Alright, it’s officially that time of the year again! Hunters all over the country are making final preparations and finalizing last minute details for the upcoming migration. Decoys are being cleaned, retrievers are in top notch condition and food sources have been planted with hopes of sweet Mother Nature providing plenty of rain. Whether you hunt timber, fields or ponds, limits of birds is the goal of every waterfowl hunter. Waterfowl hunting is not just a sport, it’s a tradition that is burned deep into American history. I preach to other hunters constantly that in order to be successful you must scout and go to where the birds are. You must be a student of the game. Hunters come from various backgrounds and from all over the country. Not everyone has the privilege of waking up in their own bed and driving 15 minutes to a successful pit blind or their favorite timber hole. Waterfowl hunters spend many hours traveling and put thousands of miles on pickup trucks every year just to have a chance of harvesting birds. Sometimes this can be stressful, and I promise you times can be disheartening, especially when you have no luck. Booking with a waterfowl guide service can present many opportunities for a hunter. For some, this can be the difference between making or breaking a season!
One of the great things about hunting with a waterfowl outfitter is the new challenges that are presented to a hunter. It’s always exciting to hunt new property and take in the scenery of a set up that you have never experienced before. Hunting new areas will allow you the opportunity to harvest birds that you may not have had the chance to do while hunting your common ground back home. This will also broaden your knowledge of waterfowl habits. Just simply watching how birds react in a different environment and learning how to hunt them in a new area will make you an all around better hunter. Booking a hunt with an outfitter can be a little scary if it is something you have never done before. Talk to other hunters and do your research. An outfitter who returns clients on a yearly basis speaks for itself. When booking a hunt don’t pay any attention to how fancy or big a lodge may be. Talk to your guide, discuss tactics and learn about the history of the property. Most outfitters now write about their hunts in a journal and keep up with numbers harvested throughout the season. Use this information to determine the best time of the season to book your hunt!
Having the chance to hunt with an outfitter allows you to meet new people! One thing I cherish the most in life are my friendships and I can’t even begin to tell you how many friends I’ve made just from hunting waterfowl. While meeting people from hunting with an outfitter, it allows you to start a network of keeping up with bird traffic and following the migration with the years to come. While hunting at home during the slow days throughout the season, I like to pick up the phone and talk to guides from places I’ve hunted before just to discuss weather and the numbers of birds they are seeing each day out in the field. This allows for better preparation when planning out trips to the blind and the timber throughout the year. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. These guys are hunting a minimum of 60 days a year and most are just as excited to talk waterfowl with you as you are with them. Never stop learning and never miss out on an opportunity to hunt somewhere new!
Outfitters in the waterfowl industry are everywhere! They can be found along every flyway and as far north as Canada and as far south as Mexico and Argentina. If there is one thing I’ve learned from hunting with different outfitters is that no two people hunt the same way. Everyone has their own style and each hunter uses multiple tactics that someone else could learn from. If you’re lucky enough to find an outfitter that your able to hunt with year after year, more than likely these guys will become more like family. Running a waterfowl guide service is running a business. These guys are doing this for a living and I personally would call those who successfully give their clients the chance to harvest large numbers of birds a professional. Always remember to be open minded and willing to learn something new and I can personally promise you will become a more knowledgeable and seasoned hunter!
Recommendations from The Chocolate Paws
Megabucks Duck Guides
(318) 669 – 3757
Graveyard Guide Service
(731) 571 – 7960
Arkansas County Guide Service
(870) 830 – 7430
Webfoot Guide Service
(870) 634 – 6073
D & B Outfitter’s, LLC
(903) 644 – 5366
Waterfowl Assassins Guide Service
Arkansas, Missouri, South Dakota
(816) 806 – 1902
(870) 565 – 5201
Barred Up Outfitters, LLC
(337) 802 – 2149