Bowhunting Ducks

Posted by: Bowhunting Contributor on Dec 30, 2012
Page 1 of 3

Written by contributor Brodie Swisher.

When it comes to hunting with my bow I love a good challenge.  Big game or small….I love to simply shoot critters with an arrow.  Several years ago my buddy, Kevin Drewry, of Fathers in the Field (, and I began to talk about a new challenge - hunting ducks with a bow.  Kevin was a waterfowl guide at the time and was always eager to try something different after a long season of guiding clients.  Deer season had passed and we longed for more days in the field with our bows.  I’d seen guys successfully hunt geese with a bow, but had found very little on ducks being hunted with a bow.  So a new challenge began to unfold.  We wouldn’t sit and watch the months of winter slowly pass without taking part in a fresh new challenge….duck hunting with a bow! 


Looking for a new bowhunting challenge? Try arrowing a duck!

Typically, duck hunters and deer hunters are two unique breeds.  I know a number of duck hunters that hunt strictly for feathered fowl.  They never set foot in the deer woods.  And there are countless big game bowhunters that don’t give a rip about shotgunning ducks.  But when a hybrid hunting challenge unfolds, the best of both worlds come to light.  And with waterfowl seasons typically running through mid-to-late January, it just might be the perfect challenge to help keep you bowhunting through the lack-luster months of winter.

The Setup
The “hide” for most waterfowlers consists of a brushed, box-style blind or pit-style blind in open fields.  While this works for the shotgun toting hunter, it is not conducive for the bowhunter.  Bow limbs and arrow shafts require a little more room to roam as the shot opportunity arrives.  Therefore, special arrangements must be made to accommodate the archer.

duck 2

Total concealment is the name of the game. However, be sure your blind of choice offers enough room to manuever your bow for the shot; which could come from any number of directions.

One method that can cross over from shotgun hunter to the bow hunter, particularly for archers attempting to shoot ducks on the wing, is to hide behind large diameter trees and thick brush in flooded timber.  However, this rarely seems to work when attempting to let ducks light on the water before shooting.  The incredibly sharp eyes of ducks will seldom tolerate the movement of coming to full draw without exploding away from the scene.  In my opinion, complete concealment is a must for shooting ducks at close range on the water.  For this reason, I employ the Primos Double Bull blind ( for total concealment when coming to full draw on super-close ducks.

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