Cornhusker water and field hunting are alive and well.
Anywhere you can have geese and puddle ducks dumping into 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 the waters of the Eastern Shore is as old a duck hunting habit as there is. From public hunting in 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. Even when the ice shows and the hunting gets more challenging, 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? The waterfowl will land in your lap between the Mississippi Delta and the thousands of acres of prime farmland in the heart of the Mississippi Flyway.
Whether hunting in flooded timber or a millet hole, Illinois has droves of puddle ducks from the Central Flyway. A planned hunting trip could be an excellent 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 years to fill game bags and grills with North American dabbling ducks.
Louisiana has arguably the best duck hunting anywhere in North America between the delta, flooded timber, and the coastal wing-shooting. 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 speckle bellies, snow geese, and Canada goose to go around too. Add many public hunting opportunities in wildlife management areas, National Wildlife Refuges, and the many guide services available. 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 ten different people where is the best place to go, you will get ten other answers based on hunting pressure and preferred hunting styles.
This is an excellent place to start your bucket list, but none of these ten states will let you down.
This article was originally posted on September 15, 2021.
READ MORE: 6 BEST DUCK HUNTING DOG BREEDS
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