Duck Hunting with a Bow (Fun Guide for Beginners)

If the deer season has passed, there is still plenty of reason for you to keep the crossbow close. Ducks and geese are a good sport for the season, and your bow seems to be a great way to bring them home. 

Waterfowl hunting is not just a sport for the rifle, but a crossbow can be a perfect way to shoot some ducks. 

Duck hunting with a Bow:

People believe that deer hunters and duck hunters are very different. The common belief also goes that a crossbow is not the right weapon to shoot a duck as the bird moves swiftly, and does not easily give a clean shot.

However, when the big-game hunters want a challenge, duck hunting is the best way to go! There are many ways to settle down the ducks. If you want the ducks to stop moving and create confusion, try using a decoy. 

We cannot say it becomes a piece of cake, but duck hunting with a crossbow is challenging, yet fun. The toughest part of duck hunting with a bow is to get the birds to commit to the decoys. Once it sets down properly, a clean shot is possible. 

Set-up for duck BowHunting:

The best way to conceal yourself from waterfowl is to create a blind, or a screen in open areas if you have a rifle or gun. However, keep in mind that archers will always need more space and have to shoot with enough open space on all sides. 

You may set up a blind, but it will conceal only part of you. For a gun shooter, the blind can be bigger as it is easier to shoot through a small opening. 

Archers need to take care of bow limbs and arrows, which require space. You can find a thick tree and hide behind it. A natural blind is more appropriate as it will hide your movements as well.

Another good way of hiding is to stay up on a tree. Ducks are very alert birds, and they sense any movement in their surroundings and dip underwater at the sound of a leaf drop! 

Instead of looking for ducks around the water, you can even spot them near their resting place or where they feed. It is pertinent to mention again that ducks have a keen eye, and you cannot take them to be ‘just birds’ fooling around in the water! 

Any movement can make these birds flutter about and disappear before you know it! Use all the camouflage that you require for deer hunting. If you have to, cover the hiding place with grass, and rocks, and any prop that will not be suspicious to ducks.

The Right Gear:

For the small game as active as ducks, you can use the same gear as the medium or big game. 

Some of you might think it is fair to crank down the draw weight, and it enables you to hold and draw the arrow for longer periods. 

But ducks are too alert and smart to fall in the same category! You need to remain prepared and equipped to shoot once and ensure a perfect hit as there may never be a chance for a second one!

The arrowheads can be small broadheads as ducks keep moving even after a hit. A broadhead can keep the duck on water, instead of allowing it to take a dip and disappear. Numerous arrows can help with bird hunting but ducks are not your typical flying bird. 

Try to keep your weapon on point by keeping more draw weight, but a lighter arrow! The bird needs a strong hit but the penetration must not be too harsh.

Also Read: Best States for Hunting

How to use Decoys?

If you are aiming for ducks in a small pond, too many decoys are not a good idea. However, large decoy spreads are never a good idea as they may hinder ducks from landing in the water. 

A decoy is an artificial duck that adds to the place where you set up a cover. 

The decoys create a feeling that it is safe to swim near your hiding place.

Once you have the ducks at ease, the decoys will only be a distraction for you as it takes a deer-hunter some time to get used to artificial animals floating about!

Last thoughts:

Duck hunting is often presumed to be a fun sport. However, deer hunters and all other bowhunters can enjoy this sport without much change to their hunting gear!

Setting up the hiding place is a challenge but you can use a bow with substantial draw weight and sturdy broadheads to keep your hunting success consistent. 

Quite often deer hunters believe that duck hunting will be easier. That is not true as ducks are active birds, often too quick to react to movements. A few tips and tricks will help all bow hunters to learn this sport and achieve the same results as they are used to seeing with the big game!

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