By Chad Anderson
Autumn is almost upon us, and for hunters, that means hunting season is right around the corner. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has released the dates for the upcoming duck season, and it is time for those annual preparations to make sure you, your equipment and your dog are ready to tackle the next few months. After all, teal season begins September 12.
If you are planning to participate in duck season this year, here are five tips to get all hunters ready for the upcoming season.
- If you haven’t started yet, start scouting places. People are often surprised on opening day when they go to their hunting spots from the previous year to find that there is no water there. Go check out your spot(s) from last year, and also look for a new spot. Google Maps can be your friend.
- Get your gear ready. Clean off the decoys and see if any need to be repaired or replaced. Put your waders on and get in the water to make sure there isn’t a new leak because they dry-rotted during the offseason. Make sure your boat is in good running condition. People often neglect their gear and find themselves behind the eight ball on opening day because they haven’t checked their gear since putting it away at the end of last season.
- Practice shooting again. Go to a place like Hunter’s Run in Port Allen to shake the rust off of your trigger finger. A few rounds of shooting clays will go a long way to prepare any hunter for the upcoming season. Doing this will also ensure that your gun is working properly for opening day.
- Get your dog in shape. This takes time. In order to do this properly, you will need a few weeks. Building your dog’s stamina is key. It won’t come back overnight as much as you think it will. Yes, the lab will literally run itself to death, but no one wants to do that. Slowly build up their time running and swimming. You may be surprised to see how much work they need.
- Get yourself in shape. We are all guilty of it. The first time we have to walk a distance in waders while carrying gear, we are winded by the time we get to where we’re hunting. I’m not saying you have to join a gym, but start walking the neighborhood and taking the stairs just to help yourself out for duck season.
Doing these things before the season will ensure you have a good foundation for duck season. If nothing else, it will at least put you in a position to be ready to go for opening day. Happy hunting!