We want to head to these top waterfowl hunting spots with a Savage Renegauge in tow.
If you are like us, you are likely already thinking about waterfowl hunting season. It has been on our minds ever since Savage first showed us their new Renegauge shotgun. We first got to shoot this 12-gauge semi-automatic earlier this year, and really liked how it performed.
We came away impressed by the Renegauge's Dual Regulating Inline Valve gas-operated system that cycles everything from light 2 ¾- to 3-inch magnum shells with ease. The D.R.I.V. system, as they call it, helps control the backward forces by release gasses forward, helping with consistent feel and less overall recoil. As a result, the cycling is precise, even with a variety of shotgun loads.
Combine the way this gun cycles with great ergonomics in the grip, plus an adjustable comb height and recoil pad, and you have a winner.
Our time with the awesome new Waterfowl version of the shotgun got us thinking about goose and duck hunting trips in North America where we would like to use this gun this season. These are some serious bucket list destination spots waterfowl hunters should consider at least once in their lives, and bringing a Renegauge along for the trip would be icing on the cake.
Chesapeake Bay, Virginia/Maryland
We had to start off with one of the most legendary and oldest waterfowl hunting destinations in American history. The bay has been drawing sportsmen and women for hundreds of years. The reason it is a top destination is because there are more than 150 rivers flowing into the bay.
There are literally thousands of acres of estuary and coastal marshes to attract the birds. Prime habitat like that mixed with a position in the middle of the Atlantic flyway presents you with a waterfowler's paradise.
The Canada geese and snow geese hunting can be especially good in Chesapeake Bay because many birds winter there every season. However, do not overlook it for sea duck, canvasback, eider, puddleducks, scoters, bluebills, black ducks, longtails, and more.
There is no shortage of hunting opportunities to fit a variety of styles in Chesapeake Bay. Want to organize a do-it-yourself snow goose hunt? Public hunting areas abound. Want a guide to take you on the best duck hunting expedition of your life? There are plenty of outfitters to hire who will do that, too.
No matter what species you prefer to pursue, or your style of hunting, Chesapeake Bay offers the trip of a lifetime.
Arkansas is well-known for its waterfowl hunting, but it is Stuttgart and the surrounding areas that are at the top of many a duck hunter's list of dream destinations. It's not called the "Duck Capital of the World" for nothing!
Canvasbacks, gadwalls, pintails, wood ducks, black ducks, green wings, mallards and more are just some of species that can be hunted around this small community in east-central Arkansas.
Stuttgart sits in the middle of the Mississippi flyway, which is a travel route taken by tons of migratory bird species every season. The reason Stuttgart is such a key point is because of their other claim to fame -- their rice production. Several major mills call the area home, and as a result, there are hundreds of rice fields all around Stuttgart.
The abundant food supply plus lots of irrigation canals and water sources make it like a magnet for the birds. If sitting on a field is not your thing, the area also has an abundance of swampy hardwoods that always seem to be flooded at the perfect time of year.
Hunting pressure is high in Stuttgart, but there are thousands of acres of public land to get away from the crowds. Check out the 33,832-acre Bayou Meto State Game Area to the south of Stuttgart and the 160,756-acre White River National Wildlife Refuge to the east.
Of course, the area has no shortage of guides willing to take you to the hidden hotspots that produce season after season. There is a reason many hunters return annually.
Great Salt Lake, Utah
Utah is not immediately one of the first destinations many hunters think of when it comes to top waterfowl spots. However, the Great Salt Lake is situated in the Pacific flyway, making it a top stop for migrating wigeon, mallards, gadwalls, pintails, and more.
Because the area has extensive mud flats, it is also a prime spot to setup for habitat-picky teal that will buzz you and your decoys low, hard and fast. There is some quality goose hunting to experience here at the right time of year, too.
The vast open water and mountains also make for a beautiful and unique backdrop for any major waterfowl hunting trip. Utah is also one of the few states to allow swan hunting, so there is an opportunity to bag a new waterfowl species with a new Savage Renegauge.
The Great Salt Lake area is also surrounded by plenty of public land hunting opportunities thanks to wildlife management areas like the beautiful 18,000-acre Farmington Bay Waterfowl Management Area, the 6,900-acre Salt Creek WMA, and the 20,000-acre Ogden Bay WMA just to name a few.
Being situated at the bottom of the Mississippi flyway, and more specifically where the Mississippi River dumps into the Gulf of Mexico, Venice is the spot to go if you like variety. Redheads, mallards, scaup, blue and green-winged teal, wigeon, pintail and canvasback are just some of the species harvested with regularity here every year.
The bayous and low coastal marshland make for literally millions of acres of prime duck habitat during their migrations every year. Many hunters like to make Venice a dual-destination trip, because the area also offers excellent fishing. You can spend your mornings filling your bag limit of ducks and the afternoons saltwater fishing in the Gulf; Many guides offer combo trips that deliver this exact experience.
For public land opportunities, check out the massive Pass-a-Loutre Wildlife Management Area. The Mississippi River carries aquatic vegetation and small aquatic insects into this prime feeding ground. It is over 100,000 acres of bayous, salt and freshwater marshes, and canals that many waterfowl simply cannot resist on their annual migratory routes.
We've visited the "Duck Factory" once before, and all it did was leave us yearning for more. The geese and ducks that nest in Canada in the summer months come winging into your decoys in thick clouds that will make anyone's jaw drop. Canadian geese and mallards are two of the most-pursued species, but pintails, snow geese and more can also be taken hunting even the smallest of water sources in the vast fields of this province.
Because the south and central parts of Saskatchewan are largely agricultural areas, there is no shortage of food for the birds before they begin their long journeys south each season. Hunting this far north usually starts in early September. That means it is easier to catch the birds before they become more educated and wary of calling and decoys.
There are plenty of guides who will give you a place to stay and help set up the gigantic spreads often used in this part of Canada. Some put out hundreds of decoys for each hunt. However, if you want to do things yourself, that is an option, too. Farmers will often grant access to their private land to keep the birds off.
Waterfowl hunting in North Dakota allows hunters one of the first cracks at birds just starting to head south via the Central flyway.
Hundreds of thousands of years ago, great glaciers carved through much of the northern and central parts of the state, creating what is known today as the Prairie Pothole Region. This area is filled with awesome wetland habitat that draws mallards, blue-wing teal, shovelers, pintails, redheads, canvasbacks, geese, and more.
The ducks often zoom into setups in large numbers that leave many a first-time visiting waterfowler in awe. It often does not take long to fill your bag limit, especially with a Savage, and then prepare a fresh lunch with your harvested birds by early afternoon.
Guide services are everywhere in North Dakota for more of a catered experience, but you cannot go wrong checking out any of the numerous Wildlife Management Areas scattered all across the great plains of this state yourself, either.
St. Louis, Missouri
The Show Me State is often better known for deer than ducks, especially around the St. Louis area. However, the outlying spots around the city are mostly agricultural in nature, with corn, beans, and rice fields in abundance. Couple that with a location nestled up alongside the flood plains of the Mississippi River, and you have ideal waterfowl habitat.
Oh, and this area is right in the middle of the Mississippi flyway, making it a major stop along the flightpath for hungry, migrating birds anyway, especially snow geese. The season takes place later in the year, meaning you can still get a waterfowl fix in late winter. Canadian geese and mallards can also be found in ready supply here.
For public hunting opportunities, check out the Columbia Bottom Conservation Area just north of the city. If you want to get away from the urban areas, drive about an hour north to the 4,000-acre B.K. Leach Memorial Conservation Area.
Kodiak Island, Alaska
Because an awesome gun like the Savage Renegauge calls for incredible hunting destinations, what could be better than the Last Frontier? Kodiak Island takes a little work to reach, but it is a top destination for multiple varieties of duck including scoter, wigeon, green-winged teal, eiders, long-tails, merganser, bufflehead, goldeneye, pintail, sea ducks, and harlequin.
Many waterfowl outfitters will even throw in a little saltwater fishing into their waterfowl hunting packages. Planned far enough in advance, you could also make it a combination big game hunting trip for bear or blacktail deer, too.
The abundance of wildlife of all forms coupled with the breathtaking scenery makes Kodiak Island a waterfowl destination unlike any other. It is the ideal spot to unwind from the stresses of modern life and take in the majesty of nature while simultaneously enjoying some of the best wingshooting you have ever experienced.