If you're looking to increase your prowess as a waterfowl hunter, you might wish to consider the approach of heading out on an expedition, but leaving your shotgun at home. Sure, you won't end up shooting any ducks, but there's immense value in going through the motions that you perform on a hunting outing, even without your shotgun in your hands. This idea can especially be valuable if you're new to waterfowl hunting, or specifically to hunting ducks. While you can take this outing with a hunting partner, there's also value in you doing it alone. Here are some reasons that you should strongly consider this outing.
You Can Watch Patterns
When you're actively hunting, it can be so easy to focus on aiming and hitting the ducks that you don't pay much attention to their patterns. This can leave you unaware of how the prey acts, which could result in frustrating hunting days. Without your gun, you can hunker down in your blind and watch the ducks' patterns. For example, you'll commonly find that they land in the water coming from the same angle. This information may prompt you to move your blind to a different location, or ideally affirm that you're set up in the right spot.
You Can Assess Your Movement
When you're new to duck hunting, you likely have no idea how your movements may impact the prey. Different types of prey react differently to movement around them, and you may not initially be aware that a movement that you feel is subtle may be responsible for spooking the ducks and keeping them away from your area. When you're in your blind, perform a series of subtle movements that you might make while hunting, and note the reaction of the ducks. For example, reach into your coat pocket to mimic grabbing additional shotgun shells and notice whether the prey seems to react to you.
You'll Appreciate The Prey More
Lots of hunters have a deep appreciation for their prey that those who do not hunt simply don't understand. When you take a "hunting" outing but leave your firearm and ammunition at home, you'll develop a deeper appreciation for your prey. There are many reasons that this is beneficial. For example, it may compel you to take more of a sportsmanlike or ethical approach to your hunt, or you may be quicker to correct fellow hunters who aren't behaving in a manner that is suitable.