Late Summer is a favorite time because I start my preparations for Texas waterfowl hunting. It’s time to clean and freshen the decoys, check my safety gear and do a little scouting for likely places to hunt. My decoys take a beating every year so I like to weed out the most damaged ones and add a few new duck decoys to my mix. I also like to do a detailed review of all of my safety gear – flashlights, knives, PFD and backpack – just to make sure that I’m prepared in case I get into a mess. Lastly, it’s time to put the duck boat on the river and see what we can see. I’m not a fisherman so I don’t boat much during the off-season and putting the boat back in the water for Texas waterfowl hunting always makes my heart beat a little faster.
Texas Waterfowl Hunting Decoys
There is nothing like a couple boxes of fresh decoys waiting for me on the porch to get me excited about Texas waterfowl hunting. I prefer Greenhead Gear decoys, and in particular, their blue winged teal and puddler packs. They seem to be perfectly suited to the duck hunting in Central Texas. I also love the Mojo Texas Rigs for lines and weights. Sure, it might be a bit cheaper to make them myself but buying them ready made sure is easy.
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Personal Flotation Device
I mainly hunt the river near my house and it isn’t deep in many places. That said, there are areas where it is easy to get in trouble and having your waders full of water can send you to the bottom or down stream very quickly. I dislike full size PFDs but found that I can easily tolerate the quick inflate PFDs. I don’t use the one’s with automatic inflation because I frequently take a dip in the river and don’t want it going off accidentally. These PFDs aren’t cheap but if you read enough stories about waterfowl hunters getting into trouble on the water, I think you’ll agree that it’s a worthwhile investment.
UV Paint for Decoys
I have some older, crappy decoys that don’t float very well and are mallards. We don’t have (m)any mallards in Central Texas waterfowl hunting so these were prime candidates for an experiment. I’ve read advertisements about special UV paint that birds can see. I ordered the paint kit and used the UV paints on my mallard decoys. I’m planning on running several experiments this year to see if these UV painted decoys work any differently. Now, the chips will be stacked against these decoys because they are not only mallards but also because my decoy painting skills are horrible. Add to that, that it will be embarrassing as all get out if I am seen by my hunting buddies doing this, especially given my atrocious decoy painting skills!
Nothing beats a late summer scouting trip with my duck boat, dog and daughter! The duck boat doesn’t care. The dog is HIGHLY interested and the daughter just does it to humor her Dad. Nonetheless, I’m always excited about the scouting trips and the endless possibilities we discover. There aren’t any ducks here yet but finding likely spots and then access points to those spots puts me a little bit ahead of the lazier people for Texas waterfowl hunting.
Summary of Texas Waterfowl Hunting Preparation
Late summer preparation for Texas waterfowl hunting is an exciting time for me. I enjoy getting new decoys and cleaning up the ones that served me so well last year. It’s also an opportunity to check and repair my safety gear. I’m attempting an experiment this year with UV paints on some of my older decoys. It’s a bit embarrassing but if it works, I’ll be very pleased. Lastly, a late summer river scouting trip with my favorite hunting buddies is always a treat – even if there aren’t any ducks here yet.
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