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Duck blind hunting gear essentials

Use this handy guide to kit out your blind this duck season

Duck Blind.jpg

By Alice Jones Webb

Being in nature is known to have a calming effect, which is one reason waterfowl hunting is an excellent way for many people with high-stress jobs to unwind. However, there’s nothing worse than realizing you’ve left an essential piece of equipment at home. Few things are less relaxing than sitting and shivering uncomfortably all day, whether you bring ducks home for dinner or not.

While gear lists are largely subjective, a few things should be almost mandatory for any type of duck or goose hunting. Here is a list of duck blind essentials guaranteed to make any hunt, at the very least more enjoyable, if not more successful.

Essential hunting gear

SITKA Gear Duck Oven Jacket

When first starting out in the world of duck hunting, it’s easy to get caught up in the more glamorous gear, like fancy calls and life-like decoys. While those things are fine, most hunters tend to overemphasize them while neglecting less exciting, more basic gear. Don’t overlook the importance of high-quality clothing built for comfort in waterfowl environments, which are often very wet and extremely cold. Duck hunting is largely about patience, and comfort goes a long way toward waiting out the next flock.

SITKA specializes in technical, high-performance hunting gear. Their jackets, pants and base layers also come in proven camo patterns. Ducks are used to hunting pressure these days, which means they are always on the lookout. They’ll spot you in a heartbeat if you aren’t camo-ed up. SITKA’s signature camouflage patterns help keep you hidden from those keen waterfowl eyes until they are close enough for you to make the shot.

Frogg Toggs Grand Refuge Waders

No waterfowl hunter is fully outfitted without a sturdy set of waders. No matter what ducks or geese you’re after, you’ll inevitably end up sloshing in and out of the water to set decoys or collect birds.

Frogg Toggs designed these chest-high waders to keep you warm, comfortable and, most importantly, dry. They are constructed with a durable, abrasion-resistant Teflon-coated outer shell and an inner-zip-out quilted liner. Other notable features include an adjustable wading belt, a 10-count shotshell holder and internal fleece-lined handwarmer pockets.

HotHands Hand Warmers

Even on those rare hunts when the ducks are super-active, you won’t spend the whole day holding your shotgun. In between the shooting action is a good time to warm up chilled hands and fingertips. You can speed up the warming process by stowing a few disposable hand warmers in your pockets. These are great for extra-frigid days to help prevent numb hands that make working a call, loading your gun, and pulling the trigger darn near impossible.

Thermos Insulated Beverage Bottle

Thermos insulated bottles have been a duck blind staple for decades. Using vacuum insulation technology, a classic Thermos is a great way to keep your coffee steaming hot on frosty mornings. Coffee is essential for keeping you awake and alert throughout the day.

Breakwater Supply Fogland Submersible Backpack

Duck hunters need a durable, waterproof bag to get their essential hunting gear to and from the blind. The Fogland submersible backpack from Breakwater Supply is the perfect tool for the job.

It is made from dry, suit-grade material and is fully submersible, so it’s guaranteed to keep your shotgun shells, extra socks and snacks dry, even if it goes for a swim. The Fogland also floats, so it’s easy to retrieve if it goes over the side of your boat. Other notable features include water-tight zippers; a rugged, tear-proof exterior; and well-thought-out compartments for easy organization.

Maven C1 10X42 mm ED Binocular

A quality set of binoculars is indispensable for tracking wounded birds and keeping a check on Rover while he’s chasing them down. Plus, a good bit of waterfowling fun is watching the landscape and other wildlife while waiting for the ducks to come in to the decoys. Maven’s C1 binos are some of the best in the business, offering bright, crystal-clear viewing in a sturdy waterproof, dustproof housing.

The Stink Solution

Because hunting waterfowl is generally a wet affair, musty smells are a natural part of any duck-hunting endeavor. Add a damp retriever to the mix, and the funk adds up quickly. The Stink Solution line of natural deodorizing products helps solve the problem by using odor-absorbing molecules that attach to the stink, break it down and eliminate musty, wet-dog and funky smells.

About the author

Alice Jones Webb is an outdoor writer, editor and speaker; and contributing writer for “Field & Stream” and “Recoil Magazine.”